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 from our social work schooling, 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)
What Skills Will You Acquire During Your Social Work Schooling?
You will be expertly trained to practice social work and perform social work jobs 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 multi-linguistic neighborhoods of Chicago.
Fulfilling the Illinois Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Requirements
Awarded the “Excelencia in Education National Award for the Best Bachelor Degree Program Serving Latinos” in 2016, our social work 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 daycare center; domestic violence advocate; health care worker; geriatric care worker; and addiction counselor. 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).
*The SAC Social Work program is accredited through 2028 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This assures that the bachelor of social work 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 social work 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 to satisfy the standards of an accredited social work program. (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 the completion of the following:
- BSW application and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 (on 4.0 scale).
(Please download this application and return to: AGuillen@staugustine.edu)
- 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 in Our Chicago Social Work Program
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 in preparation for social work jobs. 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.
What are the Goals of a Social Work Program in Illinois?
The hands-on internship experience you get during your field instruction is a crucial part of your education. In SAC’s local social work program in Chicago, the hands-on social work internship allows you to gain professional experience, develop ethical principles, establish professional judgment, and more. Before you begin fieldwork, it is important to go over these field goals for a social work internship, because many times these same goals will help you find promising social work jobs after you receive your BSW.
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.
View Full Course List
Learn more about SAC’s Bachelor of Social Work below, and how Saint Augustine’s programs have helped others.
Success Stories: As the number one school in Illinois in raising students’ income, and second higher graduation rate than comparable institutions in Chicago, we are proud to present a few of our outstanding students below who have stood out and demonstrated Saint Augustine’s dedication to success.
Career & Transfer Center: Saint Augustine is not just a university, it’s a launchpad for you and your career. Contact our staff to receive assistance related to jobs, interviews, or internships.
Community: Our community is built on inclusivity and diversity. Regardless of someone’s background, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
Jobs with a Social Work Degree
Social work jobs cover a variety of fields and clients, giving you the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people.
Psychiatric Social Worker
Providing services to those living with mental health conditions, a social worker in this environment may provide psychotherapy treatment as well. Often you will work in a medical or mental health facility. The psychiatric social worker often provides therapy, both in individual and group settings.
Child and Family Social Worker
Often provide assistance to families and children, many of whom are on child welfare. They might help parents find the resources needed to keep their children or return home. But they also assist children who are in more stable circumstances at home.
School Social Worker
Social work jobs in the schooling system are an important part of assisting children who might be struggling in school. They participate in special education assessment meetings. They also help work with the problems a student may have outside of school (at the home or in their community). A big aspect of social work in the school system is to help students get the resources they need to thrive and work to the best of their abilities.
Community Health Worker
Serving the community, these social workers are frontline health workers who are knowledgeable about the community they are working in. Community health workers are essential in all communities, from the inner city to the rural countryside. Community health workers are there to help members of marginalized communities who don’t have the time or resources to get the quality healthcare they deserve.
Environmental Health Worker
A bachelors in social work can also help you access a career in environmental activism. These social workers study the natural and manmade resources that affect our planet in both negative and positive ways. Using strategies that focus on community outreach to help advocate local causes that have a direct impact on the local community.
Learn More About SAC’s Social Work Schooling and Bachelor’s Degree
Still curious about our award-winning program, and how you can find a rewarding career that can make a difference in your community? Contact us today to learn more about the next step in your academic and professional career, and what you can do to make a difference today.
Q: Does the Bachelor of Social Work make you a well-rounded social worker?
A: Receiving a social work degree from our Chicago campus demonstrates that you have received the skills necessary for a variety of professions in and similar to social work. From gaining skills that involve practical research for jobs that focus on macro policy-focused work to deepening your understanding and empathy of others by engaging in diversity and difference of practice, the Bachelor of Social Work at St. Augustine College gives you the skills needed to work a variety of social work jobs. It also has the ability to help push your academic career forward, as a step stool towards your MA or PhD in social work, psychology, or another similar field.
Q: Are grants or scholarships available for social work schooling?
A: St. Augustine College offers a variety of grants and scholarships for those who qualify, with 70% of all students receiving 100% of tuition in the form of grants and scholarships.
Q: How long is this social work program in Chicago?
A: The Bachelor of Social Work program takes about four years to complete.
Q: Do you need a bachelor’s degree to become a social worker?
A: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum required for becoming a social worker. For those who are looking for a bigger opportunity to become a licensed social worker, this Social Work program can be a stepping stone on your path to receiving a master’s or even a doctoral degree in social work, preparing you further for the Association of Social Work Boards, from where you can receive your license in social work.
Q: Is social work a growing profession?
A: The social work industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States, with projections that it will grow by about 10% over the course of the next decade.
Q: What social work opportunities can you find in the Chicagoland area?
A: There are a variety of career opportunities available once you graduate from St. Augustine College with a social work degree. From working at a school to being a community wellness manager, the major metropolitan area of Chicago is the perfect place to have a long career in social work. Regardless of your interests or skills, there may be a job opportunity for you.
Q: What are the three social work practices?
A: Usually, social work practice is broken down into three different areas of practice – micro, mezzo, and macro.