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Social Work

The Social Work pathway at Northwest provides the student with a background to prepare for undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor of Art/Sciences degree.

The student who completes this program is eligible for an Associate of Arts degree. Advisors work closely with the student to ensure that the curriculum coincides with their program and will allow maximum transferable credit. Although some social workers only need a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and experience in the field. Clinical social workers must also be licensed by their state.

Social Work is perfect for students who have a desire to work with and help people.

A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is the most common requirement for entry-level administrative positions. However, candidates sometimes qualify for jobs with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as public policy and social services, psychology or social science.

Clinical positions require a master’s degree in social work (MSW). Master’s degree programs prepare a student for work in their chosen specialty by developing clinical assessment and management skills. An internship is required for these programs.

What can I expect from a career in Social Work?
Social workers help people cope with challenges in their lives. They help with a wide range of situations, such as adopting a child or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Advocacy is an important aspect of social work. Social workers advocate or raise awareness with and on behalf of their clients and the social work professional on local, state and national levels. Some social workers work with groups, community organization and policy makers to develop or improve programs, services, policies and social conditionals. These individuals are typical bachelor’s social workers.

Social workers who are licensed to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders are clinical social workers or licensed clinical social workers. They provide individual, group, family and couples therapy; they work with clients to develop strategies to change behavior or cope with difficult situations. They refer clients to other resources or services such as support groups or other mental health professionals. Clinical social workers can develop treatment plans with the client, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. They work in a variety of specialties. Clinical social workers who have not completed additional training and supervision are often called mater’s social workers. Social workers can work as child and family social workers, school social workers, healthcare social workers, mental health and substance abuse social workers.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers,

Pathway Information