One student walks outside the Nazir Ansari Business Building while another student is sitting down on blue chairs. To the right of them, there is a golf cart.
File Photo /Nevada Sagebrush
The Ansari Business building as it stands on Sept. 27, 2018. The School of Social Work separated from the Division of Health Sciences on Thursday, July 1.

The School of Social Work separated from the Division of Health Sciences on Thursday, July 1, making it the first independent School of Social Work in Nevada.

The School of Social Work will offer accredited degree programs to undergraduate and graduate students. These degrees include a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Social Work and an online Master of Social Work degree program.

Undergraduates wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work need to complete all the university and department core requirement—with the exception of capstone and social work elective courses, maintain an overall 2.5 GPA, complete SW 101, SW 250, SW 310, SW 311 and SW 321 with a grade of C or higher, submit formal applications to the University of Nevada, Reno and the School of Social Work, submit responses to essay questions, submit two professional references and submit a current copy of a University Academic Requirement Report, course history and, if applicable, a Transfer Credit Report.

“Dr. [Shadi] Martin brings an exciting new vision and welcome leadership to the School of Social Work,” said Executive Vice President and Provost, Kevin Carman. “Under her leadership, I am confident that Social Work will educate social workers that meet the increasingly complex needs of local, regional and national communities. I’m also pleased that Dr. Martin is emphasizing the importance of scholarship among faculty and students, which is essential to fulfilling our mission as a Research-1 university.”

Dean Martin plans to educate, train and nurture social work leaders in the college. She believes social workers are able to take on leadership positions due to their multidisciplinary education and training and professional values and ethics. Dean Martin previously served as a tenured professor and director of the graduate program at McGill University School of Social Work in Montreal, Canada and as a tenured professor at the University of Alabama for ten years. 

“The mission of our newly independent School of Social Work is focused around making sure that our students graduate with the desire to take on leadership roles,” Dean Martin said in a press release. “The desire to become leaders is not self-serving, it is an obligation to assure that the voices of the marginalized populations – the very people that social workers represent – are heard at the decision-making tables. I want my students to understand that they owe it to their constituents to become leaders. They need to know that they are the change agents; they will be the leaders.”

Administration of Child Services reported in Nevada, 10.7 percent of individuals obtain a bachelor’s degree while 38.9 percent of individuals obtain a master’s degree or higher in social work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 682,100 social work jobs in the U.S. The BLS also projected social work jobs will increase 11.5 percent between 2014 and 2024. The ACS found in 2015, social workers earned a mean income of $43,467 and a median income of $40,000. There is, however, a difference in income by sex, with men making a median income of 10 percent more per year than female social workers.

“The State of Nevada has a critical shortage of social workers,” Martin said. “Currently, there are approximately 2,700 licensed social workers available to serve the 2.7 million Nevadans – that is one social worker for every 995 citizens (State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers, 2018). Some of Nevada’s greatest areas of need include: Child Protective Services, School Social Work, Medical Social Work and Justice Programs. The newly independent School of Social Work is committed to meeting the workforce needs of urban and rural communities in Nevada by expanding its programs and offering specializations that target these areas of needs.”

Taylor Johnson can be reached at or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.