Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)

Enjoy Helping Others and Stamping Out Injustice?

In the BSSW program, the student will achieve a B.S.S.W. degree (Bachelor of Science in Social Work) which prepares the student for entry-level professional positions in social work. 

General Statement: The Social Work Program offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work.

Social Work Program Rationale: Tennessee State University has a service-mix area that includes approximately 1.1 million people, including 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 Social Work program promotes social and economic justice, the application of cultural competence, scholarly inquiry, and lifelong learning.

The Goals of the Social Work Program are to:

1. Prepare students for professional entry level generalist social work practice to effectively meet the human needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in Metro Nashville.

2. Provide students with an understanding of the dynamics and consequences of human oppression and discrimination, and with strategies to promote social and economic justice.

3. Prepare students to be committed to lifelong learning and continued personal and professional growth, and to provide leadership in the development of the profession and the service delivery system.

4. Provide students with the content about the social environment of social work practice, the changing nature of this context, and the behavior of organizations, and the change process.

5. Infuse throughout the curriculum the values and ethics that guide professional social workers in their practice. 6. Provide to students of diverse social, economic, racial and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to become professional social workers.

Program Performance Outcomes:

(1) Create and maintain a culture of collaboration with strategies to promote social and economic justice among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community stakeholders;

(2)Promote efficiency and effectiveness in resource acquisition and utilization;

(3)Create and maintain an environment of professional development among faculty and staff with diverse skills, disciplines, and worldviews;

(4)Support and model strategies to promote social and economic justice addressing the dynamics and consequences of human oppression and discrimination;

(5)Provide opportunity to students of diverse social, economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to become professional social workers;

(6)Provide students with theory-based instructional content about the human behavior in the social environment, social work practice methods of assessment and intervention, and the diverse levels and contexts of practice;

(7)Provide students with theory-based instructional content about the behavior, contexts, and change processes in organizations and communities;

(8)Infuse throughout the curriculum the values and ethics that guide professional social workers in their practice;

(9)Prepare students for professional entry-level generalist social work practice to effectively meet the human needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities in Metro Nashville;

(10)Prepare students to be committed to life-long learning and continued personal and professional growth and to provide leadership in the development of the social work profession and the service delivery system.

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 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 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.