The Bachelor of Science major in Social Work prepares students for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. The degree program engages students in a real-world approach and close mentoring relationships that foster professional development.
This bachelor's degree provides grounding in social work knowledge, values, and competency skills, with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. The social work major requires knowledge about human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, multicultural social work, human diversity, social and economic justice, social work ethical standards, strengths-based practice, and research.
The field practicum exposes students to clinical processes, generalist methods, and interventions used in a variety of public and private sector, community-based organizations.
Social Work Courses and Delivery
The curriculum models the national Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (2008) published by the Council on Social Work Education. For students interested in pursuing graduate study, the curriculum satisfies the educational requirements for admission to full-time or part-time master's degree programs in social work.
Professional practice settings include: social services, child welfare, heath, youth and education, medical, mental health, addictions, long-term care, corrections, and juvenile justice.
Benefits of Earning a Social Work Degree from UI&U
- Students have the opportunity to transfer credits from accredited colleges and universities to accelerate their degree completion.
- Experience a flexible, convenient course delivery format that matches scheduling needs.
- Attain on-the-job training experience through completion of social work field education.
- Daily access to faculty advisors who guide each student's academic progress.
- Students are provided the opportunity to build connections with licensed, experienced social work faculty and practitioners in the field.
- Apply leadership skills for professional generalist social work practice and advocacy.
- Explore career options in a variety of professional practice settings--child welfare, community health, human services, youth and education, government, hospital, mental health, addictions, aging and long-term care, and criminal justice.
Mission & Goals of Social Work Major
Union Institute & University's degree in social work empowers students to apply professional knowledge, skills, ethics, and values for generalist social work practice with an emphasis on social justice and social change.
A social work education emphasizes core competencies related to human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, multicultural social work, human diversity, social and economic justice, social work ethical standards, strengths-based practice, and research. Major goals are:
- To prepare students for professional generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and institutions.
- To prepare students who emulate the social work profession's identity through practice behaviors and commitment to service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry.
- To prepare ethically-grounded students who apply critical thinking, cultural competence standards, and respect for human diversity to advocate for social, economic and health justice, equality, human and community well-being.
- To prepare students who demonstrate knowledge of research-informed practice, including evidence-based prevention, intervention, policy action, and strengths-based methods for individual, family, social, and global change.
- To prepare students who achieve personal and professional empowerment leading to a lifetime of leadership and service in the social work profession.
- To prepare students for advancement to graduate education, licensure, or related certification for specialized practice.
Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science program, students will be able to:
- Express and interpret ideas clearly, using a variety of written, oral and/or visual forms.
- Use different modes of disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry to explore ideas and issues from multiple perspectives.
- Express ethical and social implications in their social, professional, artistic and/or scholarly practice.
- Articulate a perspective on power in the world and their own place in the global community.
Upon completion of the major in Social Work, students will be able to:
- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
- Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
- Apply critical thinking 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.
Professional advising is provided by licensed social work program faculty. Social Work faculty advisors employ a developmental advising approach to guiding, mentoring, coaching, and counseling students from the beginning of their academic program through graduation.
Union Institute & University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The bachelor of science major in social work models the educational policies and academic standards published by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
CSWE Commission on Accreditation (COA) granted 'candidacy' to Union Institute & University's bachelor of science major in social work program at its October 2011 meeting.
On November 1, 2012, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation delivered its official decision to grant a second year of candidacy to the Bachelor of Science Major in Social Work Program at Union Institute & University. This action formally approves the social work program’s compliance for continuation of candidacy, pending approval of the standards for full accreditation in 2014.
According to the CSWE Candidacy Policy, all students admitted to the social work program since the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year will be considered as having graduated from an accredited social work program.
Moving forward, the CSWE Commission on Accreditation will conduct the third Commissioner Site Visit during the spring of 2013. Prospective students may view the social work program’s status on the Council of Social Work Education’s website.
Only students admitted during or after the 2011-2012 academic year (in which the program was granted 'candidacy' by the CSWE) will be recognized as having graduated from a
CSWE-accredited program. Students admitted prior to the academic year in which the program was granted candidacy would not be recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited social work education program.
For further information on accreditation, contact the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation at the Council on Social Work Education, Suite 200, 1701 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 683-8080. You may also visit CSWE's Commission on Accreditation to learn more about the accreditation process.
Social Work Licensure
The purpose of licensing and certification in social work is to assist the public through identification of standards for the safe professional practice of social work. Each jurisdiction defines by law what is required for each level of social work licensure (Association of Social Worker Boards). To qualify for licensure, students must pass the Bachelor's Examination. In most states, students will need to establish eligibility before registering for the social work licensing examination. Students are encouraged to contact their respective state board for applicable social work licensure and application requirements.
For information about social work licensure please visit: Association of Social Worker Boards.
Work Life Policy
The bachelor of science major in social work at Union Institute & University does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience. Only transfer credits obtained through study at a CSWE-accredited undergraduate program may apply to the social work major requirements.