Associate Professors J. Kunz, C. Orzolek-Kronner (Department Chair); Lecturer M. Young.
Areas of particular teaching interest: Associate Professor Orzolek-Kronner: clinical practice, human behavior, disabilities and women’s issues; Associate Professor Kunz: social welfare, policy, financial education and macro practice. Instructor Young: research, maternal and child health and family work.
The primary mission of the Social Work Department is to prepare social work students for entry-level, culturally sensitive generalist social work practice. The Department supports a basic understanding of various client systems including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and the helping roles assumed by social work students in an effort to enhance the quality of life for others. Students are provided with the knowledge, skills, values and training needed to work effectively with vulnerable and at-risk populations. We offer multiple service learning experiences throughout the social work curriculum.
The Social Work Department endeavors to have students understand and demonstrate social work values and ethics. The Department respects diversity of client populations and lifestyles. The development of an understanding of bio-psycho-socio-cultural components within the person/environment equation is encouraged throughout Social Work courses. The uniqueness of all students and the growth and development of their professional selves are emphasized within the curriculum, fieldwork and departmental activities.
The foundation social work courses provide an understanding of the theories and dynamics of human behavior, policy development and analysis, helping roles, assessment skills, intervention techniques and research methods and evaluation. In their senior year, students are placed in a human service agency under the supervision of a master’s level social worker two days a week for a two-semester internship. By the completion of the social work major, students are capable of asserting leadership in the establishment, provision, and delivery of human services at the local, state, national, and international levels.
The Social Work Department is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates can move directly into social work positions, are eligible for state licensure and qualify for advanced standing at most graduate schools of Social Work.
Social Work borrows ideas from a number of other disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology , economics, political science, and philosophy, thus making the liberal arts setting a perfect home for the major. Students interested in this major should consult with a social work faculty member as early as possible in their academic planning to ensure proper sequencing of courses and eligibility for the field. If you are considering Social Work as a major, you must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.00 for all college courses.
- Completion of SWK 2214 and SWK 2217 .
- Successful interview with a member of the social work faculty before participation in the senior year field placement experience.
Please see the dual major option with Social Work-Political Science .
Students are encouraged to request consideration for departmental honors at the beginning of the fall semester of their senior year. Applicants should have a proven record of academic excellence and scholarly promise. General standards to complete the process along with past honors projects are presented and discussed during the initial three weeks of class in senior seminar. Students are required to request consideration by October 1st.
Student selection is made by faculty consensus. In addition to academic performance, other criteria include a consistent demonstration of emotional and interpersonal intelligence (i.e., effective interpersonal communication, coping and adapting ability, high ethical standards) along with a highly developed sense of social responsibility (i.e., social justice and advocacy). A maximum of two students are selected per academic year.
Once selected, students are assigned to work with a sponsoring Social Work faculty member who has some expertise in the student’s areas of interests. Length, time, and type of project varies significantly depending on each student’s professional goals and ability. All projects, however, are required to reflect core social work theory and models that not only contribute to understanding people and society (assessment) but also those that support practical methods for working with them (intervention). In addition, all approved projects must include fundamental objectives of a liberal arts education including the ability to critically think, demonstrate effective written communication, problem solve, and understand their responsibilities as a citizens in a global world.