Four-Year Plan: Click here to view the Four-Year Plan for this specific program. To find out more about Four-Year Plans, visit the Policies and Procedures page.
Thinking about the discipline: Individuals who desire to serve people should consider a career in social work. A degree in social work offers the potential to work as a licensed professional in a variety of helping professions. Social workers practice in schools, mental health and substance abuse facilities, hospitals, private practice, and child welfare agencies. Social workers can be community organizers, administrators, planners, and policy makers who develop and implement programs to address issues such as child abuse, homelessness, mental health and substance abuse, poverty, and violence. Social workers research and analyze policies, programs, and regulations. They identify social problems and advocate for solutions at the local, state, and federal level. Social work has never been in greater demand than it is today. Employment of social workers is expected to increase at a greater rate than many other occupations.
The Bachelor of Social Work program provides education from a generalist perspective. Generalist practitioners are trained to work in a variety of settings. They view clients and client systems from a strengths perspective in order to recognize, support, and build upon the innate capabilities of all human beings. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Social Work, providing them with the eligibility to test for state licensure. It also enables students to pursue advanced standing status in a Masters of Social Work program, which reduces M.S.W. program requirements by half.
Social work students and practitioners are guided by the National Association of Social Workers’ code of ethics. They are committed to improving the well-being of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations and furthering the goals of social justice.
Special opportunities for our students: Social work majors have the following special opportunities:
- Public Child Welfare Certification Program. PCWCP is a selective-admission, pre-employment opportunity for social work majors that pays in-state tuition for the last three or four semesters and per-semester stipend benefits. PCWCP is a statewide collaboration among the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and 11 Kentucky university social work programs. The purpose of the program is to provide B.S.W. students the opportunity to receive advanced training in the area of child welfare protection and permanency. Students accepted into PCWCP are required to become employed by KY DCBS child protection and permanency upon graduation and must complete a minimum of two years of employment.
- Scholarship opportunities for social work majors. Information is available from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- Membership in the Social Work Club. Students are encouraged to join the Social Work Club to begin establishing a positive network team within the field and build relationships with community agencies, learn more about current social welfare issues, develop strong personal relationships with fellow classmates, and enhance the overall college experience while increasing leadership skills. More information about the Social Work Club is available online (http://coehs.nku.edu/programs/nkusocialwork.html).
- Membership in Phi Alpha Honors Society demonstrates leadership among peers. The Phi Alpha Honors Society provides a closer bond among students of social work and humanitarian goals and ideals. Membership is offered to students who have achieved sophomore status and maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 and a 3.25 GPA in social work courses. Information about the Phi Alpha Honors Society is available here (http://coehs.nku.edu/programs/social-work/action/phi-alpha-honors-society.html).
- Social work majors are encouraged to join the social work listserv. Members of the listserv receive valuable information about upcoming events sponsored by the Social Work Club and Phi Alpha Honors Society as well as local agency events, projects, and job opportunities within the field. Subscribe to the listserv on the web (http://listserv.nku.edu/mailman/listinfo/socialworkmajors).
- Social work majors are encouraged to become COEHS student ambassadors. COEHS student ambassadors demonstrate and further develop leadership skills while representing their college as well as the social work program at various university functions. More information about student ambassador opportunities is available online (http://coehs.nku.edu/advising/organizations.html).
Special admission requirements: Students complete a selective admission process for acceptance into the social work program. Applications are accepted in all semesters. The requirements to submit an application for admission follow:
- Declare social work as a major.
- Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.75.
- Complete the following courses with a grade of C- or higher (students may submit an application in the semester that they are enrolled in the last of these required courses):
- “ SWK 105 Social Work and the Community - SB (3 credits) ”
- “ SWK 106 Introduction to Social Justice - AH (3 credits) ”
- “ SWK 460 Ethics and Advocacy (3 credits) (may be taken before or after acceptance in the social work program.)
- STA 205 , STA 113 or STA 212
- One of the following biology courses: BIO 100G, BIO 120 , BIO 123 , BIO 125 , BIO 126 , BIO 208 , or BIO 209 .
- Complete all of their Foundation of Knowledge general education courses with a grade of C- or higher.
- Demonstrate an interest in, and aptitude for, a social work career.
Upon acceptance to the social work program, students are required to attend a mandatory admission meeting. Students are notified of the date and time of the meeting in their acceptance letter.
Special graduation requirements: Students may be removed from the social work program based on the following:
- Academic performance below the acceptable level of an overall GPA of at least 2.75 or less than the grade of C- in any social work or supportive required courses.
- Behavior inappropriate or detrimental in a professional relationship, including criminal convictions.
- Violation of NKU’s Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.
- Violation of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.
- Violation of the social work program student handbook.
You should also know: Students are required to read both the social work student handbook and the field instruction manual. The social work student handbook provides information related to admission and retention in the social work program.
The field instruction manual informs students how to obtain agency field placements and what is required to complete the 400 hours of field experience. Upon completion of the core courses, students enroll in two field courses: “ SWK 406 Field Experience 1 (5 credits) ” and “ SWK 408 Field Instruction II (5 credits) .” These courses are offered consecutively in eight-week sessions for a block placement during the fall or spring semester. The courses include approximately 25 hours each week in a social service agency placement for a minimum of 400 total placement hours (over 16 weeks) in addition to weekly seminar classes related to the field experience.
♦ Indicates prerequisite.