Director’s Message


As Acting Director, I will work with faculty and staff, community partners and others to guide the School of Social Work over the coming year. I am a sociologist by training and a gerontologist and health services researcher by profession. My role, then, cannot be that of an academic social worker, but that of a manager building solid connections to social work faculty. I have assumed responsibility for a School that is moving forward on a number of fronts, and I invite readers of this message to explore the School of Social Work web pages for details.  The School of Social Work is positioned well to continue to produce outstanding teaching and research, to attract and graduate excellent students, and ­to work meaningfully with community partners.

The School of Social Work and Faculty of Health and Social Development have begun the process of searching for a director with the intent of filling the position during the present academic year.

UBC consistently ranks among the top 3 universities in Canada [1] and the top 40 universities world-wide [2]. UBC Okanagan offers a one and two year MSW for those with a BSW (one year MSW) or other undergraduate degree (2 year MSW).  We also have PhD options available for interested students in the Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS) – Themes & Individualized.  There are over 55,000 social workers in Canada [3], and labour market demand is strong for the profession [4] across the country [5].

Our MSW program integrates critical, structural, and social-relational perspectives with clinical knowledge and expertise; and our graduates enter the job market with specialized knowledge and evidence-based expertise. Our programs are fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), having recently been awarded an 8-year accreditation [6]. Ours is one of the few MSW programs in Canada that teaches exclusively direct or clinical practice. Our scale is small, enabling us to be a boutique clinical program, preparing students for employment in broad areas of health and human service practice.

Take a few moments to view our School of Social Work September 2021 newsletter. It highlights the work and achievements of several individuals, both faculty and students, in the School. I invite you to read about the experiences and thoughts of these people, as they represent individual and School of Social Work successes.

As our past Director Dr. John Graham noted, “We are a faculty of dedicated instructors and scholars, who are committed to your professional and occupational success.”

I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues and senior university administration over the term of my appointment.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at or better yet make an appointment and learn more about one of the country’s finest schools of social work.

Colin Reid, PhD
Acting Director of the School of Social Work