The social work program at Millersville University leads to a bachelor of arts degree in social work. Based on the general education curriculum, the social work curriculum is designed to prepare students for beginning professional practice in social agencies and other settings where social workers are employed. The program educates the general practitioner; therefore, it is built on basic required courses. However, it also allows students to explore areas of interest through elective courses and field instruction assignments. These areas include child welfare, aging, corrections, health care, alcoholism, mental health and women’s issues.

The primary mission of the social work program is to prepare students to achieve entry level professional competence as generalist social work practitioners. This principal educational aim contains four specific objectives, each of which demands interdigitation in order to accomplish the overall goal.

Objective 1: To help students integrate liberal arts and professional knowledge, values and skills into competent beginning practice abilities.

Objective 2: To sensitize students to issues of human diversity and assist them in pursuing equity in professional and institutional relations.

Objective 3: To prepare students to understand social policy issues and participate in efforts directed toward their resolution.

Objective 4: To motivate and prepare students for continuing professional development and education.

The curriculum is designed to help students integrate knowledge and theories from many academic disciplines with social work concepts, values and practice skills. Courses in the social work program attempt to develop an understanding of the human condition and human diversity.

The social work major needs to understand biological, psychological and sociocultural aspects of human development; characteristics of human interaction with the social environment; the role, structure and function of social welfare policies and programs; social work intervention methods; and social work research findings and methods.

In addition to theoretical instruction, students are given ample opportunity for practical experience. The experiential requirements begin in the introductory courses and carry through to formal work in advanced courses. The culmination is a year-long practicum experience—40 hours during fall semester and 450 hours during spring semester—wherein the student can integrate knowledge and skills in a social agency or other social service setting in the community.

A formal screening and selection process takes place for each student prior to placement in a social service setting for field instruction. Qualifications are based on academic performance, oral and written communication skills, demonstrated ethical behavior, values and commitment to social work as a career. The social work faculty has the right to dismiss from the program at any time students found not qualified for social work practice.

Millersville’s social work baccalaureate program was first professionally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in 1981 and is currently accredited through June 2003.

There is no foreign language requirement for the social work major; however, fluency in Spanish can be an asset for field placement and for future employment.