Offered on the Westville Campus. The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons locally and globally.
Loading…. Offers a competency-based curriculum that prepares students for generalist social work practice.
WHO IS A SOCIAL WORKER?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 19% by 2022. More than 650,000 people currently hold social work degrees.
Social workers are highly trained and experienced professionals. Only those who have earned social work degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels—and completed a minimum number of hours in supervised fieldwork—are professional social workers.
WHAT DO SOCIAL WORKERS DO?
Social workers help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, and work to create societal conditions that support communities in need. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior, of social, economic and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors. Social workers help people of all backgrounds address their own needs through psychosocial services and advocacy. Social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness. They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families, and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life.
WHO EMPLOYS SOCIAL WORKERS?
Professional social workers are found in every facet of community life—in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations, and in numerous public and private agencies. They provide both direct and indirect services to those in need. BASW graduates are prepared to work effectively with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations.
Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), professional social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers. There are more clinically trained social workers—over 200,000—than psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses combined. Federal law and the National Institutes of Health recognize social work as one of five core mental health professions.
Some of the settings in which social workers may be employed include:
|Adult day care centers||Advocacy programs||Aging services|
|Child care centers||Child and youth advocacy services||Child welfare agencies|
|Churches||Community action programs||Correctional facilities|
|Criminal justice agencies||Crisis centers||Disability services|
|Domestic violence agencies||Employee assistance programs||Family service agencies|
|Food/nutrition assistance programs||Head start programs||Home health care agencies|
|Income assistance agencies||Legal services agencies||Mental health services|
|Public health agencies||Residential treatment centers||Schools|
|Substance abuse programs||Vocational rehabilitation/training services|
WHERE DO ALUMNI WORK?
Mental Health Services, Family Service Agencies, Public Health Agencies, Aging Services, and Advocacy Programs.
Alumni in the News
PNW graduate finds a “a tremendous sense of fulfillment” in social work
Jamie Lynn Dillon would like to have a career that will allow her to “improve the quality of life and well-being of others.” After graduating with honors from Purdue University North Central with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work… Read More
Pam Saylor guides PNW Social Work program through accreditation process
Pam Saylor, clinical assistant professor and director of the PNW Social Work program, has always had a passion for helping others in her community. This is just one reason the recent accreditation of the program by the Council on… Read More
In 2008, CSWE adopted a competency-based education framework for its EPAS. As in related health and human service professions, the policy moved from a model of curriculum design focused on content (what students should be taught) and structure (the format and organization of educational components) to one focused on student learning outcomes.
GENERALIST SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
The PNW Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) Program prepares students for generalist practice. The descriptions of the nine Social Work Competencies presented in the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) identify the knowledge, values, skills, cognitive and affective processes, and behaviors associated with competence at the generalist level of practice.
The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’ Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.
Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT
The program’s purpose is to provide an enriching environment in which life-long learning is established and the acquisition of competence in knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes of generalist practice social work will be developed to promote individual and community well-being as Purdue University Northwest BASW graduates advocate and enhance the quality of life for individuals in their communities.
To prepare professional and competent generalist social workers who will demonstrate an understanding and respect for human diversity by advocating for social, economic, and cultural justice for all vulnerable populations.
Guided by a liberal arts based education and cohesive curriculum, the BASW Program at PNW operates within the land-grant tradition of democracy, inclusiveness, and accessibility. All members of BASW Program and those served are valued and respected as we celebrate diversity in background, culture, and frame of reference.
Social Work 20100 – Introduction to Social Work
This course provides students with an opportunity to discover the profession of social work. As one of the most dynamic and diverse careers in the helping arena and in a grand experiment, using oneself, the PNW community, and surrounding social services agencies, students explore essential skills needed to develop professional and personal success with people and systems in our multicultural world. The course is open to anyone who is curious about social work, interested in serving others, eager to increase self-awareness, motivated by personal development, and desirous to begin to shape a professional identity. It is especially designed for social work majors, minors, exploratory students, and those considering a double major with work within the human service field.
Social Work 24000 – Helping Communication for Individuals, Families, and Groups
This course introduces students to the necessary skills involved in effective practice of the helping relationship and the theoretical bases underlying their application in therapeutic and counseling relationships. The course consists of surveying the relevant skill sets and the practice and acquisition of competency in these skills through a mixed didactic and experiential format. Learning is facilitated through the use of small group development and augmented by role playing exercises. The course includes role playing, short writing assignments, and video recording of role play exercises.
SWRK 32100 – Human Behavior in the Social Environment
This course is the first of two courses addressing the basic framework of social work education – person in environment and knowledge of the individual and the family through the life span. HBSE I focuses on overall concepts of understanding people from a multi-dimensional framework and the life span through infancy. HBSE I attends to human diversity, discrimination, oppression and social justice as they impact the health and well-being of individuals and families. Additionally, HBSE I explores the major theoretical perspectives and empirical foundations used to understand human development and behavior.
SWRK 36200 – Social Work Practice I
This course is an upper-level, experientially based course in basic skills needed for facilitating creative problem exploration in helping relationships. There is an emphasis on interviewing techniques, value clarifications, and examination of one’s interpersonal styles. Course content will be directed at professional practice rather than personal growth. This course prepares students for the first fieldwork experience by using the generalist social work model as the primary, basic, and comprehensive model to help assess, plan, contract, intervene, monitor, terminate and evaluate the change process with vulnerable clients who are poor, oppressed, members of racial or ethnic minorities, or other at-risk clients. Interactive in-class activities instruct the student social worker in the application of social work principles and functions. This gives the social worker an overview of vulnerable clients as well as clinical intakes, engagement strategies and Competencies, as outlined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Students participate in a one-semester Junior Practicum (SWRK 35100) and a two-semester Senior internship (SWRK 46100) and (SWRK 46400). The Junior Practicum entails 120 hours of work in a social service agency over the course of one semester. The Senior Internship (encompassing two semesters) requires 225 hours of work in a social service agency in each semester of senior year. Students in Junior Practicum and Senior Internship are required to attend a weekly integrative seminar. Students are required to attend a mandatory orientation no later than the semester prior to their Junior Practicum. Orientation is intended to equip students with critical information to facilitate placement and successful completion of both experiences. Students are provided with a Field Education Manual at the orientation meeting and are expected to familiarize themselves with the content and expectations for their field experiences.
Students attend an annual National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Legislative, Education, Advocacy, and Development (LEAD) Day in Indianapolis. The goal of this event is to further social workers’ knowledge about policy issues in substantive areas of social work practice, teach participants about legislative advocacy, and provide an opportunity for social workers to lobby on behalf of specific legislation.
Professional Development Day is celebrated during Social Work Month (March). BASW students and faculty plan an event that provides the opportunity for networking, and education from community panel members, professional social workers, etc. This event is intended to expand the student’s perspective on work in the field and to enhance relationships among social work peers.
Students and faculty organize field trips to places such as Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago, attendance at Regional and State NASW events, and complete service projects with community social service agencies.
INTERNSHIP AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Internship opportunities in Lake, La Porte, and Porter Counties are available for junior and senior students fulfilling practicum requirements for graduation. As the signature pedagogy of social work education, students integrate theory with practice under the supervision of a faculty field liaison and non-profit agency supervisor and/or licensed social worker.
Students may inquire with a social work faculty member to work with the faculty member as a research or teaching assistant.