ELKO — Those who have received a bachelor’s degree in social work are encouraged to apply for the online master’s program through the University of Nevada, Reno.

Wendy Charlebois, Great Basin College social work coordinator and instructor, said since the Bachelor of Arts in social work program began in 2006, about 50 students have earned the degree. The 3-plus-1 program offers three years of classes through GBC and one through UNR.

Applications are open for the 2015 fall semester online master’s program at UNR.

Earning a master’s in social work is a strategic move, Charlebois said.

“That is the gateway to becoming a mental health practitioner,” she said.

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The master’s allows students to begin 3,000 clinical hours in order to take the test to become a clinical social worker. These are high-demand jobs, especially in the military and Veterans Affairs, Charlebois said.

“Clinical social workers are the largest providers of mental health care in the U.S.,” she said.

Still, the possibilities after receiving a Master of Social Work are endless, Charlebois said.

Applications are available at www.unr.edu/social-work for the 2015 fall semester. The program is done entirely online through UNR. Applicants should have a Bachelor of Social Work and apply by Jan. 15.

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