TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Marymount College of Fordham University undergraduate social work majors can now take graduate-level courses that may be used toward their master’s degree, a dynamic opportunity for an institution with a tradition of providing a four-year undergraduate education.

Allowing undergraduate students to take social work courses with graduate students is unique, according to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The new program also al-lows the students to apply for advanced standing at GSS, or another graduate school of social work, and, if accepted, enables them to earn their master’s degree in one year instead of two.

The program mirrors one already garnering success at Fordham’s Lincoln Center cam-pus, which earned accreditation from CSWE in Dec. 2001. It is also particularly convenient for Marymount students, who will take their courses at the Tarrytown campus of Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service (GSS), across the street from the Marymount College campus.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students, who now have access to the talents and experience of a graduate faculty, and for the college, which is building on its mission of preparing young women for positions of leadership and influence,” said Mary Ann Quaranta, D.S.W., provost of Marymount College of Fordham University. Dr. Quaranta previously served for 25 years as dean of GSS.

To participate, students must apply to the bachelor of arts in social work program at the end of their sophomore or at the start of their junior year. Accepted students will then spendthe next two years completing their core undergraduate requirements in addition to the 33-credit major in social work — essentially equivalent to the first year of a master’s program.

Like the graduate students, Marymount students will fulfill 600 hours of fieldwork at locations like foster-care and adoption agencies and HIV- and cancer-care settings. They can attend conferences held at the graduate school typically open only to graduate students and will be well-prepared to succeed in the social work field upon graduation.

Blanca Pressley, director of support services at AIDS-Related Community Services in Elmsford, N.Y., oversees the fieldwork of Krisztina Tarjanyi, one of four Marymount seniors in the new program. “Krisztina came to us very well-prepared to facilitate a women’s group of HIV-positive mothers,” Pressley said. “She is enthusiastic and brings vitality to her assignment.”

Tarjanyi said she enjoys both her fieldwork assignment and the opportunity to study at the graduate school. “The experiences that are shared by my graduate classmates who have been in the field for many years helped me learn about the different social work settings and their issues,” she said.

Tarjanyi plans to apply to Fordham for advanced standing next fall. “Fordham has an excellent social work program – one of the top in the country,” she said, referring to the master’s program, ranked 11th nationally by U.S. News and World Report.

Arrangements are in process for analogous programs at Marymount with Fordham’s Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education.

Effective July 1, 2002, Marymount College consolidated with Fordham University to create a new model of a women’s Catholic college, one that enjoys the academic and administrative resources of a major university while retaining the character of a small, liberal arts college. This union builds upon a long relationship between the two institutions and promises to strengthen Marymount’s religious and intellectual traditions.