Social Work Department

The Social Work Department at Southern offers an undergraduate degree that prepares students for entry-level case manager positions. Southern's challenging coursework and innovative internships prepare students for the flexibility of a career in social work.

Most social workers play many roles during the course of their careers. Sometimes they are teachers, consultants, or political organizers. At other times they are managers or administrators working in childcare, adult daycare, nursing homes, clinics, school systems, or hospitals.They learn the communication, problem-solving, interviewing, evaluation, and writing skills necessary to develop and carry out useful programming in local community agencies.

In every social work setting, there is a myriad of responsibilities to juggle. Running a group home for at-risk youth, for example, means handling the dozens of issues that clients need help with between therapy sessions -- things like job skills, communication, academics, and anger management. It falls to the case managers to implement the programs that help clients with such important issues.

Many social work graduates remain lifelong students, going on to graduate programs that prepare them for careers as counselors and therapists. Southern undergraduates leave campus both "job ready" and with a foundation for challenging graduate study.

The most exciting part of undergraduate study in social work is the direct contact with clients that students have through their 500 hours of internship training. And because Southern is in an urban center, the program offers vast opportunity for a wide variety of real-world experience. Students at Southern realize the goal of applying their classroom studies to practical situations.


B.S. in social work

M.S.W. (Master of Social Work)

Visit the School of Graduate Studies site for more information on the M.S.W. degree program.

Mission and goals

The mission of the Department of Social Work is to provide quality social work education to undergraduate and graduate students and to advance knowledge through study, practice, and research.  The purpose of undergraduate education is to prepare students to work in BSW level agency-based social work positions and to enter graduate social work programs. The purpose of graduate education is to prepare students for direct clinical practice at generalist and advanced levels. 

The Department is committed to:


The program curriculum is built on the assumption that people have the capacity to change and adapt while in continuous and reciprocal interchange with all elements of their environment.  The academic and field practicum components are designed to enhance student competencies in social work knowledge, skills, and values.  The curriculum guides the development of students' professional identity and prepares them for leadership roles in the field.

The Program operates within a multidimensional context.  Southern Connecticut State University has the largest number of graduate students in the Connecticut State University System.  More than half of all CSUS graduate students are enrolled at Southern in one of the 50 areas of study offered by the university.  Southern is also a leader in serving the state of Connecticut in degree programs.  For example, last year, the university awarded more degrees in health/lfe sciences and social/public services than the other three CSUS institutions combined.  In Connecticut students are in close proximity to our state capital, and also have the opportunity to work with diverse public and private agencies and organizational settings.  These factors provide students and faculty with extensive opportunities to engage in education and training programs for current and prospective state workers, and to bring about social change

The Department of Social Work is the only program in this system and state that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in social work.  The program optimizes the faculty's extensive clinical and policy practice experience in developing experiential learning of knowledge, skills and values.  The program continues to develop state of the art educational learning models and curricular delivery systems in response to technological changes and the needs of students. 


Goal 1:  Drawing upon the faculty's extensive clinical and practice experience, and utilizing state of the art educational learning models and curricular delivery systems, we will provide quality social work education to undergraduate and graduate students.


1.1    Prepare students to be effective practitioners in BSW level agency-based social work positions.

1.2    Prepare BSW students to enter graduate social work programs.

1.3    Prepare MSW students to be effective practitioners at generalist and advanced levels.

1.4    Prepare both BSW and MSW students to be leaders in the public and private sectors.

1.5    Prepare BSW and MSW students to promote economic and social justice and human rights through policy practice.

1.6    Prepare BSW and MSW students to evaluate their practice and be an informed consumer of research and scholarship.

Goal 2:  Advance knowledge through study, practice, and research


2.1    Faculty and graduate students will contribute to the development of professional knowledge and disseminate that knowledge in the profession and the community.

2.2    Faculty will develop and apply knowledge and skills to formulate and implement policies, services and programs in the university and community that advance social and economic justice and support the development of human capacities.

Goal 3:  Create and strengthen community partnerships to further the Department and university's shared commitments to scholarship, professional preparation and advocacy.


3.1    Faculty will promote and participate in partnerships between the university and community that enrich the qulaity of community life and enhance professional opportunities for students.

3.2    Enhance collaboration with community-based agencies for field work partnerships including

3.2.1    educational contracts,

3.2.2    field liaisons and visits,

3.2.3    discussion of cases in classes (clinical classroom assignment from the field).       

3.2.4    process recordings,

3.2.5    affiliation contracts,

3.2.6    student and supervisor feedback, and

3.2.7    three-way meetings

3.3    Strengthen and expand formal relationships with external agencies including DMHAS, DCF, HPPAE and the Netherlands.