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Social Work Overview

Adoption Specialist • Case Manager • Child Care Worker • Child Protection Worker • Community Organizer • Domestic Violence Counselor • Employee Assistance Counselor • Family Court Officer • Family Services Worker • Foster Care Worker • Foster Home Developer • Geriatric Services Worker • Group Home Supervisor • Group Leader • Home Health Care Provider • Independent Living Worker • Intake Worker • Legal Aid Worker • Occupational Social Worker • Mental Health Worker • Patient Advocate • Policy Analyst • Probation Officer • Program Evaluator • Program Supervisor • Recipient Rights Investigator • Research Associate • Resource & Referral Specialist • Residential Counselor • Sexual Abuse Counselor • Social Service Coordinator • Street Outreach Worker • Substance Abuse Counselor • Youth Treatment Specialist

Marygrove College offers a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The B.S.W. program is designed to prepare students for ethically-guided, generalist social work practice at the entry level of professional employment and for graduate professional education. Satisfactory completion of our undergraduate curriculum means that you would be eligible for up to one year advanced standing in Master of Social Work degree programs. With some post-degree work experience, you can be licensed as a social worker in the State of Michigan.

The Social Work Degree Program
The social work curriculum is based on the premise that as a social worker you need a well-integrated program of liberal arts courses, professional foundation courses, and professional core courses. The curriculum is, therefore, interdisciplinary in nature. It includes 46 credit hours in social work core courses and 30 credit hours in professionally related courses in the social sciences, biology and philosophy. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, no minor is required.

If you are entering Marygrove as a first year student, then the program of study leading to the B.S.W. degree generally consists of a minimum of four years of full-time study. If you already have an associate’s degree or are transferring into Marygrove with junior standing, you can generally complete all requirements for the B.S.W. degree in two and a half years of full-time study. Transfer guides for area community colleges can be found at:

It is not mandatory that you attend the College full-time to pursue the B.S.W. degree. Part-time students are also welcomed. This degree program can be completed during day and/or evening hours.

The professional core courses are concentrated in the junior and senior years. Therefore, you are advised to complete general education requirements before your junior year, or as soon as possible.

In accordance with CSWE’s Accreditation Standard 3.2.5 for baccalaureate social work programs, the Marygrove BSW program has “a written policy indicating that it does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.”

Social Work Advisor and Student Handbook
After admission to the College, you will be assigned a social work faculty advisor who will help you plan your academic career at Marygrove and consider the many professional social work career possibilities. It is highly recommended that you meet with your advisor every semester in order to help ensure that you are taking the courses you need and in the required order. Your academic advisor will be an important resource to you. You will be provided with a Social Work Student Handbook. This includes general information about the social work profession, and specific information regarding the Marygrove BSW program’s mission, goals and objectives, together with its policies and procedures. You are highly encouraged to bring the SW Student Handbook to your advising meetings.

Admission to the B.S.W. Degree Program
After you are admitted to the College, your advisor will explain the self-assessment, application and screening process required of you in order to be granted formal admission to the B.S.W. degree program. This process starts with your enrollment in one or more introductory social work courses, which you should elect as soon as you complete all prerequisites to the course(s). In these courses, you will assess your aptitude for, and clarify your interest in social work.

You will be ready to submit an application for formal admission to the social work program once you have:

  • decided that you want to attain the B.S.W. degree, and declared Social Work as your major
  • achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.3 (C+)
  • completed SW 312 with a grade of C or better
  • completed SW 312L with a grade of C or better
  • demonstrated successful progress in SW 314. 

An application packet is available outside the Social Work Department Office, MC 345. Details of the application process are outlined in the application packet, in the Social Work Department Student Handbook, and in SW 312: Introduction to Social Work.  A Social Work Admissions Information Workshop is offered several times each semester; it is highly recommended that every student interested in applying to the program attend this workshop, prior to submitting her/his application. 

Students are responsible for electronically submitting the completed application form and personal interest statement via Blackboard, by the posted deadline. Reference letters must be submitted to the Social Work Department office, MC 345, by the posted deadline. Applications are reviewed by the Social Work Admissions Sub-committee. Applicants are notified of the Admissions Sub-committee’s decision by the end of the semester in which they apply.

A contractual agreement between the student and the Social Work Department must be signed upon admission to the Program. As part of the contract students agree to adhere to the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics. Admission to the Program is valid for six (6) years. If this time period has expired and you have not successfully progressed toward degree completion, then you must re-apply to the Program.

