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Carroll College adding Master of Social Work degree
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Carroll College adding Master of Social Work degree

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Carroll College is pictured in this file photo. 

Carroll College in Helena is adding its second master's degree program, a Master of Social Work degree, beginning in the fall of 2021. 

President John Cech said the new program is the next major piece of the college's "Health Professions Initiative," which is intended to meet workforce and patient needs throughout the nation. The college's accelerated nursing program launching in May is another key component of the initiative, he said. 

The Master of Social Work degree will be offered in a blended format combining online courses with field training and campus-based, in-person training. Full-time students will be able to complete the program in two years. 

The Master of Social Work degree is designed to educate and train students on how to effectively apply proven counseling methods, prevention techniques, and telehealth technologies to address the diverse and ever-changing needs of people who need high-quality behavioral health and social services. A central component of the program is the clinical training it provides.

Most MSW graduates begin their careers as clinical social workers providing therapeutic services in homes, hospitals, clinics, schools, incarceration facilities and social service organizations through face-to-face and telehealth services. 

Terry Payne of PayneWest Insurance was instrumental in providing the financial resources necessary to initiate the MSW program. 

Carroll has hired James Petrovich, Ph.D., to serve as director of the new program. He is joining Carroll College from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he served as an associate professor with tenure and department chair in the Department of Social Work. Petrovich obtained his Bachelor of Social Work degree from Mississippi College in 2000, his Master of Social Work degree from New York University in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Social Work in 2009. A social worker for nearly 20 years, Petrovich is committed to training and educating competent and ethical social workers to address serious social problems. He previously lived in Montana in 1990 when he worked as a wilderness guide at the Wilderness Treatment Center in Wilsall.

To learn more about the Master of Social Work program at Carroll College or for information on how to apply, visit

"Today's announcement of Carroll's new Master of Social Work program is an historic moment for our college as we leverage our strength as a premier provider for Montana's healthcare workforce," Cech said in a statement Wednesday. "I am grateful to Terry Payne and his family for their transformative gift supporting this program which will have a significant impact on serving the mental health needs of Montana. I am also grateful for the early support we have received from St. Peter's Health, Shodair Children's Hospital, and Benefis Health System in Great Falls. Given the hybrid and online nature of this new program, we will be able to serve the entire state."

Carroll College launched its first master's degree program, a Master of Accountancy degree, in 2018.


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