Gail S. Donaldson, Interim Chair
Full Faculty Listing
The mission of the Department of Social Work is to educate professional social workers who actively work towards a sustainable and just society, focusing on the well-being and empowerment of the vulnerable and oppressed. We partner with Appalachian and global communities to advance social, economic, and environmental justice for all people.
Our BSW and MSW Programs prepare generalist and advanced professional social workers, respectively. The BSW curriculum builds on a liberal arts education and includes coursework in social work, social justice, human behavior theories, social welfare policy analysis, research, and generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. This curriculum design provides opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, values, skills, cognitive and affective processes, and competencies that form the foundation of the profession. The BSW program culminates with a field practicum where students work under close supervision of an experienced social worker in human service, community, or other related agencies in our region. At the successful completion of the BSW program, students are expected to demonstrate required competencies and be prepared for entry level professional social work practice. BSW graduates have full professional status and may be eligible for admission to an Advanced Standing master’s degree program in social work.
Our regular and Advanced Standing MSW students benefit from our unique crossover design that enables them to select one concentration area, Individuals and Families (I & F) or Community and Organizational (C & O) Practice, while integrating courses from the complementary practice area. Information about the MSW program can be found in the Graduate Bulletin or on the Department of Social Work website at socialwork.appstate.edu/graduate-msw.
Declaration of the Social Work Major
Students may declare social work as their major when they have met the following requirements for admission to the Beaver College of Health Sciences: completion of at least 30 semester hours, a grade-point average of at least 2.0, and credit for RC 1000 or an equivalent course and credit for or current enrollment in UCO 1200 or an equivalent course. Students should work closely with their social work advisor to plan their course of study.
Admission to the Professional Sequence
Due to the professional nature of the program, the curriculum has been developed to reflect both Foundation and Professional Sequence courses. The Foundation courses include SW 2010 , SW 2020 , SW 2615 , SW 2630 , and SW 3000 . These courses are open to students regardless of major.
In order to progress beyond the Foundation courses, students must be admitted to the Professional Sequence. This sequence includes: SW 3330 , SW 3850 , SW 3870 , SW 4000 , SW 4010 , SW 4020 , SW 4030 , SW 4600 , SW 4650 , and SW 4690 . Students are eligible for the Professional Sequence when they have completed all of the foundation courses and earned a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) or better in each. Academic standards for admission include an overall GPA of 2.5 and a social work GPA of 2.5.
Academic Standards for Retention
BSW students are expected to abide by Appalachian State University’s Code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Code, the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics, the BSW Program’s Competencies, and the following Academic Standards for Retention in the BSW Program: 1) Scholastic Performance; 2) Professional Identity and Self-Awareness; 3) Ethical Behavior; 4) Interpersonal Relationships; and 5) Commitment to Diversity, Social Justice, and Human Rights. Failure to meet the standards may result in dismissal from the program. For more information, please consult the BSW Student Handbook.
Students may repeat a social work course only once. Students may repeat only two social work courses throughout the program. SW 4650 and SW 4690 must be taken concurrently so both must be repeated concurrently if students are not successful in achieving the minimum required grade in either course.
S W GPA requirements: 2.0 cumulative GPA required for declaration, 2.5 cumulative and 2.5 major GPA required for admission to the Professional Sequence, 2.5 cumulative and 2.5 major GPA required for retention, and 2.5 cumulative and 2.5 major GPA required for graduation.
S W grade requirements: All S W majors must earn a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) in each required S W and cognate course.
Honors Program in Social Work
The Department of Social Work offers an Honors Program at the undergraduate level to majors who have distinguished academic records. To graduate with “Honors in Social Work,” a student must successfully complete the Honors Program requirements. Social Work Honors requirements may be found at www.socialwork.appstate.edu/undergraduate/departmental-honors
Disciplinary honors courses are offered at the Foundation and Professional Sequence course levels in the Department. Participation in the Honors Program in Social Work is by permission of the Departmental Honors Director. To be accepted into the Honors Program in Social Work, a student must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 (for Transfer Students the GPA meets the minimum when the GPA is established) and the Honors Director must determine that it is feasible for the student to successfully complete all Honors requirements prior to the field semester when the student is enrolled in SW 4650 and SW 4690. Space in the Honors Program is limited and not all students meeting the qualifications criteria may be accepted into the Honors Program. Honors credits are earned in Honors sections of Social Work courses. When it is not possible to earn Honors credit in an Honors section, Honors Contracts may be approved by the Honors Director and Department Chair. Participation in University Honors is not required to participate in Departmental Honors.
To graduate with “Honors in Social Work” a student must:
- be a declared social work major by the time the student enrolls in HON 4010 or SW 4510
- have maintained an overall grade point average of 3.5 and a major grade point average of 3.5
- complete 6 hours of Honors course credit in Social Work courses at the Foundation and/or Professional Sequence levels, in courses designated with a “400-level” extension (e.g. SW 2630-410)
- (encouraged but optional) complete a 1 semester hour of independent study to progress completion of the Honors Project prior to SW 4510 (or HON 4010).
- complete 3 semester hours of SW 4510: Social Work Honors Thesis (or, if the student is also pursuing University Honors, HON 4010: Senior Honors Thesis/Project), writing and successfully defending the Honors Thesis documenting the student’s Honors Project, revising the thesis, and submitting a final version to the Departmental Honors Director prior to the field semester.
- earn a minimum grade of “B” (3.0) in Departmental Honors-designated courses
- complete all Honors requirements prior to the field semester
- abide by the Academic Standards for Retention in the BSW Program, including Appalachian State University’s Academic Integrity Code and Code of Student Conduct
Students who are interested in pursuing Departmental or Departmental and University Honors will work with the Departmental Honors Director to meet all requirements.
ProgramsBachelor of Social WorkMinor