School of Arts & Sciences
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.
Dr. Kylene Rehder, LCSW
Social Work Program Director and CWPEP Coordinator
Jesse Dunn 308
Social Work Mission Statement
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.
Kailie Martin, Senior
"When I first came to Northwestern, I thought I knew the career path I wanted to follow. I was determined on this path until I learned what social work was and the impact social workers have on society as a whole. Social work is all about empowerment, encouragement and social justice. I always knew I wanted to be in a helping profession, so when I learned more about this program I knew it was the one for me. I have enjoy all the classes, and the faculty and staff of the social work program are nothing less than the best. I am extremely excited about the opportunities in this profession and grateful to be a part of the NWOSU Social Work program.."
SWAT is a student-run organization that seeks to enhance the social work learning experience. The purpose is: to promote social work as an important and positive profession in Northwest Oklahoma; to uphold the National Association of Social Work code of ethics; to employ community service projects while supporting our community partners and their consumers.
To complete the membership application, click here.
Social Work Major
General Social Work Minor
Community Social Services Minor
For a detailed look at the course requirements and descriptions for these degrees, please see the Undergraduate Catalog.
Social Work Careers Include
See attached link for 100 Social Work Jobs.
Plans of Study
Plans of Study
Current students have until March 15 for academic scholarships using the Continuing Student Scholarship Application.
For Departmental Scholarships, you will need to fill out the Social Work Departmental Scholarship Application by February 15.
Note: All incoming freshmen or transfers are encouraged to fill out their respective scholarship forms: Freshman Scholarship or Transfer Scholarship along with the Application for Admission to the University. The incoming freshman deadline is May 15, while the transfer student deadline is July 15.
For more information, please visit Scholarships.
The Council on Social Work Education emphasizes field education as the “signature pedagogy” of social work education and the “the central form of instruction and learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner.” The Field Education program welcomes you to the practicum experience and provides students and field instructors with the Field Experience Manual which contains the policies, procedures, and descriptions of Social Work Field Education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
The social work major requires students to complete a 420 hour Field Experience (practicum). Upon completion or enrollment in the pre-requisite courses, students make application for the Field Experience. Admission to the Field Experience requires a review of academic performance and an assessment of the professional performance and ethical conduct of the student in the Social Work Program. Students who are deemed unprepared to assume responsibility for professional services to clients may be denied or delayed placement. The Field Experience is designed to be performed in a spring "block" practicum (420 hours) in the same setting. Students in the Field Experience courses must secure professional liability insurance for the duration of the Field Experience.
For more information contact Cody Harding, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of Field Education, Room 110 Northwestern - Enid Campus, (580) 213-3148, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Departmental Program Highlights
- Nationally accredited - only 1 of 5 universities in the state that hold this accreditation
- Students with degree can obtain licensure upon graduation to practice social work in any state
- More than 95% acceptance rate of students into MSW advanced standing programs
- More than 95% job placement after graduation
- Home to 7 National Association of Social Workers-Oklahoma Undergraduate Students of the Year
- CWPEP grant has awarded 18 NWOSU students more than $130,000
- Home to a state-of-the art social work virtual reality lab
- Dr. Kylene Rehder named 2018 NASW-OK Social Worker of the Year
CWPEP Application & Information
Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program
Professional Development Support
The Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) offers students the opportunity to make a commitment to serve Oklahoma families and children at risk of abuse and/or neglect. Applications are available to all undergraduate social work majors who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the U.S.
This program is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), Children and Family Services Division, through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.
Statewide Professional Development Opportunities
Coordinated by the University of Oklahoma School of Social Work, the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program is also available to other accredited undergraduate social work programs, including OU at Norman, East Central University at Ada, Oral Roberts University at Tulsa and Northwestern Oklahoma State University at Alva, Enid and Woodward. These BSW programs and the OU Graduate Program at both the Norman and Tulsa sites work jointly to provide an exciting opportunity for social work majors who desire a career in public child welfare. Each school awards stipends or pays tuition costs, certain fees and required textbooks up to the total amount of the stipend to a certain number of students each year.
CWPEP is available to Native American tribal employees if the tribe has a Tribal-State Agreement with OKDHS. Tribal employees are required to work in the tribe's Indian Child Welfare program upon graduation.
Students accepted into the CW Professional Enhancement Program are required to take child welfare-related classes, to attend the OKDHS CORE Training Program and to have field placements in OKDHS Child Welfare county offices. Upon completion of the Bachelors degree, Social Workers enter OKDHS employment as Child Welfare Specialists.
Child Welfare Traineeships at Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Up to 3 per year in the BSW program (juniors and seniors)
Title IV-E of the Social Security Act
Must be undergraduate social work student, junior level or above. Must demonstrate, through an application and a written essay a career interest in the field of child welfare and the willingness to be contractually obligated to work for the OKDHS, Child Welfare, for a specified period of time upon completion of degree program. All applicants are required to have a criminal background check and a driving records check to be considered for the program. Applicants must be citizens of the United States or legal permanent residents of the U.S.
Dr. Kylene Rehder, LCSW
Monthly Financial Assistance
Students accepted into the program receive monthly stipends or payment is made for tuition, certain fees and required textbooks.
