Under a new agreement between Missouri’s second-largest community mental health center and the state’s second-largest university, Burrell Behavioral Health and Missouri State University will partner to provide educational opportunities for Burrell employees seeking an online Master of Social Work degree from Missouri State’s School of Social Work.
“This agreement reinforces Burrell’s commitment to its employees, and to training and retaining the best and brightest social workers. They are the backbone of our workforce and are vital to the whole-person health of our communities,” said Burrell president and CEO Dr. C.J. Davis. “We could not be more excited to help our employees access a respected institution like Missouri State University, which lives and breathes its public affairs mission throughout Missouri and beyond.”
About the program
Under Burrell’s tuition assistance program, four employees applied and qualified to receive Burrell assistance. They were accepted to Missouri State by meeting school of social work admission criteria. These four individuals, currently working as Community Support Specialists for Burrell in southwest or central Missouri or northwest Arkansas, will receive $10,000 from Burrell toward their advanced degree. This covers roughly half of the typical cost of tuition, fees and expenses for the Master of Social Work program.
Employees were admitted to one of two Master of Social Work tracks, advanced or regular. Advanced for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in social work, and regular for students with relevant degrees who need additional coursework to complete the master’s program.
In exchange for the financial assistance, the employees agree to continue working for Burrell for at least three years following the completion of the program. Burrell social workers who graduate from the Missouri State School of Social Work with their master’s in social work will have increased opportunities for advancement and leadership positions within Burrell.
“We get to be part of the solution.”
For Missouri State, benefits include additional qualified students who will continue to work in regions mutually served by Burrell and MSU following their graduation.
“It is our responsibility as a university to support the community and the needs of said community,” said Dr. Mark Smith, dean of McQueary College of Health and Human Services. “Forming a partnership with Burrell affords both organizations the opportunity to do just that as we both strive to educate and place mental health professionals where they are needed the most: Supporting the mental needs of us all.”
“The benefit to Missouri State is that we get to be part of a solution,” Smith also said. “We get to be a community partner that together can place highly qualified social workers into the community so they make a difference.”