Social Work, BSW
The BSW Program is designed to prepare social work students for professional generalist practice. This involves the application of an eclectic knowledge base, professional values, and a wide range of skills to target systems of any size, for change within the context of four primary processes. First, generalist practice involves working effectively within an organizational structure and doing so under supervision. Second, it requires the assumption of a wide range of roles. Third, generalist practice involves the application of critical thinking skills to the planned change process. Fourth, it emphasizes client empowerment. In this regard, social workers utilize their knowledge and skills to assist individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations to improve their social functioning, obtain the resources needed to accomplish identified goals, or effect social change to eliminate social and economic injustice. The framework for accomplishing these goals is centered in competent assessments of the person-in-the-environment, and the subsequent skillful selection of multilevel interventions, in keeping with social work values and ethical practice.
Careers in social work occur in a variety of settings, such as public/state social services, hospitals, schools, mental health agencies, courts, nursing homes, crisis centers, and children and family service agencies. Career options include direct practice with clients, administration, social planning, and legislative advocacy.
The BSW program is typically completed in four years by full-time students. Two lower division courses, SW 100 Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare and SW 250 General Social Work Perspectives, are recommended for the freshman year. Foundation theory and skills courses may then be completed in the sophomore and junior years. The culmination of the BSW program is the Field Practicum Placement. Two consecutive practicum/seminar courses are required and constitute this culminating educational experience (SW 354 Seminar & Field Practicum I and SW 355 Seminar & Field Practicum II). Students develop their social work practice skills in a community agency under the direct supervision of a licensed social worker. Field Practicum Placement is arranged by the Field Practicum Office; more information about the Practicum Program can be found online: www.washburn.edu/social-work.
Specific goals, objectives, and outcomes for individual courses are available to students for review in the Department of Social Work’s office, or from the respective faculty member responsible for an individual course or sequence. For more information, see the BSW Student Handbook, at: www.washburn.edu/social-work.
Declaring Social Work as a Major
It is the policy of the Department of Social Work to assure equal educational opportunities to qualified individuals without regard to age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, marital status, national origin, political perspective, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and/or expression. A student may opt to declare a major in social work, declare additional majors, and/or subsequently change majors at any time.
Most often, the declaration of major is completed when a student recognizes a significant interest in the social work profession and seeks academic advising from the Department of Social Work. Upon declaration, the student will be identified as a “Pre-BSW” major. The student is then provided an academic advisor from among the social work faculty. The faculty advisor assists the student in the selection of courses, and develops a curriculum plan. A student with a declared major in a field other than social work, or an undeclared undergraduate student, is allowed to enroll in all undergraduate social work department courses with the exception(s) of the practice sequence, (SW 352 Micro Social Work Practice, SW 353 Macro Social Work Practice II) and the field practicum courses (SW 354 Seminar & Field Practicum I and SW 355 Seminar & Field Practicum II). These courses are only open to declared social work majors. In order to proceed into the field practicum, students must achieve “formal admission” to the BSW Program (see below).
The BSW program was granted full reaccreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in 20109 and has been reaccredited for eight years through the end of October 2027.
As part of the application process for Formal Admission to the BSW Program (see below), each applicant is asked if he/she has a criminal record, including a history of any misdemeanor and/or felony convictions. Conviction of a criminal offense does not necessarily bar an individual from becoming a professional social worker. Applicants for Formal Admission to the BSW Program are evaluated based on their overall qualifications. However, applicants should be advised that a criminal conviction could prevent them from being placed in some practicum and agency settings. In addition, it may prevent them from being licensed, certified, or registered to practice social work in some states and jurisdictions. Students are also asked if they have ever been dismissed from an academic program. If the answer is affirmative, the student is required to provide additional information so that his/her application can be evaluated in light of all of the facts.
BSW Program Admission Policy Statement
“Declaring a major” in social work is not the same thing as “Formal Admission” to the BSW Program. Majors apply for Formal Admission to the BSW Program simultaneously with their Application for Field Practicum. This typically occurs in the fall semester prior to the beginning of the field practicum. The application forms and instructions are found on the department’s website.
Requirements for Formal Admission to the BSW Program and the Field Practicum
Refer to the BSW Student Handbook on the Social Work Department website for a more detailed explanation of these requirements. Persons not meeting published admission requirements are encouraged to contact the department for more information. Basic requirements include:
- Current enrollment as a student in good standing at Washburn University as defined in the current Washburn University Catalog.
