The state of California’s Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) has awarded a $2.25 million grant to support the School of Social Work at Cal State San Bernardino.

The grant funding, which specifically focuses on behavioral health, will be used to expand the current social work programs at the San Bernardino campus and create a master’s in social work (MSW) program at the Palm Desert Campus, which will start in fall 2024. The funds will also go toward offering an MSW option to current students obtaining a bachelor’s degree in social work (BASW) at the Palm Desert Campus.

The university will be working over the next 14 months to gain approval with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for the PDC MSW program and develop high quality MSW internship sites in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas.

This grant was part of the Social Work Education Capacity Expansion Program, funded by the state of California, to address the significant deficit in trained social workers statewide, and specifically focuses on MSW students interested in behavioral health, which is a broad area of practice and can include traditional county behavioral health programs, as well as schools, medical facilities with mental health programs, and other agencies that have behavioral health components.

“These grant funds will effectively start our Palm Desert Campus MSW program, which has been a goal of the School of Social Work for many years, and requested by our agency partners,” said Carolyn McAllister, director and professor of CSUSB’s School of Social Work.

CSUSB has committed to supporting this program at the Palm Desert Campus starting in June 2027 when the grant funds have been exhausted.

The School of Social Work at California State University, San Bernardino serves the region’s social work education needs with accredited (CSWE) Master of Social Work (MSW) and Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) degrees.

Through coursework, field placement experiences, and extra-curricular activities, students gain the knowledge, skills and ethical foundation they need to become effective agents of positive change. Department alumni now number in the thousands and are leaders in the social work community.

For more information about the School of Social Work at CSUSB, visit the department webpage.

About PDC: The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctorate in educational leadership, teaching credentials and certificates. Serving more than 2,200 students, it is the Coachella Valley’s four-year public university and plays a vital role in educating and training the region’s growing population.

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the Office of Strategic Communication at or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107, or visit the PDC website at