Department of Social Work
The mission of the Department of Social Work is to prepare culturally competent generalist and advanced generalist level social work practitioners who are guided by professional values, ethics, and evidence-based practice towards a purpose to enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. They provide service and leadership by implementing prevention and intervention services to diverse client systems and they advocate for social and economic justice in practice, policy, and research in a global society.
The Department of Social Work provides the profession with social workers who fully comprehend and have internalized social work’s core values, including, but not limited to, service, social justice, dignity, and ethics, and who are capable of employing the latest evidence-based research findings to intervene with and on behalf of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. The Department prepares competent practitioners who have the knowledge, skills, and values to assume leadership roles on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. These leaders develop and improve services to clients and advocate for policies and programs that enhance the quality of life for all people, locally, nationally and globally.
The DEPARTMENT UNDERPINNINGS
The Department of Social Work has adopted five constructs that underpin and support its mission and purpose and powerfully inform the department’s explicit and implicit curricula. These perspectives, itemized below, are also included on the Department’s website and in the MSW Student Handbook and Field Manual.
- A Black Perspective for Social Work Practice – “A prototype for understanding the unique experiences and world views associated with being of African genetic origin in the United States that can be used in practice with other oppressed clients.”
- Strengths Perspective – “Internal or external features and assets that, if identified, mobilized or enhanced, may be used by a client system to achieve positive change.”
- Empowerment Perspective – “The process the social worker applies in order to help individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities obtain power so that they gain greater control over their well-being presently and in the future.”
- Rural Perspective – “The understanding that people who are nurtured and live in rural communities have unique folkways and mores that shape some of their expectations and behaviors differently than people from other milieus.”
- Global Perspective – “An approach to helping that embraces the commonalities and differences that exist personally, communally, culturally and religiously that all citizens in the world share regardless of their place of birth or citizenship.”
The program provides an academically challenging, socially relevant curriculum designed to equip students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for careers in social work. Graduates of the Bachelor’s program will be qualified for entry-level positions in service areas such as addictions, child welfare, mental health, and gerontology, and in a variety of settings, including, schools, hospitals, non-profit agencies, and juvenile detention centers. Graduate program alumni are prepared for advanced positions in agencies, schools and NGOs locally, nationally and globally.
The hands-on curriculum allows students to gain practical experience through internships and service-learning opportunities. These are valuable resume builders for future employment. Students will have the opportunity to start networking immediately by joining the Student Social Work Club, the National Association of Social Workers as well as the Phi Alpha, if eligible.
Other Social Work Organizations that may be of interest:
NASW also provides links to other social work organizations that may be of interest. These include Christian Social Workers, Group Work Social Workers and School Social Workers.
Social Work Licensure
In order to practice in most states social workers need to be licensed. Every state is different, some have multiple levels of licensure and applications, fees, and exams are required. The most current information is always on the state web site of the state that you wish to practice in. You are eligible to be licensed in more than one state if you choose. The examinations are developed by and processed nationally by the Association of Social Work Boards https://www.aswb.org/ but the person who wants to be licensed contacts the state in which they want to be licensed. Additional information on professional licensure in Delaware can be obtained at the through https://naswde.org/MTL the https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/socialworkers/ Commercial site listing all state information, no guarantee on currency of the site. http://www.socialworklicensure.org/
The social work major is a strong foundation for professional careers in various organizations including Child Welfare, Corrections, Health Care, Policy and Planning, Private Non-Profits, and non-governmental agencies (NGOs). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics the profession is growing faster than most and the U.S. Government has loan forgiveness programs to help social workers with some of their student loans.
Does Delaware State University have a BSW program?
Yes, we have a Council of Social Work (CSWE) accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) in two locations. Our first location is the main campus in Dover, Delaware, at 1200, North DuPont Highway. Our second location is in Sussex County in the city of Georgetown at the Delaware Tech Community College campus. People who finish the Delaware Tech Community College program and are part of the connected degree from human services major can complete their BSW by never leaving the Delaware Tech campus in Sussex County, but taking classes through Delaware State University (“DSU”) at the community college in Georgetown. .The Connected Degree with Delaware Technical Community College is also offered in New Castle and Kent Counties, but students come to the Delaware State University campus in Dover to complete the degree. Note: Although we do offer an MSW online, we DO NOT offer a BSW online at this time.
Does DSU you have an MSW program?
