St. Augustine College’s (SAC) Social Work Program is a community of dedicated faculty, motivated students, and inspiring alumni. The program prepares students to promote and support positive change for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and the world. Found within the courses is a unique focus on empowering the Latino community of Chicago through social justice.
Empowering a bilingual community through social justice
The bachelor degree in Social Work (BSW degree) is a bachelor degree preparing students for general social work practice. BSW graduates are prepared “to enhance the social functioning and interactions of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities by involving them in accomplishing goals, developing resources, and preventing and alleviating distress.” (CSWE Educational Policy 1.0)
The SAC Social Work program is accredited through 2020 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This assures that the BSW curriculum at SAC meets the national standards for social work training. The accreditation also makes alumni eligible to apply for advanced standing at many graduate Social Work programs locally and nationally (advanced standing allows full-time students to complete an MSW program in a shorter time.)
Mission of BSW Program at St. Augustine College
The BSW program educates graduates for entry level into generalist social work practice with diverse urban populations. It does this with particular attention to opportunities to improve social justice, well-being, and access to resources within communities of Latino descent. It aspires to fill cultural, educational, and socioeconomic gaps, beginning with those in the multi-cultural and multi-linguistic neighborhoods of Chicago.
Careers in Social Work
A degree in social work offers a diverse range of opportunities including working in the areas of aging, child welfare, healthcare social work, justice and corrections, mental health, substance abuse, policy and planning, community organizing, international social work, military social work, and many others. The National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter provides further information on careers in Social Work at: http://www.naswil.org/social-work-practice/
Graduates from the BSW program work as family specialists, youth organizers, case managers, directors of day care centers, domestic violence advocates, healthcare workers, geriatric care workers, and addiction counselors. Students who complete the BSW degree and who also fulfill the state of Illinois licensure requirements for social work may apply for the state exam to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW): (http://www.idfpr.com/).
The student learning outcomes* for the BSW program are:
Students demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
Students engage diversity and difference in practice.
Students advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
Students engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
Students think critically to engage in policy practice
Students engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Students asses individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Students intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Students evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
* The above 9 outcomes reflect the 9 educational policy standards identified by CSWE for 2015. The program regularly evaluates and publishes data on outcomes that include the dimensions of “knowledge, values, skills, and affective processes”, in addition to practice behaviors needed. (2015, CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards).
Acceptance to the BSW Program and Upper Level Courses
Full acceptance to the social work program requires the following:
Completion of the BSW application and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 (on 4.0 scale).
Completion of the general education course requirements for the St. Augustine AA-LAS with SOC 101 and MAT 225 (or provision of official transcripts from an accredited college showing completion of an AA or AS degree).
Completion of SWK 200, 305 and 315 with a grade of C or above.
Applications will be formally reviewed by BSW faculty during December and May of each year. Students are notified by e-mail of their admission status and any contingent conditions after the review.
Social Work Internship
As part of the social work program, students complete a social work internship, which is also called field instruction. During the internship, students receive hands-on experience in a social service agency while under the supervision of a social worker. The goal of the internship is to provide students with the opportunity to practice the Social Work content taught in class while receiving constructive feedback from their Social Work supervisor. Students are also enrolled in a seminar class while in internship to receive additional support. The internship is a total of 420 hours, which can be completed in one or two semesters. Students can begin their internship after successfully completing 9 of the Social Work courses, elective coursework, and a field contract that is approved by the program field director.
Students must complete 128 credit hours that include requirements that satisfy minimum general education requirements, elective requirements, and social work core course requirements. The 420 hour internship is part of the social work course requirements.
2. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above at the time of graduation.
3. Application to graduate and exit interview with Department Chair.