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Social Work

Helping others is your passion. Walking alongside people in need as they face the challenges life has thrown at them. Helping them open new doors and create opportunities that will lead to a better life. Being the light of Christ at times when people need it most. If that’s you, consider a degree in social work at Dordt University—and find out how you can make a real difference in people’s lives.

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Program Overview

In Dordt’s social work program, you’ll learn about the needs of diverse communities, become more aware of social justice, and develop skills in assessment, intervention, and evaluation. You’ll apply social work knowledge and skills in real-life settings by visiting agencies, exploring local communities, helping social service organizations, conducting research, and volunteering.

Our program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which means you’ll earn a bachelor of social work (B.S.W.) degree. Students from accredited B.S.W. programs have an advantage over students from non-accredited programs in the job market, and they often are able to complete a master’s degree in an accelerated program within one year.

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What can I do with a major in social work from Dordt University?

Social work graduates have many career opportunities after graduation. With a social work degree, you will be prepared to work as a social worker in fields such as child protection, mental health, domestic abuse, adoption, and more. Graduates have gone on to become substance abuse counselors, court officers, mental health program evaluators, and more. You will also have a chance to work in medical settings as a patient advocate or hospice social worker. Social work graduates can also pursue a master of social work degree. Dordt offers an accelerated social work program, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years and finalize the master’s degree in the fourth year. Whatever career path you choose, you’ll learn to apply ethical principles to your professional practice, advance human rights and social and economic justice, and integrate your Christian faith into your daily work.

The career outcome rate for our social work graduates in 2021 was 100%.

Social Worker

A Social Worker is trained to assist vulnerable people and better their life conditions and environment around them.

Therapist

Therapists provide assistance to their clients by helping them develop the necessary skills needed to work through their mental health struggles.

Guidance Counselor

A Guidance Counselor provides clients with support and advice in order to help them overcome obstacles and problems they are dealing with.

Social Work Major

Dordt’s social work program will teach you to love others as Christ loved and served us, walking alongside some of the most vulnerable members of our society while being the light of Christ at times when people need it most.

The Dordt University social work program aims to equip students for professional practice and for lives of service in the contexts to which they are called.

In Dordt’s social work program, you’ll learn about the needs of diverse communities, become more aware of social justice, and develop skills in assessment, intervention, and evaluation. You’ll apply social work knowledge and skills in real-life settings by:

  • Visiting agencies

  • Exploring local communities

  • Helping social service organizations

  • Conducting research

  • And volunteering

Our program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which means you’ll earn a bachelor of social work (B.S.W.) degree. Students from accredited B.S.W. programs have an advantage over students from non-accredited programs in the job market, and they often are able to complete a master’s degree in an accelerated program within one year.

To learn more, you can also view the program strengths and learning outcomes for this program.

Studying social work at Dordt could lead to a career as a substance abuse counselor, family or juvenile court officer, adoption worker, mental health program evaluator, and many other tracks. Whatever career path you choose, you’ll learn to apply ethical principles to your professional practice, advance human rights and social and economic justice, and integrate your Christian faith into your daily work.

Our program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which means that you will earn a bachelor of social work (B.S.W.) degree.

Students from accredited B.S.W. programs have an advantage over students from non-accredited programs in the job market, and they often are able to complete a master’s degree in an accelerated program within one year.

A degree in social work will require students to complete 14 courses from the social work major as well as taking these courses in as a part of their Core Program:

  • Social work majors must take CORE 212 as part of the natural science requirement.
  • Statistics 131 (Elementary Statistics) meets the quantitative reasoning requirement.
  • Spanish is the recommended foreign language.

Application for admission to the program is required and should be filed during the spring semester of the sophomore year prior to spring break. Forms may be obtained from the chairperson of the Social Work Program Committee. The Social Work Program Committee reviews completed application forms, and admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.20; completion of at least 39 credits; completion of or current enrollment in CORE 120 or English 100, CORE 110, 140, 150, 160, 180, 200, 212, Economics 202 or Political Science 201, Psychology 201, Sociology 201, Statistics 131, Social Work 200, 215, 216, and 225.
  • A written statement of personal interest that indicates an ability to communicate effectively and a commitment to social work as a vocation.
  • A letter of reference indicating acceptable physical and psychological health.
  • Enrollment in practice courses is limited to students who have been admitted to the program.

Upon review of the application, the committee will take one of the following actions:

  • Accepted–meets all criteria
  • Accepted conditionally–some criteria require further attention.
  • Denied–some or all criteria inadequate. The student will receive written notice of status.

As a part of the coursework for the social work degree, students will perform an internship and gain field work experience.

  • Introduction to Social Work: A survey of the major fields of social work practice and of the problems with which they deal. It will include agency field visits. Overarching this survey will be a concern for the Christian’s individual and collective responsibility for the health and welfare of his neighbor and community.
  • Diversity and Inequality: Students examine the historical and contemporary factors related to diversity and inequality in North America and increase their appreciation for the contributions of diverse groups in culturally-pluralistic societies. The course assumes that human diversity is created good and explores how to discern that goodness after the Fall. Students assess their own biases in light of course material and increase their sensitivity to diversity.
  • Family System and Practice: This course examines the family system from sociological and practice-oriented viewpoints. Students will evaluate contemporary and traditional views of the family within a Christian perspective. Students will also be introduced to historical and contemporary child and family welfare practice and policy.
  • Methods of Social Science Research: An introduction to the research process as applied to the study of problems/issues in social science. Problem selection, research design, measurement, methods of observation and data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and report writing will be emphasized. A module on microcomputer utilization and the application of descriptive statistics is presented for application in student projects.
  • Human Behavior in Social Environment I: Through multidisciplinary, theoretical, and conceptual frameworks of human behavior in the social environment, students will explore bio-psycho-social-spiritual factors in human development from prenatal experience through adolescence. Students will develop assessment and intervention skills that focus on the interrelationship between uniquely created people and individual, family, small groups, and society. Students and instructor will address issues of ethnicity, race, diversity, cultural background, gender, sexuality, social class, and age as pertinent to the understanding of human behavior.
  • Fundamentals of Social Work Practice: The focus is on acquiring the foundation interpersonal and problem-solving skills for social work practice. Development of self-awareness and self-knowledge related to growth in skills and a beginning identity as a social work professional will also be emphasized. The course is organized around experiential learning models.
  • Practice Methods I: Social Work with Groups: An overview of general systems theory as a basis for developing an integrated social work practice model. Special emphasis will be given to the development of problem-solving skills related to groups found within social work practice with a variety of intervention strategies presented.
  • Human Behavior in Social Environment II: Through multidisciplinary, theoretical, and conceptual frameworks of human behavior in the social environment, students will explore bio-psycho-social-spiritual factors in human development from young adulthood through end of life. Students will develop assessment and intervention skills that focus on the interrelationship between uniquely created people and individual, family, small groups, and society. Students and instructor will address issues of ethnicity, race, diversity, cultural background, gender, sexuality, social class, and age as pertinent to the understanding of human behavior.
  • Integrative Seminar in Social Work: An opportunity for students to reflect on and integrate the academic and field work experience with a special emphasis on ethical and value dilemmas confronted by the student in the field.

See the course catalog for more information.

Accelerated Master Of Social Work Program

Dordt's new accelerated Master of Social Work program is now available.

In this program, you'll receive your bachelor's in social work in 3 years, and finalize your master's degree in the fourth year.

Learn More

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