Did you know that the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) was in the vanguard when we first offered online courses six years ago? Did you know that there are over 600 online course vendors today? Did you know that 60% of the nation’s 4000 colleges/universities offer online degree programs? Did you know that just one university—Arizona State University—offers 70 degree programs online? You can even obtain a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree online!
If none of this information comes as a surprise to you, then you’re well informed when it comes to online courses. But for many of us the explosion of online courses in recent years comes as more of a shock that is difficult to comprehend.
Here are some reasons why online courses have become so prevalent:
- Work at your own pace
- Earn CEU’s for ongoing education
- Quick way to gain specific knowledge
- Low cost
What about an online degree closer to home? For example, can you obtain a social work degree online? Absolutely! A quick google reveals over 50 colleges and universities offering online degrees in social work. You can also obtain ongoing education in social work although it may be challenging to find a specific course that fits your exact needs. A starting place is the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) that has just launched a new online continuing education resource for social workers, the Professional Education and Training Center (http://www.naswdc.org/pdev/default.asp).
And, what does NFPN plan for future online courses? We are considering additional online courses on father involvement and first-ever online courses for Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS). Especially in the child welfare field, involving fathers appears to have stalled. One reason is that most of the father involvement curricula are, perhaps understandably, from a male perspective. However, the child welfare field is overwhelmingly female in both work force and head of household. Maybe it’s time to address that issue with a course on The Female Perspective on Father Involvement. How does that sound to you?
IFPS services are offered in most states but training for staff is generally available only when IFPS is offered statewide. NFPN provides the IFPS ToolKit but that is more of a resource for establishing IFPS programs. There are currently no online courses for IFPS. Is there interest out there in taking online courses for IFPS?
NFPN would like to know what online courses subject matter is of interest to you. To provide NFPN with input and feedback on online courses, please take the 7-question survey at this link:
It will take only a few minutes to complete and the information will be priceless! Thank you.
Posted by Priscilla Martens, Executive Director
National Family Preservation Network