The Social Welfare major is dedicated to preparing competent, ethical, and culturally sensitive social workers with specialized knowledge and skills who are committed to evidence-based practice and to planned social change.
A deep commitment to equity and cultural diversity is brought to the development of the Social Welfare program. The program's mission gives special attention to the poor and underserved populations, and fosters an appreciation for differences based on gender, ethnicity, race, religious creed, sexual orientation, class and physical and developmental disabilities. The BASW program is designed for students in the South Puget Sound region who are committed to providing more effective social services to populations experiencing social and economic difficulties.
Students complete the required BASW core curriculum in sequence over a two-year period. The BASW curriculum consists of a 58-credit program comprised of three major areas: foundation courses, social work practice courses and practicum (field education) combined with practicum seminars. In addition to these three areas, students are required to complete 10 credits of upper-division Social Welfare electives. Practicum (field education) is a yearlong internship experience where students have the opportunity to apply classroom learning to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and policy makers. This happens during senior year in a "real world" setting at a local service organization under the supervision of an experienced social worker. Through practicum, students build skills and experience to be successful in the field as professional social workers. General electives may also be required depending upon the number of college level credits applied toward the degree.
Graduates with a degree in Social Welfare are prepared to accept professional social work positions in a variety of settings. Typical positions for social welfare graduates are those that serve children, families, older persons, individuals with developmental disabilities, persons with severe and persistent mental illness, individuals who abuse alcohol and drugs, and those who are in the criminal justice system, health and long-term care agencies, and public social services. In providing these services in agencies and organizations, graduates are engaged in a wide range of roles, including caseworkers, family advocates and social services employees at community agencies, mental health centers and chemical dependency settings, to identify just a few.