Yes, we have a CSWE accredited MSW program. Our MSW program is 60 credits for regular admits, and 30 credits for advanced standing students. A regular admit has a bachelor’s degree in any major but social work and completes 60 credits over four semesters full-time or six to eight semesters part-time. It is crucial to note that we’re saying semesters not years, because we are a 12-month continual program. So, if you started in the fall, and you were in the 60 credit masters, you would take 15 credits in the fall, 15 credits in the spring, 15 credits in the summer, and 15 credits in the fall and graduate the following December. Therefore, it takes approximately a year and a half.
The difference between our MSW program online and on-campus is important to note. Our online program is entirely online, always asynchronous, meaning that you do not have to be online at a specific time to listen to an online teacher. However, individual teachers may offer times to log on and talk, have a conversation or provide a lecture to you. The teacher and the students arrange those times between themselves, recognizing that the program is primarily asynchronous. DSU offers the online classes in eight-week blocks. You take two courses in the first eight weeks and two courses in the next eight weeks of a given semester. Field runs for the full 16 week semester for another three credits offering you 15 credits within each semester. Part-time students take a revised schedule that includes 2-4 classes per semester.
On-campus, our classes run the full 16 weeks and are also 15-credits per semester if you are full-time. We offer these courses in hybrid mode. Each class meets for half the course time, which is one hour and 15 minutes weekly. And, the other hour and 15 minutes of work are filled in an online environment, made up of work provided by the teacher, such as discussion questions, videos to watch, group projects to complete or readings to complete. Our program will continue face to face over the summer and you should anticipate that you are going to be in classes year-round to complete your degree. You cannot take some classes face-to-face and some from the exclusively online program because of the difference between 8 week and 16-week sessions.
Does DSU offer advanced standing?
Yes, we have advanced standing in our master’s program if you have graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a CSWE accredited social work program. We will accept those foundation credits and give you one year or 30 credits towards your degree, leaving you only 30 credits left. The internship will consist of 500 hours, or those in the advanced year of the program. Advanced standing is offered at the same locations as above, including exclusively online.
What are the locations for the MSW program?
Our MSW program has two face-to-face locations in Wilmington, Delaware at 3931 Kirkwood Highway and in Dover, Delaware, 1200 North DuPont Highway. As noted above, we also have a fully online MSW program.
What are the tuition rates?
Delaware State University and the Board of Trustees establish and approve tuition and fees, and the State of Delaware ratifies those rates. Our tuition has remained stable and is as low as possible so people, especially first-generation college students, can complete a degree and be able to gain employment.
What financial aid is available?
Financial aid is available through usual means, by applying for FAFSA, through the federal government. You will apply for that online. Those calculations come back to Delaware State, and they offer you a financial aid package based upon that data. At the undergraduate level, that could be work-study, it could be grants, it could be scholarships.
At the master’s level, students should expect to depend primarily on student loans or self-payment as scholarships are very rare . There are not many scholarships available across the country at the graduate level, but you are encouraged to look by starting at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Council of Social Workers (CSWE) Minority Fellows program. You can also apply for graduate assistantships at the master’s level across the campus. Some of that work consists of helping faculty with research, systems’ work in specific offices in terms of fundraising or student services. And, those opportunities are offered on an individual basis applied at every university department individually.
What is the application process?
For the BSW program, you can apply to DSU as a senior in high school, after completing community college and/or when coming back to college later in life. You apply as a regular admission and can declare social work as a major later. When you are getting ready to enter your junior level or 300-level courses in the Delaware State University Social Work Program, you then apply to the program officially. The application to the major is located on the BSW webpage. That application requires an interview, an essay, and a list of courses you have taken. In order to graduate with a BSW, you have to complete all social work classes with a minimum of a “C”, as well as successfully completed all general education courses and 122 credits.
The MSW application process is similar. The application is completed entirely online through the Graduate, Adult and Extended Studies program, and not through the Department of Social Work. You send all your transcripts, including any community college you attended while you were in college and the Advanced Placement courses, advanced placement courses. You will also need three letters of reference from college professors or professionals; not friends or family members. Finally, you will also need to complete a short essay, and fill out the application itself. Once all that information is complete with us, then the graduate admissions sends that application to the Department of Social Work. The Department of Social Work reviews the completed application package, sends back information to graduate studies who then contacts you and lets you know the result. We try to make that process go as fast as possible, but we do have deadlines that you need to follow. The priority deadlines are March 15 for the fall semester, and the other one being October 15 for the spring semester.
Do I need to take the GRE for the Graduate Program?
No you do not need to take the GRE for the MSW.
I want to be a therapist or counselor. Do you have a clinical concentration?
