The Social Work Department offers major a program in social work as well as a minor program in social services.
The mission of the social work program is to prepare students for entry into beginning social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Students completing the social work program are uniquely prepared for generalist practice in the region of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and have developed a generalist practice base to continue their professional development through graduate study.
The BSW program has seven primary goals: (1) every BSW graduate shall be prepared for beginning generalist practice. All BSW students will be versed in content about practice with client systems of various sizes and types; (2) students shall be prepared to practice with diverse populations; (3) the program shall provide content about the contexts of social work practice, the changing nature of these contexts, the behavior of organizations and the dynamics of change; (4) the values and ethics that guide professional social work practice shall be infused throughout the curriculum and made evident in the operation of the social work program; (5) students shall be educated with an awareness of their responsibility to continue their professional growth and development; (6) the program shall provide educational opportunities that reflect regional needs related to substance abuse and gerontology; and (7) the program shall promote an understanding of and application to a knowledge base in social welfare for students in other human service fields.
Northern’s bachelor of social work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
- Student Social Work/Sociology Organization
Department faculty have expertise in a range of areas within specialized fields. A full complement of library resources and audiovisual materials is available to students. The department also has microcomputer hardware and software enabling faculty and students to conduct complex applied research projects involving sophisticated data analysis and statistical procedures.
Social work program faculty members are fully qualified professionals with both practice and teaching experience. A wide range of community social work agencies cooperate with the program by serving as field instruction settings.
- Students’ GPA in four or more courses in the human behavior cluster minor, two of which must be BI 104 or BI 100 and SO/SW 208. BI 104/100 and SO/SW 208 must be completed or in the process of being completed at time of application. Please note, early admission does not excuse students from the remaining courses in the human behavior cluster minor. Students who are in the process of completing courses will be accepted on a pending basis until final grades are available. If more than four courses have been completed all courses within the cluster minor will count toward the GPA calculation. The minimum GPA required for human behavior cluster minor courses for winter admission is 2.80.
- Students GPA in the two lower-division social work courses: SW 100 and SW 230. The minimum GPA for these courses is 2.50.
- An admission essay. The essay will be used to evaluate students’ understanding of generalist social work practice, commitment to the profession, and readiness for practice methods courses and field placement.
- Students’ GPA in at least 5 courses within the human behavior cluster minor. There are a total of 7 courses in the cluster minor. Students who have less than 2 outstanding courses in the cluster minor may be accepted into the advanced division after the fall semester. All courses in the human behavior cluster minor will be considered in calculating students’ GPAs. Applications must also include a plan for completing remaining courses in the cluster minor prior to beginning field placement. GPA requirements for the cluster minor are:
- Students GPA in the two social work courses in the lower division: SW 100 and SW 230. Both must be completed by end of fall semester. No exceptions will be made. Minimum GPA for the two social work courses is a 2.50.
- An admissions essay. The essay will be used to evaluate students’ understanding of generalist social work practice, commitment to the profession, and readiness for practice methods courses and field placement.
While completing the practice methods courses during the winter semester, students will also be required to submit their application for field placement (March 1). Necessary forms may be downloaded from the Social Work Web site at www.nmu.edu/departments/sociology. They may also be obtained from the social work field coordinator. Students must complete a minimum of 400 clock hours of field instruction in their senior year (SW 480 in the fall and SW 481 in the winter). Schedules should be planned to allow for approximately 16 hours per week at the field site each semester. Students are expected to complete two consecutive semesters of senior field placement and will be admitted to placement in the fall term only.
Students must complete all course work comprising the social work curriculum as defined above with a minimum 2.50 grade point average, show evidence of compliance with the NASW Code of Ethics, demonstrate mastery of the core social work competencies outlined in the Council of Social Work Education's Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards, be recommended by the BSW faculty and meet all other requirements established by the university for graduation.