View Social Work Flowsheet
Director: Cheryl Springer
Professor Christopher G. Hudson, Chairperson
Professors: Sarah Greenberg, Robert K. McAndrews
Associate Professors: Mary P. Byrne, Patricia M. Connolly, Helen Glikman, Carol L. Owen, Shelley A. Steenrod
Assistant Professors: Felix Amato, Jeffrey R. Driskell, Sandra Yudilevich Espinoza, Lisa M. Johnson, Minoca Leisey, Shannon Mokoro, Yvonne Ruiz, Elspeth Slayter
Professor: Carol G. Deanow, Barbara L. Nicholson. Leroy H. Pelton, Marguerite G. Rosenthal
Associate Professors: Theresa Bouthot, Lois M. Martin
Bachelor of Social Work
Visit program page
Programs in Social Work
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree provides a balanced mixture of liberal arts courses with a heavy concentration in the behavioral and social sciences. In addition to completing the required courses in the major, students spend a minimum of 425 hours doing field work in a Social Work agency during their senior year. The curriculum provides an in-depth knowledge of Social Work values, methods, skills and practice areas, equipping students with entry level Social Work competencies in a variety of helping settings and for entrance to graduate Social Work programs. Upon receiving their BSW degree, graduates are eligible to take the exam for licensure at the Licensed Social Workers (LSW) level from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The primary objective of the BSW Program is to prepare students as generalists for beginning practice in Social Work. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
BSW Program Mission Statement
The mission of the BSW Program of the School of Social Work is to provide an excellent generalist foundation for baccalaureate students in the knowledge necessary for beginning professional practice and to enable them to learn about and rehearse the skills necessary for that practice. Central to the mission of the program is to ground all students in the values and ethics of the profession and in the fundamentals of social and economic justice, non-discrimination and openness to other cultures. The professional curriculum builds on a rigorous and comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum. Courses in the Social Work major address professional knowledge, skills and values, building to a substantive senior field education eperience that emphasizes professional attitudes and behaviors.
Our program is student-centered. In recognition of the needs of many of the students served, the program is committed to both academic rigor and to providing support for students who might otherwise struggle to complete a baccalaureate degree. The program is committed to providing a variety of means of access, including creation of articulation agreements with community college programs and offering our undergraduate courses to working students enrolled in our evening division. The program welcomes a diverse student body and fosters an atmosphere of openness, collegiality and respect between students and faculty.
The Bachelor of Social Work consists of 48 credit hours of Social Work courses in the behavioral and social sciences; 35 credit hours of distribution courses in the humanities, natural sciences/mathematics and social sciences; 13 credit hours in basic skills and 12 credit hours for free electives.
BSW Admissions Process
STEP 1: A student is accepted into the pre-social work program via one of three routes: (1) freshman admission to Salem State, with social work as a chosen major; (2) the change of major process; or (3) transfer from another two- or four-year institution. Students with a 2.3 GPA or higher will be accepted into the pre-social work program through change of majors or transfer.
STEP 2: The student must have completed, or have received BSW program-approved TCE equivalency for, SWK 101, SWK 102, SWK 200 (or 510), and SWK 270. At the same point, the student must have completed, or have TCE equivalency for 45 total SSC credits, including at least 30 credits of SSC core curriculum credits.
STEP 3: When Steps 1 and 2 are satisfied, the student may make application to the BSW major. Applications are accepted by the BSW Admissions committee on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.
A. An Application Form
B. A Personal Statement (2 typed pages, double-spaced, 12 font; one paragraph apiece, addressing these 4 topics):
1. reason for choosing social work as a major and career
2. assessment of personal strengths and challenges
3. assessment of life experience and their integration with career choice
4. assessment of personal values and their alignment with social work’s professional value system
C. Instructors’ Review Forms, from at least 2 instructors in pre-social work courses.
D. Evidence of at least a 2.3 Salem State University overall GPA , a minimum 2.7 average among BSW courses taken to date, and at least a 2.0 in every social work course taken to date (or transferred into SSC) pre-social work program.
STEP 4: The Admissions Committee will consider the data in A through D, above. The Committee will look for evidence of solid written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills, as determined by faculty input and student writing. The Committee will also glean from those sources evidence of emotional stability sufficient to safely and effectively practice social work, as articulated in the SSC School of Social Work’s Professional Standards.
