2019-2020 Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work Major, BSW

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The bachelor of social work degree is designed for students who want to prepare for a career of Christian service as a professional generalist social worker. The program is carried out in the context of the mission of Calvin, which is to offer a Christian education enriched by the insights of the Reformed heritage. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for entry-level professional social work positions. The BSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Students who wish to pursue a BSW will normally apply to the director of social work by May 1 of their sophomore year. Decisions about admission to the program are made by the social work program committee and are based on the following criteria: 1) Students must have earned at least 35 semester hours of credit and either have completed or currently be enrolled in BIOL 115 , a second SSNA course, PSYC 151 , SOC 151 , and SOWK 240  and SOWK 250 , 2) Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and a minimum grade of C- in each of the courses just specified, 3) Students must have completed at least 50 hours of social work volunteer or paid service (from no more than two settings) and submit a letter of reference from an appropriate supervisor, and 4) Students must submit a written personal statement, which includes information about their commitment to social work as a vocation and their relative strengths and areas for development as potential professional social workers. The BSW is composed of twelve courses and several social science cognate requirements. The social work major includes courses in social work theory, practice skills, policy analysis, and research, along with a field education experience in a human service agency. Once admitted to the BSW program, students must apply separately to field education at the beginning of their junior year. Student retention and degree completion require a minimum grade of C in all social work courses beyond SOWK 240  and SOWK 250 . The core requirements include the liberal arts offerings required of all students, with the exception of a physical world course reduction, and an additional SSNA cognate. Core requirements, along with cognate and program requirements, are specified in the following model program:

Second year


A more detailed description of the BSW program is given in the Social Work Handbook, which can be obtained at the department office (Spoelhof Center) or online.

Social Work Honors

Students wishing to graduate with honors in social work must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 and must complete at least six honors courses (18 semester hours minimum). Three of these courses must be in Social Work and three must be from outside of the major. At least two of the three courses must be chosen from 300-level offerings. Students will complete an honors thesis in SOWK 381 , the capstone seminar, or through an independent study (390) or another approved means. This research will be publicly presented to the Calvin community. Honors students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 in the social work major. The advisor for the social work honors program is J. Kuilema.

Social Work Field Education

All social work students must complete a 400-hour field education placement during their senior year. Field education opportunities are completed in Western Michigan, through the Chicago Semester Program or the Washington D.C. Semester. For more information, contact the Social Work Field Education Coordinator. See SOWK 380  course description for further details.

Total Semester Hours: 40

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