table of contents


MnSCU Emerging Curriculum Proposal

The B.S.U. Electronic Academy



Inter-University Centre, IUC Dubrovnik
International Distance Delivery Project



Dada M. Maglajlic, Ph. D.
Professor of S.R.S.
375 Hagg-Sauer Hall
Bemidji State University
1500 Birchmont Drive NE
Bemidji, MN 56601-2699
Office: 218 755 2837 FAX: 218 755 2822



Dr. Glen Richgels
Professor of Mathematics
365 Hagg-Sauer Hall
Bemidji State University
1500 Birchmont Drive NE
Bemidji, MN 56601-2699
Office: 218 755 2824 FAX: 218 755 2822



The College of Social and Natural Sciences



Department of Social Relations and Services



Social Work Program

Dean: Dr. Ranae Womack



Bemidji State University. Bemidji, MN, US
President: Dr. James M. Bensen
Vice President: Dr. Jon Quistgaard



Utilization of electronic technology for the international distance delivery of social work courses



November, 1999



E-mail, BSU/IUC Electronic Journal, CD-ROM, BSU/IUC Homepage, Chat Box, web conferencing



BSU/IUC CD-ROM , other



Five courses of the IUC Dubrovnik SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK THEORY AND PRACTICE will be offered internationally as part of the BSU Electronic Academy program. The courses are:

  • Developing Neighborhood and Community Support Systems,
  • Social Work with Children, Youth and Families,
  • Social Work and Spirituality,
  • Social Work and Social Policies, and
  • Social Work and Juvenile Offenders.

Since 1972 the Inter-University Centre for Post-Graduate Studies (IUC), Dubrovnik, Croatia has succeeded in organizing academic programs composed of international and multidisciplinary courses and conferences.

The social work program within IUC was initiated in 1987 by Dr. Burt Galaway (at that time professor of social work at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) and Dr. Dada M. MaglajlicÕ (at that time professor of social work at the University of Zagreb, Croatia).

Language of the School is English. Enrolled students (participants) may gain 3 credits per course, or between 1-3 credits for an individual study program.

Courses and materials prepared for the School of Social Work Theory and Practice, IUC Dubrovnik, Croatia constitute the primary content for the proposed project.

  • Two additional programs are proposed:
    Course Directors and Resource Persons associated with IUC School will offer individualized courses in their area of expertise, using:
    - E-mail,
    - BSU/IUC S.W. Chat Box,
    - BSU/IUC Electronic S.W. Series,
    - other
  • Course participants will have the opportunity to propose a short term "exploration training"- related to their interest - using Web Conferencing and Chat Box.

    The International long-distance social work education program has 3 sub-programs:

I. The first sub-program is the annual academic program of the IUC School of Social Work Theory and Practice (see the enclosure). The school now offers 5 courses; when fully developed the school will offer 8 courses, throughout the month of June, two courses per week. Courses reflect the interests of the Social Work faculty, researchers, practitioners and students in all regions of the world.

The School has published four books, and continues to publish the material from the annual academic program. The School replaced two courses, and will continue to be flexible and open regarding its content:

  • Developing Neighborhood and Community Support Systems has replaced the course Foster Family Care as an Alternative to Institutional Care, and
  • Social Work and Social Policies has replaced the course Social Welfare and Social Work in the Nordic Countries.

II. Second sub-program:

In the period 1989 - 1997, the School developed a network of the professionals in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, Africa and New Zealand. They are associated with the program as Course Organizing Directors, Course Directors and Resource Persons. They all have their special areas of interest and expertise. Through BSU Electronic Academy, this expertise will be utilized to offer additional programs for a limited number of students. Anticipated limiting factors are:

  • available time and
  • available finances.

The program will be initiated at a very low scale, and will increase in relation to all relevant facets.

A complete list of topics which will be offered will be developed during the first and second year of the project. The complete program will be defined by the end of the project.

At this point eleven associates have agreed to develop an additional program. Professor Burt Galaway, Ph.D., is putting together a course (Social Work Processes) to be offered at IUC, and electronically in the spring of 2001.

III. Third sub-program:

Potential students are social work students and practitioners all over the world; together with BSU/IUC Electronic Academy Faculty they represent a special network with 3 sub-networks:

  • faculty network,
  • practitioners network,
  • students network.

The project will facilitate communication between/among all the networks as part of content development, delivery and evaluation.

