In November, M. Kimberly Rupert, provost and chief academic officer, announced the formation of the School of Human Services and of SAU External. Tamara Dindoffer, Ph.D., has been named as School of Human Services dean, and Linda Sherrill, Ed.D., as SAU External dean.
The School of Human Services includes graduate and professional programs in counseling, family studies, Christian ministry leadership, nursing and social work. The Master of Arts in Counseling program has graduated over 1,200 students in the past 14 years. Spring Arbor University is now seeking becoming further accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and hiring new faculty.
Building on a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social work program, which has graduated more than 400 social workers in the last five years, a Master of Social Work is being offered at limited locations in Michigan beginning in August, while completing its accreditation process. Spring Arbor University’s program in family studies, both undergraduate and graduate, is one of the largest such programs in the nation, while the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program has more than 650 alumni, and the Master of Science in Nursing will soon graduate its third class.
Under the tutelage of Dindoffer, the School of Human Services seeks to further its reputation of excellence and innovation to meet the educational needs of those working in the diverse sector of human services. “We offer the unique perspective of intertwining faith, social justice and ethical reasoning throughout our subject matter, while drawing upon the strengths of each of our cognate disciplines. We are looking forward to an exciting and productive future of service to our students and to our community,” says Dindoffer.
Spring Arbor University External continues and builds upon that legacy to reach out in every community in which SAU offers educational services to meet the needs of that community whether through our current programs, through further expansion of our traditional campus programs, through certificates or through turn-key solutions for area employers. In addition SAU External incorporates 10-plus years of Spring Arbor University Online offerings including bachelor’s degree completion programs in business, organizational management and communication leadership, as well as the MBA and master’s degrees in communication, education, reading, TESOL, special education, nursing, and spiritual formation leadership.
“Consistent with the Spring Arbor University Concept, which strives for lifelong learning and application of the liberal arts with Christ as the perspective for learning, and critical participation in the contemporary world, Spring Arbor University External will play a significant role in our service to traditional and nontraditional students seeking face-to-face, online and hybrid educational pathways to their personal and career goals,” says Dean Sherrill.
Spring Arbor University pioneered nontraditional adult learning alternatives in Michigan over 30 years ago and continues to offer associate, bachelor’s completion and master’s degrees at 18 sites across Michigan and Ohio and online.