Francine Vecchiolla, Dean of the Springfield College School of Social Work, Chosen for Leadership AcademyJuly 16, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., July 16, 2008 – Francine Vecchiolla, dean of the Springfield College School of Social Work, has been selected to participate in the inaugural seminar of The Leadership Academy in Aging which focuses on building the capacity to address the needs of America’s aging population. The Academy is a joint venture of The New York Academy of Medicine’s Social Work Leadership Institute (SWLI) and the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation.
The selection committee chose 12 outstanding deans of social work schools and directors of social work programs from applicants across the country for the academy, which helps social work administrators further develop as leaders in the field of aging care.
Vecchiolla is dean of the school offering the only master of social work (MSW) weekend program in New England. At the Springfield College School of Social Work, students can complete the MSW weekend program in three years, or the weekday program in two years with classes twice per week. The school’s combined master of social work/juris doctorate is a four-year program in conjunction with the Western New England College School of Law. Springfield College also offers an advanced standing master of social work program for qualified graduates of bachelor of social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The Leadership Academy will launch in September 2008 with the first of four sessions throughout the academic year that include workshops on management, student recruitment, legislative outreach, media relations, community development, fundraising, and faculty relations. Each participant will develop a plan to introduce the aging agenda into their work.
“Seventy million Americans, or one in five individuals, will be age 65 or older by 2030,” said Patricia Volland, SWLI director. “This demographic shift means that social work educators have a leadership role to play in growing the workforce of professionals who are qualified to address the needs of older Americans.”
According to Springfield College Vice President for Academic Affairs Jean A. Wyld, “Springfield College is delighted that Dr. Vecchiolla has been selected as a leader in the field of social work education. The exceptional leadership that she has provided in the growth and development of our School of Social Work will be valuable to this program, and her findings will be useful to us in continuing to provide high-quality education.”
The Leadership Academy in Aging will help to advance an innovative model of social work education that is in effect at one-third of the country’s master of social work programs. Called the Hartford Partnership Program in Aging Education, it incorporates university-community partnerships and provides students with multiple clinical settings for field education. It is administered by the Social Work Leadership Institute with funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation.
The SWLI at The New York Academy of Medicine is a national program that supports healthy aging by ensuring that America's older adults receive the care they need to stay independent and in charge of their lives, and that their caregivers also get needed support. SWLI’s goals are to grow the workforce of social workers who specialize in aging and to improve long-term, community-based care for older adults so health and social services are more comprehensive, better linked, and easier to access.