Catalogue 2017 - 2018

Social Work Major

General Information

The study of professional social work is designed for those dedicated to helping people to satisfy their biological, psychological, and social needs; to developing mutually beneficial relationships between people and their environments; empowering people to recognize and mobilize their strengths; and to helping society to create policies and programs more responsive to human need.

The overall mission of the Department of Social Work is to prepare students for generalist social work practice at the bachelor’s degree level and for graduate level social work education. This preparation is developed through offering the student a broad liberal arts education combined with a social work foundation that incorporates the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession. Both the liberal arts sequence and the professional social work sequence emphasize a holistic view of the person-in-environment and the impact of biological, psychological, and social forces upon human functioning. Underlying the knowledge base of social work education at Western New England University are values and ethics that emphasize the worth and dignity of all people regardless of race, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, ability, political orientation, sexual orientation, or social class. The goals and objectives of the Department of Social Work teach students the skills to work in partnership with clients to support and develop strengths and competencies to procure the resources necessary to meet their basic human needs and develop human potential. This Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the BSW level and students are eligible to apply for advanced standing to graduate schools of social work, to obtain an MSW degree in one year, rather than two.

Career Opportunities

Students develop the knowledge, values, and skills to work in a wide variety of social service settings under both governmental and private voluntary auspices. Rewarding career opportunities include work with diverse populations of children and adults at the individual, family, group, and community levels in agencies that provide healthcare, services to abused and neglected children, mental health services, substance abuse rehabilitation, family services, services to battered women, residential child care and treatment, educational settings, criminal justice programs for juvenile and adult offenders, nursing home and elderly services, services for pregnant and parenting teens, services to people affected by HIV/AIDS, and many other programs for people whose emotional and/or physical health and safety are at risk. Students are prepared for entry-level professional generalist social work practice at the BSW level and for further social work education at the graduate level.

Social Work Faculty


Program Goals

  1. Engage in evidence-based entry level social work practice within individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations within a multicultural society.
  2. Identify and respond to human need, wherever it exists, using interventions that promote the social welfare of all people, with attention to oppressed and vulnerable populations.
  3. Understand and practice to enhance human functioning, informed by biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, historical, economic and spiritual knowledge.
  4. Identify as a social work practitioner/researcher who can competently apply and integrate theory with evidence-based practice.
  5. Facilitate change through professional practice within a professional context that nurtures diverse human relationships at all levels.
  6. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

General University and College Requirements

See General University Requirements and College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.

Requirements for Acceptance into the BSW Program

  1. Students apply during the second semester of their sophomore year. (Transfer students at the junior level must also apply for admission to the social work program prior to beginning their social work methods courses.)
  2. Students need to have an overall minimum grade point average of 2.2  and a grade of "C" or better in any social work course and PH 210. (Except for transfer students who have not taken these courses.) A grade of less than a “C” will necessitate repeating the course.
  3. Students submit to the department chair a completed application form, a personal essay that shows evidence of a desire to help others and values consistent with the social work profession, a sample of the student’s academic writing, and a letter of reference.
  4. Interview with department chair.

The admissions process for social work students is used as a vehicle to make sure that those students who become social work majors have a sincere desire to pursue this degree.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

SW 100Introduction to Social Work

3 cr.

SW 207An Invitation to the World of Aging

2 cr.

SW 216Human Behavior in the Social Environment

3 cr.

SW 300Social Work Pre-Practicum Seminar

1 cr.

SW 301Social Work Interventive Methods I

3 cr.

SW 302Social Work Interventive Methods II

3 cr.

SW 303Social Work Interventive Methods III

3 cr.

SW 305The Helping Relationship Project

2 cr.

SW 306The Helping Relationship Practicum

1 cr.

SW 313Social Welfare and Social Policy

3 cr.

SW 314Field Instruction in Macro Practice

3 cr.

SW 320Dynamics of Oppression and Empowerment

3 cr.

SW 321Empowerment Practice with Underserved Populations

3 cr.

SW 404Social Work Interventive Methods IV

3 cr.

SW 409Field Instruction in Social Work I

3 cr.

SW 410Field Instruction in Social Work I

3 cr.

SW 411Field Instruction in Social Work II

3 cr.

SW 412Field Instruction in Social Work II

3 cr.

SW 414Seminar in Field Instruction I

2 cr.

SW 415Seminar in Field Instruction II

1 cr.

SW 419Social Work and Research

3 cr.

SW 420Social Work Research Seminar

2 cr.

POSC 102American National Government

3 cr.

SO 101Introduction to Sociology

3 cr.

PSY 101Introduction to Psychology

3 cr.

PSY 326Abnormal Psychology

3 cr.

EC 106The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination

3 cr.

BIO 101Basic Biology: Organisms

3 cr.

LAB/NSP XXXLaboratory Science or Natural Science Perspective

3 cr.

MATH 120Intro Statistics for the Arts & Sciences

3 cr.

PH 210Ethics for Social Workers

3 cr.

ENGL 336Ethnic American Literature

3 cr.

Note: Requirements for the major can satisfy the student’s perspectives of understanding requirements.

Total Credit Hours: 124

The 2.2 required grade point average in the major is based on all SW courses, including PH 210, pursued as part of the student’s degree program.  A grade of "C" or better is needed in all SW courses taken including PH 210.