Social Work

Girls walking ShotwellWhat is Social Work?
According to the International Federation of Social Workers “The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behavior and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments.   Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.”

Social Work is not only a major, but a way of life.  The Social Work program at West Liberty is based on the concept of “Generalist Practice” of Social Work. Generalist Practice is the professional activity of helping individuals, families, couples, groups, communities and/or organizations improve,strengthen, and enhance functioning; to empower people and the environments and systems with which they interact.

What Careers Exist in Social Work?
Individuals who major in Social Work obtain employment in:
• administration
• child welfare
• community organization
• criminal justice/corrections
• developmental disabilities
• gerontology
• health care
• mental health
• research
• higher education
• school social work

Course Offerings:
Courses currently offered comply with the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) mandated curriculum for a BSW program applying for accreditation. Specialized elective topics are also offered on a regular basis. Please see the CURRICULUM menu for a full list of course offerings. West Liberty University also offers a minor in Social Work.

What types of students might be interested in such a program?
Common characteristics for social workers include flexibility, concern for people, patience, ability to express ideas, resourcefulness, and emotional and physical energy. Ask yourself: Are you interested in people? Do you believe in human potential for growth and change? Do you have patience, perseverance, and the ability to follow through? Do you work well with people? Are you interested in your own personal growth and well-being? Are you interested in developing your problem-solving skills? Are you interested in the larger picture? If you answered yes to these questions, social work is a profession for you.

Council on Social Work Education and Accreditation (CSWE) :
West Liberty has begun the process of accrediting our Social Work Program with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) which will allow students to graduate with a BSW from an accredited program. Accreditation is a statement that the social work program has complied with nationally recognized standards. The first CSWE site visit occurred in the Fall 2012 and the program was granted “Candidacy” status, which moves the program into the next Benchmark process.

Commitment to Diversity

The Social Work Program values diversity among individuals and groups. The program pledges not to discriminate against any person on the basis of age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

For More Information:
Sylvia Hawranick Senften, EdD
Program Director
Professor of Social Work
304 Shotwell Hall
[email protected]