MSW Distance Option - Central Oregon

 The Central Oregon MSW Distance Option campus is located at the Deschutes County Training Facility in Bend, Oregon. Bend is renowned for its natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreational activities. Located in Oregon's high desert country, it is also known for its sunshine and winter skiing and snowboarding. Bend is the state's seventh largest city, combining the amenities of city living with clean air and easy access to rivers, lakes and forests.

The Central Oregon Distance Option is three years in duration, with classes held all three years on Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm. Years two and three add two additional days of field practicum in one of the area's many social service agencies. All students receive direct supervision during their practicum by a qualified social worker.

The primary counties that students in the Bend cohort come from are Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties. There have also been students from Klamath, Lake, Harney, Hood and Wasco counties. Thus, the Bend site serves Central and Eastern Oregon for the most part.

The Central Oregon area is fortunate to have a relatively large and diverse group of social service agencies. The social work program in Bend has a longstanding relationship with the majority of these agencies as field practicum sites and news ones regularly become available as the community works to address the needs of an expanding and more diverse population. Virtually every social work field of practice is represented in this area but what stands out is the prevalence of medical facilities including a growing number of integrated primary care/behavioral health practice opportunities. The site also partners with state and county social services including but not limited to the Department of Human Services Child Welfare division, Deschutes County Health Department, and Juvenile Department.

Curriculum Grid

Students complete Foundation Year coursework in years one and two.  Advanced Year coursework is completed in year three.  You can view the sequence of classes on the Distance Option Course Map.   


The next Central Oregon cohort will begin in fall 2019.  Application materials will be made available in fall 2018.

Central Oregon Site Coordinator

Gary Smith, MSW, has been the Central Oregon Site Coordinator since August 2009. Gary graduated from the PSU School of Social Work and has had a distinguished career in Oregon's social service system, including serving as the mental health director for Multnomah County, and the mental health program director for Tillamook and Deschutes counties. He also has been the  executive director of two non-profit agencies. Gary started his career as a direct service practitioner but, as a macro thinker, he has spent the majority of his career in management, planning, policy development and organizational consulting. Gary was honored to be named co-winner of Oregon's Social Worker of the Year award in 1998.

Gary W. Smith, MSW, Central Oregon Site Coordinator, (503) 725-9270
Central Oregon Community College
Metolius Building, Room 100A
Bend, OR 98701