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Social Work

Major in social work

The practice of social work emphasizes the importance of human relationships as the vehicle through which learning and change occurs. This emphasis on relationships pervades the work and requires that practitioners engage with others to advocate and innovate.


About The Program

The social work program, which is based on a strong foundation in the liberal arts, prepares students for generalist social work practice and graduate study. The program focuses on ethi­ cal behavior and competent practice, following Virginia Wesleyan’s honor code and the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) Code of Ethics. Through community service and class­ room experience, students encounter the relation­ ships and social contexts in which they will learn and eventually practice. Students are immersed in the topics of mental and physical health, human rights, diversity, oppression, and economic and social justice, through a data-driven, outcomes- based curriculum in which critical thinking skills are applied.

Major: Social Work (BSW)
Minor: Social Work

Program Chair: Benjamin D. Dobrin
College: Birdsong School of Social Science


Work in the major provides students with the opportunity to learn relevant history, informa­ tion and values related to social work, study the theories which underlie practice, begin to practice interventions in projects, research, observation and role play, and reflect on how their personal values and those of the profession intersect. Students have ample opportunity to learn in many ways based on their learning style, to read, write, reflect, integrate and question.

The final spring semester is spent learning in the field a minimum of 36 hours per week under the supervi ­ sion of a qualified supervisor. The potential internship is carefully chosen by the Internship Director to match the student’s interests, knowledge and developing skills. The students focus on their integration into the field both in the agency and in a professional role. Assignments reinforce professional skills and behav­ iors. Students learn from one another and develop an understanding of the broad array of resources available to their clients.

The Bachelor of Social Work program at Virginia Wesleyan commits itself to the clients whom our students will ultimately serve. Social work is a profes­ sion which works with people in the most difficult of life circumstances. We believe that our clients deserve only the very best prepared workers. We commit ourselves to our program and to its reputation of excel­ lence. Our program is respected within our community and commands some of the very best internship expe­ riences as a result. We are committed to maintaining this reputation for the program and for the University. Ultimately, our clients deserve nothing less.