Bachelor of Arts Social Work
Be a force for good. Through a career in social work, you can enhance human well-being and empower vulnerable populations, while helping address the needs of individuals, families, groups and entire communities.
My experience stood out because of the cohort and taking classes with the same group of people. This allowed me to see human differences. Everyone’s journey is different.
Are You Looking for a Face-to-Face (on-campus) Experience?
St. Scholastica’s longstanding commitment to inclusivity and generous financial aid packages make our world-class educational programs accessible to students from any background.
Are You Looking for a 100% Online or Hybrid Experience?
St. Scholastica is committed to providing adult students highly competitive tuition for all programs. This exceptional value for a comprehensive educational experience will allow you to advance in your career.
Total degree requirements: 128 credits
Any applicable transfer credits or credit for prior life experience will shorten this timeline.
Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.
SWK 2240 – Intro Professional Social Work
Provides an introduction to the foundation of social work as a profession and outlines the primary knowledge, values, and skills that characterize contemporary practice. This entry level course surveys a variety of professional practice settings allowing students an opportunity for career exploration within the social work profession. In addition, the course reviews the historical and philosophical background of social work. Students demonstrate increased awareness of personal values in exploring both the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, and the Benedictine values. The course emphasizes the experience of populations at risk and analyzes factors that constitute being at risk Through the use of weekly classroom lectures, discussion, readings, audio visual tools, and service learning assignments, students increase awareness of the value of promoting social and economic justice across all levels of practice.
SWK 3000 – Integrated Lab
This integrative learning laboratory course facilitates students’ foundation understanding and self-preparation for generalist social work practice with diverse people through critical reflection, dialogue, experiential learning, and small group interactions with faculty and peers. Specific lab curriculum will address topical themes related to content from social work core courses in which students are concurrently enrolled.
SWK 3315 – Psychosocial Aspects of Aging
Provides an overview of the aging individual within a social context. The focus is on characteristics of today’s older adult cohort, psychological processes in late life, the social context in which older adults live, and society’s response to older adults. Topics include: demographics, stereotypes and attitudes, research methods, theories of development, sensing and responding to the environment, cognitive processes, mental disorders and treatment, death and dying, sexuality, intimate relationships, family relationships, care giving, employment and retirement, finances, Social Security, social programs and political power of the older cohort.
SWK 3339 – Preparation for Field I
Designed for junior social work students who will be participating in their field placement the following semester. Students have the opportunity to assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary placement documentation, and interview with at least two prospective field placement sites. In class and out of class assignments will cover junior placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the lenses of the NASW Code of Ethics, the student application process for agency field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, the effective utilization of agency supervision, and getting the most out of the field placement.
SWK 3362 – Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Provides students with knowledge and understanding of the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments through a social systems approach as affected by biological, cultural, environmental, psychosocial and spiritual factors across the life span. Content includes empirically-based theories and knowledge that focus on the interactions between and among individual, family, small group, organizational and community roles in human behavior as related to social work practice. Course focuses on cultural, ethnic and lifestyle diversity and its effects on achieving health and well-being.
SWK 3370 – Generalist Social Work Practice
The first of the four practice courses. This course provides students with the fundamental concepts, principles and skills necessary to engage in beginning generalist social work practice at the baccalaureate level. It explores the unique aspects and challenges of the social work profession, emphasizes the professional commitment and values necessary to provide service to culturally diverse and vulnerable populations, promotes understanding and use of a strength’s practice perspective, examines the NASW Code of Ethics, and introduces the generalist intervention problem- solving method for practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Students develop interviewing skills and the professional use of self.
SWK 3380 – Child Welfare
Examines the social welfare system as it affects children in American society. Students learn about critical factors that affect the needs of children and families in contemporary society. Child maltreatment, protective intervention, family preservation, family assessment and alternative substitute care are some of the key issues addressed. Students also learn about human service agencies and programs providing services to children and families. Course content includes theory, practices services and research in the field of child welfare.
SWK 3383 – Social Work with Individuals and Families
The second course in the social work practice sequence. This course builds on the knowledge and skills taught in SWK 3370. Students continue to demonstrate mastery of interviewing skills and application of the generalist intervention model on amore advanced level working with individuals, couples, and families. This course includes information on and practice with: contemporary social work practice theories, social histories, individual and family assessments; assessment of suicidal potential and Duty to Warn; treatment plans; three generational genograms; and eco-maps and professional documentation skills. Students participate in role playing, client case analyses and ethical practice dilemmas. Prerequisites: SWK 2240 and 3370.
