Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

The purpose of the social work profession is to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) program prepares students for positions as generalist practice social workers and for graduate education in social work. As generalist practitioners, students apply the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession to empower individuals and communities to overcome life challenges. Social work incorporates a holistic, strength-based approach to helping individuals, families, and communities. The BASW degree provides the foundation for entry-level social work careers in areas such as child welfare, community mental health, developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol, criminal justice, aging, community organizations, and other social service settings.

The social work major is based in a liberal arts education that promotes scientific inquiry and critical thinking. The BASW program provides an evidence-based approach to social work education that identifies best practices in social work. Students are taught the purpose, history, values, and ethics of the social work profession. Subject matter also includes communication and assessment skills, problem-solving approaches, human diversity, research, social welfare and policy, and intervention skills with individuals, families, and communities.  Students in the BASW program are encouraged to take either or both of PSYU 101 Introduction to Psychology and SOCU 101 Introduction to Sociology as general electives. As a professional program, the BASW program requires 400 hours of field education experience. Field education includes placement in a BASW program-approved field site in the student’s geographic area.  The BASW program is professionally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

All courses taken in the major program must be passed with a letter grade of "C" or higher.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the BASW program is to provide baccalaureate students with a strong generalist foundation in the knowledge and skills necessary for professional entry-level social work practice.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Ethical and Professional Behavior: Identify as a professional social worker and demonstrate behavior accordingly.
  • Diversity: Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • Human Rights: Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Research: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  • Policy Practice: Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  • Engage: Understand the interactive process, theories of human behavior, and apply knowledge to facilitate engagement to enhance work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Assess:  Understand assessment methods and theories to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Intervene: Use evidence-based interventions to achieve goals of clients including with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Evaluate Practice: Evaluating processes and outcomes to advance practice, policy and service delivery to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Ethical and Professional Standards

Students are expected to meet all program standards and abide by the ethical standards of the profession as published in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, and by the Brandman University Student Code of Conduct.  Since the BASW program involves preparing people to work in the helping profession, the program faculty assumes the responsibility for reasonably assuring that individuals who complete the program are not only academically competent, but are aware of and are capable of functioning within the established ethical and professional standards of the profession. A student in the BASW program must adhere to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) ethical standards and should understand that he/she is being trained in a program which is not only academic, but also professional in nature. The NASW Code of Ethics is available on the NASW website.

The university has both the right and obligation to evaluate continually, and, if necessary, to suspend or terminate the student’s participation in the practicum and/or the BASW program at any point for ethical violations and/or personal unsuitability for the profession. This philosophy is consistent with that of other professional academic programs which are engaged in explicitly or implicitly certifying that their graduates are competent to engage in the practice of those programs’ respective professions.

It is understood, therefore, that students will be required to maintain appropriate professional, ethical, and personal standards in order to continue in the program. Faculty will assess each student’s status in meeting these standards on a continuing basis, and students experiencing difficulties will be advised as to appropriate means of remediating such difficulties by the faculty or Dean’s Office. 

The BASW professional conduct policy applies both to current BA Social Work students and graduated BA Social Work students.

For current BA Social Work students, the professional conduct procedures are as follows:

  1. When a BASW program faculty member observes or becomes aware of behavior that brings into question a student’s ability to maintain appropriate professional, ethical, or personal standards, the faculty member shall meet with the student (in person, by phone, or by electronic means) to discuss the behavior and to advise as to appropriate means of remediating such behavioral concerns. The faculty member will document the behavior and the advisement provided, and will submit the documentation to the BASW program director.
  2. When the BASW program director and field director deem that, after one or more occurrences of such faculty advisement, a student’s ability to maintain appropriate professional, ethical, or personal standards remains in question and behavioral concerns remain unresolved, a Professional Conduct Meeting shall be convened. The meeting shall consist of a conference call for the program director, field director, and student. If the faculty member who met with the student in step 1 was the program director or field director, the Dean will appoint a different faculty member to substitute for the program director or field director in steps 2 and 3 of this process. A staff member will also attend the meeting silently for the purpose of documenting the meeting's proceedings.

    The student may choose to have a silent observer attend the conference call. This does not include attorneys. The presence of attorneys at the meeting is not permitted as the meeting is not meant to function as a court of law. The silent observer may not participate directly in the meeting. Failure to comply with these rules may result in the removal of the silent observer or the termination of the meeting. One five-minute recess may be requested during the course of the meeting if the student wishes to consult with the silent observer.

    During the meeting, the program director and field director will discuss the behavior in question with the student, will solicit the student’s response to the behavioral concerns in question, and will advise the student as to appropriate means of remediating the behavioral concerns. The staff member will document the meeting's proceedings, and the program director will further document the advisement provided. Subject to written approval from all participants, the meeting shall be recorded with the URL for the recording provided to the student, program director, and field director.

  3. At any time after the Professional Conduct Meeting, if the BASW program director and field director deem that the student’s ability to maintain appropriate professional, ethical, and/or personal standards remains in question and the behavioral concerns remain unresolved, they may recommend to the Dean that the student be suspended or dismissed from the BASW program. The Dean may suspend or dismiss the student from the program, with written notice provided to the student.
  4. A student who is dismissed or suspended from the program may, within 30 calendar days of receipt of the dismissal or suspension notification, petition the Dean’s ruling to a professional review committee. The petition process is documentation-based and does not include a synchronous hearing. To file a petition, the student must submit to the Dean a written petition with supporting documentation appended. The Dean will forward the written petition and supporting documentation to the professional review committee. After review, the professional review committee will issue a final ruling within 30 calendar days of Dean's receipt of the student's petition. The committee’s ruling is not subject to appeal.

