Jul 23, 2024  
Mansfield University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mansfield University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Social Work, Bachelor of Social Work

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Offered by the Department of Applied Socio-Behavioral Studies
Professors Sidell, Ryan
Associate Professors Madigan, Mansfield (Chairperson), Purk, Thornsley
Assistant Professors Battin, Clark, Daly, Murphy

The B.S.W. degree prepares its graduates to practice in the challenging field of helping others improve the quality of their lives. From working one-on-one with individuals and families, to conducting group work, to engaging organizations and entire communities, social workers are found in a variety of settings, striving to improve the world in which we live. B.S.W. program graduates are trained as generalists, where skills can be transferred from one setting to another. Often, social workers begin their careers in settings such as child welfare, mental health, drug and alcohol programs, hospitals, nursing homes, and neighborhood centers, to name a few. Coursework focuses on students developing self-awareness and a deeper understanding and appreciation of diversity and the complexities of today’s world. The program features four practice courses, each one geared towards the practical application of learning skills with which to practice with individuals, families, group, and communities and organizations. With its highly-qualified and experienced faculty, the program engages students in several hands-on opportunities that culminate in an internship experience during their last semester prior to graduation. Extracurricular activities provide students with further opportunities to hone their people skills and gain experience in helping others. Nationally accredited since 1983, the program allows graduates to apply for advanced standing in graduate schools of Social Work. Advanced standing allows students to complete an MSW in one calendar year rather than two, if attending classes full-time.  For those interested in obtaining their MSW, this represents a significant cost savings for graduate school.

Mansfield University’s Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) at the Baccalaureate level, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-683-8080, http://www.cswe.org/. This national accreditation ensures that the quality of the program merits public confidence and meets the highest scrutiny available in Social Work education.


The mission of the Mansfield University Social Work Program is to prepare baccalaureate social workers in the betterment of society, guided by the knowledge, values and skills of the profession. Consistent with the mission of a small public university grounded in a liberal arts education, we are committed to promoting leadership development through character, scholarship, cultural awareness and service to humanity.

Program Goals

The four Social Work Program goals derived from the mission statement are to:

  • Educate future social workers who will lead the profession in service to their communities (local, regional and beyond).
  • Provide an academically challenging curriculum that models the tenets, values and ethics that serve as the foundation for generalist social work practice.
  • Promote social justice through critical inquiry.
  • Provide field education that enhances the student’s connection between theory and application, and increases awareness of diversity and evidence-based practice.

Program Outcomes

The program’s curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for generalist practice through the mastery of core competencies, those measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. The ten core competencies insure that students will:

  • Identify as a professional social worker and will conduct themselves accordingly.
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  • Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Admission requirements

Formal admission to the Social Work Program is obtained by applying to the university through the Office of Admissions or completing the appropriate university form requesting to major in Social Work.

Continuation requirements

Throughout their professional studies, students are expected to demonstrate the required academic and professional performance for continuation in the Social Work Program. First, the student completes SWK 2246, a pre-professional course that requires the completion of a shadow experience. Next, prior to enrolling in SWK 3301 or SWK 3302, the student completes an “Intent to Continue” form that must be approved and signed by the Social Work major’s advisor. Finally, before the major enrolls in their first practice class (SWK 3350, SWK 3351, SWK 3352, or SWK 3353), the student applies for candidacy into the Social Work program. The completed candidacy application is reviewed by the Faculty Evaluation Committee and must be approved before practice courses are taken. The student is evaluated on the candidacy application, the record of grade achievement (evidenced by a cumulative QPA of 2.50 or greater), evidence of professional commitment and participation in the field of Social Work, and the adherence to the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics.

Field Education requirements

Prior to enrolling in Field Education and Field Seminar (SWK 4452 and SWK 4453), an application for Field Education must be completed by the student and approved by the Faculty Evaluation Committee. The student is evaluated on their record of grade achievement in practice courses (students who have any grade below a C+ in SWK 3350, SWK 3351, SWK 3352 must address the deficits in an interview with the Field Director), evidence of continued professional commitment and participation in the field of Social Work, and evidence of continued commitment to the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics. All Social Work-required course work must be completed prior to the semester is which Field Education and Field Seminar are taken.

Life or work experience credit

Students admitted to the program may not receive credit toward the BSW degree for life experience or previous work experience. Internship credits received in associate degree programs may not be applied towards the BSW Field Education requirements.

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