Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Our Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program* is built on St. Augustine College’s (SAC) legacy of empowering a bilingual community through social justice. As a student in this award-winning program of study, you will be uniquely prepared to promote and support positive change for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and the world. Found within the curriculum is a visionary focus on empowering the Latino community of Chicago through social justice.
As a BSW graduate, you will be 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)
You will be expertly trained to practice social work in diverse urban populations with particular attention to opportunities to improve social justice, well-being, and access to resources within communities of Latino descent. The mission of this ground-breaking degree program is to fill cultural, educational, and socioeconomic gaps, beginning with those in the multicultural and multilinguistic neighborhoods of Chicago.
Awarded the “Excelencia in Education National Award for the Best Bachelor Degree Program Serving Latinos” in 2016, our program has opened doors to a diverse range of opportunities for our graduates. With this degree, you could find employment as a family specialist; youth organizer; case manager; director of a day care center; domestic violence advocate; health care worker; geriatric care worker; and addiction counselors. Students who complete our BSW degree program 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 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.)
Empowered to Succeed
As a graduate of the BA in Social Work program, you will be prepared* to:
- Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
- Engage diversity and difference in practice.
- Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
- Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
- Think critically to engage in policy practice.
- Engage with individuals; families; groups; organizations; and communities.
- Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
- Intervene with individuals; families; groups; organizations; and communities.
- Evaluate practice with individuals; families; groups; organizations; and communities.
* The above 9 program 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 SAC Social Work Program requires completion of the following:
- BSW application and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 (on 4.0 scale).
- 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).
- 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. You will be notified by e-mail of your admission status and any contingent conditions after the review.
Hands-On Internship Experience
As part of our award-winning social work program, you will complete a social work internship, which is also called field instruction. This gives you important hands-on experience in a social service agency while under the supervision of a social worker. The goal of our internship program is to provide you with the opportunity to practice the Social Work content taught in class while receiving constructive feedback from your Social Work supervisor. You will also be enrolled in a seminar class while in the internship to receive additional support. The internship is a total of 420 hours, which can be completed in one or two semesters. You will be eligible to begin your internship after successfully completing 9 of the Social Work courses, elective coursework, and a field contract that is approved by the program field director.
High Standard of Excellence: Graduation Requirements
To graduate, you must complete 132 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. You must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above at the time of graduation and complete an application to graduate and exit interview with Department Chair.