Learn more about the Social Work program.
Siena Heights University’s Baccalaureate Social Work Program (BSW) has earned nationally recognized accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The faculty members of the Social Work Program are dedicated to educating social work majors to become competent, ethical and purposeful generalist social work practitioners who are committed to the well-being of people who are vulnerable and oppressed.
- Prepare baccalaureate students to become competent, ethical and purposeful generalist social work practitioners who work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations
- Provide a social work education program that incorporates content about, and commitment to, social work ethics and values, social justice and enhancing the well-being of vulnerable and oppressed people
- Prepare graduates to assume responsibility for continuing their professional development
The Social Work program curriculum combines liberal arts and sociology courses that include community-based learning experiences with professional social work courses that focus on:
- Human behavior in the social environment
- Social science research
- Social welfare policy
- Social work ethics and values
- Diversity and culture competence
- Social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
- Field practice
Graduates of the program have proven themselves to be well-prepared for immediate employment in public and private social service positions and contribute to the well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities and/or to successfully complete work at the master's degree level.
- Social justice
- Dignity and worth of the person
- Importance of human relationships
Meet the Social Work faculty members.
The Social Work program has dynamic faculty members with practical experiences in substance abuse prevention and treatment, child welfare, gender specific treatment, community organization and development, school social work, grassroots organizations, and crisis intervention. The faculty are actively involved in services to communities and professional organizations at local, state, regional, and national levels. They are committed to provide high standards of teaching and professionalism to facilitate student learning and success in serving communities in variety of settings. Graduates of this BSW Program have gone on to become leaders in the communities and many have obtained MSW degrees from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Toledo, Loyola University (Chicago), and Barry University (Miami) to name a few.
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of Social Workdbeard1@sienaheights.edu517-264-7858
Learn about the career opportunities you can have with a degree in Social Work.
Employers recognize that graduates with a Siena Heights University BSW degree have specific professional training and field practice experience that enables them to work effectively with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations.
Some of the career opportunities include:
- probation officers
- foster care and adoption case managers
- treatment specialists
- homeless specialists
- mental health case managers
- children’s service coordinators
- supportive service counselors
- group home service coordinators
- admissions coordinators
- migrant program service workers
- bereavement coordinators
- substance abuse counselors
- corrections officers
- senior service case workers
- parent aide workers
- respite care coordinators
- nursing home service coordinators
- discharge planning coordinators
"The social work program at Siena Heights University provided me with a solid foundation to enter the social work field. One of the most valuable skills I obtained was the confidence that my education adequately prepared me for my current position. I was also provided the opportunity to build relationships within the community and to make professional contacts that I continue to utilize in my profession on a daily basis."
– Kathleen Meyers '12
Foster Care Case Manager
Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee & Hillsdale Counties
Learn about field practice opportunities in the Social Work program.
The Social Work Internship Program
Social work students look forward to their supervised field practice where they work in agency and organizational settings, applying what they have learned in the classroom to real life situations. Depending on the population served by the field placement agency, students may:
• Provide social services to elderly in nursing homes
• Help hospital patients make discharge plans
• Work with parents to improve their parenting skills
• Conduct home visits and access needs of families
• Implement intervention plans for at-risk children
• Interact with adjudicated juveniles in a residential setting
• Help families deal with grief and bereavement
• Assist people with mental illness to handle daily living tasks
• Work with women and children in a domestic violence shelter
• Assist homeless people in finding shelter
• Develop programs for children at a local agency
There are many opportunities to do field placements in Lenawee County, including:
• Adrian Dominican Sisters
• Boys and Girls Club of Lenawee
• Bixby Medical Center Social Work Department
• Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Program
• Catholic Charities
• Communities in Schools of Lenawee
• Community Action Agency
• Family Counseling and Children’s Services
• Family Service & Children’s Aid
• Hope Community Center
• Hospice of Lenawee
• Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority
• Lenawee County Department of Human Services
• Lenawee County Probate Court
• Lenawee Department of Aging
• Lenawee Emergency and Affordable Housing Corporation
• Lenawee Intermediate School District
• Lenawee Medical Care Facility
• Lenawee Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
• Lenawee United Way
• Maurice Spear Campus
• South Central Michigan Works!
• St. Louis Center
Learn more about The Social Work Student Association.
The Social Work Student Association is an organization for students that works to promote the development and unity of the Social Work program. It also increases understanding and awareness of the social work profession and social welfare issues, and provides opportunities for the students to participate in social responsibility activities both on campus and in the community. Recently, the organization has planned and implemented such events and activities as community fundraisers, celebrations for National Social Work Month, clothing drives for local nonprofit agencies, volunteering for a local nursing home and volunteering for the local Boys and Girls Club.
The Social Work Student Association also strives to provide opportunities for students to socialize through events such as movie nights, bowling and ice skating.
Siena Heights University and Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., recently signed a five-year articulation agreement that will offer Siena Heights social work graduates preference in acceptance and a reduced tuition rate to pursue a master’s degree at Barry’s School of Social Work Advanced Standing MSW Program. Both institutions are sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with Barry University, which has an outstanding master’s degree program in social work,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. “This is an agreement that will benefit both institutions, both most importantly, also our social work students here at Siena Heights.”
Barry’s Advanced Standing MSW Program consists of 32 credit hours and 616 field education hours. Students can choose between full-time enrollment, which allows for completion of the MSW in approximately seven months, and part-time enrollment, which is completed in 16 months. The cost per credit hour for SHU students attending the Miami campus $565, discounted from the regular $960 per credit hour rate.
Siena Heights social work graduates will be given every consideration for financial assistance – including graduate assistantships – and will be eligible to compete for non-need-based academic scholarships at Barry. They also will receive preference in admissions, individual admissions consultation upon request, early advising and orientation, community service and research opportunities with faculty and fellow students, and the opportunity to apply for funds to attend and present at national conferences.
The agreement will run until Feb. 1, 2020.
For more information about the Barry University’s School of Social Work Advanced Standing MSW Program, go to www.barry.edu/msw.
For more information about Siena Heights University’s social work program, visit www.go.sienaheights.edu.