Attention will be given to actual issues in the areas of social work theory and practice: if a particular student and/or practitioner requires information, this will be communicated to all networks what will promote quick exchange of information, review of all the relevant elements, and joint definition of the most appropriate approach. The same network will implement follow-up and any other relevant procedure.

This broad international network is the most valuable part of the overall project. It will contribute to better understanding of and among different groups (and regions of the world) and - thereby - promote tolerance, nonviolence and peace.


Goals of the project are to:

a. offer an international social work training program through elective courses for social work students;

b. offer a continuing education program for social work graduates, and other social workers;

c. develop methodology for conducting independent information searches on the Internet;

d. introduce Electronic Journal (BSU/IUC Social Work Edition) that will support studentsÕ independent study;

e. develop and utilize Homepage, audio and videotaped lecture, CD-ROM, E-mail, web teleconferencing and Chat Box to promote international long-distance learning.


As the program develops, participants will explore the possibility to develop Center for Continuing Social Work Education at BSU.



Cultural and other diversity of the people experiencing social problems as well as limited resources places special demands on social work profession and on social work education.

This project takes into consideration both elements; program reflects diversity and is aiming at being affordable and accessible in/to all regions of the world.

1. The BSU/IUC S.W. Electronic Academy will offer social workers and social work students:

  • global education for the world which is becoming a global village: international content which can be modified, and is individually tailored to meet the needs of a particular country and/or particular person;

  • social workers who live and work in isolated regionsÑ far from the schools of social work and other centers for the professional developmentÑwill be able to access an individually tailored program which may have many components: informative, consultative, comparative, supervisory, evaluative, other;

  • facilitate an ongoing exchange of the ideas among social work teachers, social workers, social work students, and some other groups;

  • facilitate an ongoing exchange of experience in specific areas of social work practice; program will offer an excellent opportunity to compare and evaluate very diverse models.

2. IUC S.W. Electronic Academy will promote global interaction and understanding, with underlying principles of peace, nonviolence and justice.

3. IUC S.W. Electronic Academy project will contribute to the development of a teaching tool, an educational model that promotes the participatory learning process. Individually tailored educational programs will have the following features:

  • continuously updated information,
  • available (in most features) 24 hours per day,
  • easily accessible through computers located in public libraries, nearby schools, social welfare agencies, and homes.

4. The project will develop educational technology that can be implemented in other areas. Universal component of the project is related to the demonstration of the educational technology and its implementation.

5. Contribute to the preparation of present social work students for the 21st century; enrich the existing social work program and enable advanced undergraduate students to gain additional knowledge.

6. Offer highly competitive continuing education programs to licensed social workers.

7. Utilize existing and/or easy to develop electronic technology to offer quality distant education programs.


This project will strengthen commitment to International studies. STUDENTS will have the opportunity to:

  • study via Electronic Academy not only at IUC Dubrovnik, but at all the universities associated with the IUC Dubrovnik School of Social Work Theory and Practice (Norway, Finland, Germany, Austria, England, India, French and English speaking Canada, different States, other);

  • take courses and additional individual study in Dubrovnik which in many ways is the most special classroom in the world;
  • prepare themselves to be 21st century professionals with an information network, as well as a network of colleagues, and easy access to an international group of faculty.

Participating universities will gain special international prestige and a large number of international adjunct faculty.


This is a 5 year demonstration project with a set of goals/activities for each of the 5 years.

The project calls for specific consultation with the BSU and IUC Administration, as well as all the Course Directors (Universities) of the IUC Dubrovnik School of Social Work Theory and Practice.


A detailed annual plan of the anticipated activities will be developed for each of the five years.

Following is an outline of the activities for the five years, with more details for the first two years:

Year I

Consultation at/with BSU, including, but not limited to:

  • BSU Administration
  • College of Social & Natural Sciences
  • Center for International Studies
  • Center for External Studies
  • Electronic Academy

Consultation at/with Interuniversity Centre for Post-Graduate studies IUC Dubrovnik:

  • IUC Secretariat
  • IUC Board of Directors
  • local institutions related to high technology

Consultation with the associates, appointed course directors and/or resource persons, of the School of Social Work Theory and Practice:

  • Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Universities du Quebec, Hull, Canada
  • Dept. of Social Sciences, University of Kuopio, Finland
  • Dept. of Social Policy, University of Wales, Swansea, U.K.
  • School of Social Work, Erfurt, Germany
  • TATA Institute School of S.W., Bombay, India
  • Office of Women in Int. Dev., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign
  • Dept. of Social Work, Mohyla Academy, Kiev, Ukraine
  • School of Social Work, Bregenz, Austria
  • School of Social Work, University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • School of Social Work, University of Leicester, England
  • National Center for Evaluation of Social Services, University of Getheborg, Stockholm and some others.

