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School of Social Work Formalizes Partnership With College in Moldova

Aug. 1, 2008

Baylor University Provost Randall O'Brien shook hands on a new partnership between the Baylor School of Social Work and the College of Theology and Education in Chisinau, Moldova, July 17, formalizing a relationship that has been more than three years in development.

Oleg Turlac, professor and administrator the CTE, met with O'Brien to officially enter into the Memorandum of Understanding. The collaboration will enable Baylor School of Social Work to provide resources for CTE's provision of competency-based graduate level social work education.

"Our goal is that these students, then, will teach future classes of baccalaureate and master's levels students at CTE," said Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work. "We hope this educational program will influence the development of the social work profession in Moldova, Eastern Europe and Central Asia."

As outlined in the partnership, Baylor will provide educational consultation to the program and faculty to instruct CTE students and to train CTE faculty members once or twice a year using the School of Social Work's syllabi, degree plan, course offerings and other curricular resources.

Preston Dyer, professor emeritus of social work at Baylor, and Genie, Dyer, then-adjunct professor, visited Moldova in 2005 to explore a partnership with CTE and returned in 2007 to teach the first two courses in the CTE master of social work program to existing and potential faculty. Tracey Kelley, a Baylor MSW graduate, went to Moldova this summer to teach additional courses.

"Next year, we are planning to send some of our own graduate students to do their field placements there, teaching at the college and also working in the orphanages, in partnership with Children's Emergency Relief International, a program of Baptist Child and Family Services," Garland said.

In November, the School of Social Work held a summit to explore collaborations between Texas and international entities providing services to orphanages, the homeless, street children, and victims of human trafficking in the Republic of Moldova. The poorest country in Europe and one of the smallest, Moldova is located in Eastern European and a part of the former Soviet Union.