Offered through the Worden School of Social Service, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is designed to prepare students for general practice as a social worker and for acceptance into graduate school. Graduates of the program are eligible for licensure by examination by the State of Texas and for full membership in the National Association of Social Workers. Licensed BSW graduates are able to work in a variety of settings including geriatrics, healthcare, mental health, child welfare, disabilities, emergency assistance programs and schools. Many students pursue graduate degrees in social work, education, the allied health professions, psychology and law. Sensitivity to cultural and ethnic differences, particularly among Hispanics, is key to the Worden School's mission and commitment to working with vulnerable and at-risk populations.
The 4+1 social work degree option allows students to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees in five years. Students who complete their BSW degree at OLLU or another CSWE accredited social work program can earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in one year through the Advanced MSW program.
Students in the BSW Program can opt to earn a Biliterate Certificate, which prepares them to work in English and Spanish-speaking settings.
Since social workers will work with many clients who have experienced violence in some aspect of their lives, the program offers a certificate in Violence Prevention and Intervention. Students can complete this certificate while completing their degree. Through a sequence of prescribed courses, students will learn about the effects of trauma and violence as well as ways to prevent and combat those effects.
Social Work degree plans and course descriptions
BSW Program Goal
To prepare professionally trained social workers for generalist practice with diverse populations in a way that fosters culturally competent practice with emphasis on Hispanic/Latin@ families and children.
Formal application to the social work program takes place after the student has taken at least six hours of social work courses. Students can enter the social work program either through the traditional OLLU four-year program, as transfer students (generally from a community college), or through a Joint Admissions Program.
Application to the BSW program requires:
- A completed application
- A personal statement from the student . Students are required to respond to specific questions about their interest in the program, and provide information about their suitability and readiness for the program.
- Three recommendations
- Signed Student Code of Conduct Form
Students may be admitted both to Our Lady of the Lake University and a participating campus of the Alamo Colleges, Laredo Community College or El Paso Community College simultaneously. Students begin at the community college, but have academic advisers both there and at OLLU. Upon completion of study at the community college, the participating student begins study at OLLU. Students must meet terms of the Joint Admission Agreement, including a minimum 2.0 grade point average, semester hour requirements, and completion of a Joint Admission Agreement.
Field education is an integral part of the social work program at OLLU. The Worden School of Social Service has established partnerships with an extensive network of public and private social service agencies to provide students with a wide range of opportunities for internships. Student internships with Spanish-speaking populations are available.
BSW students are required to complete 410 hours in a block field placement (after all coursework is completed).
Several agencies in San Antonio and the surrounding area generously serve as field placement sites.
For more information, contact:
Director of Field Education for on-campus students
210-434-6711, ext. 6774
View the BSW Field Education Manual
Students in the BSW program benefit from the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Competency and Dissemination project, a collaborative project between the Social Work and Psychology programs at OLLU. SBIRT serves as an early intervention for individuals struggling with substance abuse and those at risk of developing substance abuse disorders. SBIRT curricula is integrated into programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Read more about the SBIRT program at OLLU.