Bachelor of Social Work

The mission of the Social Work Program is to prepare students for beginning professional generalist social work practice in a wide range of settings, and with diverse population through education, research, and service with special appreciation for the peoples and institutions of West Virginia, Appalachia, and other rural areas. The program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1974. The accreditation applies to beginning level generalist social work practice. Upon completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work degree, the National Association of Social Workers will accept graduates as regular members of the Association. Additionally, graduates will be allowed to sit for the Social Work Licensure Exam.

Graduates of the four-year program will be prepared for:

  • Beginning level professional generalist social work practice;
  • Graduate social work education.

A basic arts and sciences education is essential to professional social work education. There is no foreign language requirement. All courses require letter grades except SOWK 4601/SOWK 4602, Field Instruction, which is a pass-fail evaluation due to the nature of field experience. There are no provisions for awarding academic credit for life experience, or previous work experience, in lieu of the field placement requirement or to fulfill any of the foundation course requirements.

Beginning with the introductory class, there are opportunities for field experience in many of the required social work courses.

Educational Requirements for State Licensure Report

Students are eligible to apply for admission after they have completed the required 18 credit hours of designated courses at Concord (see list below). Application into the Social Work program must be submitted prior to enrolling in Social Work Research Methods, SOWK 370.

Admissions and Retention Committee meetings are held several times throughout each semester. The Admissions Application is to be completed and submitted to the Social Work Department office, room 107 Marsh Hall or you may email your completed application to Ms. Vanessa Howell. Students will be notified of a time and date for their interview with the Admissions and Retention Committee, which consists of all full-time social work faculty. It is necessary that students attend their scheduled interview session once registered to do so. Failure to comply may result in the delay of admission to the Social Work program.

Prerequisite Required Courses

  • English 101
  • English 102
  • Psychology 101
  • Sociology 101
  • Social Work 161
  • Social Work 229

BSW Application Requirements

  • Complete and submit BSW Application
  • Completed the following classes and have 2.0 in the courses listed below, with a 2.5 GPA required in the two SOWK classes. (no grade less than “C” can be accepted for SOWK 161 and 229)
    • English 101
    • English 102
    • Psychology 101
    • Sociology 101
    • SOWK 161
    • SOWK 229
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • One Academic (other than social work faculty)
  • Two Professional (Exclude letters from Friends, relatives, and classmates)
  • Biographical Reflection – Describe your basic belief system, career goals, and what contributed to your decision to pursue a study in social work.

If you are interested in Applying to the Bachelor of Social Work program, please apply online or download and complete the PDF application.

BSW students who plan to pursue their graduate degree in social work, Master of Social Work (MSW), may apply for the Five (5) year Social Work Program. Within the 5-year plan, students apply for admission to the MSW program when they are seniors in the BSW program (typically when they are registering for SOWK 4601). Thus, positioning the student for completion of both the BSW and MSW in five years. Students must submit two Letters of reference from BSW Faculty for admission to the 5-year program. The graduate application fee is waived for students in the 5-year program. GPA and ethical standards must be maintained throughout the first four years of the BSW program for admission to the MSW program under the 5-year plan.

5-Year Social Work Program Requirements

  • Prior acceptance to the BSW program
  • Two letters of recommendation from BSW Faculty (recommendation link is sent to references by the Operations Coordinator in the Social Work Department)
  • Please provide us with a personal statement addressing the areas identified below. Preparation of this material will help you reflect and better define your professional social work education plans. It will also allow us to know something about you and help us assess your potential and readiness for graduate education and the social work profession. Be mindful of your grammar, spelling, and syntax.
    • The personal statement should be double-spaced and typed, 4-6 pages long, include your name on each page, and number your answers (e.g., 1., 2., etc.). Your personal statement should address the following:
      1. What key life experiences have led you to select social work as a profession? In what ways do you think your experiences have prepared you for this profession?
      2. Describe briefly some major social issues and problems you are particularly concerned about within your community and country. Include your perception of the role of social workers in dealing with these issues and problems.
      3. What, if any, are your long-range professional goals? What work do you see yourself doing and where do you see yourself practicing after graduation? (What community? What agency/service? What population? What issues?)
      4. Have you worked or volunteered in a human service agency? How would you describe that experience? If you have no work experience in human services, describe your interest and participation in community or college activities that illustrate how you have been personally involved with people. Specify your duties and responsibilities.
      5. Why is the Concord University MSW online program of particular interest to you?
      6. A fully online graduate program can create unique challenges and opportunities for students. Describe the prior experience you have with online learning. Additionally, briefly describe your academic success strategies, including personal time management, interactions with faculty and other students, and faculty advisement.

