The vision of The College of St. Scholastica Social Work Department strives to educate students on a model of interconnectedness and dignity of all life, inclusivity, cultural responsiveness innovative and transformative justice. The program educates social workers who make a difference through humility, relationships, and leading-edge practice.
It is the mission of The College of St. Scholastica Social Work Program to prepare social work practitioners who demonstrate entry-level competence, practice ethical behavior, promote social justice and serve diverse communities in the Benedictine tradition, which includes the values of community, hospitality, stewardship, and love of learning.
"Generalist practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person-in-environment framework. To promote human and social well-being, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities based on scientific inquiry and best practices. The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Generalist practitioners engage diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. They recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings. They engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice" (CSWE, 2015).
Accreditation standards (CSWE, 2015) require that the baccalaureate social work curriculum prepares graduates for generalist practice through mastery of a set of nine core competencies. These core competencies are measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. CSS Social Work students delineate the educational goals and objectives of the Social Work Program through demonstration of specific competencies that serve to inform and aid evaluation of those students' preparation for generalist social work practice. These competencies serve as a link between what may be observed or demonstrated in student knowledge, value and skill performance, and the program's curriculum expectations. In a general way, these competencies and accepted practice standards operationalize the educational objectives for students, faculty, and administration and provide a common set of definitions to gauge performance and behavior. The nine competencies are listed below.
1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior.
2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice.
3. Advance Human Rights and Social and Economic Justice.
4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice.
5. Engage in Policy Practice.
6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Graduates find employment in a variety of settings, some of which include: child and family service agencies, hospitals and other health care facilities, community action agencies, schools, child and adult protection, residential treatment programs, tribal social service agencies, gerontological services, mental health settings, criminal justice, developmental/mental disability programs, and international social work.
St. Scholastica graduates also may enter most MSW programs with advanced standing, requiring only 12 - 16 months of graduate study. For students who care about people and want to make a difference, social work may be the appropriate major.
Shelly Richardson, DSW, LICSW
Director, Undergraduate Social Work Program
Tracy Mongan, MSW, LICSW
The CSS Undergraduate Social Work Program is driven by our college and departmental vision, program mission, and nine competency standards (CSWE, 2015). Students who graduate from this program have completed courses grounded in the liberal arts and Benedictine traditions. The mission, goals, and competencies specified by the program are the same for all sites as follows:
The College of St. Scholastica Undergraduate Social Work Program will prepare students for generalist social work practice that is demonstrated in academic and professional practice settings.
The Social Work Program will foster the mission of the College and the values from the Benedictine heritage: community, hospitality, respect, stewardship, and the love of learning.
The Social Work Program will prepare students for professional identity and lifelong learning.
Accreditation standards require that the baccalaureate social work curriculum prepares graduates for generalist practice through mastery of a set of core competencies. These core competencies are measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. St. Scholastica Social Work students delineate the educational goals and objectives of the Social Work Program through demonstration of specific competencies that serve to inform and aid evaluation of those students' preparation for generalist social work practice. These competencies serve as a link between what may be observed or demonstrated in student knowledge, value and skill performance, and the program's curriculum expectations. In a general way, these competencies operationalize the educational objectives for students, faculty, and administration and provide a common set of definitions to gauge performance and behavior. The nine core competencies are listed below.
The College of St. Scholastica Undergraduate Social Work Program enables graduates to sit for licensure as a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) by the Minnesota Board of Social Work. Additionally, the curriculum is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching for School Social Worker Licensure. Students seeking licensure as a school social worker are required to complete the social work major coursework and SWK 4555 Field II Practicum in a school setting under the supervision of a licensed school social worker, consisting of at least 450 contact hours during one school year.
General education requirements:
SWK 3339, 3360, 3362, 3370, 3383, 3385, 3500, 3555, 4440, 4441, 4449, 4470, 4555; and a minimum of 4 credits of SWK topics 3777/4777, or other approved elective courses.
Students provide their own transportation to community learning experiences such as their field practicum during the junior and senior years. Students are required to submit a criminal background check and receive DHS clearance before beginning field experiences. Students first become members of NASW at the beginning of their junior year and maintain membership through graduation. Students planning to attend graduate school (including programs offering advanced standing in social work) are strongly recommended to take a statistics course (PSY 2335 or 3331; or SWK 3131 & 3132), and a Biology course with human content (Bio 1102 or Bio 2110 and 2120).
All entering students are encouraged to submit their application for the Social Work major with the Registrar's Office once they are an intended major. Social Work majors apply for formal admission to the Undergraduate Social Work Program during the spring semester of the sophomore year. For fall junior-status priority admission, students transferring from a community college with an A.A. degree should make application to both the College and the Social Work Program.
The Social Work Program Director/Chair informs the student of the decision in writing by June 15.
Possible actions include:
Many students enter St. Scholastica having first completed a portion of their education through a community college or other academic institution. In some cases, students complete associate degrees in human service or through other degree programs. The College recognizes previous academic work through recognition of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MNTC) and the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC). Additionally, the Social Work Program maintains strong reciprocal relationships with many community colleges, using specific articulation agreements and guides between the community college program and the College Social Work Department. These agreements specify transfer course equivalencies and other conditions to help transfer students meet necessary prerequisites, program admission requirements, and transfer to St. Scholastica "seamlessly." Fulfilling the terms of an articulation agreement or transfer guide is necessary in order for a student to receive full credit of transferred coursework to be applied for St. Scholastica graduation. Please feel free to contact one of the Social Work Program distance-site coordinators or the undergraduate director if you have questions.
The Social Work Program reserves the privilege of accepting and retaining in the program only those students who, in the judgment of the faculty, Admission Committee and Grievance Committee, satisfy the requirements of scholarship and the integrity of the social work profession as set forth in the NASW Code of Ethics. No academic credit is awarded for life or previous work experiences in this degree program.
The Social Work Program encourages all students to learn about the diversity in their communities. Program activities are dedicated to expanding students' experiences with diversity and to assist them in developing cultural competency. The Social Work Program conducts all of its activities without discrimination on the basis of age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, physical and mental ability, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, tribal sovereign status, or status with regard to public assistance.