SWK 3385 – Social Work Research and Evaluation
Qualitative and quantitative approaches to building evidence-based generalist social work practice. Students acquire knowledge and develop skills necessary for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of practice interventions and social service programs. Course goals are to prepare students to be competent consumers, producers, and communicators of social science research. Course content includes: steps in practice research; ethnic-sensitive research practice; empirical research strategies for assessing micro, mezzo and macro social work interventions; developing and implementing a research project; and effective use of computer technology as an integral part of both research and human service practice. Recommended Prerequisite: PSY 3331.
SWK 3390 – Understanding Immigration/Refugee Issues in Social Work Practice
Through the utilization of “participatory action research” learning, students will be immersed in social work practice issues and methods of service delivery with refugee and immigrant populations in present day Minnesota. Professional helping methods will focus on the unique aspects and challenges necessary for effective, culturally sensitive interventions. A bio-psycho- social-spiritual model of system assessment is infused. Students participate in classroom, community and service-learning opportunities. Students have the option to participate in a more in depth service experience through registering concurrently in SWK 3555 with permission of the instructors. Prerequisites: completion or concurrent enrollment in SWK 3362 and SWK 3370 or consent of instructor.
SWK 3500 – Integrated Lab
This integrative laboratory course prepares learners for academic, professional, and practical success in emerging areas of academic and professional standards and development. Content relates to topical themes and content from core social work courses. Activities facilitate students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and/or community-centered experiences.
SWK 3555 – Field Practicum I
This course is designed to provide students with an entry-level opportunity to work in a social service agency, institution, or organization in the role of a social work intern, approximately 8 hours per week (minimum of 120 hours-2 credits). Performance Plans are individually developed to meet the needs of the student, competency requirements, and opportunities available in the social service agency. Students participate in a group seminar to enhance student learning, personal/professional development, share agency learning with other students. General practice skills will be explored, including values, ethics, professional documentation and engagement strategies. Students will be graded on a P/F basis.
SWK 4000 – Integrated Lab
This integrative laboratory course facilitates students’ understanding of foundation professional social work competencies in applied practice methods with organizational, community-focused, or cross-disciplinary learning experiences. Content relates to topical themes and content from other core social work courses. Activities facilitate students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and/or community-centered experiences.
SWK 4440 – Social Work Intervention with Groups
This course is the third sequenced course of four practice courses required for all Social Work majors. The course incorporates knowledge and skill content developed in SWK 3370 and SWK 3383. Students examine the nature and development of social work group practice within task and treatment groups. Specific attention is given to group dynamics theory, leadership and group facilitation skills, stages of group development, theories and techniques adapted to a variety of treatment and task group settings, ethical standards for group practice, and cultural and ethnic consideration in social work group intervention. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate group facilitation and memberships skills in group labs. In addition, students receive instruction in implementing empirically based interventions in evaluating practice effectiveness. Prerequisites SWK 2240 and SWK 3370.
SWK 4441 – Social Work with Community Systems
Fourth course of the social work practice sequence. This course emphasizes the theories and skills necessary for beginning social work practitioners to bring about effectively planned change in community groups, organizations, and institutions. The course content addresses community theory and community practice skills; organizational and inter-organizational practice theory and skills; community organizing in a diverse society; macro social work research; and, theories and skills for professional development and macro-level interventions. It provides students experiential learning opportunities.
SWK 4449 – Preparation for Senior Practicum
Designed for senior social work students in preparation for their Field II placement. Students have the opportunity to assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, complete required field documents and interview with a field agency site. Prerequisites: SWK 3370, and SWK 3383.
SWK 4470 – Independent Professional Project
Senior project integrating coursework and field placement experience of the student’s social work education. The project must address these nine basic foundation areas: values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, work with populations at risk, human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policies and services, social work practice, research, field practicum and internship. Prerequisite: SWK 3385 and admission to the social work program.
SWK 4500 – Integrated Lab
This integrative laboratory course facilitates students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and community-centered experiences. Specific lab curriculum will address topical themes related to content from social work core courses in which students are concurrently enrolled. Activities support students in identifying their emerging personal-professional identity, perspectives, knowledge and competencies as a professional social worker in a changing society.
