Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Social Work

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments

Faculty: Megan Bever: Department Chair, Jannette Eldred: Program Director, Heather Eckhart: Field Education Coordinator

Mills-Anderson Justice Center Room 154 417-625-3144


 The Social Work Program will provide a learning environment where students are taught to think critically, be creative, participate actively in their education, and grow as individuals while respecting the rapidly changing and diverse world in which they will live and practice social work. Class work and special student work experiences must demonstrate how to relate effectively to all types of people and to appreciate how emotional, social, economic, political, and spiritual forces influence the behavior of those we are helping. We strive to develop competent, ethical professionals with the knowledge, values and skills for effective practice with individuals, families, groups and communities, and who can provide outstanding leadership in the field of social services. 

Why a Career in Social Work?

What Social Workers Do:  Professional social workers provide intervention strategies to work with individuals, families, and groups to enhance well-being and assist in developing community conditions that support and protect human rights.  Social workers provide services to diverse populations through psychosocial services and advocacy (NASW, 2021).  Social workers are needed at all stages of life and empower others with evidence-based strategies, promote strengths-based problem solving, and advocate for just policies.  They address a broad range of social issues that can include child welfare, poverty, aging, discrimination, mental illness, addiction, disability, and illness.

 Job Availability:  According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 680,000 social workers in the United States in 2016.  There is an expected growth in jobs of 16 percent by 2026, making social work one of the fastest growing professions.

 Prepare for Graduate School: Graduates with a BSW wanting to obtain a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) can potentially apply for Advanced Standing status which reduces the graduate credit hours required for completion of the degree.

 Job Satisfaction: Social work is a career that appeals to those who want to improve the world through caring, professional practice. They go home at the end of the day knowing they have helped people. It is a “hands-on” profession.

Purpose of the Profession

 Purpose of the social work profession is grounded in core professional values of service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry. These values are consistent with the international affairs mission of MSSU in terms of producing social workers more sensitive to cultural diversity and committed in their ability to contribute to society as a whole. Additionally, the region is beginning to see an influx of diverse cultures. Thus, the mission of the Social Work Department is well matched with the political, economic, social, cultural, and demographic environment of the region and to the purpose of the profession.

Community Practicum

The Bachelor of Social Work field education is an important component of the social work curriculum because it provides hands-on training for students to practice their social work theoretic knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective process needed for generalist professional practice.  Students are placed in an approved agency that focuses on the development of their professional direct social work practice. It is considered the signature pedagogy for social work as it teaches future practitioners “the fundamental dimensions of professional work in their discipline- to think, to perform and to act ethically and with integrity” (CSWE, 2017).  The field education requires 450-hours of field placement that is completed over two sequential semesters in the fall and spring semesters of BSW students’ senior year.

How Do I Enroll?

Upon admissions to MSSU, students may declare social work as their projected major. These students are considered pre-social work majors.  As a pre-social work major, you will be assigned an advisor in the social work department.  Declared as a major in pre-social work does not guarantee admittance into the social work program.  All students intending to major in social work are required to apply to the social work program and complete the formal admission process to be fully accepted as a social work major.

Applications are only accepted once a year and are due by March 15th.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.  Incomplete applications may result in not being considered. 

Students who are planning to pursue a BSW degree must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the general education requirements for MSSU
  2. Complete the pre-requisite courses with a grade of C or above: PSY 100:  General Psychology; SOC 110: Introduction to Sociology; PSC 120 American Government or concurrent enrollment
  3. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.70 or higher
  4. Preferred completion of SW 231 with a grade of C or better; or enrollment at the close of the application semester

 For more information please visit: http://www.mssu.edu/academics/arts-sciences/social-work/


For additional information contact:

417-625-3144 •


    Major Programs (Undergraduate)


      HistorySocial Work

      Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments