Social Work

The Goshen College social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and has, as its primary objective, the preparation of students for professional social work practice. Students are also prepared for graduate social work education and receive advanced standing in many Master of Social Work programs.

Social Work: two tracks, B.A. or B.S.

The social work program has both a four-year bachelor of arts track and a 16-month accelerated bachelor of science track described in the Graduate & Continuing Studies section of the catalog. Students who start college immediately after graduating from high school follow the four-year track and earn a B.A. in social work. Students who have graduated with an associate degree in human services and have related work experience follow the accelerated track, earning a B.S. in social work. The accelerated track is designed to provide a more accessible option for working and/or parenting adults.

Both tracks follow the same social work curriculum, which builds on the liberal arts perspective in the Goshen Core curriculum with its emphasis on international, intercultural, interdisciplinary and integrative teaching and learning. The program outcomes for graduates are the same for students enrolled in either track.

Admission to the BASW social work professional program

Social work is a professional program that requires an admission process separate from admission to the college. Students apply for admission to the social work education program following successful completion of Introduction to Social Work, SoWk 224, taken in the sophomore year. Written applications are accepted in December of each school year. Admission criteria include academic and personal qualifications with a value orientation necessary for the professional practice of social work. The admission process is directed toward furthering students’ personal growth as they explore vocational interests and abilities. Specific information about criteria and process is found in the Social Work Student Handbook. This may be obtained from the director of social work education.

Major in social work: BASW track

53 credit hours

  • Psyc 306, Abnormal Psychology 3
  • Soc 200, Principles of Sociology 3
  • Soc 210, Sociology of the Family 3
  • Soc 334, Race, Class and Ethnic Relations 3
  • Soc 391, Methods of Social Research 3
  • SoWk 221, Human Behavior 3
  • SoWk 224, Introduction to Social Work 3
  • SoWk 321, Social Service Field Experience 3
  • SoWk 322, Social Welfare Policy & Program I3
  • SoWk 323, Social Welfare Policy & Program II4
  • SoWk 325, Social Work Practice Theory I 4
  • SoWk 409, Field Instruction 10
  • SoWk 410, Social Work Senior Seminar 2
  • SoWk 425, Social Work Practice Theory II 3
  • One of the following courses: 3
    SoWk 345, Women’s Concerns
    SoWk 350, Human Services: Child Welfare
    SoWk 350, Human Services: Services to Families

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in social work will demonstrate in measurable ways achievement of the ten core competencies articulated by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates will:

  1. Identify as a professional social workers and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Planning guide: four-year track

First year Goshen Core
Principles of Sociology
Sociology of the Family
SST language prerequisite
Second year Goshen Core
Human Behavior
Introduction to Social Work
Social Service Field Experience
SST (spring or summer)
Expository Writing (strongly recommended)
Third year Goshen Core
Social Welfare Policy and Program I, II
Practice Theory I
Methods of Social Research
Race, Class and Ethnic Relations
Abnormal Psychology
Social Work Elective
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Social Work Practice Theory II
Field Instruction
Senior Seminar

Planning and advising notes

Students declaring a social work major are assigned a social work faculty advisor. Students exploring their interest in social work are invited to talk with the program director. Academic advising, which takes place in the fall and spring semesters each year, aids students in selecting courses in the sequence required for successful completion of the program. All social work courses must be taken in numbered sequence. If possible, Methods of Social Research should precede Social Work Practice Theory I. Additional advising appointments are scheduled as part of admission to the program and to field instruction. Students are encouraged to initiate contact with faculty advisors as issues arise, at any time throughout the academic year.

Psyc 100, General Psychology is a prerequisite for Psyc 306, Abnormal Psychology. Social work majors should discuss with their advisor the option of SoWk 221 Human Behavior functioning as the prerequisite for Psych 306. Courses in human biology, statistics and expository writing are required for admission into some Master of Social Work (MSW) programs.

Academic requirements

The professional practice of social work requires acquisition of knowledge, specific skills, a firm identification with specified values and ethics and a high degree of social and personal responsibility. Students whose academic work falls below a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) in required social work and related courses, or whose personal or professional behavior is inconsistent with the above requirements, may be asked to leave the program. Students who are denied admission or dismissed from the program, and believe relevant policies were unfairly administered, have the right to initiate the Goshen College grievance procedure.