Bachelor of Social Work Program
Building No. 9 - East Campus 118
About the Program
The Social Work major at Rhode Island College is for students who want to improve social conditions and change people’s lives. Our courses prepare students to work with a variety of populations and social problems, to alleviate injustice and inequality, and to enhance the quality of life of our clients. Areas of practice include work with children and families, people with substance use disorders and/or mental illness, those experiencing trauma, people who are elderly, people with disabilities, and many other, often marginalized, populations. We teach students to work in culturally-affirming, anti-racist, and strengths-based ways with all populations.
The Social Work major involves experiential learning as a key component. All students complete three semesters of an internship in a social service agency. They complete their first semester of fieldwork during the spring semester of their junior year, (8 hours a week for 10 weeks) followed by field work in the fall and spring semester of their senior year (16 hours per week for 14 weeks). Students may choose to complete some of their internship hours in the summer.
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Admission for the BSW Program and BSW to MSW Program
Admission to the major is required in the junior year. Additionally, student may choose to apply to our 5-year BSW to MSW program which allows students to graduate with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work in 5 years.
The following is required:
- Enrollment in Social Work 326, completing all course prerequisites.
- Application to the major, including a personal statement and letter(s) of reference during the first semester of the junior year, before enrolling in Social Work 327. If applying to the 5-year BSW to MSW program, a second letter of reference from a BSW faculty member is required.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 at the College level and a minimum GPA of 2.67 in 300-level social work courses is required for BSW admittance. The maintenance of a GPA of 3.0 is a minimal standard for the BSW to MSW.
- Evidence of personal qualities considered essential to professional social work practice, such as responsiveness and sensitivity in relationships, values compatible with the values of the social work profession, the ability to understand and carry out the ethical obligations of a social worker, commitment to improving social conditions, and the ability to function collectively with others. If applying to the 5-year BSW to MSW program, evidence of the ability to do graduate level work is also required.
Transfer students must also comply with these requirements. Specific information about application procedures may be obtained from assigned faculty advisors, the chair of the B.S.W. department, or his / her designee.
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- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 at the College level and a minimum GPA of 2.67 in all 300-level social work courses. No student will be allowed to enter a senior year field placement (Social Work 436) if their GPA falls below these standards.
- Students who receive an F in any required social work course or a C- or less in any two required social work courses will be dismissed from the major. A copy of the Bachelor of Social Work Academic Standing Policy, including appeal procedures, is distributed to students in the department.
Graduates of the BSW program will:
- Engage in entry-level social work practice that is informed by the best available evidence.
- Use policy practice skills to create and influence change.
- Apply social work values and ethics to guide their professional practice.
- Understand effects of culture, oppression, and human diversity in a multi-cultural society.
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment to work with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities.
- Work to achieve human rights and social and economic justice.
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