STEP 5: Within a month of teh Admission Committee’s receipt of the completed Application, the BSW Program Coordinator will inform applicants about their acceptance status into the major. The status could be:
A. Acceptance, with notification of the student’s new social work advisor (if applicable).
B. Conditional Acceptance (with specific written reasons for the decision and criteria for full acceptance, with clear timelines on meeting those criteria). At the end of that timeline, the Program Coordinator will consult with the Admissions Committee, who will subsequently issue a new Announcement of Status for that student.
STEP 6: A rejected student is welcome to re-apply if and when factors in the rejection have been ameliorated.
The Bachelor of Social Work degree, foreign languages option, consists of 45 credit hours of Social Work courses, practicum, field education and seminar; 24 credit hours of support courses in the behavioral and social services, including 9 hours in foreign language (Spanish recommended); 35 credit hours of distribution courses in the humanities, natural sciences/mathematics and social sciences; 13 credit hours in basic skills and 6 credit hours for free electives. The curriculum prepares students for an entry-level competency in a variety of Social Work settings for working with non-English speaking populations and for entrance to graduate programs in disciplines that require a foreign language background.
Field Work Readiness–Academic Requirements
Ideally students proceed sequentially in the major by taking SWK 101 and SWK 102 in freshman year and SWK 200 , SWK 261 , and SWK 270 in sophomore year and SWK 301 and in junior year. Regardless, students in the BSW program are required to take six Social Work courses prior to beginning field work. These are:
The student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least “B-” (2.7) in these six Social Work courses prior to being considered for field education placement assignment. In addition to the B- cumulative grade point average the student must earn a B- or better in GP-I and a B- or better in GP-II. Students who earn below a B- in GP-I or GP-II are permitted to repeat the course one time to improve their grade. If they earn below a B- a second time, they must withdraw from the Social Work major.
Social Work majors and pre-majors must earn a grade of C or higher in all other Social Work courses (these courses include, but are not limited to SWK 261 , , and ). A student may repeat a Social Work course only once. A second grade below a C in the same course mandates withdrawal from the Social Work major.
Additionally, Field Work I and II (SWK 404 / ) and Field Education Seminar I and II ( / ) are co-requisites. In order to successfully pass one course a student must pass the other. Therefore, a student must earn a B- or better in Field Seminar I and a “P” in Field Work I in order to continue into Field Work II and Field Seminar II. If a student does not earn a B- or better in Field Seminar I and a “P” in Field Work I, then he/she must retake both Field Work I and Field Seminar I. A second grade of lower than a B- in Field Seminar and/or a grade of “P” in Field Work I mandates that a student withdraw from the Social Work major. Likewise if a student does not earn a B- or better in Field Seminar II and a “P” in Field Work II then he/she must retake both Field Work II and Field Seminar II. A second grade of lower than a B- in Field Seminar and/ or grade of “P” in Field Work II mandates that a student withdraw from the Social Work major.
At the end of his/her field education experience, the student may have no more than 12 credits to complete his/her degree.
The students’ readiness for assignment to a field placement will be assessed by their level of maturity and responsibility and their commitment to the values and ethics of the field of Social Work as ascertained in consultation with their academic advisor. The student should consult with and abide by the BSW Student Handbook and BSW Field Education Handbooks.
Because of the nature of professional Social Work practice, the School of Social Work has different expectations than do non-professional programs. The standards are linked to students’ abilities to become effective Social Work professionals and are provided to clarify expectations and procedures regarding concerns about academic and field education performance. The ultimate goal of the Standards is to help students have a successful experience at the School of Social Work. Students will be asked to abide by the School’s Professional Standards for Social Work Education and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.
Students who have had considerable volunteer and/or employment experience in the social services should consult with the BSW Program Coordinator. Opportunity to reflect on and analyze this prior experience may be arranged through enrollment in the course, SWK 510 - Directed Study in the Generalist Approach (3 credit hours).
For a Minor in Social Work
Please consult the Social Work Minor section of this catalog for minor requirements.
The School of Social Work Student Handbook issued to all departmental majors contains details on all aspects of the BSW program.