The mission of The College of St. Scholastica Social Work Program is to prepare social work practitioners who demonstrate entry-level competence, practice ethical behavior, promote social justice and serve diverse communities in the Benedictine tradition, which includes the values of community, hospitality, stewardship, and love of learning. Social work addresses the needs of individuals, families, groups and communities. The core values of the profession are service, social justice, dignity and worth of the individual, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. The College of St. Scholastica Social Work Program embraces the mission of the social work profession in the context of the College's Benedictine tradition. The program requires graduates to be well prepared for beginning generalist professional practice.
The St. Scholastica Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). CSWE is recognized by the Commission for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting body for social work education in the United States. All accredited programs must comply with CSWE established policies and program standards. CSWE states:
"The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work's purpose 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." (CSWE, 2008. Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.)
Generalist social work practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person and environment construct. To promote human and social wellbeing, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice. Generalist practitioners incorporate diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. They recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings. They engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice. Baccalaureate social work practice incorporates all of the core competencies.
Graduates find employment in a variety of settings, some of which include: child and family service agencies, hospitals and other health care facilities, community action agencies, schools, child and adult protection, residential treatment programs, tribal social service agencies, gerontological services, mental health settings, criminal justice, developmental/mental disability programs, and international social work.
St. Scholastica graduates also may enter most MSW programs with advanced standing, requiring only 12 months of graduate study. For students who care about people and want to make a difference, social work may be the appropriate major.
Department Chair/Program Director:
Lee Gustafson, Ph.D., M.S.S.W., L.G.S.W.
The St. Scholastica Social Work Program has three goals and 11 specified educational outcomes that are the basis for assessing program effectiveness. Students who graduate from this program have had courses grounded in the liberal arts and a successively more advanced set of professional learning experiences that lead to competence for entry-level social work practice, community service and graduate education. The mission, goals, and outcomes specified by the program are the same for the main campus and the distance sites, as follows:
The College of St. Scholastica Social Work Program will prepare students for beginning generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
The Social Work Program will foster the mission of the College and the values from the Benedictine heritage: community, hospitality, respect, stewardship, and the love of learning.
The Social Work Program will prepare students for lifelong learning.
Students will demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain professional relationships, and continue professional growth and development.
The College of St. Scholastica undergraduate Social Work Program prepares students in the generalist social work practice model, with emphasis on acquisition of basic knowledge, values and skills essential to beginning-level professional practice with individuals, families, groups and communities. The program is guided by the liberal arts tradition of the College and integrates a humanistic, egalitarian educational philosophy with rigorous, sequential academic programming. Students completing the program are prepared to work in rural, urban, and international areas with diverse populations.
Accreditation standards require that the baccalaureate social work curriculum prepares graduates for generalist practice through mastery of a set of core competencies. These core competencies are measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. St. Scholastica Social Work students delineate the educational goals and objectives of the Social Work Program through demonstration of specific competencies that serve to inform and aid evaluation of those students' preparation for generalist social work practice. These competencies serve as a link between what may be observed or demonstrated in student knowledge, value and skill performance, and the program's curriculum expectations. In a general way, these competencies and accepted practice standards operationalize the educational objectives for students, faculty, and administration and provide a common set of definitions to gauge performance and behavior. The 10 core competencies are listed below.
The College of St. Scholastica Social Work Program enables graduates to sit for licensure as a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) by the Minnesota Board of Social Work. Additionally, the curriculum is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching for School Social Worker Licensure. Students seeking licensure as a school social worker are required to complete the social work major coursework and SWK 4555 Senior Field Practicum in a school setting under the supervision of a licensed school social worker, consisting of at least 400 contact hours during one school year.
SWK 2240, 3000, 3339, 3360, 3362, 3370, 3383, 3385; 3315 or 3380 or 3390 or 3395 or 4777; SWK 3500, 3555, 4000, 4440, 4441, 4449, 4470, 4500, 4555.
Students provide their own transportation to community learning experiences such as their field practicum during the junior and senior years. Students are required to obtain professional liability insurance and submit a criminal background check before beginning field experiences. Students first become members of NASW at the beginning of their junior year and maintain membership through graduation. Students planning to attend graduate school (including programs offering advanced standing in social work) are strongly recommended to take PSY 3331 - Statistics.
All entering students are encouraged to submit their application for the Social Work major with the Registrar's Office once they are an intended major. Social Work majors apply for formal admission to the Social Work Program during the spring semester of the sophomore year. For fall junior-status priority admission, students transferring from a community college with an A.A. degree should make application to both the College and the Social Work Program by April 15.
Admission to the Social Work Program is a prerequisite condition for registration in SWK 3370.
Application to the Social Work Program includes the following:
The Social Work Program director/chair informs the student of the decision in writing by June 15.
Possible actions include:
Admission and retention criteria for the program are:
Other evaluative criteria used by the program include:
Many students enter St. Scholastica having first completed a portion of their education through a community college or other academic institution. In some cases, students complete associate degrees in human service or through other degree programs. The College recognizes previous academic work through recognition of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. Additionally, the Social Work Program maintains strong reciprocal relationships with a number of community colleges, using specific articulation agreements between the community college program and the College Social Work Department. These articulation agreements specify transfer course equivalencies and other conditions to help transfer students meet necessary prerequisites, program admission requirements, and enter Scholastica "seamlessly." Fulfilling the terms of an articulation agreement is necessary in order for a student to receive full credit of transferred coursework to be applied for St. Scholastica graduation. Please feel free to contact one of the Social Work Program distance-site coordinators or the department chairman if you have questions about an articulation agreement.
The Social Work Program reserves the privilege of accepting and retaining in the program only those students who, in the judgment of the faculty, Admission Committee and Grievance Committee, satisfy the requirements of scholarship and the integrity of the social work profession as set forth in the NASW Code of Ethics. No academic credit is awarded for life or previous work experiences in this degree program.
The Social Work Program encourages all students to learn about the diversity in their communities. Program activities are dedicated to expanding students' experiences with diversity and to assist them in developing cultural competency. The Social Work Program conducts all of its activities without discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, local commission status, or status with regard to public assistance.