Skip to main content

 Social Work 



 Social Work FAQ's 

What is the Social Work major about?
Social Work is a profession that applies knowledge about people and society to help persons, groups, or communities meet a diversity of needs, solve a wide range of problems, promote social justice, and assist people in becoming empowered. The baccalaureate program in Social Work prepares students for generalist social work practice. As beginning professional social workers, graduates typically work in the area of child welfare, juvenile, and adult corrections, public assistance, health and mental health, aging, domestic violence, and chemical dependency, among others.

How can I become a Social Work major?
The change of major forms (for both first and second major) are available on the D2L site (see link under “Course Documents”) and here. Hard copies are available in 111 JDB, and in most of the departmental and Deans’ offices.  Fill out your name and other requested information on the front, check the Social Work box (under College of Health, Environment and Science), and sign the back in the space for the student’s signature. Hand in to the departmental secretary (Betsy Strawbridge) in the Public Health and Social Work office Room 111 in the Jack Dinger Building.

What kind of job can I get with this degree?
Bachelor of Science in Social Work(BSSW) graduates can expect employment in child welfare, public welfare, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, health care, family service, developmental disabilities, industry, business and labor, schools and youth, and services to the aged. The nationally accredited Social Work major prepares graduates in the major to work in the field upon graduation with the Bachelor of Science degree.

How do I know what classes to take?
Your faculty advisor will assist you with this, but there are also resources for you to look at on your own, so when you go to your advising session you will be better informed and ready to plan your academic career at Slippery Rock.

·         Slippery Rock liberal studies requirements:

·         Social Work Major Progress Sheet

·         Suggested class rotation schedules for Freshman through Senior grade levels

Although your faculty advisor will help you as much as possible, remember that it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to schedule the right classes for timely graduation.

What are the goals of this program? How will they be assessed?
There are six major goals, or “outcomes”  for  the Social Work Major. Every Social Work student should be acquainted with these outcomes.  You will see them in your class syllabi, on our bulletin boards, the social work office areas, and the major blackboard web site.  All of your coursework is designed to add to your knowledge base as reflected by these outcomes.  You should know about these outcomes.  Please take some time to study them.

Social Work Program Outcomes:

·         To graduate students with a baccalaureate(B.S.) degree in social work who are competent in beginning generalist social work practice.

·         To graduate students who are well prepared to enter graduate schools of social work, either directly after receiving the undergraduate degree, or after a period of practice.

·         To contribute to the intellectual, ethical, and emotional development if our students in order to enhance their awareness and involvement as citizens in the broad social welfare issues of our time.

·         To sensitize students to the human condition in order that they might develop a respect for human dignity, diversity, and freedom

·         For students who are uncertain about their career choice, to provide a clear and honest introduction to the responsibilities and rewards of a social work career, so that they can make informed career choices.

·         To help meet the human resource needs for baccalaureate level social work in the diverse mix of rural, small town and metropolitan areas form which our students come and to which many wish to return.

In addition, we will assess how well students are learning these outcomes in a variety of ways.  These goals were crafted in accordance with the standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, the University, and the State System of Higher Education.  Assessment  methods will consist of an Integrative Seminar, the Educational Contract, and other methods to determine how well we are doing in our mission of educating students about the profession.

Are there opportunities for internships and/or service learning?
Your course of study will culminate in a extensive internship program. SRU Social work students undertake 405 hours of onsite observation and participation before graduation. This gives them a solid foundation when they are ready for employment. Our Slippery Rock Social Work program has over 120 internship sites that provide students a wide variety of options.

For example, SRU partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Children and Youth services, allowing social work majors to complete internships at regional agencies and receive hands-on experience. Those participating in the program receive financial assistance in their senior year. After graduation, they are guaranteed a social work position in one of the state's 67 county child welfare agencies.

Is there a Social Work Association and National Honorary for students?
Yes.  If you are interested in joining the Social Work Association,  please email the Association president, Steven Crum at The Phi Alpha Omicron Upsilon National Honor Society for Social Work has a chapter in the Social Work Program. If you are interested in becoming a member of the National Honor Society, please email the Society president, Stephanie Minshull at

Who are the Social Work faculty, and how can I get in touch with them?
The Social Work faculty members are: Dr. Herman Jones, Dr. Thomas Bechard, Dr. Veronica Kozar, and Dr. Larry Breitenstein.  Contact information is available on the faculty web pages and elsewhere on this site.

Does this major have online classes available?

Yes.  Currently, Introduction to Social Work, Cultural Competence and Human Services, Social Welfare Institutions, Child Welfare, and Human behavior in the Social Environment, Parts I & II,  are periodically offered on line.

Will I get a chance to do research?
Social Work faculty members are active in the academic discipline and often conduct research to publish and present in professional forums.  Students have the opportunity to assist faculty with these projects. In addition, this major offers chances for students to conduct and showcase their own research.  Students who are interested in the research and publication records of the SRU Social Work  faculty can check the faculty web pages and the Social Work web site.

Undergraduate Programs | Faculty | Careers | Internships