he ULM Department of Social Work, located in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been an accredited program by the Council on Social Work Education since 1977. The CSWE Curriculum Policy Statement can be viewed online at http://www.cswe.org/.
Since that time, the department has continued to grow and has remained a viable program that is committed to providing an academically challenging social work education. The program of study for the degree in social work (BA) requires a minimum of four academic years of full-time study culminating in a total of 123 semester hours. Of these 123 hours, 47 semester hours of social work courses are required for a major. Students may choose to complete a second minor in another field.
The Social Work curriculum is based on a liberal arts perspective which blends well with the beliefs, values and ethics of the social work profession. Social work professionals look at entire systems and all factors that may have an impact on a system. This requires a broad learning base. Social work deals with very diverse populations in terms of target populations (individuals, families, groups, neighborhoods, communities) and problem areas (i.e., discrimination, poverty, abuse, mental illness, aging, violence). Therefore, it is imperative that the professional understand and appreciate various cultures, heritages and diverse backgrounds. The social work professional must have an understanding of government and the bureaucratic process in order to impact the political system. The liberal arts courses refine the ability of the social work professional to look at the whole client system.
The student who elects to major in Social Work at ULM is expected to maintain a level of academic performance consistent with their major. In addition to academic expectations, social work students must demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the ethics of the social work profession. Students are expected to read, understand, and sign the "Student Acknowledgement of Ethical Behavior and Agreement to Abide: Statement of Ethical Social Work Practice and Program Requirements and Sanctions for Violations of Ethical Behavior."
The knowledge, values, and skills required for entry into the social work profession are learned in the classroom and through practical experience. Practical experience is gained through volunteer work and through field experience. The volunteer work component of the Department of Social Work involves serving as a volunteer for 30 hours in Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (SOCW 2005) and 30 hours in Interviewing and the Helping Relationship (SOCW 3001). This experience has helped students in deciding whether social work is the profession they want to pursue and in selecting a field of practice early in their university career.