Undergraduate Social Work

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) prepares students for generalist social work practice at the first full professional level recognized by the National Association of Social Workers. Graduates are eligible to sit for the professional licensure exam in Kentucky, and other states, at the baccalaureate level (LSW). The degree program provides the essential foundation for professional practice, which is subsequently strengthened by professional experience, agency in-service training, and/or graduate social work education.

Public Child Welfare Certification Program
The School of Social Work at Spalding University is one of eleven universities in Kentucky participating in a consortium designed to prepare BSSW graduates for child protection positions with the Kentucky Cabinet for Families & Children.

Full-time students entering the junior year may apply for the program. Those accepted receive a grant to apply toward tuition, as well as an individual stipend for up to four semesters. Participants will take two specifically designed interactive televised courses as part of their undergraduate curriculum and will complete the BSSW field practicum in a child protection placement; the first course focuses on the nature of child abuse and neglect, with the second teaching specific social work skills to protect vulnerable children. Additional special activities, CPS training sessions and retreats are incorporated into the experience. Upon successful completion of the BSSW degree and PCWCP requirements, the student accepts employment with the Cabinet for a period of at least two years.

Ongoing statewide and national research demonstrate the impact of the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children's Public Child Welfare Certification Program in enhancing the quality of services provided to families and children at risk while at the same time significantly improving the number of professionally-trained social workers committing themselves to a career in public practice.

Field Practicum
BSSW students complete a field practicum during their Senior year in one of the region's many social service agencies, under the supervision of an approved field agency supervisor. The School of Social Work's Director of Field matches students with agencies whose experiences and resources best meet the learning needs of the individual student. A faculty field liaison facilitates a required weekly seminar course to ensure that students integrate practical experience with classroom learning.

Admission Requirements
Application procedures are obtained from the School of Social Work office. Acceptance as a social work major is required before any student may enroll in social work practice courses.

BSSW Admissions
Students usually begin taking social work courses in the fall of their junior year. Students apply for formal admission to the BSSW program while they are enrolled in SW 208, Cornerstone. School of Social Work faculty advisors orient students to application procedures. Required forms guidelines are provided during SW 208, Cornerstone.

In order to gain admission to the BSSW program, students must: 1) maintain satisfactory academic progress in all BSSW courses completed prior to admission, 2) maintain an overall GPA of 2.75, 3) complete the application including essay and references and 4) complete a faculty interview.

Successful Academic Progress for the BSSW Program
To maintain satisfactory academic progress in the BSSW program, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 with a social work GPA of no less than 2.75. Students dropping below the required GPA will be placed on academic probation with the BSSW program for two consecutive sessions during which time students will be required to create, agree to and maintain an academic success plan with their advisor. Any student failing to earn the minimum 2.75 GPA following an academic probation will be placed on a final academic probation for one session during which their academic success plan will be administered in partnership with the BSSW Program Director. Failure to meet the required academic standard after the second probation will result in dismissal from the BSSW program. Students earning the required GPA at the completion of probation will be removed from probation but will be required to participate in bi-session success meetings with their advisor for no more than two additional sessions or until degree completion, should the later occur prior to the required time. In addition, students will be required to earn no less than a ā€œCā€ in any practice course. Failure to do so will require repeating the course. Finally, students will have three years to earn their BSSW degree once admitted to the program. Students who fail to do so will be required to re-apply to the program and complete the degree program based on the requirements at the time of re-admission. Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each session. During the first semester of the junior year, students earning a C or lower in any course will be advised of their academic risk and offered academic supports for improving their GPA. Beginning at the end of Session 3 (or 10 credit hours of graded coursework, whichever is greater), students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.50 and/or whose social work GPA falls below 2.75 will be subject to this academic probation policy.

Transfer of Credits
The BSSW program welcomes students transferring from the region's community and technical colleges and universities. Articulation agreements prevent duplication of content. BSSW Transfer students from two-year schools must complete at least one-half the credits for the major at Spalding University. Social work core courses must be completed at Spalding University or another CSWE-accredited BSSW program. Please note that Spalding University School of Social Work grants no academic credit for life or work experience.

Student learning is assessed through a variety of measures, including self-assessment by the student. Typical techniques include both small and large system role plays, critical analysis of case situations and ethical dilemmas, written narratives, videotaped skill demonstrations, research papers, and examinations. BSSW students in their senior year are in a field practicum enabling them to integrate theory and practice in a learning environment. In practicum, assessment is a mutually supportive process between the field agency supervisor, the faculty field instructor, and the student.

Degree Requirements
(see program sheets for specifics of the BSSW degree)
All BSSW majors complete Spalding's University Studies requirements. There are 53 semester hours of required core courses in social work.

Students must also successfully complete at least 18 elective hours in related fields. Highly recommended are electives in social work, anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science and environmental studies.

Minor in Addiction Studies
This minor requires 18 credit hours, consisting of the following:

Required Courses (15 credit hours)

  • SW 420: Addictions in Society
  • SW 410: Trauma and Addicion
  • SW 330: Right, Wrong and It Depends: Applied Ethics for Helping Professionals
  • SW 425/525: Case Management with Substance Abusers
  • SW 435/535: Counseling and Addictions

Electives (3 credit hours, chosen from the list below)

  • SW 405: Psychopharmacology
  • SW 440/540: Systems in Addiction
  • SW 385: Social Justice Perspectives on HIV and AIDS
  • SW 430: Co-Occurring Disorders in Addiction
  • SW 400/500: Spirituality and Addiction

Minor in Social Work
This minor requires 18 credit hours, consisting of the following:

Required Courses (18 credit hours)

  • SW 204: Introduction to Social (Justice) Work: Supporting Growth and Change in Any Setting 
  • SW 310: Opression and Privlege
  • SW 346: Womb to Tomb: Exploring the Human Experience from Birth to Death
  • SW 341: Microskills for Professional Helpers: Social Work Practice with Individuals
  • SW 371: Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Social Change
  • SW Social Work Elective (3 credit hours)

Program Sheets
Bachelor of Science in Social Work
Bachelor of Science in Social Work: Minor in Addiction Studies
Bachelor of Science in Social Work: Minor in Health Science
Double Major: Bachelor of Science in Social Work/Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Addiction Studies Minor
Social Work Minor