Social Work Bachelor’s Degree Program (BSW) Online

Attentive mature counselor listens to patient

Social work is a life-changing career!

Social workers are committed to improving lives and assisting those most in need. Students in this program will study how to support society's most vulnerable citizens and safeguard the health and welfare of individuals and communities. Students learn the fundamentals of social work while delving into crucial issues such as social welfare policy and economic and social justice taught by qualified Charter Oak faculty. This innovative new Bachelor of Science in Social Work is training change agents and leaders in the profession. Graduates of this program will be prepared for a community leadership and advocacy career as their capacity to assist others in navigating life's complicated issues grows.

A career in Social Work is for caring individuals who desire to help others overcome some of life's most difficult challenges. A social worker has, in some capacity, impacted everyone's life. Assisting others and improving people's lives is exactly what social work is all about!

Unlike traditional Social Work programs, ours is built specifically with the working, adult student in mind. While it prepares and educates baccalaureate-level students about generalist social work practice, the program strives to create leaders and change agents in the profession. To develop proficient, ethical practitioners who embrace diversity, recognize a professional social work identity, and retain a commitment to service to the professional community and vulnerable groups. We emphasize a responsive, student-centered approach in our teaching, advising, and student engagement to inspire and foster the development of critical thinkers and lifelong learners with the flexibility needed to engage our student population.

Admission to the Social Work program is selective. Candidates for the program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be accepted to the College as a degree-seeking student.
  • Have completed the following coursework with a grade of C or better:
    • English Composition 1 (ENG 101 or equivalent).
    • English Composition 2 (ENG 102 or equivalent).
    • Statistics (MAT 105 or equivalent) or Statistics for Behavioral Sci/Psychology (PSY 216 or equivalent).
  • Have completed the following coursework with a grade of B or better:
    • Introduction to Social Work (SWK 101 or equivalent).
    • History of Social Welfare (SWK 110 or equivalent).

Candidates for the Social Work program must submit electronically:

  • An application for the BSW program.
  • An essay that speaks to how the candidate’s background/experience prepares them to be successful in the BSW program.
  • A professional resume.

Candidates will also be required to complete a virtual interview with the Program Director or their designee – typically 15-30 minutes in length.

Candidates will be apprised in writing of the admissions decision.

Conditional admission may be granted for students currently enrolled in required coursework.

All major requirements must be completed with a grade of 'B' or higher. This major requires a minimum of 46 credits. See the full requirements for our Social Work major in our Official Catalog. NOTE: A Summer 8-Week term is required for on-time degree completion.

  • SWK 101 Introduction to Social Work (formerly titled: Change Agents)3 credits
  • SWK 110 History of Social Welfare (formerly titled: Superhero Within)3 credits
  • SWK 115 Difference, Diversity, and Privilege (formerly titled: Learning and Understanding You)3 credits
  • PSY 410 Research Methods Behavioral Science3 credits
  • SWK 225 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 1 (formerly titled: Evolution of Change)3 credits
  • SWK 226 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2 (formerly titled: Evolution of Transformers)3 credits
  • Direct Practice with Individuals/Couples3 credits
  • Direct Practice with Families/Groups3 credits
  • Macro Social Work Practice3 credits
  • Social Work Practicum Experience 12 credits
  • Social Work Seminar 12 credits
  • Social Work Practicum Experience 22 credits
  • Social Work Seminar 22 credits
  • Social Work Practicum Experience 32 credits
  • Social Work Seminar 32 credits
  • Social Work Practicum Experience 42 credits
  • Social Work Seminar 42 credits
  • Social Work Capstone3 credits
  • Total46 credits

At Charter Oak, our Social Work Program features an innovative and fresh model for students, especially working, adult students. Our model is new to social work education and allows flexibility in how students complete practicum education. Students can balance their coursework, practicum experiences, and work/personal life responsibilities through this model. Practicum start terms are FALL ONLY and are completed over 15 weeks in the fall and spring semesters and 8 weeks in the summer consecutively. Our Director of Practicum Education works with students individually to select and support day, evening, or weekend experiences to ensure access to successful field work.

Practicum Experience can be completed during the school year in two ways.

