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The Social Work program curriculum combines liberal arts and sociology courses that include community-based learning experiences with professional social work courses.

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“I believe that teaching within the social work discipline begins with guiding students through the process of self-exploration which helps them to identify and cultivate strengths and talents while also acknowledging and addressing challenges and limitations.”

Dalila John

Assistant Professor of Social Work; Director of Social Work

Dalila John

Learn what the Siena Effect can do for you.

If you enjoy helping others and want to make a difference, consider the social work profession. Social workers assist individuals and families in every stage of life across communities, seeking to address emotional, psychological, physical and economic needs. They also empower groups, organizations and communities to employ change on global levels.

If you are looking to find a program with professional faculty, small class sizes and practical hands-on learning, Siena Heights Universitys Social Work Program is the ideal fit for you.


Dalila John
Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of Social Work
Elizabeth Davis
Associate Professor of Social Work

Educational Goals

  • 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.

Core Values


  • Service
  • Social justice
  • Dignity and worth of the person
  • Importance of human relationships
  • Integrity
  • Competence

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

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

Hands-On Experience
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

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.        

Costs & Aid

We know that college can be expensive, but we don’t want cost to keep you from attending Siena Heights University! We offer numerous financial aid opportunities. Federal aid is available to students who qualify by completing the FAFSA. Feel free to contact us with questions about financial aid opportunities, or click on one of the links below.