Why should I choose Social Work at SHU?
The Baccalaureate Social Work Program at Sacred Heart University has been fully accredited by the council on Social Work Education since 1981, with a commitment to educate undergraduate students for responsible, ethical, and competent entry-level generalist social work practice. Graduates of the program are excellently prepared for:
- Beginning level professional social work practice in a broad range of social services;
- Graduate education in social work or related disciplines; and
- Active, informed citizenship – guided by the principles of social justice, equity, and economic opportunity.
Graduates of the program have been highly successful in their search for employment and in graduate school admissions. Students who are eligible may apply for Advanced Standing in a Master of Social Work program allowing completion of the MSW in one year. MSW programs are also offered online.
Students study Social Welfare Policy and Services, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Work Practice, Human Diversity and Social Justice, Junior and Senior Field Practicum and Seminar, and Research Methods. Students spend three semesters (600 hours) in field agencies as social work interns, learning practice skills under the supervision of professional social workers.
The mission of the social work program is to prepare students for entry level generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In this, we are guided by the professional ethics and standards of the social work profession and the Judeo-Christian principles of service, respect for human dignity, social and economic justice for the poor and disadvantaged, the vulnerable, and diverse populations. Our mission is consistent with the university’s Catholic Intellectual Tradition of academic excellence through research, social responsibility and service to others.
The Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the program are established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the professional body that accredits social work programs in the United States. The goals of Sacred Heart’s Baccalaureate Program are established to be in line with all CSWE requirements.
The BSW program’s mission reflects the purposes of professional social work education through its primary commitment to prepare students for entry level generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The integration of professional ethics and standards, and the acquisition of knowledge, values and skills promote human and community well-being, respect for human diversity, and equity in social and economic justice. The purpose and values of the social work profession and the Judeo Christian principles of the university are consistent with the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in seeking academic excellence through research (scientific inquiry), social responsibility, service, and quest for social and economic justice. Understanding of the social work profession and its values guide the formulation of the explicit and implicit curriculum of the social work program in the undergraduate education.
The overall goal of the BSW program is to prepare students for competent and effective social work practice. As a reflection of the purposes of the profession and social work education, the competencies as articulated by the Council on Social Work Education Educational Policies and Academic Standards (2015), the mission of the BSW program, the goals of the BSW program are to prepare students for generalist social work practice.
How do I declare Social Work as my major?
Students MUST apply to the Social Work program in the spring of their sophomore year. Declaration of the major may occur any time up to that point.
The declaration of the major allows the student to be assigned a Major Advisor in the Department of Social Work. Along with completing the declaration form, the student must attend an Info Session, held approximately three times each semester. The info session gives students an overview of the BSW major and is a requirement for declaring the major.
Contact the BSW Program Director, Kerry “Kate” Kelly, MSW, for more information.