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School of Arts & Sciences

Social Work

Northwestern Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation

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Accreditation of a baccalaureate social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Board of Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process.  An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Board of Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.



Information Request Form

Student Handbook

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Laptop Request Form


Dr. Kylene Rehder, LCSW
Social Work Program Director and CWPEP Coordinator
Jesse Dunn 308
(580) 327-8135

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.

Student Spotlight

Laney AndersonLaney Anderson, Ada, Oklahoma, Junior

"The Social Work program at Northwestern has been nothing short of remarkable in my personal experience. It is filled with professors who truly care about each individual student. The professors challenge and push you to be your best while guiding and supporting you through it. I love the connections made and relationships built with my fellow students in my social work classes. These friendships will be beneficial when we are in our careers and can contact one another for reference, resources, advice, or someone who understands what we are going through. I am grateful to be a part of this program!"

See other Department of Social Work Student Highlights

SWAT (Social Workers Association of Tomorrow) Student Organization

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.

Degrees Offered

  • Social Work Major

  • General Social Work Minor

  • Community Social Services Minor

  • Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Minor

For a detailed look at the course requirements and descriptions for these degrees, please see the Undergraduate Catalog.

Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Micro-Credential

Are you interested in increasing your knowledge base in Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health? 

Micro-credentials are a form of certification for professionals to demonstrate their skills and expertise in specialized areas and can provide a pathway for continuing education and professional development.

Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Micro-Credential 

NWOSU has developed a micro-credential for social service professionals that includes a 3 credit hour course and 6 clock hours of approved training. Curriculum and trainings selected provide a solid foundation in the study of infant and early childhood mental health. The credential emphasizes the importance of supporting the developing parent-infant relationship and promoting secure attachments. Participants will be required to complete one three credit hour course and 6 clock hours of approved infant and early childhood mental health training to earn the credential. The course and trainings are taught by faculty in the highly respected social work program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and leaders in the field of infant & early childhood mental health.

The Curriculum 

The program is designed to be completed in 1-2 semesters.

SOCW 4123 Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (3 credit hour course)

6 clocked hours of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health training as approved by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS)


A limited number of scholarships, funded through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Workforce Micro-credentials and Rapid Re-employment Initiative grant program, are available to eligible students.

Getting Started 

  1. Complete and save to your computer the interest form found at You will attach this form under “Please provide any additional documentation” on your application below.
  2. Complete the Northwestern application for admission at You will be prompted to create an account as a first step.
  3. On the application form, select “No Degree Plans” under “Immediate Educational Goal at Northwestern.”
  4. You will be contacted by a Northwestern representative to complete the enrollment process. 


If you are interested in learning more, contact Dr. James Bell, Vice President for Academic Affairs (, (580) 327-8406). 

Degree Planning Resources

Course Rotation

Degree Checksheet

Plans of Study

Social Work Careers

Click graphic for printable document

100 Social Work jobs


Use the Social Work Department Scholarship Application Form to apply for foundation/departmental scholarships by February 15. 

Departmental scholarships available in this area and more can be found at, including numerous miscellaneous unspecified scholarships.

Current students have until March 15 for academic scholarships using the Continuing Student Scholarship Application.

All incoming freshmen or transfers are encouraged to fill out their respective scholarship forms: Freshman Scholarship or Transfer Scholarship, which should be submitted along with the Application for Admission to the University. The incoming freshman deadline is May 15, while the transfer student deadline is July 15.

Students also should complete the FAFSA form at

For more information, please visit Scholarships.

Field Education

The Council on Social Work Education emphasizes field education as the “signature pedagogy” of social work education. Field education is a process of instruction and socialization that teaches future practitioners the fundamental dimensions of professional practice. It is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria and measures of student acquisition and demonstration of the nine social work competencies. Field Education requires a minimum of 420 field experience hours.

Policies, procedures, and descriptions of Social Work Field Education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University are detailed in the Field Education Manual.

