About the Social Work Bachelor’s Program
The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) uses a generalist model to prepare entry-level social work professionals for work in a wide variety of field settings and with diverse populations. The degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and graduates are eligible to sit for a national exam with the Association of Social Work Boards, one requirement for licensing in Texas and most other states. In addition, graduates are often eligible for advanced standing admission in a Master’s of Social Work degree program. Refer to the BASW Student Handbook for additional information about the degree program and the social work profession in general.
In order to change degree plans to major in social work at any point following initial enrollment at TTU, students must have completed at least 12 institutional credit hours and have an overall GPA no lower than 2.0. Majors are expected to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or greater in major coursework throughout the degree program.
Social work majors must meet with an academic adviser each long semester to plan the course of study and monitor completion of all degree requirements. For information about the social work profession, fields of practice, or graduate study, students should consult with the Program Director or another social work faculty member.
Social Work Major. All students in the college complete the core curriculum of the university, the general degree requirements for the college, as well as an 18-hour minor. In addition to these credits, social work majors complete the following course of study:
- Human Biology (before or with SW 3312) – Choose BIOL 1402 or ANTH 2300/ANTH 2100 or a combination of both BIOL 1403 and BIOL 1404 or a combination of both ZOOL 2403 and ZOOL 2404.
- Statistics or research methods (before SW 3339) – Choose SOC 3391, MATH 2300, or PSY 2400. Of these courses, only MATH 2300 and PSY 2400 also provide mathematics credit in the General Degree Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.
- 27 credit hours in lecture-based social work classes,
- 3 credit hours selected from the list of approved electives,
- and 9 capstone credit hours in social work, corresponding to a 400 clock-hour field placement in an approved social service agency and its accompanying seminar class.
Admission to the Practice Course Sequence (PCS). Before taking any of the practice courses restricted to majors-only (SW 3332, SW 3333, SW 4340, and SW 4611), students must have been approved for admission to the practice course sequence. By this point in their education, students should have a good sense of what social work is all about and how they fit with the profession. Based on students’ application materials, a determination is made about whether they appear compatible with the profession and have been adequately prepared by the foundation curriculum. PCS applications are due mid-semester before students hope to begin the sequence. Refer to the BASW Student Handbook for additional details about the PCS application process; application forms and instructions are available on the program website.
Professionalism. Students seeking a degree in social work are expected to demonstrate levels of professionalism commensurate with their exposure to professional standards. These expectations include compatibility with social work values and ethics, a high level of engagement during academic activities, satisfactory academic progress (a social work GPA of 2.5 should be maintained throughout the program), and sufficient emotional and cognitive competence for successful professional practice. Concerns about students’ professional behavior or academic progress are handled through the program’s Student Concern and Professional Review Committee (SCPRC), and failure to meet expectations may delay or prevent student’s progression towards degree completion. Refer to the BASW Student Handbook for additional details about the SCPRC.
Social Work Field Placement.
In their final semester of the social work curriculum, students complete a 400-hour, closely supervised individual field practice experience in a social agency selected and certified by the social work program. This capstone experience (SW 4611) along with its accompanying seminar course (SW 4340), allows students to demonstrate their abilities to assess client systems and to apply generalist skills with populations-at-risk across micro, mezzo, and macro level systems. Students should keep in mind that they will spend 32 hours per week at the agency between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays only during the semester. Therefore, they are strongly discouraged from planning to work (for pay) more than 10 hours per week or enrolling in coursework beyond 12 hours total that semester.
The long semester prior to planned placement, a field placement application must be completed by the student and a placement site arranged by the Director of Field Education. All social work students are required to pay for and carry professional liability insurance during the field placement semester, and some field sites have special requirements, such as background checks or medical testing, for which students may also be expected to pay. Students should refer to the BASW Field Instruction Handbook for deadlines and additional details about field education.
Criminal Backgrounds. Students seeking a degree in social work should be aware that conviction histories will be taken into account during the application process for professional state licensure. Pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Occupations Code and 22 TAC 882.41, the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council “can provide an individual with a preliminary evaluation of his or her criminal background to determine if the individual’s background would prevent him or her from obtaining licensure.” Students with conviction histories are therefore encouraged to complete the Application for Criminal History Evaluation early in their degree program or as soon as possible after receiving a conviction in court.
Transfer Students and Transfer Credit. While the program typically accepts up to 9 hours of transfer credit for social work coursework from other CSWE-accredited programs, practice sequence courses must be taken at the institution.
No Credit for Life Experience. The social work program does not give credit for work or other life experiences.
Communication Literacy Requirement. Communication Literacy courses for the B.A. in Social Work include SW 3332, SW 3333, and SW 4340.
For additional information about the B.A. in Social Work, contact the BASW Program Director, Laura Lowe, Ph.D., LCSW, at firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to the program website (www.depts.ttu.edu/socialwork).