  • Two practicum experiences over two years totaling 400 hours or
  • Four practicum experiences over two years totaling 400 hours
  • Students will complete 100 hours per semester in an approved practicum agency and will complete 10 hours per week in shifts.
    • Two (2) - 5-hour shifts (Ex: Tuesday and Thursday or Thursday and Saturday)
    • 1 hour of weekly individual supervision is required and must be facilitated by a BSW/MSW credentialed supervisor or a non-credentialed task supervisor (Monday or Friday); Supervision can take place in person or online. (Zoom, etc.)

Practicum Experience courses are taken concurrently with synchronous Social Work Seminar Courses. Synchronous Social Work Seminar courses allow students to share their social work practicum experiences, integrate their learning with Practice, and critically think about the leader and change agent they will be with their client populations.

Criteria for Practicum Education

  • Have completed the following coursework with a grade of C or better: English Composition 1 (ENG 101 or equivalent); English Composition 2 (ENG 102 or equivalent); Statistics (MAT 105 or equivalent) or Statistics for Behavioral Sci/Psychology (PSY 216 or equivalent)
  • Have completed the following coursework with a grade of B or better: Introduction to Social Work (SWK 101 or equivalent), History of Social Welfare (SWK 110 or equivalent)
  • SWK 225-Human Behavior in the Social Environment 1 and SWK 226-Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2 must be completed.
  • Have completed the Pre-Practicum Training, Application, and Agency Proposal.
  • Develop social work professionals with the knowledge, skills, values, and responsibility necessary for ethical Practice at the baccalaureate level.
  • Give students the teaching, practicum experiences, and opportunities to build mastery in the values, knowledge, and skills embodied in the core strengths necessary for efficient, sensitive, credible, and ethical social work practice.
  • Foster an inclusive community that encourages students to grow intellectually, ethically, emotionally, and physically.
  • Support local social service agencies by providing new social workers and services, including training, continuing education, research, and evaluation.
  • Provide learning experiences that cultivate analytical, critical thinking and communication skills.

Outcomes & Pathways

Upon completion of Charter Oak State College’s BSW Program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in making ethical decisions by applying the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics standards, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics within the profession as appropriate to the context.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in understanding diversity and difference in anti-racist and anti-oppressive social work practice at the individual, family, group, organizational, community, research, and policy levels.
  • Will learn about and make sound judgments regarding advancing human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice through ethical, culturally informed, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive strategies that address inherent biases for use in quantitative and qualitative research methods to advance the purposes of social work.
  • Will learn about and make sound judgments regarding social justice, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive lenses to assess how social welfare policies affect the delivery of and access to social services.
  • Will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of human behavior and person-in-environment, as well as interprofessional conceptual frameworks, and engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of human behavior and person-in-environment, as well as interprofessional conceptual frameworks, and assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge of human behavior and person-in-environment, as well as interprofessional conceptual frameworks, and intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Will be able to apply knowledge of human behavior and person-in-environment, as well as interprofessional conceptual frameworks, and evaluate Practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation and the COSC Social Work faculty will measure student learning outcomes.

There are many, varied career pathways available to social workers, including those in fields like mental health and addiction, healthcare, child welfare, aging, criminal justice, school social work, housing and homelessness, military social work, human trafficking, and community organization. Social workers are present whenever people are in need:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Correctional facilities
  • Mental health and addiction centers
  • Court System
  • Foster care and adoption agencies
  • Private Practice
  • Military bases
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Community centers
  • Nursing homes and adult day centers
  • Administrative, policy, and research social work
  • Gerontological social work
  • Child Welfare and Family Social Work
  • Community and advocacy social work
  • Criminal justice and corrections social work
  • Disability social work
  • Medical social work
  • Hospice and palliative care social work
  • Mental health social work
  • Military and veteran social work
  • Substance abuse social work
  • Occupational social work
  • Public health social work
  • Environmental, social work
  • Political, social work
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Correctional facilities
  • Mental health and addiction centers
  • Court System
  • Foster care and adoption agencies
  • Private Practice
  • Military bases
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Community centers
  • Nursing homes and adult day centers
  • Administrative, policy, and research social work
  • Gerontological social work
  • Child Welfare and Family Social Work
  • Community and advocacy social work
  • Criminal justice and corrections social work
  • Disability social work
  • Medical social work
  • Hospice and palliative care social work
  • Mental health social work
  • Military and veteran social work
  • Substance abuse social work
  • Occupational social work
  • Public health social work
  • Environmental, social work
  • Political, social work

Why Charter Oak State College?