Miguel L. Arce | Springfield College

Miguel L. Arce

Miguel L. Arce

Professor of Social Work
Miguel L. Arce
  • Master of Social Work, San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif., 1977
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Texas, El Paso, Texas, 1974

Trained as a social worker, Miguel L. Arce has spent 45 years in communities with few economic resources. Those communities have been set apart by society in either isolated rural areas with Native Americans, Filopino Americans or Mexican Americans; or, in intensely urban areas with Puerto Ricans and African Americans. The focus has been on the debilitating circumstances and suffering faced by large sectors of these populations. Those communities are overwhelmed by stressful life conditions and events. Those communities are severely vulnerable to problems of hunger, homelessness violence, imprisonment, or job loss. Arce has sought to be responsive to those bitter realities. Heroism and resilience are contextualized--those with less get less.

Research Interests
  • Program design and technical assistance
  • Community and organizational practice
  • Daily life of people living in poverty
  • Technical assistance in the provision of community development services
Courses Taught
  • MSSW 601 Human Behavior in a Social Environment 1
  • MSSW 602 Human Behavior in a Social Environment 2 ( was course lead position)
  • MSSW 610 Social Practice 5
  • MSSW 611 Social Policy and Services 1 (course lead position)
  • MSSW 612 Social Policy and Services 2
  • MSSW 613 Social Welfare Policy and Services 3
Certifications and Memberships
  • Enlace de Familias, Inc., 2012 – 2014 •
  • Friends of Martin Luther King Charter School for Excellence, Inc. Capital fund Campaign, 2012 – 2014
  • Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Boards, 2012 
  • Community Adolescent Resources and Education (CARE) Center, Inc., 2005-2018 (CARE received a United States Presidential Humanities Award in the fall of 2011) including Selena Vazquez Memorial Scholarship Committee as well as Executive Director valuation review of job description, 2014
  • Bridges, Inc. (targeting refugees) helped graduate student incorporate and develop resources, 2011-2013
  • Mason Square Health Task Force, 2009 – 2010
  • Baystate Academy Charter Public School, Founding Member, 2011
  • Holyoke Salvation Army, 2008 – 2011
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Excellence, 2007-2012, Founding member
  • Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice, Founding member, 2012-present

Selected Works

Conferences and Presentations

  • Poster Board Presentation at Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference, Montgomery, Alabama, 2007
  • All College Graduate Scholarship Reception poster board presentation: “Life in Poverty: Applied Scholarship in Action” with Dr. Walter Mullin, Spring 2007
  • Presentation to the Massachusetts (Holyoke) Department of Children and Families, “Background of the migrant Latino of Holyoke: Ground Zero, 2007
  • Western New England College 27th Regional Social Work Conference; Resilient factors in Neighborhoods with High Rates of Poverty with W. Mullin and M. Holland, Springfield, Massachusetts, May 13, 2009
  • Western New England College 26th Regional Social Work Conference, Resiliency of Families Living in Poverty with W. Mullin, Springfield, Massachusetts, May 14, 2008
  • Massachusetts Department of Social Services, Statewide Race Ethnicity Language Minority Association, Building Bridges, Unity and Strategy equal change with our Families and within our Communities; Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, November 19, 2007
  • Public testimony (with Orlando Isaza) to Governor Baker’s Latino Advisory Commission relating to issues of economic prosperity and wellbeing of the Latino community in Massachusetts, 2018
  • Written and oral testimony to John Polanowicz, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, December 9, 2013
  • Written testimony and letter to Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, November 7, 2013 offering services to work on the improvement of Morgan Full Service Community School (Level 5 Underperforming School (only four in the state)


Between 2020 and 2014 a series of guest opinions contributions were written with Walter Mullin, PhD, professor emeritus, and published in El Sol Latino.


April – The “War on Poverty Continues”: The series on poverty ends

March – The Census Counts

February – Who really benefits from food stamps?

January – How the legal system cripples people who live in poverty


December – It’s coming on Christmas and people are hungry

November – Understanding development and poverty alleviation

October – The political candidates speak about poverty: What’s where and what’s missing! 

September – A community development leader to celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month

August – Springfield’s Gray House: Caring people can change the world

July – Investing in the future for the common good