By Marcie McDowell/Staff writer

Eastern’s Danville campus will soon offer a new bachelor’s degree in social work. All social work majors and anyone interested in majoring in social work are invited to an open house from 6-8 p.m Wednesday at the Danville center.Carl Graham, chair of student government, said many potential students have inquired about the program. With the entire program being offered in Danville, local students will be saved from making a long commute to other schools.

“When I started inviting guest speakers they were ecstatic, and many of them called back to offer practicum and post-job placement,” Graham said.

Along with businesses, scheduled to attend are state political figures Sen. Tom Buford and Rep. Mike Harmon.

Businesses that have confirmed their invitations to attend the EKU-Danville social work open house include Ridge Behavioral Center, University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work, Danville’s Comprehensive Community Services, Ephram McDowell Regional Medical Center, the Christian Appalachian Project and Woodlawn Children’s Home.

Eastern President Joanne Glasser said Kentucky needs more citizens educated in social work.

“Consequently, it is no real surprise that there was a need for this program at one of our extended campus sites,” she said. “We are excited about providing this outstanding program in Danville.”

Graham said the program is advantageous for areas around Danville in need of social workers because soon many will be locally available.

Marlene Huff, director of the social work program, says social workers work in areas such as child welfare, gerontology, mental health, adoption and medical facilities.

“Social workers are integral in providing services to all types of oppressed populations,” Huff said. “Society as a whole benefits from the presence of social worker.”