Montana Tech Grad Awarded First Honor Scholarship for Social Work


Melissa CaseyMontana Tech graduate Melissa Casey is the first UM School of Social Work recipient of the “2+2 Honor Scholarship” of the Montana University System – Commissioner of Higher Education. The scholarship includes two years of paid tuition to attend the University of Montana - School of Social Work. She earned an Associate of Science in 2019 from Montana Tech. This scholarship will fund Ms. Casey through the completion of her bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW).

Ms. Casey is a native of Butte, MT, and she will complete her BSW while residing in Butte as she takes online distance courses from the University of Montana. “It was important for me to stay in Butte with my children and family as I earned my bachelor’s degree, and I wanted to earn a degree in social work to give back to my community, especially working with elders,” stated Ms. Casey. The first semester with the UM BSW 2+2 Program will include a hands on learning experience in an assisted living (retirement) community in Butte.
“Conducting research with elders was a catalyst in Ms. Casey’s education as she earned a Tech research scholarship, presented at TechExpo, presented at a national conference (NCUR) in 2018, and then published her work in a peer reviewed journal. This is a considerable accomplishment for a student working on her associate’s degree,” stated Dr. Elyse Lovell, Psychology Research Mentor - Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences Department at Montana Tech.

Deanna Cooper, MSW, LCSW, and Director of the UM BSW Program describes the UM program, “UM’s BSW 2+2 Program is a partnership with Community and Tribal colleges across Montana. Students complete their two-year degree at their local college and then join 2+2 BSW to complete their BSW degree as a distance student. A local practicum placement is part of the program, which is a conduit to developing a professional workforce and an opportunity for advanced professional pathways that might not otherwise be available. Our students are not ‘place bound’- they are place committed! Our graduates are being hired in various positions as social workers, and some combine their BSW with specialties including gerontology, integrated care, child welfare, and addictions licensing.”