Location: Howley Hall 119
Marian Mattison, D.S.W., Chairperson
Margaret W. Roderick, M.S.W.
Susan Griffith Grossman, D.S.W.
Michael L. Hayes, Ph.D.
Katherine M. Kranz, Ph.D.
The social work major is a social work professional practice preparation program for those interested in working with people—counseling children in early childhood programs and schools; supporting families coping with critical medical diagnoses; developing resources and programs for at-risk youth; strengthening families through parenting education; readying children for adoption and supporting adoptive families; coordinating services for fragile elders; advocating for the best interest of children in family court; leadership—ascertaining and articulating the needs of special populations such as children, older adults, refugees; developing programs to address problems such as child abuse, poverty, youth violence, and homelessness; and social and economic justice—advocating for affordable healthcare at the state legislature; bringing together individuals and organizations to develop strategies to address the problem of affordable housing.
The social work major at Providence College is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Students follow a prescribed program which combines classroom learning and 600 hours of professionally supervised internships in community health and human services organizations, preparing students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to move immediately following graduation into professional social work positions in child protective agencies, treatment programs for children and youth, hospitals and health settings, child and family services organizations, educational settings, youth development programs, nursing home and rehabilitation facilities, the courts, and advocacy organizations.
Practicum experiences are an integral part of the social work curriculum with academic credit granted for both classroom studies and internship affiliations.
In the social work program, course work focuses on human behavior across the life span and in social systems; social problems and the significance of the forces that affect important social policies and policy development; the appreciation of diversity and work with diverse populations; theories, methods, and skills for working with individuals, families, groups, and communities; professional values and ethics; and research theory and methodology for use in evaluating practice, policies, and programs. Elective courses address children and youth at risk, HIV-AIDS, substance abuse, and domestic violence.
During students’ junior and senior years, internships run concurrently with professional course work, involving students with the actual practice of social work in schools, hospitals, child protective services, victim assistance programs, community-based services for the elderly, family court, community mental health agencies, family support and stabilization programs, home-based service programs for children with developmental disabilities and their families, adoption agencies, violence prevention programs, social policy research and advocacy organizations, and community development agencies. Emphasis is placed on acquiring experience and beginning professional competencies with individual, group, and family counseling, case management and service coordination, resource development, community organizing, individual and political advocacy, program and practice evaluation, and influencing social policy.
Students majoring in social work also enjoy opportunities to work collaboratively with departmental faculty members on research and to present the results of this research at professional conferences nationally.
The decision to major in social work is a serious one, guided by the student’s social work faculty advisor as the student progresses through the major. It is through this relationship that students gain a more personalized understanding of social work and can begin to envision and fashion their career path as professional social workers.
To ensure professional standards, the baccalaureate program in social work at Providence College meets rigorous academic criteria to maintain accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the duly authorized accrediting body for baccalaureate and master-level programs in social work. Graduation from an accredited program is one of the qualifying credentials for a professional social work position. Furthermore, the accredited status of the program enables students to establish their eligibility for advanced standing in graduate social work programs, making it possible for students to complete their M.S.W. in approximately one year.
For detailed information about the social work major, internships, faculty, alumni careers, and social work career opportunities link to the social work Web pages at www.providence.edu/social+work.