Location: Howley Hall 119
Marian Mattison, D.S.W.
Susan Grossman, D.S.W.
Michael L. Hayes, Ph.D., Chairperson
Katherine M. Kranz, Ph.D.
Director of Field Education
Kendra Marasco, M.S.W.
The social work major is a professional practice preparation program for those interested in working with people—counseling children in schools; supporting families coping with critical medical diagnoses; developing programs for at-risk youth; strengthening families through parenting education; readying children for adoption; coordinating services for fragile elders; advocating for the best interest of children in family court; mobilizing disaster relief resources; leadership—ascertaining and articulating the needs of special populations such as children in state care, older adults, victims of human trafficking; developing programs to address problems such as domestic violence, bullying, and HIV/AIDS; and social and economic justice—advocating for affordable healthcare at the state and national level; bringing together individuals and organizations to develop strategies to address the problem of homelessness, and advancing human rights of women in developing countries.
Students follow a prescribed program of studies that combines classroom learning and approximately 600 hours of professionally supervised practicums in community health and human services organizations, preparing students with the knowledge, competencies, experience, and confidence needed to move immediately following graduation into social work positions in child welfare agencies, mental health settings, child and family services organizations, youth development programs, adoption agencies, Early Intervention programs, nursing home and rehabilitation facilities, family court programs, advocacy organizations, Head Start and Early Start programs, and international human service organizations.
Practicum experiences are an integral part of the social work curriculum with academic credit granted for both classroom studies and internship affiliations.
The social work program at Providence College is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the duly authorized national accrediting body for baccalaureate and master-level programs in social work. Graduation from an accredited program is one of the qualifying credentials for baccalaureate level social work licensure. Further, the accredited status of the program enables students to establish their eligibility for advanced standing in graduate social work programs, making it possible for them to complete their MSW in approximately one year.
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 global social issues, at-risk children and youth, HIV-AIDS, substance abuse, relational violence, and international social work practice.
During students’ junior and senior years, practicums run concurrently with professional course work, involving students with the actual practice of social work in schools, hospitals, child welfare, early childhood settings, victim assistance programs, adult day care, family court, community mental health agencies, family preservation programs, home-based service programs for children with developmental disabilities and their families, residential treatment settings, youth detention facilities, adoption agencies, probation and parole, social policy research and advocacy organizations, community organizing agencies, and community development programs. 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, systematic practice evaluation, and influencing social policy.
With careful early planning and accommodations, students can participate in a variety of study abroad programs sanctioned by the College, one of which involves working with immigrant children in Belgium, Denmark and Spain. 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.