Social Work is one of the helping professions committed to improving people’s lives.
Social workers may assist people in dealing with their relationships, in solving personal and family problems, or in improving the environment in their community. Social workers focus on social problems and the individual, family and community difficulties that arise from them. These problems may include mental illness, stress at home, school or in the workplace, domestic violence, child abuse, unemployment, lack of adequate housing, disability, and serious illness. Some social workers conduct research, advocate for, design or plan social policy and services. Most social workers work in organizations or agencies whose missions focus on helping people deal with one of more of these social problems in their lives. Social workers are employed by schools, government agencies, public and private family service organizations, hospitals, hospices and clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities or are self-employed in private practices.
Once accepted into the program, you will take courses that will develop your understanding of human behavior in the social environment, help you comprehend, analyze and develop social policy, and learn the theories and skills needed to design and implement interventions. In your senior year, you will spend 400 hours working in an organization or agency under the direct supervision of a social work professional. This practicum experience will be planned with Professor Susan Nichols, an experienced social worker and clinician directing the field education portion of the program. If you have a desire to help others, as a social worker you can work in a multitude of settings, and in many roles to help individuals, families, organizations and communities solve complex problems.
The Social Work Program is directed by Professor Charles Vanderwell, a social worker with a great deal of experience as a therapist, supervisor, administrator and teacher.
Bachelor of Social Work
The Bachelor of Social Work Program at Adrian was designed to meet the growing need for social workers. Every state in the nation, including Michigan, licenses social workers.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, “Employment of social workers is expected to increase by 22 percent during the 2006-16 decade, which is much faster than average for all occupations. The growing elderly population and the aging baby boom generation will create greater demand for health and social services, resulting in rapid job growth amonggerontology social workers. Employment of social workers in private social service agencies also will increase.” The Bureau also reports that jobs for social workers will be particularly strong in rural areas and for those specializing in medical, public health, or substance abuse services. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Social Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos060.htm [visited June 23, 2009]). Recognizing that it is more important than ever to prepare our future social workers with the rigorous academic and skill training the marketplace demands, Adrian College has made this commitment to excellence in social work education for our students.
The Social Work Program’s faculty members are experienced practitioners in the field who are committed to active learning environments that link ideas, concepts, and theories with “real-world” application. So you will, for example, participate in an “Agency Scavenger Hunt”, conduct a service learning project in a community social service agency, learn and practice planned change and forensic interviewing, participate in and facilitate small groups, learn and conduct family assessments, investigate the dynamics of a large organization, and in your senior practicum, work as staff in an agency.
As a Social Work major, you will complete your academic program by showing your academic and practice competency within the Senior Social Work Capstone course. This culminating course challenges students to prove their abilities to synthesize theory, research, policy, and practice through a written analysis of their practicum work and setting.
Some social work students choose to attend graduate school right out of Adrian, and our graduates have been admitted, with advanced status, to the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Western Kentucky University and other schools. Other social work program graduates found employment with their BSWs at the Hope Center in Adrian, Ohio Department of Social Services, the Vista Program, Catholic Charities of Lenawee, Training and Treatment Innovations, Inc. of Madison Heights, Mi., the Chicago Center, The Manor in Jonesville, Mi., and other organizations.
Whatever you professional goals may be, the Social Work Program at Adrian College will prepare you for employment with your BSW or for success in a graduate program of study.