The baccalaureate social work major is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Its principal objective is to prepare students for beginning level, generalist social work practice. Students will learn that social work is a profession dedicated to assisting people to attain life satisfaction through personal, social and environmental changes. Social work uses a variety of generalist practice methods, including direct interventions, community organization, and social welfare planning and policy development. Social work is concerned with meeting the needs of oppressed populations, including those most vulnerable and discriminated against.
Only graduates who are social work majors are eligible for licensing (LBSW) in Michigan and other states.
Social work majors alone are eligible to reduce the time in M.S.W. programs by up to two semesters through advanced standing programs. Please consult the social work faculty for more details.
In addition to their classroom experiences, social work students engage in a wide variety of activities working with various client populations in their internships:
- Work with community organizations
- Work with community agencies in program planning and implementation
- Work with the elderly
- Work with unemployed and underemployed
- Work with people encountering difficult life transitions
- Conduct social research in the community
- Work with the developmentally and physically challenged
- Work with juvenile delinquents
- Work with at-risk school children
All social work majors must formally apply to the Social Work Program by February 15 of their freshman year or October 15 of their sophomore year. Undeclared second semester sophomore students should seek the advice of the Social Work Program Director concerning admission to the Social Work Program. Admission is competitive and not guaranteed. To be eligible for admission, applicants must have:
- Completed or be currently enrolled in PSY 100 , SOC 101 and SWK 241 . SWK 241 must be completed in the spring semester of the freshman year or the fall semester of the sophomore year.
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 and a minimum GPA of 2.7 in their social work courses.
- Two recommendations from Hope College faculty/staff.
- A written personal statement which includes information about their commitment to social work as a vocation and describes their prior volunteer service in the field.
A student who does not fully meet one or more of the admission criteria may be admitted to the Social Work Program conditionally, provided the student, after an interview with the Program Director of Social Work, agrees to resolve the concerns by the end of the following semester. Conditionally accepted students should be aware that there are risks involved in pursuing the first year of the social work major on a conditional basis. A minimum GPA of 2.5 and a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the social work major are required for graduation.
No academic credit for life experience or previous work experience will be given in lieu of any social work or cognate courses required for social work major.
Graduates of Hope’s Social Work Program have been involved in a variety of satisfying careers such as:
- Social workers in a variety of practice settings
- Graduate programs in social work
- Ministers and church workers
- Legal aid lawyers
- Directors of drug clinics
- Professional counselors
- Supervisors in counseling centers
- Urban planners
- Teachers of social work
- Community organizers
- Director of social welfare programs