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Master of Social Work
The social work education curriculum at the master’s degree level is built upon a liberal arts foundation and includes both the professional foundation and one concentration: Services to Hispanic Children and Families. Emphasis is on preparing culturally competent practitioners with particular knowledge and skills for working with Hispanic populations. The content related to the professional foundation as well as the concentrations in the master’s degree program prepares students for advanced social work practice. Students who graduate from the program demonstrate analytic and practice skills sufficient for self-critical, accountable and ultimately autonomous practice. Please note that no credit shall be granted or courses waived based on life or previous work experience.
The Worden School offers both a regular 57-hour program and an advanced-standing 30-hour program for students having BSW from a CSWE accredited program. Classes are offered on campus either full-time or part-time and are offered part-time in the online program. Please note:
students who start as an online or campus student, must finish their degree program in the same format.
In addition to the regular application requirements, applicants are required to submit
- Official transcripts from all previous post-secondary work
- Three letters of recommendation not more than one year old (at least one from an academician, others from employers or supervisors)
- A personal statement of at least two typewritten double-spaced pages addressing the following areas: motivation for graduate studies; motivation for social work; social work related employment and/or volunteer experiences; social work career goals; and understanding of and identification with the Worden School of Social Service mission.
Advanced Standing Admission
In addition to the regular admission requirements applicants to the advanced standing program must have the following:
- A Bachelor of Social Work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
- A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.00
Students with a BSW from OLLU with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher who are applying to the advanced standing program will be eligible for seamless admission if they start the MSW Program the semester following their graduation from the BSW Program (students who graduate in the spring may start in the summer or fall immediately after graduation). Application fee, deposit, and one letter of recommendation are waived for students eligible for seamless admission.
Students are requested to submit the following:
- Personal Statement
- Two Letters of Recommendation
Special and Transient Admission
Special and transient admission must be approved by the dean of the Worden School of Social Service.
Conditional acceptance is granted on the merits of each case.
No more than 24 hours from a CSWE — accredited social work program may transfer into the 57 semester hour program. Up to three hours of elective credits from an accredited University may transfer into the 30 hour program. Prior approval must be obtained from the director of the MSW program to ensure earned course credits will be accepted for transfer and counted toward the degree.
Field Education is an integral part of the master’s degree social work education. Field placement in a wide range of social welfare settings allow students to apply knowledge, skills and values acquired in the classroom.
The Worden School of Social Service’s placements are developed around a combination concurrent and block model. Student complete 450 hours during their foundation year and 500 hours of field education during their concentration year. Students may do only one work-related field placement.
Work-related placements are possible for first and second year students. A written proposal must be submitted to the director of field education at least three weeks before the end of the semester preceding the start of the field placement. Students should consult the director of field education for written instructions on preparing the proposal. Work-related placements are granted on a very restrictive basis. Refer to Worden School Field Education manual for guidelines.
Students are discouraged from working a full-time job while enrolled in field education because of the time-intensive nature of field education courses. While every effort will be made to accommodate employed students, the Worden School cannot guarantee a field placement that can be arranged around work hours. The most important criterion for a field placement is that it provides the student with an educational experience that meets MSW Program goals and objectives.
The Worden School of Social Service does not grant credit for previous life or work experience in place of field education. Field education hours earned at another accredited social work program will not be accepted as transfer credit unless through an exemption granted by the Worden School.
In order to enter the Worden School of Social Service field education courses, all students are required to be enrolled in the group professional liability insurance policy that the school carries. Students will be required to answer a number of questions, one of which asks about conviction for criminal acts. If the student has been convicted of a crime, the insurance company may refuse to enroll the student in the policy. Should this occur, the student would not be permitted to engage in the field education courses required for completion of the master of social work degree. Also, students should be aware that, increasingly, field education sites require a student to complete a criminal background check in order to be placed at the site.
In addition, in accordance with Article 6252-13a, Texas Civil Statutes, the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners may suspend or revoke a social work license or refuse to issue a social work license for a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for a crime that is directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the social work profession. (See Article 50.02 and 781.314b of the Texas Professional Social Work Act and Chapter 50 Human Resources Code.)
ProgramsMaster of Social Work
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