We offer you what is called a generalist social work degree, (advanced generalist for the MSW program) meaning your training is broad and varied. We teach you skills so that you can work with children, , senior citizens, , people who are dying, research or community organizing. Our program provides the licensing requirements to work clinically with people who have mental health issues, as well as those in poverty or homeless.. Therefore, all of the skills are transferable to work with any of them. DSU also offers specialties and certificates, such as drug and alcohol licensing, and trauma certifications.
Are there internships required?
Yes. All social work programs have required internships. At the bachelor’s level, the internship is during senior year for 400 hours. Those 400 hours are completed in approximately 14-hour blocks per week, starting at the end of August when the fall semester begins and ending at the beginning of May when the spring semester ends. This is one internship at one agency for the entire academic year. The benefit of that is that the agency knows what you are capable of doing and can give you your own social work caseload, projects, groups to facilitate for the second semester, along with appropriate goals and/or targets to meet along the way. We do not encourage nor desire you to have two separate internships during your senior year. However, if you would like more varied experiences, or multiple experiences to boost your resume we encourage you to volunteer at agencies of interest on your own time but it will not count towards your field internship hours.
For the MSW program, there are two internships. For regular admit students your first internship is 400 hours like the BSW, and it’s completed over the same two-semester block roughly 14 hours a week. Your second internship over the next two-semester block is 500 hours or approximately 18 hours per week. If you have a full-time job in addition to a full-time course load, , you should anticipate that you have to find an internship that’s going to offer placement 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you are able to do evening and weekend hours. Your employment schedule may limit your choice of an organization or your type of population. For example, if you really want to be a school social worker, but you have a job during the middle of the day, it is unlikely that you will have an internship with a school.
Vice versa, if you want to be a school social worker and you are taking your field practicum during the summer, you will likely not have a school placement opportunity. . So, when planning your internships, we have to look at consecutive terms along with the type of placement you want, the population you want to serve , the kind of organization with which you want to work , as well as taking into consideration your willingness to commute and your availability during the day.
What are the salary expectations?
You can expect that your starting salary will be similar to that of other helping professions: teachers, (unlicensed) mental health practitioners, counselors, speech pathologists.
What are the career opportunities in the social work profession?
Answer: Career opportunities are boundless with both a BSW and an MSW. You can work in schools, businesses, hospitals, drug and alcohol rehabs, physical rehabs, health care hospitals, even companies in human resources with either your bachelor’s or your master’s degree. The MSW, generally offers greater responsibility dealing with more complex issues and greater avenues for advancement.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics for United States government states that we are a growing profession, and we are in growth mode well into the decade with the expectation that specific populations are going to grow more such as drug and alcohol rehabs, and gerontology(the study of and work with senior citizens). If those are areas of interest now, great, if they are not, keep an open mind because they might be later.
Is Delaware State University accredited?
Yes. Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accredits Delaware State University. We are currently working on our next accreditation cycle, but currently are accredited through 2022. The social work program is also accredited through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). At this time both our BSW and our MSW programs are approved through June of 2020, are we expecting a site visit in February of 2020, that will approve another full eight-year cycle. This is particularly important because as a social worker you are only licensable in your state if CSWE accredits the program from which you earned your degree.
What is the licensing process?
The licensing process is different for every state. . In order to obtain information that is more relevant to you, It would be best if you looked at your state licensing board requirements. And that licensing board will give you the information, including what the fee is, what the financial requirements are, and which national exam is required. ASWB, the Association of Social Work Boards offers the national exams.
Does Delaware State University accept transfer credits?
Yes. We accept credits very liberally at the bachelor’s level, but we do require that you take your practice and your field classes with us, and you must get a C or better in all social courses in order for them to to be available towards graduation. And we also accept transfer credits at the master’s level. We do that through advanced standing program, and on a case by case basis for people who are transferring in from another degree at another school or from other majors at Delaware State.
Is there a professional licensure?
Yes, every State in America has some sort of licensing process and all of them are slightly different. You can be licensed in numerous states if you wish. Look for Board of Social Work Licensing or Social Work Licensure in each specific state that you want to be licensed for further detail. In order to be licensed you have to have attended a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited College or University and graduated with a social work degree. Delaware State University is an accredited school.
Is there a professional organization?
Yes social work has a professional organization called the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The main office is in Washington DC and you can join at a discounted rate as a student and participate actively in the organization.
Any other questions? Please feel free to e-mail us at SocialWorkInfo [at] desu.edu