At the culmination of a four-year accreditation process, Southwest Baptist University’s Bachelor of Social Work program has received initial accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education.
“The program is really such a part of the mission of the university,” said Christine Saladino, M.A.C.E., L.M.S.W., assistant professor of social work and BSW program director. “I see social work as really being Christ’s hands and feet in this world and going out and ministering to people even globally.”
As the B.S.W. program director, Saladinooversees the curriculum, assessment and accreditation. Amanda Keys, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., Ph.D., instructor of social work, is the director of field education in social work. She organizes and supervises student field experiences. The program requires each student to complete 450 hours in an agency setting during the senior year.
“The field education component is one of our strengths,” Saladino said. “We have had students in a variety of settings, and we have had excellent, excellent field instructors that really pour into our students and have been such a blessing.”
An additional benefit of the B.S.W. program is that graduates can enroll in an advanced master of social work program that can be completed in one year rather than two. An M.S.W. is the terminal degree for a social worker. The B.S.W. prepares students for entry-level positions, but an M.S.W. is required for work in clinical settings.
“We offer students the opportunity to get a professional degree and go out and be social workers in a wide range of settings,” Saladino said. “Social workers work in schools, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and a variety of settings.”
Initial accreditation is for four years through June 2018. SBU’s first cohort of BSW students graduated in 2013.
“The Bachelor of Social Work program certainly is a perfect fit with our university’s mission as we prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. By the nature of their work, social workers make a positive impact on people’s lives every day in many different settings,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D. “We have been so blessed to have Christine and Amanda to skillfully work through the accreditation process to provide this outstanding program for our students.”
For more information about the B.S.W. program, contact Saladino at (417) 328-1740 or csaladino@SBUniv.edu. For more information about CSWE, visit www.cswe.org.