Students sign legally binding contracts that require an employment obligation to OKDHS/CW of one calendar year for each academic year of financial assistance or to repay the money expended.
Child Welfare employees approved for educational leave by OKDHS may apply to the CWPEP.
OKDHS offers Child Welfare career opportunities throughout the state of Oklahoma. OKDHS works actively to assist BSW and MSW graduates in finding employment.
Student Resources and Labs
Resource Center and Interview Lab
The Department of Social Work houses a resource center and interviewing lab for students majoring in social work. The lab is located in Jesse Dunn 308 on the Alva campus and is equipped with technology and an in-house library of social work textbooks, selected journals and practice-skill videos. Click link for Resource Center Book Holdings.
Students wishing to check out materials should contact the Department of Social Work at (580) 327-8134. All materials are available to social work majors on the Alva, Enid, and Woodward campuses.
Virtual Reality Lab
The Department of Social Work is also home to a state-of-the-art virtual reality lab and resource center. The lab is located on the Enid campus in Room 110 and is equipped with virtual reality (VR) goggles and curriculum to practice social work skills.
The VR lab offers an opportunity for students to intract with a virtual environment while the images displayed on the goggles are broadcasted to large wall mounted monitors for faculty instruction with observing students.
VR goggles are available on each of our campus locations. Students wishing to check out VR equipment or resource materials should contact the Department of Social Work at (580) 327-8134. All materials are available to social work majors on the Alva, Enid, and Woodward campuses.
The social work resource centers, interviewing and virtual reality labs were funded by the Anne & Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma on behalf of OKDHS in order to assist the department in retaining quality social workers in the public child welfare system.
Social Work Transfer Credit
Transfer students may apply credit hours gained elsewhere to the social work degree. The transfer of general education credits is governed by the policies of Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
Credit hours applied directly to the requirements of the social work program must have been earned in a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, or a program in candidacy for accreditation. Transfer courses for which social work credit is sought must be reviewed and approved by the social work faculty advisor as equivalent to the social work content in courses at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
The social work program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University does not grant academic or field practicum credit for life experience or previous work experience gained outside the context of higher educational institutions.
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:
- Prepare social workers with the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
- Prepare social workers for ethical practice in a rapidly changing global environment and within the complexities of rural regions.
- Provide a learning environment which models respect for diversity and a commitment to ending discrimination and promoting social justice.
- Prepare social workers for the use of evidence based theories, practice methods, and evaluation processes for both client and agency outcomes.
- Educate lifelong learners who can think critically about the world around them.
- Develop social work leaders who are able to improve the social service delivery systems in Northwest Oklahoma.
- Prepare social workers with a commitment to professional growth and development.
Student Learning Assessment
Click to see our Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes information.
The Social Work Program at Northwestern views assessment as an integral component of competency based education. The student learning outcomes are identified through nine social work competencies and 31 behaviors. The core competencies and behaviors are as follows:
C1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior.
- Make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context.
- Use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations.
- Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication.
- Use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes.
- Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior
C2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice.
- Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels
- Present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences
- Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.
C3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic and Environmental Justice.
- Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels
- Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.
C4. Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice.
- Use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research
- Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings
- Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.
C5. Engage in Policy and Practice.
- Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services
- Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services
- Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
C6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies
- Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies
C7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies
- Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies
- Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.
C8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies
- Use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes
- Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies
- Facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals
C9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
- Select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes
- Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes
- Apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
The Social Work Program Advisory Board is comprised of social workers, practitioners, and leaders in our local communities that foster and support the continued development of social work education in the region. While members come from different communities, the committee is seen as one functional unit and focuses on the overall development of the program. The primary purpose of the board is to maintain active communication between the social work practice community and the program to ensure continued improvement. The Social Work Program Advisory Board addresses the following: student preparation to meet community and agency needs, expectations for students in field education, program assessment outcomes, input on educational policies, student recruitment and retention, job placement, research initiatives, and identifying agency needs that the social work program can address to contribute to community betterment.
Northwestern’s Social Work Program Advisory Board Members
Amy Whitson, Child Welfare Deputy Director – Region I, Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Pamela Bookout, MSW, LCSW, Integrated Health Specialist, Great Salt Plains Health Center, Inc.
Kevin Evans, Executive Director, Western Plains Youth and Family Services
Nancy Prigmore, MSW, JD, Manager, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
Barbara McPherson, SWAT President, Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Tricia Mitchell, Executive Director, 4RKids Foundation
Raquel Razien, MSW, Regional Program Director, United Methodist Circle of Care
In Memory of Orren Dale, PhD, MSSW
Completion of Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work Program meets the educational requirements to apply for a bachelor’s level license in offering states. Licensing of social work practitioners is under the authority of a designated office in each individual state and requires that a social worker sitting for a licensing exam be a graduate of a CSWE-accredited program. Contact information for individual state licensing boards can be found on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) website at www.aswb.org or through an internet search for a licensing board for a particular state. ASWB maintains information about social work regulations and licensure requirements as a service to the public. Basic information about social work licensing in U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions can be located directly at www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/social-work-regulation/.
Individualized state licensure information is located HERE and was last reviewed in June 2020.