BSW Program Mission
The mission of the social work program is to prepare bachelor-level students to practice generalist social work at the entry level and be prepared for graduate education in social work.
This mission specifically includes helping students to develop:
- A sense of social responsibility.
- An appreciation for the significance of the diverse nature of the world.
- Knowledge regarding the impact of oppression in the world.
- An understanding of the key roles that social work values and ethics, knowledge and skills play in practice; and
- A respect for the changing nature of the social work knowledge base.
This mission translates into a challenging curriculum founded on a liberal arts base that is focused around: (1) generalist social work practice, (2) social welfare policy and planning, (3) human behavior and the social environment, (4) research, and (5) field practicum. Throughout this curriculum, the issues of diversity, culturally competent practice, promotion of social and economic justice, practice with populations at risk, the values and ethics of social work, and the changing knowledge base for social work practice are integrated. Further, students’ preparation for practice in this complex changing world is accomplished through the development and promotion of students’ critical thinking skills to enhance evidence-informed practice.
The goals of the Social Work Program at WSU were developed to reflect the program’s mission and the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education. These goals are defined and specified through the Program Competencies that students are expected to develop. The competencies are presented after the goals and each competency is followed by specific Practice Behaviors that each student will develop, resulting in a demonstration of the competency.
- Goal #1: Students will develop an understanding of the field of social work.
- Goal #2: Students will develop critical thinking skills.
- Goal #3: Students will be able to practice social work within the parameters developed in the Social Work Code of Ethics.
- Goal #4: Students will develop knowledge needed to assess problems that impact client systems of various sizes.
- Goal #5: Students will develop knowledge and skills to practice social work from a generalist perspective.
The accomplishment of these goals will be demonstrated by the achievement of the following competencies:
- Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
- Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
- Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
- Competency 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
- Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice
- Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
The BSW program offers a major in Social Work that leads to a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work (BSW). Graduates of this program are eligible, upon graduation, to sit for the state social work licensure exam (LSW) and may be eligible for advanced standing at graduate schools of social work across the country.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the need for social workers to grow by 13% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
- Our program is ranked among the top 10 most affordable in the nation
- A diverse student population with a large number of nontraditional age students
- The BSW major can be completed in four years or two years from a community college if attending full-time.
- Graduates are eligible upon graduation, to sit for the state licensure exam (LSW) and may be eligible for advanced standing in any graduate social work program in the US.
- The generalist focus prepares graduates to work in a variety of settings and populations including children, school social work, healthcare settings, older persons, people living with substance use, and mental health.
- Theories of Human Behavior
- Diversity & Social Justice
- Evidence-based Social Work
- Practice with Individuals, Groups, Families, Communities, and Organizations
- Introduction to research methods
- Social Policies that Impact Daily Life
- Integrative Field Practicum
- 480 hours of Senior Practicum
- Senior Capstone Project
- For the Senior Capstone Project, students prepare an independent research project that may be linked to a program at their senior practicum agency or inspired by personal interest. In either case, students investigate a social issue affecting the population which culminates into a final report and a presentation at the end of the senior year.
Schedule of Coursework
- Students entering the BSW major as freshmen begin with Intro to Social Work and the Common Core for a minimum of 12 credits a semester including the BSW pre-requisites in sociology, biology, history, psychology, diversity
- Junior Year Course Schedule
- Human Behavior and Social Environment I & II
- Intro to Research Methods in Social Work
- Generalist Practice I & II
- Senior Year Course Schedule
- Generalist Practice III and IV
- Social Welfare Policy
- Senior Capstone I & II
- Senior Field Practicum I & II
- The BSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Graduates demonstrate nine competencies specified by the CSWE including ethical and professional behavior, diversity, advancing human rights, social, economic, and environmental justice, and engagement and assessment of individuals, families, groups, and communities
- A student must be accepted into the university
- Internal admission into the BSW major in junior year
- 60-hour volunteer service in human services prior to junior year
- Maintain a minimum GPA OF 2.5
- A minimum grade of C or better in all BSW courses and pre-requisites
of graduates find
a job within 3 months
offering field internships
10 TOP NEW ENGLAND REGION SCHOOLS FOR A BACHELOR'S IN SOCIAL WORK (COLLEGE FACTUAL)
Westfield State University's Social Work, B.S.W. is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation
Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Board of Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.
Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
Admission to in the Social Work major:
Students formally apply for admission into the Social Work program during the end of the 2nd year, with 3rd year transfer students applying when admitted. Prior to submitting their application, students are required to complete 60 hours of human service activity. This experience is designed to give students an opportunity to engage in face-to-face helping activities that will allow the student to determine if s/he is well suited for a career in Social Work. Students should be enrolled in SOCW 0103, SOCW 0204, SOCW 0241, and SOCW 0340.
Requirements for Social Work Majors - 65-69 Credits
Foundation courses - 19 Credits:
- EGST 0101 - Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies
- or EGST 0102 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies Credits: 3
- SOCI 0101 - Principles of Sociology
- PSYC 0101 - Introduction to Psychology
- POLS 0101 - American National Government
- or HIST 0132 - United States History and Government 1865 - Present Credits: 3
- BIOL 0104 - Human Biology
- or BIOL 0106 - Biology Today Credits: 4
Major courses - 51 Credits:
- SOCW 0103 - Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare
- SOCW 0204 - Introduction to Research Methods in Social Work
- or PSYC 0219 - Research Methods in Psychology I Credits: 3
- SOCW 0241 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
- SOCW 0242 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
- SOCW 0243 - Social Welfare Policy Analysis
- SOCW 0301 - Advanced Research Methods
- SOCW 0340 - Introduction to Generalist Practice
- SOCW 0341 - Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations
- SOCW 0342 - Generalist Practice with Individuals
- SOCW 0343 - Generalist Practice with Families and Groups
- SOCW 0351 - Social Work Practicum I
- SOCW 0353 - Senior Capstone I
- SOCW 0352 - Social Work Practicum II
- SOCW 0354 - Senior Capstone II
- SOCW 0360 - Diversity and Social Justice
Retention in the Social Work program:
To remain in the major, a student will have to receive at least a “C” in all major and foundation courses, retain at least a 2.5 grade point average in all required major and foundation courses, and retain an overall GPA of 2.5. A student who does not meet these standards will not be permitted to enroll in the fourth-year field practicum.
- Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
- Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
- Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
- Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice
- Engage in Policy Practice
- Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities