School of Social Work Professor Receives Alcohol and Other Drugs Education Program Fellowship


Springfield College School of Social Work Professor Dr. Lisa Watson has received an alcohol and other drugs education program fellowship from the Boston University School of Social Work. Watson will participate in support training of social work faculty in response to the urgent need for social workers with expertise in alcohol and other drug identification and treatment methods.

“Participating in Boston University's fellowship program on Alcohol and Other Drugs Education Program (ADEP), ensures that Springfield College graduate students in social work will be equipped with evidence-based knowledge and skills in the area of addiction,” said Watson. “Our students are increasingly encountering people struggling with a substance use disorder and its devastating consequences. It is imperative that social workers are informed on the most relevant and effective interventions to facilitate successful recovery from addiction."

An immersion-training model, the ADEP builds on Boston University’s extensive interdisciplinary expertise in alcohol and drug education and research. Fellowships will be available to equip 100 social work faculty members from a total of 50 accredited graduate schools of social work nationwide with alcohol and drug identification and treatment methods. The program will also train faculty on how to best integrate these topics into the standard Master of Social Work clinical practice curriculum.

“MSW students who are learning to work with clients with mental health and substance use disorders and their families need the most current information and emerging research on assessment, evidence-based interventions, and practice evaluation,” said Springfield College School of Social Work Dean Francine Vecchiolla. “I congratulate Dr. Lisa Watson on receiving this fellowship. She will be well prepared to lead the development of MSW curriculum enhancements in social work practice with clients with substance use disorders at Springfield College School of Social Work.”

The SSW offers multiple programs for students including a full-time, two-year, weekday master of social work program in Springfield, and a part-time, three-year, weekend master of social work program in Springfield and Worcester.  There are also options for graduates of Council on Social Work Education-accredited Bachelor of Social Work programs to choose either a four-semester weekend or three-semester weekday advanced standing program. The combined Master of Social Work/Juris Doctorate is a four-year, full-time program in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law. Students also can work toward a post-master’s certificate in trauma-informed practice with children and adolescents.

Since 1989, the Springfield College SSW has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the official accrediting body for social work programs in the United States.  Graduates are eligible for professional social work licensure in all 50 states. The MSW/JD program is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Graduates are eligible for professional social work licensure and bar examination.

The home of the SSW, the Brennan Center, is a state-of-the-art teaching and conference facility that underwent a $2.2 million renovation in 2002. The facility was again renovated in 2012 to include more classroom and office space. It includes technologically enhanced classrooms, a computer lab, a tiered auditorium, faculty offices, and a large, light-filled atrium, which is the site of school events and also serves as a student lounge. Easily accessible, it is located 1.45 miles from the main campus and has on-site parking. The weekend program in Worcester is located at Saint Vincent Hospital.