Tulane to offer online master's in social work

Tulane University's School of Social Work will debut an online master of social work degree program in January, pending Council of Social Work Education approval.

Patrick Bordnick, dean of the School of Social Work, said one of his primary objectives is to bring "outstanding pedagogy and faculty expertise to new audiences." The online program is an "exciting first step in this direction,” he said.

Tulane is partnering with Noodle Partners, an education and technology company that creates online and hybrid programs while seeking to improve traditional classroom models.

Noodle Partners works with universities on every aspect of building a certificate or degree program, including marketing, student recruitment, enrollment, curriculum design and student engagement.

Tuition will be about $1,000 per credit hour, making the 60-credit program $20,000 to $40,000 more affordable than comparable programs, Tulane said. A tech-driven placement service will ensure that practicum hours efficiently complement students’ interests, according to the school.

Tulane offered the first training program for social workers in the Deep South. Its School of Social Work has maintained full accreditation status since 1927.

UNO philosopher to study criminal justice 

Chris W. Surprenant, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of New Orleans, has been awarded a Galsworthy Fellowship from the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at King’s College in New York City.

Surprenant founded and directs the Alexis de Tocqueville Project on Law, Liberty and Morality at UNO. He is one of eight fellows selected for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.

The Galsworthy Fellowship program seeks to “bolster the number of academics who are researching, writing, teaching and speaking publicly on any aspect of mass incarceration, overcriminalization and criminal justice reform from multiple academic disciplines," according to King's College.

Fellows will participate in seminars at the college, studying the current state of the United States' criminal justice system and possible reform tactics. They will also receive funding to develop courses on criminal justice for their home institutions and to produce original scholarly writings.

The United States leads the world in per capita incarceration, and Louisiana incarcerates more people, on a per capita basis, than any other state.

"Addressing our broken criminal justice system strikes me as the most important practical ethical issue in the country today, and academic philosophers can and should play a central role in this public discussion of this topic," Surprenant said.

Surprenant founded the Alexis de Tocqueville Project in 2011 to create a forum for those questioning Western moral and political thought. The project has focused on alternatives to incarceration, the nature of just and unjust punishment, and the link between policing and freedom.

Project participants have engaged in public lectures, panel discussions, debates, courses for university and high school students, conferences and fellowships.

Surprenant’s recent scholarly work includes editing “Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration,” published in July. It considers the ethics of incarceration and alternative punishments through writings by top scholars in law, philosophy, economics, political science and sociology.

He also argues for reducing the use of incarceration as a punishment for bad behavior, replacing it with other punishments.

Delgado student gets national scholarships

A Delgado Community College student studying architectural design and construction technology has been awarded two national scholarships, school officials said.

Lorraine Olmo was given two scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year by the National Association of Home Builders.

The scholarships are the NAHB Herman J. Smith National Housing Endowment Scholarship, a $5,000 award, and the NAHB Professional Women in Building Award, a $300 award.

Olmo is a past president of Delgado's NAHB Student Chapter.

The architectural design and construction technology program at Delgado trains students in design and construction of commercial, industrial and public buildings, homes, schools and community projects.

Students also learn about the maintenance, repair, modification, renovation, restoration and modernization of existing buildings.

Follow Della Hasselle on Twitter, @dellahasselle.