Students following the 5-year plan can be admitted directly to the MSW program.

The Social Work profession focuses on issues of equality, social and economic justice while working to strengthen individuals, families, and communities. Here at Concord University, you will develop the knowledge and learn the skills to work in a variety of settings.

Our professional social work education includes courses on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, and field practicum. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and upon graduation, students are qualified to become licensed social work practitioners.

Concord’s Social Work program offers a specialized degree that prepares its graduates for immediate entry into professional social work positions or graduate school. Graduates of our program are well prepared to enter the field. In fact:

  • Graduates are either employed in the social work field (most either during or after completion of their internship) or accepted to graduate school.
  • Public Service Scholarships are available, and upon graduation provide direct access to jobs with the state-wide Department of Health and Human Resources.
  • Students may be eligible for assistantships to work with faculty on research projects.
  • Continuous and ongoing contact with community agencies and organizations.
  • BSW’s are given special consideration for civil service ranking.
  • Graduates are allowed to take the Social Work Licensure Exam.
  • Fully Accredited since 1974 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Graduates of the social work program are trained as generalist practitioners through a wide range of courses enabling them to work effectively with a variety of issues and people.

Core Courses Include:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Group Dynamics and Interviewing Skills
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Social Policy and Services
  • Human Diversity
  • Social Work Research Methods
  • Field Instruction Internship

Elective Courses Include:

  • Health and Human Resources Administration
  • Working with Children and Adolescents
  • Gerontology and the Field of Aging
  • Health Care
  • Corrections
  • International Social Work Addictions
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Social workers are highly sought after in a wide variety of occupations. Generalist social work practitioners can work in a variety of fields and settings dealing with human behavior. Below are just a few of the many career choices that are possible with a degree in social work.

  • Abuse Centers
  • Adoption and Foster Care
  • Adult and Child Protective Services
  • Advocacy Organizations
  • Civil Rights and Social Justice Services
  • City and County Departments of Social Services
  • Community Action Agencies
  • Community Planning and Development
  • Corporate & Industrial Settings
  • Correctional Institutions
  • Counseling
  • Department of Health and Human Resources
  • Developmental Disabilities (Children & Adults)
  • Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Programs
  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Employment Counseling
  • Family Social Services
  • Hospice Programs
  • Hospitals (Medical & Psychiatric)
  • Human Relations Work
  • Juvenile and Adult Probation
  • Juvenile Services
  • Nursing Homes
  • Public Assistance Programs
  • Public Housing Authority
  • Public Schools
  • Rehabilitation and Vocational Services
  • Substance Abuse
  • Veteran’s Affairs

CSWO Fall 2020 Officers

Madyson KennedySecretary
Destiny CleminsSGA Representative
Madyson Kennedy
Vice President
​Madison BergTreasurer
​Shara MorrisHistorian
Sarah Smith

Once you are admitted into the Social Work program, you are invited to become a member of the Concord University Social Work Organization (CSWO). CSWO combines fun and fellowship with service and governance. CSWO is a service based organization that strives to ‘be the change’ and seeks members who have a passion to help our community, our college, and our nation.

This student organization was formed in 1975 and has been officially recognized as a Campus organization since 1976. The primary purpose of the organization is to give the students an opportunity to organize on their behalf.

There are many opportunities to become involved in the CSWO. Leadership positions and committee memberships are always encouraged. Some ways the students in this organization participate include:

  • Serving on the Curriculum Committee, which acts in an advisory capacity in the Social Work Department
  • Participating in service projects and fundraisers
  • Attending conferences together
  • Playing a role in governance of the campus community by working with the Student Government Organization

For meeting dates and times, visit the CSWO Facebook page.

Adviser: Dr. Joan Pendergast
304-384-5289 | Email

Concord Social Work Organization By-Laws (PDF)
Concord Social Work Organization Core Competencies (PDF)

Each year the Outstanding Social Work Graduate of the Year is awarded to the graduating Social Work student achieving the highest standard of academic excellence. The Outstanding Social Work Graduate of the Year not only has the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) of all graduates, but also exhibits superiority in the areas of service to others, community involvement and leadership.