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Social Work

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Degree Programs

General Studies

The General Studies requirements for Chadron State College are available on a separate page for easy reference.

The CSC Social Work program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Accreditation since 1993. Students who graduate from Chadron State College in Social Work are prepared for social work practice in a multicultural context within the region, as well as nationally and globally. The challenges of and capacities for addressing human diversity are integrated throughout the social work curriculum. The social work curriculum is also designed to encourage the development of knowledge and skills in collaboration, collegiality, and networking. Graduates of CSC Social Work program are prepared to provide professional leadership within the region.


The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Chadron State College provides an undergraduate experience that fosters student development of practice behaviors, and competencies including the knowledge, skills, and values in order to function as generalist Social Workers. The acquired competencies prepare social workers who demonstrate practice abilities that enhance the capacities and quality of life for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities within the region of western Nebraska, southwest South Dakota, southeast Wyoming, and northeast Colorado.

In order to carry out the Social Work Program mission of Chadron State College, the Social Work faculty strive for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Social Work faculty teach foundation curriculum with a sensitivity to student needs and with an awareness of the requisite practice behaviors and values appropriate to a competent social work practice at a baccalaureate level. To maintain student learning, Social Work faculty use innovative technology, experiential and active learning approaches, and outcome-based learning that individualize curriculum and instruction to the needs of individual learners.

Social Work faculty continually evaluate courses through student process evaluations, course evaluations of teaching and objective attainment, peer reviews of teaching, assessment of written assignments, and tests of student learning and evaluation of student demonstration of competencies through practice behaviors identified by the Council on Social Work Education. Social Work faculty seek to integrate scholarship with student learning through presentations at regional and national conferences, special projects, and community consultation. Social Work faculty provide service to the College, community, and professional associations by serving on local and regional boards and committees and participating in projects with local human service systems.


To carry out the mission of the Social Work Program and Chadron State College, the Social Work Program seeks to prepare Social Work Professionals who will, upon completion of the Program, be able to:

  1. Critically engage, assess and intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities using multidimensional theories and strategies that enhance the social functioning and interactions of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities by involving them in recognizing assets and strengths, accomplishing goals, developing resources, and preventing and alleviating distress. Monitor and evaluate intervention efficacy. Apply knowledge of human development across the lifespan and age appropriate prevention interventions.
  2. Utilize the skills and knowledge to successfully practice within the context of rural settings with diverse cultures, reflected by, but not limited to age, gender, mission/orientation, sexual preference, racial or ethnic background, disability, marital status, religious orientations, and life style. Communicate the value of diversity in all social institutions. Recognize the impact of societal values that marginalize or grant privilege to individuals and groups on local and global levels.
  3. Utilize knowledge of basic human rights, the forms and mechanisms of oppression/social/economic injustice, integrate a value-base that fosters commitment to advocacy, and develop social skills, practice behaviors, and political skills necessary to alleviate oppression/social/economic injustice.
  4. Critically analyze and implement social welfare policies, services, and programs through political and organizational processes in order meet basic human needs and support the development of human capacities. Demonstrate understanding of historical and current social policies and services.
  5. Work collaboratively within rural human service agencies and human service delivery systems with supervisors and professional colleagues and develop personal/professional/political support systems.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice. Utilize the knowledge and skills of research, evaluate professional practice using qualitative and quantitative research methods, use and solicit collegial feedback, and apply existing knowledge to advance Social Work practice.
  7. Practice Social Work with an ethical orientation compatible with the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and to apply strategies of ethical reasoning, and act professionally and intentionally in situations with ethical dilemmas. Conduct one’s personal life ethically by recognizing and managing personal values in order to allow professional standards of ethical practice to guide practice.
  8. Develop an identity as a professional Social Worker and practice Social Work with the highest regard for the strengths/capacities, integrity and value of all beings whether as individuals or in families, groups, organizations and communities. Demonstrate application of the value base of the profession and relevant laws to practice.
  9. Apply critical thinking, logic, scientific inquiry, and discernment. Demonstrate creativity and ability to communicate relevant information to others.
  10. Enter a graduate program in Social Work with advanced standing.

The Social Work Program consists of pre-professional studies in the freshman and sophomore years and the professional major which is usually completed during the student’s junior and senior years of study. Except for some transfer students, incoming students who want to major in Social Work are given the status of a Pre-Professional Social Work major. The Pre-Professional Social Work major is determined by the student indicating Social Work as an area of interest when first enrolling in college. Identifying an interest in Social Work permits the School of Education, Human Performance, Counseling, Psychology, and Social Work to assign the student to a Social Work faculty advisor. Pre-requisite courses to the Professional Social Work Program include the following courses: BIOL 121/121L; ECON 130; PSYC 131, 242 or MATH 232; SW 231, 251, 252, 271; PS 231, 321, or 369; and LS 236.

Students considering Social Work should consult the Social Work faculty early in their academic career to insure that the necessary prerequisite coursework is completed prior to admission to the Professional Social Work program.

Admission to the Professional Program

The admissions policy of the Chadron State College Professional Social Work Program is to accept all qualified students within the limits of its resources, facilities, and mission. Qualified students are admitted without regard to age, race, marital status, gender, religion, national origin, or disability. Educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other programs and activities, are administered without discrimination. Chadron State College offers a B.A. degree with a comprehensive major in Social Work which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduating students are prepared to practice as competent beginning Social Work professionals.