- Approved Declaration of Major (Pre-BSW) in Social Work (verified using the university’s SCT Banner System).
- An overall (cumulative) grade point average of at least 2.5.
- Completion of a minimum of 36 hours of General Education course credits.
- Submission of a completed “BSW Application for (1) Formal Admission and (2) Field Practicum.”
- If requested by the department, completion of an admissions interview with the BSW Program Director, the Social Work Department chair, or a social work faculty designee.
- If the Admissions Committee has any concerns about an application, references may be required upon written request of the BSW Program Director.
Please note that the following social work courses must be successfully completed (grade of C or better) prior to beginning the BSW Practicum:
|SW 100||Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare||3|
|SW 250||General Social Work Perspectives||3|
|SW 325||Micro Human Behavior & Social Environment||3|
|SW 326||Macro Human Behavior & Social Environment||3|
|SW 352||Micro Social Work Practice||3|
|SW 353||Macro Social Work Practice II||3|
Field Practicum marks the start of a student’s professional social work career in the community. Two consecutive semesters (Fall and Spring) of field experience in the same practicum placement are required. A practicum seminar class must be taken concurrently both semesters. A student must pass both practicum and seminar the first semester to proceed to the second semester.
Practicum begins during the first week of each semester, although some placements have an orientation before the start of Fall semester. Time in placement averages approximately 16 hours per week. The following is required: 240 hours per semester and 480 hours overall. Hours cannot be carried over into the next semester, nor can a student complete the practicum early.
BSW Degree Requirements
Requirements for graduation with a BSW from Washburn University include general education requirements and other requirements that are common across the University. For those requirements, please refer to the Programs, Degrees, and Graduation Requirements section in this catalog. The social work major consists of 51 hours of social work courses, which includes 12 hours of elective SW 390 Contemporary Issues in Social Work courses (i.e., four such social work electives). Credit is not granted for previous life experience. In addition to this core curriculum, the following “correlated courses” are required: AN 112 Cultural Anthropology, SO 101 Social Problems, 3 hours of Psychology, and 3 hours of Biology (which must include a significant component in human biology). A grade of “C” or better is necessary for all courses in the Social Work major, all required correlated courses, and other courses as specified in this University Catalog. No course requiring at least a “C” may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Also, approximately 20 hours of university-wide elective courses must be completed to reach the 120 credit minimum for the BSW degree. The ultimate responsibility for complying with all degree requirements rests with the student. Students are expected to review their current degree audit and academic plan before each consultation with their academic advisor.
|SW 100||Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare 1||3|
|SW 250||General Social Work Perspectives 1||3|
|SW 325||Micro Human Behavior & Social Environment 1||3|
|SW 326||Macro Human Behavior & Social Environment 1||3|
|SW 350||Social Policy and Programs||3|
|SW 352||Micro Social Work Practice 1||3|
|SW 353||Macro Social Work Practice II 1||3|
|SW 425||Pre-BSW Practicum Workshop 1||0|
|SW 354||Seminar & Field Practicum I||6|
|SW 355||Seminar & Field Practicum II||6|
|SW 362||Social Work Research I||3|
|SW 363||Social Work Research II: App||3|
|SW 390||Contemporary Issues in Social Work 2||12|
Must successfully complete prior to beginning SW 354 Seminar & Field Practicum I.
Taken four times
Students may complete SW 350 Social Policy and Programs, SW 362 Social Work Research I and SW 363 Social Work Research II: App, and SW 390 Contemporary Issues in Social Work, social work elective courses, concurrent with (or prior to) the Field Practicum. Occasionally, they will be completed after the Field Practicum.
Healthcare Social Work Concentration
Within the BSW program, students may choose to receive specialty training in healthcare social work. The concentration consists of three undergraduate electives (9 hours) plus a generalist practicum in an approved healthcare setting. Students selecting the healthcare concentration should notify their advisor of their intentions in order to ensure appropriate academic advising to meet the requirements.
|SW 390||Contemporary Issues in Social Work||3|
|Select two of the following:||6|
Inclusive Practice in Healthcare Setting
Human Sexuality and SW Practice
Geriatric SW Practice
Family Decision Making in Health Care
Additional information about the Healthcare Social Work concentration can be found on the Social Work Department’s website at: www.washburn.edu/social-work