School of Social Science and Human Services (SSHS)
Social Work Major
The Social Work Program’s principal mission is preparing students for beginning level, professional generalist social work practice in a culturally diverse society and an increasingly global environment. Central to this mission is preparing students for a profession dedicated to assisting individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations in their quest for well-being. The program is committed to teaching students to work for the development of a society which promotes equality, justice, respect for human diversity, and adequate sustenance for all its members. The program seeks to train and encourage its students to be active, personally and professionally, in taking leadership roles in addressing social problems and challenging social, economic, and environmental injustice. The program is committed to developing students’ skills in culturally competent social work practice, research, social service and social policy formation, and political advocacy in order to further this mission.
About Social Work Major
The Social Work major is offered by the School of Social Science and Human Services and leads to a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree. In addition to preparing students for beginning generalist social work practice, the program also provides preparation for graduate social work education. The Social Work curriculum, taken in conjunction with the School of Social Science and Human Services core program is designed to provide students with an understanding of:
- social issues
- cultural diversity
- environmental sustainability
- social thought
- social welfare history
- social services and human needs
- social work values and ethics
- human behavior and the social environment
- social, economic and environmental justice
- populations at-risk
- social policy
- research methods
- generalist social work practice skills
Supervised field work is a major component of the Social Work curriculum. Over a two year period, students work 600 hours in field placements that are designed to teach generalist social work practice skills and to integrate social work theory with professional practice. The Social Work Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The Social Work Program has undergone its second reaccreditation cycle with the Council of Social Work Education, a national accreditation agency. The evaluation characterized the Social Work program as outstanding and the reviewers stated that the Self Study prepared by the Social Work faculty was “the best one they have seen in thirty five years”. Its next reaccreditation cycle will take place in 2015.
Students may also co-major or minor in a second field such as psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and minor in the areas of gerontology, women’s studies, African-American Studies, ethic studies, and substance abuse.
Program Policy on Transfer Courses, Life Experience, and Previous Work Experience
Transfer credit will not be granted for any course in the program’s professional foundation sequence unless it is an equivalent course taken in an accredited CSWE program. The Social Work Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.
Admission into the Social Work Program
Students may declare an interest in being a social work major prior to their admission into the college or during their freshman or sophomore years. However, students are not officially social work majors until they receive formal admission into the program just prior to the beginning of their junior year. During their first two years at the College students are expected to complete their 100 General Education requirements and specific program pre-requisites. In order to be eligible for acceptance into the Social Work Program students must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of all 100 Level General-Education requirements and
- SOSC 101 Social Issues
- SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology
- PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology
- BIOL 101 DMS-Biology (BIOL 110 or 213 may be substituted)
- SWRK 202 Political Economy of Social Welfare or ECON 102 Introduction to Macroeconomics
- SOCI 232 Sociology of the Family
- Completion of the following two social work prerequisite courses with a combined average grade of B.
- SWRK 222 History and Philosophy of Social Welfare
- SWRK 225 Introduction to Social Work (which includes 80 hours of pre-professional fieldwork).
- Completion of 60 academic credits.
- A Minimum Grade Point Average of 2.5
Students who meet the above criteria and wish to enter the Social Work Program must file an application for admission into the Social Work Program during the second semester of their sophomore year. The application includes a personal statement, a personal/professional recommendation, a copy of an evaluation of the required pre-professional fieldwork, and academic transcripts. The Social Work Convening Group, consisting of all members of the social work faculty, meets to discuss each candidate for admission into the program. The faculty examines each candidate’s application and academic record, including observations made by social work faculty who have taught the candidate in the prerequisite social work courses.
In addition to a student’s intellectual capacity, attention is given to the student’s personal qualities and suitability for the profession. Consideration is given to areas such as motivation and interest in social work and social work education; demonstrated aptitude through life experience; receptivity to new approaches and ideas; the ability to be self-reflective; concern for helping others and solving social problems; the potential to form and sustain effective helping relationships with client systems; and the ability to function in an agency under supervision. The faculty may, in some cases, request a personal interview with the applicant before making it decision.
The applicant is notified by letter of the social work faculty’s decision. Students who are accepted are given instructions on how to proceed in the major. Probationary acceptance may be granted when a student’s academic performance is below the admission standards if the Social Work Convening Group feels that the student has good career potential and the ability to meet the academic requirements, if provided with remediation. Probationary acceptances include conditions that the student must meet, such as the necessity for the student to take specific remedial course work and tutoring. Students who are admitted with probationary status are informed that they must comply with the stipulations contained in the Program’s Probation Policy. Students who are rejected for admission to the program are given the specific reasons as to why they were not accepted. Students who are denied admission into the Social Work Program may reapply at a later date.
Transfer students should consult with the Program Director as early as possible prior to applying for admission into the program.
A minor is not available.