Social Work
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Department of Social Work

The Social Work Program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). CSWE is a national association preserving and enhancing the quality of social work education for practice and promoting the goals of individual and community well-being and social justice. Social work education programs accredited by CSWE meet a series of rigorous standards designed by leading social work educators and practitioners to ensure students are adequately prepared for professional practice. The profession of social work in the United States looks to CSWE-accredited programs to produce social workers with the knowledge and skills to be professional social workers.

All students who plan to major or minor in Social Work are strongly encouraged to have completed all of their general education requirements prior to the start of the Social Work degree plan. Social Work majors are required to complete 45 hours of program coursework beyond the general education requirements. 

Prospective students should access the Social Work Course Requirements/Degree Checksheet tab on the left side of the page or from Dr. Kylene Rehder, Chair of the Social Work Department prior to enrolling in the Introductory course.

For more information, call (580) 327-8134.


SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM MISSION: The mission of Northwestern Oklahoma State University Social Work Program is to prepare Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) graduates to provide competent, effective, generalist practice social work services to the people of Northwest Oklahoma; to provide a regional forum for the development and dissemination of social work knowledge; to serve as a center for developing leadership in the delivery of social services in the Northwest Region; and to provide social work education grounded in the profession’s history, values, and skills.  


SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM GOALS: The social work program goals reflect the purpose of undergraduate social work education and are derived from the program’s mission.  The social work program goals are as follows:

  1. Prepare social workers with the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.  
  2. Prepare social workers for ethical practice in a rapidly changing global environment and within the complexities of rural regions.
  3. Provide a learning environment which models respect for diversity and a commitment to ending discrimination and promoting social justice.
  4. Prepare social workers for the use of evidence based theories, practice methods, and evaluation processes for both client and agency outcomes.
  5. Educate lifelong learners who can think critically about the world around them.
  6. Develop social work leaders who are able to improve the social service delivery systems in Northwest Oklahoma.
  7. Prepare social workers with a commitment to professional growth and development.

SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM CORE COMPETENCIES: The social work program at Northwestern is grounded in competency based education and demonstrated mastery of the core competencies prepares undergraduate students for generalist social work practice. The core competencies/student learning outcomes for the social work program are as follows:

  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 and 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 individual, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  11. Respond to the rural character of Northwest Oklahoma, its impact on social and human needs, social service delivery systems, and the unique requirements of the people in the region.