2018-2019 Academic Catalog

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Social Work

Program Overview

The mission of the social work program at the College of Saint Elizabeth is to provide undergraduate students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and an understanding of the knowledge, values and skills necessary for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.


The goals of the Social Work Program are:

  • Provide experiences to strengthen students' ability to think critically, use logical reasoning, and consider multiple perspectives to problem solve.
  • Use ethical reasoning, informed by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing across various modalities (e.g. in-person, via mediated technology such as Skype, email and narrative recordings.)
  • Equip students with the knowledge, values and skills to engage in generalist social work practice with diverse groups of people, with emphasis on the strengths-based perspective.
  • Prepare students to address systemic injustice by evaluating research evidence and using research-informed practice and self-reflection so they can discern effective ways to advocate at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  • Encourage students to evaluate their practice by using appropriate research methods and self-reflection so they can recognize areas where they should pursue further professional development.

Student Outcomes

The College of Saint Elizabeth is pleased to announce that the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has granted the undergraduate social work major candidacy status. By achieving candidacy status, all students who declare a social work major any time after fall 2016 will be able to graduate from an accredited program.

Graduating from an accredited social work program with a Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW) allows students to obtain the certification from the New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners; it is not necessary to take a licensing exam to obtain this certification. Having this credential is a strong asset in obtaining a first job with career potential.

Equally beneficial is that BSW graduates can complete their Masters Degree in Social Work in one year rather than the standard two years. (Note: BSW graduates must start their graduate degree within five years of earning their BSW to apply for an expedited course of study.)

Veteran social workers agree that the personal rewards of helping individuals and advocating for social justice bring enormous self-satisfaction and sense of purpose. Whatever the challenges, there is great joy in knowing that your work helped to empower individuals, families and communities to reach their potential.

While no one chooses the social work profession for the monetary benefits, it is important to understand that social workers earn professional salaries. In New Jersey, the staring salary for full-time social workers averages $41,000 with benefits, and the average salary for those with a masters degree and experience exceeds $80,000.

According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, employment opportunities are increasing for social workers in health care settings and mental health agencies. Other areas of social work practice have stable employment.

A very attractive feature of the social work program is that during the senior year, students spend two days working at a social agency that has demonstrated to the social work faculty that students will have opportunities to practice social work and receive regular, personalized mentoring. By completing 450 hours of fieldwork, students can develop a strong skill set and have opportunities to develop relationships with working professionals.

Another important feature of the College of Saint Elizabeth BSW program is that students have the flexibility to double major or take a minor and elective courses that are of personal interest. The social work faculty is committed to working personally with each social work major so that their non-major courses build on their strengths and interests.

All social work courses are taught by full-time faculty members who are licensed social workers.