Funding search includes, but is not limited to:

  • development of a potential funders data base
  • re-design of the basic project outline in order to meet the criteria of the potential funding source
  • design of the basic application package

Design of the BSU-IUC Electronic Journal which includes professional social work, creative and technical activities.

Preparation of the Progress Report for the 1st year.

Year II

Development of the BSU/IUC Homepage.

1st standard edition of the Electronic Journal.

Program will include administrative, creative and technical work, as well as:

  • visit to IUC Dubrovnik
  • visit to partner-universities

Increase participation of Social Work Faculty, Social Work students, and practitioners at IUC Dubrovnik School of Social Work Theory and Practice in order to get their direct input regarding:

  • most appropriate mode or modes of long distance delivery
  • key contribution of the courses at personal, group, and community level
  • content of the program as related to the future of social work theory and practice.

Continuing search for additional funding.

Preparation of the Progress Report for 2nd Year, with reference to the first two years of the 5-year project.

Year III

Implementation of international distance delivery using Homepage and professionally produced tapes (production includes administrative, creative, and technical components at BSU and IUC Dubrovnik), Web Teleconferencing, and other.

Standard edition of the Electronic Journal.

Evaluation of the first long-distance program delivery. A sample of nine long-distance students will be interviewed using a structured interview designed for that purpose.

Continuing search for additional funding.

Preparation of the Progress Report for the 3rd year, with reference to the first three years of the 5-year project.

Year IV

Creation of the BSU/IUC CD-ROM (production includes administrative, creative and technical work at BSU, IUC Dubrovnik, and the location of the partner-universities).

Continuation of the international distance delivery program with changes related to the input received through evaluation carried out during the 3rd Year.

Introduction and test delivery of the competitive international long distance social work program.

Continuing search for funding.

Preparation of Progress Report for the 4th year.

Year V

Implementation of the Interactive Television (ITV), as part of the international long distance social work education (work includes administrative, creative and technical components).

Design of the most appropriate mode of high-technology for international, long-distance social work education: Homepage, Electronic Journal, BSU-IUC CD-ROM, video-tape, ITV or other (work includes but is not limited to, administrative, creative, and technical components).

Definition of international, long-distance social work education and continuing education as part of the TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE program.

Preparation of the FINAL REPORT.


This project will demonstrate that much needed global, internationally designed and delivered education in the field of social work is possible

Participants associated with the IUC Dubrovnik School of Social Work Theory and Practice will form an International network (coordinated by a consortium) of social work faculty, students, practitioners, and social service users. The Network will be completely open to ongoing communication, which will happen at three or more levels:

  • input regarding study content,
  • dynamic social work education using (but not limited to) electronic technology, and
  • evaluation of the outcomes.

Special attention will be given to the students. Students will be very actively involved in the project from start to finish:

a. Students will help to develop the content and the learning mode which best meets their needs/interests and their learning potential.

b. Students will help to invent and test the Internet survey methodology.

c. Students will be employed to perform different duties related to the project (secretarial, technical, creative, other).

d. Students will develop a network which will enable them to compare their approach to social work education, to social work theory and practice, and to national and international social reality.

This network will be open to the faculty network and social service users network.



A large number of programs and individuals will participate in the project. For each activity coordinating team, participants and participatory networks will be defined.

The initial coordinating team members:

Dr. Dada M. Maglajlic, BSU, Bemidji, USA
Dr. Burt Galaway, Univ. of Manitoba, Canada
Dr. Enver Sehovic, Univ. of Zagreb, Croatia
Dr. Craig Rennebohm, Seattle, WA
Dr. Mari-Ann Zahl, Norway
Dr. Helmut Janssen, Germany
Dr. Glen Richgels, BSU, Bemidji, USA
Ms. Vivienne Morgan, BSU, Bemidji, USA
Ms. Amber Richgels, student, BSU, Bemidji, USA


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Copyright for the I.U.C. Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice is owned by the Social Work Program, Department of Social Relations and Services, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. One copy may be made (printed) for personal use; teachers may make multiple copies for student use if the copies are made available to students without charge. Permission must be secured from the editors for sale of any copies of articles or for any commercial use of the material published in the Journal.

2001 Copyright BSU/IUC Journal of Social Work Theory & Practice