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Social Work Admissions Procedures

First year students at Elizabethtown College do not declare a major until January of their second semester, at the earliest.  The Social Work Department receives a list of potential majors and student academic folders after the first year students have declared a major.  These intended social work majors are assigned an adviser in the Social Work Department.  Students are then advised to complete SW160: Social Problems and the Response of Social Welfare Institutions, SW280: Multicultural Counseling Skills, and SW233: Human Behavior in the Social Environment before applying for admission to the department.  The procedure for becoming an official major is described below:

The Department of Social Work requires intended social work majors to apply for formal admission to the program by March 1 of their sophomore year.  This application requires the following:

*  A formal interview with the Social Work Department Chair were professional interests, values academic abilities, and career goals are explored.  The interview can be scheduled once all other required information has been received by the department (described below).

*  Two reference rating forms completed by an adult who has had a working relationship with the student.  This could be a professor outside the Department of Social Work, a boss or volunteer supervisor.  The evaluation should be returned by mail in a sealed envelope (provided) to the Department Chair.

*  A 2.0 grade point average (overall and in the major).

*  Submitted copies of the student's child abuse clearance and criminal background check.

In addition, all applicants must write a 4-5 page essay to demonstrate understanding of the social work profession and the strengths brought to this profession.  Social workers must have strong interpersonal skills, the ability to self-assess, demonstrate ethical behavior at all times, be flexible and be aware of their limitations.  Each applicant's essay should demonstrate their assessment of these in addressing the following four topic areas:

Knowledge of Self

Demonstrate how you have gained knowledge and understanding of yourself by using specific examples from your life, employment, or volunteer/service-learning activities.  Reflecting on these experiences, discuss how these experiences have enhanced and deepened your knowledge of yourself.  How does this relate to your ability to be an effective social worker?

Understanding Principles of Empowerment and Social Justice

Describe your understanding of the concepts of social justice and empowerment as they relate to the profession of social work.  Discuss your experiences in working with those from varying backgrounds, such as race, ethnicity or socio-economic status.  What insights has this given you into empowerment and social justice?  Describe a time in which you advocated for yourself or another - what was the situation and what did you do?

Social Work Values

Describe 3 personal values and explain how these values relate to the ethics and stated values of the profession of social work.  How have you practiced these both in and out of the classroom?

Social Work Career

Explain your reasons for selecting social work as your career.  What or who influenced you in making this choice?  What strengths do you bring to this profession?  What are your limitations?

This application procedure occurs in spring of the student's sophomore year.  Students will not be allowed to start the social work practice class SW367: Generalist Practice I slated for the fall semester of their junior year until the requirements are completed and the student is officially accepted into the Social Work Department.  The Department will consider all information about the student and students are notified in writing by the Social Work Department Chair if they have been accepted.

If the applicant is not accepted into the major, a meeting is held between the Social Work Department Chair and the student to discuss the decision and to recommend either remedial action or other career options.  A suggested referral is made to Career Services to also help with further career exploration.  Admittance into the program does not guarantee that a student will graduate with a degree in social work.

 By requiring students to complete the three social work foundation classes, the department faculty has an opportunity to evaluate the student's compatibility to the field of social work including their understanding of empowerment and social justice, social work values, self knowledge, and career aspirations.  The student essay also is utilized to judge the student's potential commitment to our department mission and goals including: values of social justice and empowerment, desire to serve diverse and oppressed populations, and ability to practice in accordance with social work values and ethics.










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