Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.S.W.

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The College of Health and Human Services  undergraduate major in Social Work prepares students for entry-level professional social work practice as generalists. Generalist practice differs from advanced practice in its particular focus on concrete direct services and case management, and generalist practitioners are not prepared for advanced social work practice in specialized areas of concentration. Generalist practitioners work under close supervision than advanced practitioners. The bachelor of social work program is grounded in a social justice ethic scrupulously attentive to social and economic disparities encompassing planned interventions with people at multiple levels (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities) through engaged, inclusive, culturally appropriate practice methods at all levels to affect systemic social and economic change and “just” outcomes for people at greatest risk. Requirements include the acquisition of an ecological perspective on human behavior for understanding the ways people influence and are affected by the social, political, and economic environmental contexts. A belief in the capacity of people to grow and change, and to make positive decisions on their own and others behalf, as well as and an appreciation of the value of human capacities and diversity is emphasized. Students are provided learning opportunities for the development of cultural, social and political competence, critical thinking skills, research knowledge and skills, especially those which facilitate the evaluation of one’s own practice. Professional values and ethics, systems theories and principles, practice theories and methods, social policy issues and processes, and knowledge and skills for effective social work generalist practice are important aspects of the social work curriculum. Agency experiences, including field practicum, provide the student with opportunities for integration and synthesis of learning, as well as exploration of fields of social work practice. Graduates have the background to pursue graduate studies in social work, psychology, addictions, law, and other related fields.

Program Outcomes

After completing the foundation curriculum at Governors State University, the graduates will:

  1. Apply knowledge of the relationship between individuals, and their environment including historical, cultural, biological, psychological, spiritual and social contexts.
  2. Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
  3. Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles and practice accordingly.
  4. Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
  5. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
  6. Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues.
  7. Apply the knowledge and skills of a generalist social work perspective to practice with systems of all sizes.
  8. Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand human development, behavior and agency across the lifespan and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.
  10. Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
  11. Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities to enhance human well-being, and prevent social injustice, and alleviate human suffering.
  12. Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
  13. Function as a positive change agent within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and achieve organizational change.
  14. Be committed to personal growth, including the professional use of self.


The Bachelor of Social Work Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Illinois Articulation Initiative

“IAI” course designations refer to the statewide Illinois Articulation Initiative discussed on the Admission Information  page of the catalog and found at www.itransfer.org.

Special Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting university admission criteria, applicants must:

  1. have obtained a minimum of 2.25 GPA for the last 60 hours;
  2. submit two completed recommendation forms, at least one of which must be from a current or former college instructor. Recommendation forms are available in the Admission Office and on the website at http://www.govst.edu/chhs/socialwork/bachelors/; and
  3. participate in an interview to develop a study plan that will review academic preparation and appropriateness of a social work career choice.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, students must:

  1. take at least two courses a term, unless a variance of their requirements is expressly approved by the program;
  2. maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher; and
  3. earn a grade of “C” or better in all social work courses.

All undergraduate social work courses for which a student receives a grade lower than a “C” may be repeated a maximum of two times.

General Education Requirement (37 Hours)

The following courses must be taken to meet major and general education requirements:

  • American Literature (IAI H3 914 or 915) (3)
  • Logic (IAI H4 906) (3)
  • U.S. National Government (IAI S5 900) (3)
  • Cultural Anthropology (IAI S1 901N) (3)
  • Introduction or General Psychology (IAI S6 900) (3)
  • Human Biology (IAI L1 904 or 904L) (3)
  • Statistics (IAI M1 902) (3)

Required Courses (53 Hours)

Child Welfare Electives

Students interested in generalist practice in the field of child welfare have an opportunity to select a particular cluster of courses. To complete the cluster of child welfare courses BSW majors must include these courses in their study plan, which is developed in consultation with the faculty advisor.

For students interested in child welfare based generalist practice the following courses must be completed:


In addition to the above courses, the required Field Practicum I & II must be completed in a child welfare agency.

Electives (15 Hours)

Total - 120 Hours

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