The University of Maine and its Hutchinson Center branch in Belfast are bringing college education to the community, as they have once again designed the Master of Social Work degree for working professionals in the social work field who want to bring their career to the next level.

Starting in September 2012, the UMaine MSW program will be extended to Presque Isle, Falmouth and Belfast. Using telecommunication technology, students from the three locations will be united for live classes. Students attend class in their own location, while instructors rotate through all three sites.

With this cohort model, all required courses (to earn the degree) are offered late Friday and on Saturday to fit the students’ lifestyles. University faculty comes to the students so that they don’t have to come to them.

The great benefit of the cohort model, according to a UMaine press release, is that the program of study is planned out for the length of the degree attainment to keep students on track to reach their degree as planned.

Courses are scheduled to ensure that the courses are offered when planned so that the students aren’t left wondering what class to take next. Advisers meet with students often and are faculty in the MSW program as well.

Applications are due March 15, and officials urge interested individuals to begin the process as soon as possible. Call or email Victoria Kane at the School of Social work at 581-2389 or socialwork@umit.maine.edu.