Social work is viewed as an activity that seeks to help individuals, families, organizations, groups or communities engage resources that will alleviate human problems. Social work also is concerned with helping clients to develop capacities and strengths that will enhance their social functioning.
The two-year program at BSC prepares students with core courses toward a bachelor’s degree in social work. Suggested curriculum includes courses in psychology, ethics, statistics, government, cultural diversity, social welfare, human services, relationships/self esteem and professional writing, plus general education courses required by most four-year institutions.
Social workers should be emotionally mature, objective, flexible, creative and sensitive to people and their problems. They must be able to handle responsibility, work independently and maintain good working relationships with clients and coworkers. Typical practice involves diverse groups of people of various ages with different social and cultural backgrounds and life situations. All states have licensing, certification or registration requirements for social work practice.
Students who follow the suggested curriculum at BSC earn an Associate in Arts degree after all requirements are completed.
BSC and Minot State University (MSU) have a cooperative agreement that allows BSC graduates with the Associate in Arts to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work from MSU on the BSC campus. BSC’s suggested curriculum prepares students for this option. Note that Minot State’s Social Work program requires completion of SWK 250: Interpersonal Skills prior to application. The course can be taken as a collaborative student while at BSC and used as an elective.
Bismarck State College has many cooperative, articulation, or transfer agreements with postsecondary institutions both inside and outside of the North Dakota University System. Some of these agreements are established to allow students to remain on campus as they complete their bachelor’s degree. In all cases, students seeking to transfer after completing a degree at BSC should consult the academic catalog of their destination college and work with their academic advisor to plan for this transition.
Job opportunities for social workers are excellent and among the fastest growing occupations. Positions for school social workers are increasing along with demand for professionals in private practice. Jobs in health care and social assistance agencies are plentiful and for those with backgrounds in gerontology and substance abuse treatment.
Social workers impact the world in a variety of settings: schools, social and human service agencies, healthcare facilities, child care agencies, correctional facilities, nursing homes, community based independent living programs, mental health centers, state and federal government positions.
While a bachelor’s degree in social work may be sufficient to enter the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions.