Bachelor of Social Work
The Bachelor of Social Work program at Saint Joseph’s College prepares students for entry-level generalist practice as a professional licensed social worker (LSW) and provides a strong foundation for graduate work in a Master of Social Work (MSW) program.
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 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.
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 Society, the National Association of Social Workers as well as the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work, if eligible.
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of this program will be prepared for licensure as an LSW in most states according to licensure laws and also be eligible to pursue advanced standing in MSW programs across the country.
View our Social Work Program Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (updated June 2022).
At a glance
- Strong preparation for career and graduate studies
- Emphasis on experiential learning with two student-selected internship placements
- Opportunities for faculty-student collaboration, with access to the Social Science Observation Lab
- Graduates will be qualified to become licensed as social workers
- Graduates will be eligible for advanced standing, shortening the path to an MSW
What is SARA?
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. For further information, please visit the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) website at http://nc-sara.org/content/basic-questions-about-sara.
Maine’s Acting Education Commissioner, Bill Beardsley says, “SARA facilitates Maine’s interface with education opportunities across the country while bypassing the old case-by-case burdensome course approval system. Maine students benefit and state red tape is minimized with no loss of accountability. It is a state consortium approach we value.”
It is important to note that NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine cannot know nor guarantee where our coursework will meet requirements for professional licensure, endorsements, or license renewal in states outside of Maine. If you are planning on using our coursework towards a license or credential in your state, we recommend that you consult with the appropriate licensing agency or board in the state for which you seek to obtain licensure.
NC-SARA Professional Licensure Directory: https://www.nc-sara.org/professional-licensure-directory
Links to Professional Licensure Boards/Requirements
National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards
U.S. Department of Education
Courses required for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree include social work specific classes in human behavior, policy, research, practice, and field internships, as well as other closely aligned social sciences with the profession of social work.
Students will gain practical experience through two internships, including a full-year placement. The College works with agencies and organizations in hospital systems, private non-profits, schools, drug rehabs, and other community agencies.
Complimentary minors for BSW students include criminal justice, sustainability studies, or psychology. Dual majors may be available by working with your academic advisor.
A minor in the social services profession is also available and requires students to take 18 credits of social work specific course work. The social services profession minor is appropriate to pair with majors such as criminal justice and/or psychology.
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. Individuals with a BSW are prepared for entry-level direct practice within the field. Most states will require licensure, certification. Additional information on professional licensure can be obtained at the Association of Social Work Boards and through the State of Maine Board of Social Work Examiners.
→ Learn more about careers in this major.