MSW Distance Option - Salem Site

Salem is the capital of Oregon, and the governmental hub for the state. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley with the Willamette River running north through the city. After Portland Eugene, Salem is the third largest city in Oregon and located one hour from both of those communities. The Salem Distance Option site is located in the heart of downtown Salem with easy access to a wide array of businesses and restaurants. The MSW Distance Option's Salem site if fortunate to be housed and partnered with the Child Welfare Training Unit at Chemeketa Center's Business and Industry Complex.

The Salem MSW Distance Option offers a three-year prescribed curriculum and the majority of the coursework is taught by PSU School of Social Work faculty. Classes during the first year of the program are on the main PSU campus in Portland four times each school term on Fridays from 9 am - 5 pm and Saturdays 9 am -5 pm. Classes during the second and third years are held at the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry Complex in Salem every Friday, generally from 8:30 am-4 pm.

During the second and third years in the program, students are placed in field agencies. The MSW DO Salem site has a wealth of community partners serving the greater Willamette Valley. Placement options include but are not limited to: aging, domestic and intimate partner violence, school/educational social work, mental health through the lifespan, alcohol and addictions, medical social work, intellectual and physical disabilities, child and adult protective services, food insecurity and homelessness, community organization and human services administration. Students work with the Site Coordinator to choose from the partner social service agencies in their home community, or to help identify new agencies for development, when possible.

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 Salem Site Cohort begins Fall 2018.  Applications will be accepted in fall 2017.     

Salem Site Coordinator

Michele Martinez Thompson, MSW, CSWA, C-ASWCM, joined our Distance Option team in summer 2011. She is a graduate of Arizona State University. She has practiced social work in a variety of community settings serving individuals through their life span, focusing on case management, counseling, policy and social service administration. Her current focus is individual and family counseling through chronic illness, end of life death and the provision of culturally effective services within the medical field.



Michele Martinez Thompson, Salem Site Coordinator

626 High St. NE, Suite 208

Salem, OR 97301

Tel: 503-315-4592