As the only helping profession that emphasizes both human well-being and social justice, social workers strive to empower others to make the changes they desire in their lives and advocate to bring about social change on both individual and community levels. Social workers help communities provide maximum equality of opportunity for all; help vulnerable individuals learn to cope more effectively with their problems and needs; and seek continually to strengthen and improve the institutional systems responsible for education, justice, health, business, labor, and welfare, so that people are better served.
My first practicum was with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), which represents children who have been abused or neglected. This really sparked my interest in the criminal justice system and led me to add a minor in political science. After I graduate I hope to get my MSW or go to law school. I think the great thing about social work is that there are so many different career options.
BASW Student, Class of 2018
To be eligible to apply for the BASW program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Review full application instructions here.
The BASW foundation curriculum is designed to integrate the pillars of the social work profession: practice knowledge and skills, professional values, research and policy. The curriculum is grounded in theory related to human behavior and emphasizes actual practice application through two semesters of field practicum where students are engaged with social welfare agencies related to their area of interest.
Social Work majors interested in a public service career working with children and families may apply for the Kentucky Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP), a cooperative effort between the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and several undergraduate social work programs throughout the state. The goal is to add professional bachelor’s level social work graduates to the ranks of child protection workers throughout Kentucky.
To review full eligibility criteria and program information, click here.
One of the most important and exciting components of social work education is the field practicum. The Field Education practicum ensures students learn to integrate and apply social work values, knowledge, skills, and practice behaviors in a positive learning environment. Students’ high level of involvement in their own learning creates collaborative relationships that help them grow professionally and see practice in action. The College of Social Work partners with over 300 public and non-profit organizations across central and Eastern Kentucky. BASW students earn 13 credit hours completing over 600 hours in agency settings across two practicums within the social work curriculum. As the signature pedagogy of social work education, field education provides students a real world opportunity to begin to develop their professional identity.
Study Abroad in Ghana
SW 580: Social Development in Developing Countries – Ghana
This is a six-week field-based SW 580 summer course in Ghana and is open to all undergraduate or graduate students. This field-based course in Accra, Ghana introduces students to the social development approach through placements in social welfare and community-based programs run by both governmental and non-governmental (NGOs) agencies. The organizations' focus areas include outreach for street children, juvenile/probation services, residential facilities for delinquent boys and girls, rehabilitation for physically disabled persons, hospital-related social work, community development programs, women and children's services, orphanages and HIV/AIDS services. For more information, click here.
Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
This course is an interactive partnership between the University of Kentucky Department of Sociology, College of Social Work, and Kentucky Department of Corrections. Students will be selected from UK as “outside” students based on their interested in the criminal justice system and potential careers in the criminal justice field. Students will be selected from Blackburn Correctional Complex as “inside” students based on their interest in learning new ways of thinking about social problems and engaging in a college course. This interactive and innovative teaching model is known as the “Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program”.
This unique community-based learning model is currently successfully operating in over 300 prison institutions and college/university programs across world. The goal of this course is to examine the use and abuse of substances and their relationship to crime through the analysis of different types of sociological and clinical social work theories. Students examine the etiology, prevention, treatment, development of social policies, and theoretical explanations pertaining to the use of psychoactive substances and criminal justice responses in American society.
Students that have completed a bachelor’s degree of social work within the last 5 years may be eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The Advanced Standing MSW program consists of 39 hours, compared to the regular 60 hour MSW program. To be eligible to apply for Advanced Standing, applicants must have received their BASW or BSW from a CSWE accredited program within the last 5 years and present Grade Point Averages (GPA) at or above the following (firm) minimums:
Undergraduate GPA 3.0
Social Work GPA 3.5
Graduate GPA (if applicable) 3.0
Advanced Standing may be completed full-time (beginning in the Summer term) or part-time (beginning in the Fall term).
Candidates who are not admitted to Advanced Standing usually can be automatically considered for the Regular 60-credit program. Additionally at least 1 year of previous full-time paid social work-related experience is recommended. For more information, click here.
Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They manage staff who provide social services to the public.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.
per year in 2014
Number of Jobs
10 Year Job Outlook
new jobs (average)
Social and community service managers work for nonprofit organizations, private for-profit social service companies, and government agencies. Most work full time.
Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsRead More
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Kalea Benner, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Director of Undergraduate Studies
College of Social Workkaleabenner@uky.edu
College of Social Work
College of Social Work
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