No grade below a “C” will be accepted in any required core social work course. If a student earns below a “C” in a core social work course, the student must repeat that course and earn at least a grade of “C”. Only two different core courses may be repeated, and each course may be repeated only once. If more than two core courses must be repeated, as a result of a final grade lower than a “C,” then the student cannot continue in the social work program.

An overall GPA of 2.3 must be maintained by social work students. Continuance in the program is contingent upon maintenance of this GPA requirement, as well as upon personal and professional behavior that is consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics and the Social Work Professional Behavior Expectation Policy found in the Social Work Student Handbook.

Decisions about program admission, denial, discontinuance and repeating of course work will be handled on an individual basis. If you wish to appeal a decision, please refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

In addition to SW 312L, the program reserves the right to require a pre-professional practicum (SW 299).

You must be formally admitted into the Social Work Program before you can enroll in:

SW 350 Social Work Practice I
SW 450 Social Work Practice II
SW 455 Field Practicum
SW 496 Senior Seminar

Admission to Field Education Program
The signature component of the BSW Program is its Field Education Program.

To be admitted to the field education program, a student must:

  • have been admitted to the Social Work Program
  • have completed SW 325 with a grade of “C” or higher
  • attend a mandatory field education meeting
  • submit a completed “Application for Admission to Field Education” form
  • be evaluated by Social Work faculty as being professionally and academically ready for admission to field education
  • successfully complete SW 350 with a grade of “C” or higher during the winter or summer semester immediately prior to the beginning of the field placement
  • sign the Statement of Agreement with Field Education Policies.

Once admitted to field education, a student must:

  • submit a completed “Student Field Education” form
  • submit the “Course Check List” signed by advisor verifying student’s readiness to graduate at conclusion of fall semester (for block placement) or winter semester (for regular placement) of internship year
  • submit a resume and cover letter. Decisions about field education admission, denial and/or discontinuance will be handled on an individual basis. If you wish to appeal a decision or policy, please refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Department Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Decisions about field education admission, denial and/or discontinuance will be handled on an individual basis. If you wish to appeal a decision or policy, please refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Department Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Field Practicum
The core of the field education program is an educationally planned, professionally guided field practicum in an agency or facility where professional social workers are employed. As a social work intern, you will be engaged in the delivery of social services to individuals, families, groups, organizations and/or communities, generally two to three days per week. Marygrove’s Social Work Program has two practicum models.

The Academic Year practicum model is the main practicum format and is the model that is open to all students admitted to field education. According to this model, students are enrolled in the field practicum course and working in the assigned agency two semesters, for a total of 12 credit hours. This enrollment occurs during both the Fall term (6 credits), and Winter term (6 credits). These students can anticipate graduating in May at the conclusion of that academic year.

The second practicum model is called the Block Placement model, in which students are enrolled in the field practicum course and working in the assigned agency during the Summer term (3 credits), and Fall term (9 credits), for a total of 12 credit hours. These students can anticipate graduating in December at the conclusion of the Fall semester. The majority of students are not eligible to follow this Block Placement practicum model. In order to be considered for a Block Placement, a student must:

  • be admitted into the Field Education Program by February 15 of the Winter term that precedes the Summer term in which the Block placement practicum will begin
  • have a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.2
  • provide a written rationale stating why they believe they are capable of completing a Block Placement in light of the heavy academic and professional requirements which this model places on students, especially during the Fall semester when they must complete 9 credits of field practicum work
  • present a clear and realistic plan demonstrating how they will complete all the requirements of the field practicum, as well as all of their requirements for graduation by December of the same calendar year in which they complete their second semester field practicum*
  • be graduating in December of the same calendar year as the year in which they conclude their field practicum.**

* The Field Director has the authority to determine whether students’ plans are realistic and if they will be able to handle the demands of a Block placement. This decision about readiness for a Block Placement will be made by the Field Director in consultation with the social work faculty. Approval or denial of requests will be given in writing. If a student wishes to appeal the decision, she or he should refer to the academic appeals procedures described in the Social Work Department Student Handbook and in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

** Although a student meets the qualifications and receives approval to complete the Block placement model, this does not guarantee that the program will be able to accommodate all specific needs or requests.

At Marygrove, your field practicum agency is specifically selected for you by the Field Director, with your consultation, from the many and diverse agencies in the tri-county area. The field practicum provides you with invaluable experience and preparation for employment in entry-level social work practice. Because the field practicum, together with required coursework, places high demands on your time and energy in the senior year‚ advance planning is required. The Field Director reserves the right to delay, interrupt and/or terminate the field practicum experience. The Field Director may also require that you complete additional field practicum hours beyond the required 450 hours of practicum work.