Field Education Manual    

For more information contact Codi Harding, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of Field Education, Room 110 Northwestern - Enid Campus, (580) 213-3148,

Departmental Program Highlights

  • Social Work infoNationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education - 1 of 5 BSW accredited programs in the state
  • Social work students can obtain licensure upon graduation to practice in any state
  • Students hold a 95% acceptance rate into MSW advanced standing programs
  • More than 95% job placement after graduation
  • Home to NASW-OK Undergraduate Student of the Year recipients and International Scholars
  • Award-winning faculty and recipient of the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award
  • Virtual Reality Labs and Active Social Work Learning Environments
  • CWPEP grant awards up to $24,300 annually to participating students
  • SWAT (Social Workers Association of Tomorrow) is a vibrant student organization that hosts events such as the award-winning Primp for Prom

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.

Student Requirements 

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

Awards Given

Up to 3 per year in the BSW program (juniors and seniors)

Funding Base

Title IV-E of the Social Security Act
up to a maximum of $8,092 per year could be awarded


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.

Contact Information

Dr. Kylene Rehder, LCSW
Social Work Program Director and CWPEP Coordinator
Jesse Dunn 308
(580) 327-8135

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.

Career Opportunities with OKDHS

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.

Social Work Student Resource Lab


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.

Transfer Credit

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. 

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:

  • 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 20 behaviors. The competencies and behaviors are as follows: 

Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

a. make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics within the profession as appropriate to the context;

b. demonstrate professional behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication;

c. use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and

d. use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.

Competency 2: Advance Human Rights and Social, Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice

a. advocate for human rights at the individual, family, group, organizational, and community system levels;

b. engage in practices that advance human rights to promote social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 3: Engage Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) in Practice

a. demonstrate anti-racist and anti-oppressive social work practice at the individual, family, group, organizational, community, research, and policy levels;

b. demonstrate cultural humility by applying critical reflection, self-awareness, and self-regulation to manage the influence of bias, power, privilege, and values in working with clients and constituencies, acknowledging them as experts of their own lived experiences.

Competency 4: Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice

a. apply research findings to inform and improve practice, policy, and programs;

b. identify ethical, culturally informed, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive strategies that address inherent biases for use in quantitative and qualitative research methods to advance the purposes of social work.

Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice

a. use social justice, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive lenses to assess how social welfare policies affect the delivery of and access to social services;

b. apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

a. apply knowledge of human behavior and person-in-environment, as well as interprofessional conceptual frameworks, to engage with clients and constituencies;

b. use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to engage in culturally responsive practice with clients and constituencies.

Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

a. apply theories of human behavior and person-in-environment, as well as other culturally responsive and interprofessional conceptual frameworks, when assessing clients and constituencies; and

b. demonstrate respect for client self-determination during the assessment process by collaborating with clients and constituencies in developing a mutually agreed-upon plan.

Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

a. engage with clients and constituencies to critically choose and implement culturally responsive, evidence-informed interventions to achieve client and constituency goals;

b. incorporate culturally responsive methods to negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of clients and constituencies.

Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

a. select and use culturally responsive methods for evaluation of outcomes;

b. critically analyze outcomes and apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Advisory Board

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

Kevin Evans, Executive Director, Western Plains Youth and Family Services

James Marks, MSW, LCSW- Manager of the Clinical Division, Centene Corporation

Kailie Martin, BSW, MSW- Community Resource Coordinator, Northwest Family Services

Raquel Razien, BSW, MSW- Former Regional Program Director, United Methodist Circle of Care

Amy Whitson, MSW- Child Welfare Deputy Director- Region I, Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Ashley Garner, BSW Student- SWAT Student Organization President, Northwestern Oklahoma State University

State Licensing

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 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

Individualized state licensure information is located HERE

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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Mission Statement

Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership and service, critical thinking and fiscal responsibility.

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