Nov 29, 2022  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Social Work

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Lauren E. Renkert, Chair

Ben E. Alexander-Eitzman Leah R. Hamilton Deborah L. Phillips
Kellie Reed Ashcraft Kristin W. Harmon Heather Thorp
Robert S. Broce Michael L. Howell J. Annette T. Ward
Emily K. Dakin Judy Kaplan Kelly A. Williams
Sarah S. Donovan Denise L. Levy Rachel L. Wright
Peter R. Fawson Maureen A. MacNamara  

The Department of Social Work at Appalachian State University is guided by an overarching framework of social and economic justice. Housed within the Beaver College of Health Sciences, the Social Work Department’s mission is to promote the well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities and to meet the work force needs for professional social workers, especially at the local and regional level. The undergraduate (BSW) and graduate (MSW) programs are designed to assist students to develop competencies for ethical and culturally competent generalist social work practice within the distinct Appalachian culture of the region and across national and international contexts. The graduate program is further charged with providing educational opportunities for students to develop expertise in advanced direct practice with individuals and families, or in leadership roles within community and organizational practice. Through scholarly activities and service, members of the faculty contribute to the knowledge base of the profession, enhance social work practice throughout the region and state, and support the social work profession regionally, nationally and globally.

Information about the MSW program can be found in the Graduate Bulletin or on the Department of Social Work website at

The BSW curriculum builds on a liberal arts education and includes coursework in human behavior theories, policy analysis, research, social welfare, and generalist practice. This curriculum design provides opportunities for students to gain the knowledge, theory, practice and interpersonal competencies which 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 a social service agency. At the successful completion of the BSW program, students are expected to demonstrate competence in core areas and be prepared for entry level professional practice. Graduates have full professional status and may be granted advanced standing in two-year master’s degree programs in social work.

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 R C 1000  or an equivalent course and credit for or current enrollment in UCO 1200  or an equivalent course. Students should work closely with a 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 S W 2010 , S W 2020 , S W 2615 , S W 2630 , and S W 3000 . These courses are open to students regardless of major.

In order to progress beyond the foundation courses, students must apply and be admitted to the professional sequence. This sequence includes: S W 3330 , S W 3850 , S W 3870 , S W 4000 , S W 4010 , S W 4020 , S W 4650 , and S W 4690 . Students apply to the professional sequence when they are enrolled in, or have completed, all of the foundation courses, receiving a grade of “C” or better in each. Academic standards for admission include an overall GPA of 2.5 and a social work GPA of 2.5. Deadlines for applying are November 1 if applying in the fall semester and April 1 if applying in the spring. A complete application, including an essay, must be submitted prior to the deadline.

Academic Standards for Retention

BSW students are expected to abide by ASU’s code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Code, the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics, the BSW Program’s Cometencies, and the following standards: 1) Scholastic Performance; 2) Professional Identity and Self-Awarness; 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.

Majors must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in all required social work and cognate courses, and must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 and a 2.5 GPA for all required social work and cognate courses. Students may repeat a social work course only once. Students may repeat only two social work courses throughout the program.

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

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. 

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 an overall social work 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), earning a minimum “B” grade and being awarded Honors credit for Honors quality work based on the instructor’s assessment
  • (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 it for publication prior to the field semester.
  • complete all Honors requirements prior to the field semester
  • have no grade less than a “B” in any Departmental Honors-designated courses
  • abide by the Academic Standards for Retention in the BSW Program, including ASU’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. For more information about Departmental Honors contact Dr. Emily Dakin at



    Bachelor of Social WorkMinor


      Social Work

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