The Social Work
major is a department within the College of Health and Behavioral Studies.
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSSOWK.shtml
The Social Work program prepares students to become generalist Social Workers who are committed to strengthening community life for diverse individuals, families and organizations while promoting social justice through advocacy and action. The Social Work Program offers an environment geared toward achieving professional growth and excellence. Graduates are prepared to work effectively in a broad spectrum of social service settings by providing an environment geared to addressing poverty, multiple forms of oppression, social injustice, and other human rights violations. The program also prepares students for graduate study in social work.
In addition to lecture and class discussion, the social work program utilizes a variety of teaching strategies and experiential approaches to enhance learning. Field trips and volunteer opportunities familiarize students with social work settings. Role playing and videotaping supplies students a medium for developing practice skills. Literature and television specials / films / videos provide a context for the application of theoretical models and perspectives. The department offers minors in Family Studies, Gerontology, and Nonprofit Studies, as well to a Certificate in Gerontology. The Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
me more about this field of study.
Social work is a challenging and rewarding profession. It is a career field for those with a strong desire to help people and to make a difference as well as to affect change at the community and societal level to enhance the well-being of all people. Although there are similarities between social work and related professions such as psychology and counseling, social work is distinct in its interdisciplinary knowledge base and its focus on the person-in-environment.
Social workers work with a wide range of diversity including: age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and spirituality. They work in many settings such as social services, independent living skill programs, hospices, long-term care communities, and a variety of residential treatment facilities.
Social workers use numerous skills in their involvement with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations. These skills include: advocacy, case management, assessment/analysis, communication, interviewing, community outreach, crisis intervention, intake/referral, intervention, networking, policy analysis, problem solving, program development, evaluation, recording/writing, relationship/interpersonal, research, service provision, and team/group/collaboration skills.
me more about specializations in this major.
The Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW) is a generalist degree that provides the student with entry-level skills for a variety of human services endeavors. The BSW degree helps students, who want to make a difference in people’s lives, develop skills in helping people reach their potential in their environment. This may be done through direct services or by working to change or improve social conditions.
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
The BSW is a generalist degree that will provide entry‑level skills for a wide variety of human service endeavors. You may want to add breadth and/or depth to your liberal arts/general education foundation. Sociology, Economics and Political Science are excellent for gaining more depth in policy areas. Philosophy courses can increase insight into ethical questions. Social and cultural issues are addressed in Sociology and Anthropology courses, while Sociology and Psychology deal with human behavior. Geography courses can help you better understand global issues and concerns. Language skills, especially Spanish, can add to your marketability.
Another rationale for elective course selection is to learn more about a specific area. For example, minors are available in Conflict Analysis and Intervention, Criminal Justice, Family Studies, Gerontology, Nonprofit Studies, Public Policy and Administration, Special Education Non-Teaching,Substance Abuse Intervention, Urban and Regional Studies, and Women's Studies. Minors are also available in Africana Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations, and Russian Studies, any of which would serve to broaden your world view.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Characteristics include: commitment to increased self-awareness;
willingness to critique one's communication and interviewing
skills; development and practice of intervention techniques
and strategies; identification with values of the profession;
and a desire to help others.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated
careers that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.