SWK 4555 – Senior Field Practicum
A 450 hour (minimum of 8 credits)social work internship in a social service agency, institution or organization during the senior year. The practicum provides students the opportunity to integrate direct practice with acquired theoretical knowledge and skills. The student participates in a group seminar to facilitate the integration of practice experience, NASW Code of Ethics, CSWE Competencies, and the personal/professional development of the student. Prerequisites: all social work courses except SWK 4470, and admission to the field sequence.
SWK 4777 – Topics in Social Work
Courses not a regular part of Social Work curriculum but taught because of a special need, interest or opportunity. Topics vary.
570 Hours of On-the-Job Training
Social work is a profession that is learned by doing as well as by studying. Our program gets you out in the field early and often. Our 570 hours of required field practice is above the national average for BSW programs, meaning that you’ll be well-prepared and ready to practice once you graduate.
Field Readiness: Preparing You for Fieldwork
The field experience at The College of St. Scholastica consists of two parts. The first is Field Readiness, which includes the following:
- Students participate in a “Preparation for Field” seminar. This course covers choosing a field placement site, preparation for placement readiness, assessment of personal strengths and weaknesses, resume writing, interviewing skills, the role of a professional social worker, Minnesota Board of Social Work licensing requirements, contracting with an agency, writing goals and objectives, effectively using supervision and getting the most out of a field placement.
- Students enroll in “practice”-focused coursework during their agency placement, including a bi-weekly field seminar. Learning outcomes are focused on the nine core competencies outlined by the Council on Social Work Education. These are: professional identity, ethical responsibility, critical thinking, diversity, social and economic justice, research, person In environment, policy practice, leadership and service.
- Students formalize a comprehensive performance plan, including evaluation criteria, within two weeks of placement.
- Student assignments include opportunities to develop skills in client system analysis, professional documentation and presentation, community resource development, and professional values and ethical considerations.
Field Placement: Putting Your Skills to Work
The second part is the field placement . The College of St. Scholastica offers two placement opportunities:
Junior-level students participate in a professionally supervised agency placement for a minimum of 120 hours in one primary agency setting. Students participate in direct client shadowing experiences that offer opportunities for moderate levels of independent decision-making and client/community intervention.
Senior-level students participate in a professionally supervised agency placement for a minimum of 450 hours in one primary agency setting. Students are expected to participate in client/community services that offer opportunities to demonstrate foundation competencies.
You want to help people. Fortunately, organizations and communities in a variety of settings are looking for people seeking people hoping to make a difference and help others improve their well-being.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the social work profession is expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 13% through 2026, with increased growth for medical and integrated healthcare social workers.
With a BA in Social Work, you can work in organizations such as family service agencies, hospitals, schools (elementary and secondary), homeless shelters, and more – places where people take pride in their work, because they see the impact they have every day. That is just one reason why a number of bachelor’s-level social work jobs are ranked best by U.S. News & World Report.
Are you ready to take the next step? Apply now, or explore the locations where our social work program is offered below.
- High school diploma or GED
- Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for entrance into the college
- Students must maintain acceptable academic standing. For admissions, this includes Junior standing; a 2.5 overall GPA in psychology, sociology and social work courses. All social work courses must be passed with a minimum grade of C.
Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. The Social Work program reserves the privilege of accepting and retaining in the program only those students who, in the judgment of the faculty, Admissions 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.
A returning student is a student who was admitted and enrolled in a program at St. Scholastica but has been absent from the program for at least three continuous semesters, including summer. To return to the same program at St. Scholastica, a returning student must be in good academic standing and must apply for readmission to the College.
Are You Looking for a Face-to-Face (on-campus) Experience?
Students applying for the fall semester have two application timelines to choose from – Early Action (Nov. 15) and Regular Decision (Feb. 1). Both options are completely free and deposits are fully refundable until May 1. We will accept applications for fall semester through the end of August.
Are You Looking for a 100% Online or Hybrid Experience?
Most of our online and hybrid programs operate on a rolling admission basis – allowing you to apply anytime. Once your application and other necessary documents are received, we will forward them to the appropriate department for review.
Meet Our Faculty
Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators
Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.