As we subscribe to and aim to cultivate the values of the social work profession, it is expected that you will respect and promote the dignity, integrity and self-determination of every person in the field agency, on campus, in the classroom and in related interactions, as well as conduct yourself according to the NASW Code of Ethics and the Social Work Professional Behavior Expectation Policy at all times. Please see the Social Work Student Handbook for more information regarding this expectation.

Program Motto and Student Involvement

The motto of our program is “Be Prepared to Get Involved”. Marygrove social work students are very active on campus and in the wider community. They volunteer to help children, teens, adults and seniors in a variety of settings. They also participate in meaningful research and advocacy for positive change in the city of Detroit, of which we are an integral part. Marygrove social work students, like all students at Marygrove, are guided, mentored and nurtured to become the urban leaders of tomorrow.

Social Work Student Organizations
The Social Work Department has four student organizations: Network, Phi Alpha Honor Society, ABSW, and SWMEN.

  • Network, Marygrove’s organization for all students interested in social work, was founded in 1982. Network’s charter calls for providing opportunities for students to assist each other throughout the Social Work program and toward their professional/career goals, as well as promoting a positive image and greater understanding of the social work profession.
  • Phi Alpha Honor Society, Beta Eta Chapter, Marygrove’s chapter of this national honor society for social work students, was founded in 1988. In order to be eligible for membership, a student must be a Social Work major with junior or senior standing, have been formally accepted into the BSW program, have completed 9 credit hours in Social Work, and have an overall GPA of 3.0, with a 3.3 GPA in Social Work.
  • ABSW, Marygrove’s Association of Black Social Work Students, was founded in 1978. This organization, a student chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers, provides opportunities for African- American students to advocate for policies and services addressing a broad range of social, economic and political issues that impact the African-American community.
  • SWMEN, the Marygrove Social Work Men Empowerment Network, was founded in 2009. It provides mutual support for the men of the Social Work program. It also provides a means for these men to advocate for the interests and serve the needs of men at Marygrove and in the wider community.

Social Work Awards

  • The Sister Christina Schwartz, IHM, Scholarship is an annual award, given to one or more social work students who have demonstrated extensive volunteerism and community service regarding social justice issues in Detroit.
  • The Helen Wessel Cherniak Scholarship is an annual award, given to a student having strong academic credentials and the potential to make a contribution to her/his community.
  • The Outstanding Student in Social Work Award is an annual award presented to a senior student for outstanding achievement in leadership and active demonstration of the values of the social work profession.
  • The National Association of Social Workers Student Social Worker of the Year Award is given each year, based on a vote of the graduating seniors and the Social Work faculty, to a student who: best demonstrates leadership qualities, contributes to the positive image of the social work program, is committed to political and community activities, is successful in their academic performance, and represents the NASW Social Work Code of Ethics.
  • The So Bheas Club Memorial Scholarship is an annual award, given to a Junior Social Work major with a special interest in working with families and 3.0 or higher GPA.

Social Work Department Facilities

  • The Social Work Department has two computer laboratories, both of which are used for special class assignments. In particular, the labs are used for learning and practicing interviewing skills, for SW 325: Professional Communication, and for learning and practicing data analysis skills, including the use of SPSS, for SW 355: Social Research, and SW 365: Research and Statistics for Social Workers. In addition, one lab offers open walk-in hours specifically for social work student use.
  • The Michelle Ventour Social Work Resource Room houses books, journals, magazines and other resource materials useful for social work students, as well as a place to meet and study. It is dedicated to the memory of Michelle M. Ventour, LMSW, for her 17 years of loyal service to the Marygrove College community. Each social work major has her/his own mail folder or mailbox in the Resource Room.

Leadership Opportunities

  • The Social Work Department computer laboratories are monitored by students who are invited to serve as Computer Lab Monitors. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a Social Work Computer Lab Monitor. Serving in this capacity also provides opportunities for networking, assisting others in the program and developing leadership skills.
  • Social work majors are encouraged to join with faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the wider community, to serve on special Ad Hoc Committees. These include planning committees for special events, research teams for specific projects, search committees for new faculty/ staff, as well as ad hoc committees for developing new processes, procedures, projects and/or programming

Annual Department Events
The Social Work Department sponsors a variety of social and academic events for students throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to join with department faculty and other students, as well as program alumni, to welcome the new students and honor our alumni in the fall, to celebrate the new year in January, to commemorate Social Work Month in March, to attend the Senior Seminar dramatic presentation in April, and to be part of the spring mixer in June. As a graduating senior, you will also be honored at the annual Social Work Senior Social. In addition, special workshops are designed specifically for the needs and interests of social work students.