About the Department
We teach talented people to better help others in need, one person, one family, one community at a time. We cultivate leaders and behind-the-scenes movers and shakers who effect meaningful change in people’s lives.
The Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) is a specialized degree from a long standing accredited program that prepares graduates for generalist practice in direct human service positions. Students attracted to this career are ones who:
- Are caring and compassionate and desire to use their creativity to make a positive difference in the lives of others
- Believe in the capacity of people, institutions and society to change for the better
- Are motivated by a strong sense of social and economic justice and want to promote the success and well-being of all people
If you desire a career working with diverse people that provides meaning, purpose and satisfaction in your life and those you serve, consider a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from Valpo. What sets our program apart from others?
Rigorous and Integrated Learning
Students are engaged in learning both in and out of the classroom. The social work major consists of 51 credits plus general education requirements and 18 credits of required interdisciplinary courses (of which most are interchangeable in the general education requirements for the BA). Students also are involved in learning activities that allow them to apply classroom knowledge such as internships at a social service agency engaging in cross-culture communication and interchange to learn and practice cultural competency, visiting the state legislature to examine the role of advocacy, and preparing at undergraduate research to investigate the role research has in informing practice.
Our internships truly set our graduates apart. This experience integrates empirical and practice based knowledge and promotes the development of professional competence. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated according to stringent criteria established by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This educationally directed internship program offers students opportunities for practice in a variety of settings in the community. Students complete a 100 hour internship in the spring semester of their third year and a 450 hour internship in the fall and spring semesters of their fourth year.
Graduates from our program are highly marketable and are employed in child welfare, mental health, schools, hospitals, elder care, churches, shelters, corrections, and other social service settings. Alumni typically enter graduate school to pursue a MSW within five years of graduation and are eligible to apply with advanced standing which gives them credit on courses taken within the BSW curriculum and reduces graduate school to two to three semesters. Some of our graduates pursue post graduate, gap year experiences in the Peace Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and Americorps.