Jun 14, 2024  
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.S.

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Faculty: D.Butler, R. Moore, and M. Wright.

Rationale: Tennessee State University has a service-mix area that includes all ethnicities, races and socioeconomic groups. The Nashville metropolitan area, including a small rural population requires a variety of social service agencies to serve this population. Additionally, Tennessee State University’s student body and faculty originate from the United States and more than fifty countries. The Social Work Program is needed to provide leadership and to produce a reservoir of Social Work professionals who can serve diverse populations in Nashville, Middle Tennessee, the State of Tennessee, and the nation.

Mission: The Social Work Program prepares students for professional social work practice, leadership, and service in an urban setting. The Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree program promotes social and economic justice, the application of cultural competence, scholarly inquiry, and lifelong learning.

Core Values: The program provides leadership training for social service professionals in Metro Nashville and the surrounding region. The Core Values of the Tennessee State University Social Work program are consistent with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics core values. These values are actively prompted and modeled within the social work department and expected to be demonstrated by our faculty staff students, honored alumni, and advisory board. The core values include Service, Social justice, Dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and Competence.

Professional Expectations: The Tennessee State University Social Work program also maintains a list of professional expectations. These guidelines are modeled by faculty and staff, and expected of students. They are also used to identify challenges and support positive resolutions in student progress through the program and individual development through advising and, if necessary, disciplinary action. The professional expectations can be found in each syllabus and the field and student handbooks. The professional expectations require that students:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker
  2. Demonstrate a Proactive Commitment to Learning
  3. Utilize Resources and Feedback with Efficacy
  4. Communicate Effectively with respect and cultural competence.
  5. Apply Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
  6. Demonstrate Self-Awareness and Ethical Conduct
  7. Manage a Healthy & Balanced Lifestyle effectively Managing Stress

Program Goals: (1) Administer a social work educational program of the highest quality promoting a culture of collaboration, efficiency, effectiveness, and autonomy as a model within the university context and a competent collaborator in the community. (2) Create and maintain an environment of learning, development, diversity, justice, and opportunity for faculty, staff, and students. (3) Build and maintain quality curriculum consistent with accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education. (4) Evaluate the extent to which the program, implicit curriculum, and explicit curriculum objectives have been met.

Student Learning Outcomes: (1)Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly; (2) Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice; (3) Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments; (4) Engage diversity and difference in practice; (5) Advance human rights and social an economic justice; (6) Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research; (7) Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment; (8) Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services; (9) Respond to contexts that shape practice; (10) Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The baccalaureate Social Work Program is the only public program in Nashville, Tennessee that prepares students for entry-level professional practice. It also prepares students for acquiring registration, certification, and licensure in social work.

Career Opportunities: Career opportunities include employment at the professional entry-level in social work positions in public and private agencies in the following areas: human services, public health, mental health, mental retardation, corrections, social services in hospitals and nursing homes, senior citizen centers, state and county social services agencies, public housing, adult protective services, child protective services, school social work, planned parenthood centers, and as resident managers and probation and parole officers.

Accreditation: The Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting agency to the profession. The Program has been accredited since 1974.

Admission and Exit Requirements: Students who wish to gain admission to the Social Work Program must meet the university admission policy, complete the university general education requirements, submit an application to be reviewed by the advisor, and earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 (4.0 scale) on college-level coursework. After the review of the formal application, the faculty advisor conducts an interview. The interview serves as the primary tool for exploration of student’s knowledge of the profession of social work, motivation for selecting social work as a major, prior work or volunteer experiences, and future career goals. The advisor then meets with the faculty to decide on admission of student. Without formal admission to the program, students are not considered to be Social Work majors. Students who do not meet the quality point average requirement or who have failed courses in the general education area may be asked to reapply for admission at a later date, or may be admitted on a provisional basis. No academic credit is given for life experience or prior work experience. These procedures are all in addition to the procedures for upper-level admission outlined below.

Transfer Students and Transfer Credit: Credits in Social Work earned at other higher education institutions are accepted toward the Social Work degree at Tennessee State University on the same basis as work taken at TSU, provided the courses are of the same content and quality.

Departmental Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Social Work: 120 Semester Hours

A student must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours to receive a degree. A minimum of 60 of the semester hours must be in courses on the 3000 and 4000 level. A minimum of 45 semester hours is required in social work courses, 15 related liberal arts semester courses, 42 semester hours of general education courses, and 18 hours of other lower division required courses.

General Education Core:

Upper-division Admission

For admission into the upper-division program of the Social Work major, students must complete all of the requirements listed above under General Education Core and Other Course Requirements. In addition, they must have removed all high school deficiencies, satisfactorily completed all required remedial/ developmental courses, and earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 on college-level coursework.


To fulfill the need for more exposure in social welfare agencies, all students are required to have a participatory observation experience prior to field placement. During the sophomore year, all Social Work majors observe and participate in two social services agencies for a minimum of 30 clock hours. In the junior year, students complete two written agency profiles. Students participating in a regular volunteer program may use that experience in lieu of the observation and participation. Both requirements must be met prior to being admitted to field instruction program.

Students must spend a minimum of 400 clock hours (1 semester) in a field placement in an approved social service agencies and organizations, while registered for SOWK 4100 - Field Education (8) , SOWK 4900 - Senior Seminar in Social Work (1)  and SOWK 4850 - Social Work Research II (2) . This experience provides students with an opportunity to apply theory to actual practice under supervision and guidance of a qualified practitioner. Students are evaluated on the basis of their growth and development in relation to the program’s formal educational outcomes. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.3 and must have earned the grade of C or better in SOWK 2010 , SOWK 2100 , SOWK 3300 , SOWK 3350 , SOWK 3400 , SOWK 3450 , SOWK 3500 , SOWK 4601 , and SOWK 4800 , and SOCI 3000 , before being admitted to Field Education. No academic credit is given for life experience or prior work experience. Only Social Work majors are admitted to the field education program.

Suggested Four-Year Plan:

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Year

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