Grove City College’s Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) program has earned initial accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE.)
The Council’s Commission on Accreditation voted in June to approve the College’s baccalaureate social work program. It is the culmination of a years-long effort for the program, led by Dr. Lisa L. Hosack, associate professor of Social Work.
“We are grateful to complete a 3½ year accreditation process and to receive full accreditation for our BSW program. This status benefits students not only in terms of validating quality of the program; it holds positive implications for those who move on to graduate school or pursue licensure in the future,” Hosack said.
CSWE accreditation assures students that the BSW program meets certain standards recognized across the discipline, and that, as graduates, they are qualified to work in the field.
In 2013, Hosack began developing the program, which integrates faith into social work to improve the lives of people through service. By 2015, Grove City College was recognized as one of the top Christian colleges to study social work, and by 2017 the program was elevated to major status.
The Social Work program’s approach is detailed in Hosack’s 2019 book “Development on Purpose: Faith and Human Behavior in the Social Environment.” It posits that the Christian faith offers compelling answers and provides a defining purpose for human development. The first half of the book outlines a purpose for human development, examining biological, psychological, and social theories through the lens of faith. The second half uses detailed case examples to illuminate the way that faith can relate to work with people in all stages of life.
“The thesis that has inspired my work as a social work practitioner and now educator is that our flourishing as persons results from right relationships with God, one another, and the world around us,” Hosack said. “Any attempts to practice social work should be situated around these goals. This is what we try to communicate to students because in a line of work that regularly exposes you to some of life’s darkest realities, restoration, even in its most incremental forms, is what sustains and motivates you.”
Students in Grove City College’s social work program acquire an extensive background in micro and macro-level practice through courses in human development, child welfare, research methods, and social welfare policy analysis. Social work majors also complete a 400-hour internship in their senior year with human service agencies that address domestic violence, children’s welfare, health services, and other needs.
The program also includes classes that are not common to other bachelor’s programs such as International Social Development, where problems such as human trafficking, public health, and government corruption are explored, and in Administration in Social Work where students develop a social service program and write a grant proposal for its funding.