An Elms College bachelor’s degree in social work can now be earned in 20 months, with classes at BCC’s main campus in Pittsfield.

Elms and BCC Create New Weekend Social Work Program

An Elms College bachelor's degree in social work can now be earned in 20 months, with classes at BCC's main campus in Pittsfield.

Elms College and BCC Create New Weekend Social Work Program

The College of Our Lady of the Elms and Berkshire Community College (BCC) in Pittsfield have teamed up to expand social work degree offerings in Western Massachusetts, and to make earning a bachelor’s degree in social work more convenient for Berkshire residents.

The presidents of the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a new weekend program allowing qualified BCC human services graduates, as well as graduates with associate’s degrees from other accredited institutions, to complete Elms College’s social work bachelor’s degree program at BCC’s main campus on West Street in Pittsfield.

Elms College President Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D. (at right in the photo above), and BCC President Ellen Kennedy originally signed an agreement regarding the off-campus program for social work in May 2013. Classes previously offered in Lee, Mass., will shift to BCC’s main campus starting next month. Students will work with BCC advisors as they complete their associate’s degrees at BCC and then with Elms advisors as they transition into the bachelor’s degree completion programs.

”We are pleased to welcome Elms College to our Pittsfield campus,” said President Kennedy. “We know that students are the most successful when they have the flexibility to balance studies with work and personal commitments. Having top-notch educators from Elms College at our campus offering weekend classes will most certainly benefit students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in social work close to home.” 

“Social work is a growing, vitally important field with expanding job opportunities for Western Massachusetts," said President Reap. "We are pleased to partner with Berkshire Community College to set students on the path to bachelor’s degrees leading to rewarding careers, empowering them to change lives for the better in the Berkshire community.

Classes taught by Elms College faculty will be held at BCC on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Students who complete coursework in 10 eight-week sessions over a 20-month period will be awarded a bachelor of science degree in social work. Two cohorts, consisting of new and returning students, will begin classes Aug. 29.

To qualify for transfer to Elms or enrollment into the off-campus program, BCC students must have earned an associate’s degree and have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5.

The two institutions originally signed an articulation agreement for social work majors in 2004. The first off-campus social work cohort launched in August 2013 and graduated this past May.

In addition to social work, Elms will also offer two online degree-completion programs as part of the memorandum of understanding, including a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology assistant and a bachelor of science degree in healthcare management.

Elms College currently has off-campus agreements with more than six institutions – Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Mount Wachusett Community College, Quinsigamond Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and Berkshire Community College – in dozens of programs, including early care and education, management and marketing, social work, nursing, accounting and psychology.

BCC currently has approximately 50 transfer articulation agreements with colleges and universities throughout the country. BCC also has MassTransfer agreements with all Massachusetts state colleges and universities.

For information about Elms College’s social work program, contact Maureen Holland at hollandm@elms.edu. For information about Elms College’s social work degree-completion program, contact Wanda Banks at banksw@elms.edu or 413-313-4287.