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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 and Director of Field Education

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 Field Education Program

Field Education is an integral component of social work education anchored in the mission, goals, and educational level of our program and is a significant part of the student’s preparation of professional practice. The field education experience concurrently pairs fieldwork with classroom activity. Social work agencies provide the field opportunities and are located off-campus. A minimum of 225 hours of field education per semester is required of all social work majors, with a  minimum of 16 hours per week in field education will be expected of each student.  

  • Provide social services to the elderly in skilled nursing facilities
  • Assist patients in making discharge plans in a hospital setting
  • Conduct home visits and assess needs of families
  • Develop programs for children and adults
  • Implement intervention plans for at-risk children
  • Interact with adjudicated juveniles in a residential setting
  • Work with women and children in a domestic violence shelter
  • Assist families in transition in finding permanent housing
  • Develop treatment plans with parents for the purpose of reunification

Field Education Placement Opportunities:

The social work program has extensive placement opportunities in several Michigan and Ohio counties. These placements include:

  • Adrian Dominican Sisters
  • Adrian Head Start
  • Adrian Public Schools
  • Associate Charities of Lenawee
  • Care Pregnancy Center of Lenawee
  • Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Program
  • Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale
  • Domestic Harmony
  • Equitas Health
  • Family Service & Children’s Aid
  • Fostering Solutions
  • Goodwill Industries of Southeastern MI
  • Gus Harrison Correctional Facility
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Hope Community Center
  • Hospice of Lenawee
  • Housing Help of Lenawee
  • LACASA Center
  • Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority
  • Lenawee Child Advocacy Center
  • Lenawee County Probate Court
  • Lenawee Department of Aging
  • Lenawee Intermediate School District
  • Lenawee Medical Care Facility
  • Lifeways: Jackson
  • Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Maurice Spear Campus
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michigan Medicine: Guest Assistance Program
  • Michigan Works! Southeast
  • MSU Extension
  • National Association of Social Workers-Michigan Chapter
  • Neighbors of Hope
  • ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital
  • Region II Community Action Agency
  • Segue, Inc.
  • Share the Warmth
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Daily Bread of Lenawee
  • United Way of Monroe/Lenawee
  • University of Toledo Medical Center: Ryan White Program

The Child Welfare Certificate:

Expectations – Social work majors who has been accepted in to the social work program may elect to pursue to the Child Welfare Certificate.  The certificate is structured to make minimal demands on your academic planning and can fit with most students’ schedules without complications. The Child Welfare Certificate is awarded upon graduation of the Bachelors of Social Work Program.

There are three course requirements:

  1. *SWK 348: Human Behavior in the Social Environment.
  2. *SWK 452: Social Work Practice with Families.
  3. SWK 360: Child Welfare Services. Completion of course with the minimum of a “B-“. Field placement with a child welfare agency for the equivalent of one academic year. 

* These are already required courses for your BSW, so it does not add any additional requirements to your academic schedules. No grade below “C” will be allowed in any social work course and/or required cognates for the major. In such case, the course must be retaken and result in a grade of “C” or better. Courses required for the major may be repeated only once.

This certificate is endorsed and regulated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)—the agency charged with protecting Michigan’s children. Child welfare certificate graduates will be given preference in hiring at MDHHS and private agencies across the state of Michigan. Graduates may also waive a portion of new worker training. Certificate notation should be added to your resume.

Approved Child Placing Field Placement Sites:

  • Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale Counties
  • Family Services and Children’s Aid
  • Fostering Solutions
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

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.