Generally, students make application to the Professional Social Work Program during the fall semester of the junior year. Students who change majors or transfer to Chadron State College make application during the first semester on campus or when they have either completed or enrolled in all pre-requisite Social Work courses. Applications to the Professional Social Work Program are available online in the Social Work Student Handbook.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the Chadron State College Professional Social Work Program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Junior standing.
  2. Cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and a 2.75 G.P.A. in pre-requisite Social Work courses.
  3. Completion of an Application to the Professional Social Work Program by deadlines published during the Fall semester. An Application to the Professional Social Work Program includes: the application form, three letters of reference, written responses to questions identified on the application form, a personal statement, and a current resume.
  4. Completion of the following required courses: BIOL 121/121L; ECON 130; PS 231 or 321; PSYC 131, 242; SW 231, 251, 252, 271; and LS 236.
  5. Documentation of 40 hours of volunteer experience in a social service setting must be completed by the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year.
  6. Completed interview with Social Work faculty and the Social Work Program Advisory Committee.
  7. Signed statement of acknowledgement of student’s willingness to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics.

In accordance with the educational standards of the Council on Social Work Education, the Chadron State College Social Work Program does not grant academic credit for life experience for any social work course requirement.

After discussion with Social Work faculty, a student who does not meet the admission requirements for the Social Work Program may petition the Social Work Advisory Committee for special consideration.

Once accepted into the Professional Social Work program, students who apply to enter the Social Work Field Program are required to give permission to have a criminal background check conducted by an approved background investigation service. The background check will include states and counties of prior residence and will be completed at the expense of the student.

A student with a major felony conviction(s) including but not limited to the use of weapons or abuse of vulnerable individuals may not be able to complete SW 464, Social Work Field Practicum, depending upon the Program’s ability to find a field placement site. If a student completes the Social Work Professional Program, he/she may not be able to secure a license to practice Professional Social Work, depending upon a given state’s social work licensing board’s standards or depending upon a given agency’s hiring standards. Students with questions about prior convictions must schedule a meeting with the Social Work Program Director and Field Director to discuss circumstances and options available.

Applications for admission to the Professional Social Work Program are reviewed by the Social Work Program Advisory Committee. Students also interview with the Social Work Program Advisory Committee. Action on admission requests may include admission, conditional admission, or denial of admission. Students are notified of the decision of the Social Work Program Advisory Committee by an official letter from the Director of the Social Work Program. Students who are not accepted may appeal the decision by initiating the appeal process as outlined in the Social Work Program Student Handbook.

Transfer Students

Students transferring into CSC may upon completion of pre-requisite Social Work courses or upon enrollment in pre-requisite Social Work courses, apply for admission to the Professional Social Work Program. Before a student can be admitted to the Professional Social Work Program, the application process must be completed.

In situations where students are applying to the Professional Social Work Program while finishing pre-requisite courses, students may pre-enroll in Professional Social Work courses on a conditional basis with permission of the Director of the Social Work Program.

Students wanting to transfer credits from another institution must submit an official transcript to Chadron State College for evaluation. Unless an articulation agreement related to Social Work courses exists between Chadron State College and the institution, students must submit syllabi from prior Social Work courses to the Director of the Social Work Program. For Social Work Program courses, the final decision concerning content and acceptability of transferred courses rests with the Director of the Social Work Program.

Termination Policy

A student may be terminated from the Social Work Program due to failure to meet generally accepted standards of professional conduct as identified in the National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics and as identified in the Chadron State College Code of Student Conduct. Examples of nonprofessional conduct include, but are not limited to, consistent failure to demonstrate effective interpersonal skills necessary for forming professional helping relationships, inability to demonstrate a nonjudgmental attitude, and inability to allow client self-determination.

Students who are dismissed from the Social Work Program may appeal the decision by initiating the appeal process as outlined in the Social Work Program Student Handbook.

The Degree of Bachelor of Arts with a Comprehensive Major in Social Work

A student must complete the following program in addition to all coursework required by Chadron State College. Students pursuing this comprehensive major must complete the following: BIOL 121/121L, ECON 130, and PS 231 or 321.

Number Course Title Hours
LS 236 Family Law 3
PSYC 131 General Psychology 3
PSYC 242 Measurement and Research Designs 3
SW 231 Professional Social Work 3
SW 251 Human Behavior in the Soc Environ I 3
SW 252 Human Behavior in the Soc Environ II 3
SW 271 Social Welfare Hist & Serv Delivery Sys 3
SW 330 Diversity in the Rural Environment 4
SW 332 Services to Elderly & Disabled 2
SW 343 & 343L Research Methods & Lab 4
SW 431 Generalist Methods Lab 1
SW 432 Methods I: Individuals & Families 3
SW 433 Methods II: Therapeutic & Task Groups 3
SW 434 Policy Analysis & Advocacy 3
SW 435 Methods III: Org & Communities 3
SW 459 Pre-Field & Orientation 1
SW 463 Professional Seminar 2
SW 464 Social Work Field Practicum 10
Total hours 57

Depending upon student’s future practice interests, Social Work students are encouraged to consider one or more of the following Social Work electives in course planning: SW 331, 338, 339, 340, 430, 436.

Social Work faculty may offer special topics courses under SW 230 or 430, Topics in Social Work.

Students who plan to Social Work in the Nebraska Panhandle service area are encouraged to take Spanish and Lakota culture and language courses (i.e. WLAN 100).

Students interested in the following fields of Social Work practice, may want to consider taking elective courses in ONE OR MORE of the following recommended electives:

  • Disability Services: PSYC 435, SPED 435; SW 332
  • Policy Analysis: CA 346; ECON 231, 232; LS 333
  • Mental Health Services: AIS 334; PSYC 433, 435; SW 340
  • International Social Work: AGRI 423; PS 332; SW 371
  • Adolescent - School Services: AIS 334; CJ 338, 432; LS 432; SOC 332; SPED 331, 339
  • Administration: AIS 334; BA 337; LS 235, 435; MGMT 230
  • Child Welfare Services: AIS 334; SPED 331; SW 331
  • Gerontology Services: PSYC 234, 430, 433; SW 339.

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