The social work program prepares students for professional entry-level social work practice. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the curriculum builds on a firm liberal arts foundation to develop a broad-based approach for understanding and working with people in a variety of ways.
Social work is a dynamic profession that strives to respond to human needs in an ever-changing world. The profession can be characterized by its diversity-diversity of clientele, diversity of knowledge and skill base, diversity of career opportunities, and diversity as a value base for respect of people's differences. The professional value base of empowerment, access to opportunity, and social justice is evident throughout the program objectives.
Students interested in pursuing a social work major should consult with the BSW Program Director and declare the major as soon as possible. There are two levels of admission into the major. The first is a pre-professional standing. The second level is a professional standing and will only be granted after students successfully complete a formal admission process.
Professional standing will require a minimum overall quality point average of 2.50 and 40 hours of volunteer service. Admission procedures are fully described in the social work student handbook.
The program is organized by competencies that are integrated throughout the curriculum. Whereas the liberal arts foundation sets the stage for critical thinking and the abilities to draw knowledge about the human condition from a wide variety of disciplines, the social work-specific curriculum builds upon the foundation in a sequence of courses designed to prepare the entry-level social worker for practice. Social work courses blend theoretical and practical components throughout the plan of study. In the senior year, students have a field practicum (agency-based) which is coordinated by a faculty person. This capstone experience is designed to integrate theory and practice with agency-based instruction and a concurrent seminar course.
During the educational experience as a social work major, a student can expect to develop a professional identity based on the values and ethics of the profession. Themes of development throughout the program are: self awareness, interactional skill competencies, critical thinking abilities using problem-solving theory, understanding of human behavior from a system/ecological framework, appreciation of diversity, commitment to social justice, and the generalist competencies to work across systems, i.e., individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.