For graduated BA Social Work students, for whom information is discovered after the time of their degree completion regarding alleged ethical or professional violations that occurred during the time they were enrolled in the BA Social Work program, the professional conduct procedures are as follows:

  1. When the BA Social Work program director and field director learn that a graduated student may have committed ethical or professional violations during the time they were enrolled in the BA Social Work program, they may investigate the allegations. 
  2. After reviewing their findings, the program director and field director may choose to convene a Professional Conduct Meeting. The meeting shall consist of a conference call for the program director, field director, and graduated student. A staff member will also attend the meeting silently for the purpose of documenting the meeting's proceedings.

The graduated student may choose to have a silent observer attend the conference call. This does not include attorneys. The presence of attorneys at the meeting is not permitted as the meeting is not meant to function as a court of law. The silent observer may not participate directly in the meeting. Failure to comply with these rules may result in the removal of the silent observer or the termination of the meeting. One five-minute recess may be requested during the course of the meeting if the student wishes to consult with the silent observer. 

During the meeting, the program director and field director will discuss the behavior in question with the graduated student and will solicit the student’s response to the behavioral concerns in question. The staff member will document the meeting's proceedings. Subject to written approval from all participants, the meeting shall be recorded with the URL for the recording provided  to the graduated student, program director, and field director

The program director and field director may, at their discretion, proceed to conduct a Professional Conduct Meeting in the absence of a graduated student who fails to appear. Should there be  a hearing, the findings of the program director's and field director's investigation shall be presented and considered regardless of whether or not the graduated student attended the meeting.

  1.  Based on their investigation and on the proceedings of the Professional Conduct Meeting, if the BA Social Work program director and field director deem that the graduated student committed egregious violation(s) of ethical or professional conduct during the time that they were enrolled in the BA Social Work program, and that such violation(s) would have merited a recommendation to the Dean of suspension or dismissal from the program if the violation(s) had been discovered when the graduated student was enrolled in the program, the program director and field director may recommend to the Dean that the graduated student's degree be revoked. The Dean may issue the graduated student a letter of intent to revoke the graduated student's degree.
  2. A graduated student receiving a Dean's letter of intent to revoke the student's BA Social Work degree may submit a written appeal to the Dean with supporting documentation, within 30 calendar days of transmission of the Dean's letter of intent. This appeal process is documentation-based and does not include a synchronous hearing. After review of the student's written appeal and supporting documentation, the Dean may or may not decide to revoke the graduated student's degree, with written notice of either outcome provided to the student. 
  3. A graduated BA Social Work student whose degree is revoked may, within 30 calendar days of transmission of the notification of degree revocation, petition the Dean’s ruling to a professional review committee. The petition process is documentation-based and does not include a synchronous hearing. To file a petition, the graduated student must submit to the Dean a written petition with supporting documentation appended. The Dean will forward the written petition and supporting documentation to the professional review committee. After review, the professional review committee will issue a final ruling within 30 calendar days of Dean's receipt of the graduated student's petition. The committee’s ruling is not subject to appeal.

Field Education

Prior to becoming eligible to begin field education, students must successfully complete at least 27 required prerequisite credits, with a grade equivalent of “C” or higher, successfully complete the field readiness interview, a field site interview, and be approved to begin field by the Field Director.

All required documents including the practicum site agreement must be completed and students must be enrolled in field practicum seminar prior to starting any trainee hours at the approved site. Practicum hour requirements and other practicum policies are available from the BASW Field Director.

The practicum courses are graded on a pass/no pass basis. Practicum courses are to be taken consecutively.

Social Work Core Requirements
SOWK 300Social Work Foundations3
SOWK 302Interview and Assessment Skills in Social Work3
SOWK 303Diversity and Justice in a Global Society3
SOWK 304Social Welfare3
SOWK 306Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence3
SOWK 307Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Adulthood & Aging3
SOWK 309Introduction to Social Work Research3
SOWK 418Social Policy3
SOWK 421Social Work Practice: Individuals and Families3
SOWK 422Social Work Practice: Groups3
SOWK 423Social Work Practice: Organizations and Communities3
SOWK 493Social Work Practicum Seminar I *3
SOWK 494Social Work Practicum Seminar II *3
SOWK 495Social Work Practicum Seminar III *3
Social Work Core Subtotal42
*If a student does not complete the required 400 practicum hours during the SOWK 493, 494, 495 course series, s/he will be enrolled in a required SOWK 497 Practicum Continuation course (0 credits) and required to pay a Practicum Continuation fee, per each course and session, until the student completes the total required hours and receives a P in the SOWK 493, 494, 495 courses. Students will accumulate hours toward their practicum requirements only when enrolled in SOWK 493, 494, 495, or 497.
Social Work Electives
Select two from the following:6
Domestic Violence
Victim Advocacy
Youth At Risk
Child Abuse
Military Social Work
International Social Work
Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Social Work
Social Work with Older Adults
Social Work Electives Subtotal6
Total Credits48