The undergraduate program offers a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree with a major in Social Work as preparation for a number of careers from public service to work in the private sector. The undergraduate Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and its principal educational goal is to prepare students for beginning generalist social work practice.
A student's declaration of a major in social work does not guarantee admission to the BSW program. Students will be invited to apply to the program once they have met all criteria to do so. Students initially declare Pre-Social Work (PSWK) as a major and are eligible to apply and be formally admitted to the Social Work major when they have:
Students are required to maintain an overall GPA of 2.8 or better each semester in order to remain in the program. See the Department of Social Work’s “Admission and Termination Policies” in the BSW Student Handbook for detailed information.
120 Hours are required for graduation. In addition to the 42 required hours of liberal studies, the major requires 63 hours as outlined below and 15 hours of general electives.
Only grades of C or higher in required and elective social work courses will satisfy requirements for the major. Only one Social Work required course may be taken for a grade replacement.
Participation in the Child Welfare Education Collaborative Scholars Program is available at both the BSW and MSW levels. BSW students who apply and are accepted must take the Child Welfare elective (SOCW 426), complete an on-line Pre-Service Training, and complete a one semester internship at a County Department of Social Services with the Child Protective Services unit. Upon successful completion, students will earn a Certificate which allows them a priority spot when applying for positions with any County DSS in North Carolina. In some years, a financial scholarship may be available to students if the State Legislature approves the funding.
Field practicum is a vibrant component of professional learning and will provide students with excellent experience through “the signature pedagogy of Social Work Education.” The WCU Social Work Department has 125 community partners, which are agencies providing many professional services to a wide range of clients. Students can develop and master skills in areas of case management, individual, family and group clinical practice, integrated health care, community advocacy and outreach, resource brokering, mediation and research. Community agencies, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, in-patient mental health units, homeless shelters, schools, area agencies on aging, and health and human services with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian are examples of the types of settings where students will learn and practice.