Gannon University

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Becoming a Social Worker at Gannon

Gannon University appears in our ranking of the 35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs.

Since 1977, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences has followed the NASW Code of Ethics to grant a Bachelor of Social Work for Gannon University undergrads seeking advocacy careers with at-risk populations. Directed by Dr. Parris Baker, an ordained Elder, the 128-credit program uses Catholic tenets to build fundamental generalist methods for advancing human rights. After the Liberal Studies Core, major courses like Victimology, Drug Abuse, Case Management, and Interviewing Skills meet primarily in A.J. Palumbo Center with a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. For an average starting salary of $33,000, the eight-term curriculum fulfills Pennsylvania’s PSW licensing and qualifies for Advanced Standing. Gannon grads also continue for the M.S. in Mental Health Counseling or M.A. in Pastoral Studies.

Seniors attending Gannon University spend Tuesdays and Thursdays off-site to finish the 480-hour BSW fieldwork requirement. Possible placements include the Martin Luther King Center, Guadenzia Erie, L’Arche, Shriner’s Hospital, Erie Family Center, United Way, The Upper Room, Safenet Erie, Elmwood Gardens, Robert Benjamin Wiley School, and Catholic Charities. Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns arranges Homelessness Awareness Week and Give Day each year. Alternative break service trips span the globe from Detroit to San Lucas and Vellore. Undergrads can engage with Social Work Club, Knight Club, Phi Alpha, and Habitat for Humanity. Other opportunities include declaring Honors, minoring in Women’s Studies, attending the Metanoia Retreat, and living in The Kirk House.

About Gannon University

Gannon University was first chartered in 1925 as Villa Maria College by the Archbishop of Erie, Most Rev. John Mark Gannon, appointed by Pope Benedict XV. Moved to the Strong Mansion in 1941, Gannon consolidated its men’s and women’s divisions 23 years. By 1979, Northwest Pennsylvania’s premier private, Catholic NAICU member gained university status. Given a $1.16 million Ronald E. McNair Grant in 2017, Gannon University now trains 4,343 Golden Knights, including Bachelor of Social Work majors, with 347 faculty. Crosstown from its rival Mercyhurst College, Gannon’s 46-building “Flagship City” campus overlooks Presque Isle Bay near UPMC Hamot. Linked to 17,554 LinkedIn alumni, Gannon University has graduated Daniel Cudmore, Italo Cappabianca, Vikram Pandit, Barbara Smith Warner, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Gannon the 48th best Northern university, 29th best for veterans school, and 10th top value. On Niche, Gannon is America’s 263rd best Common App college, 268th best private school, and 521st most diverse campus. Money magazine placed Gannon University 202nd with an 80 percent internship rate. Times Higher Education crowned Gannon the 417th top institution overall. College Factual applauded Gannon for the country’s 73rd best Catholic education and 146th best social work degree. The Social Mobility Index recognized Gannon for the 118th best opportunity. In Washington Monthly, Gannon University has the 110th highest Ph.D. completion and 233rd top graduation rates. The “College of Distinction” is in Forbes’ 174th best city for careers too.

Gannon University Accreditation Details

In January 2013, Gannon University satisfactorily underwent its 10-year comprehensive evaluation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to keep the Level VI accreditation for another decade under its seventh president, Dr. Keith Taylor. Based 404 miles away in Philadelphia, this six-state regional accrediting agency is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Education to assure the effectiveness of Gannon’s eight associate, 54 baccalaureate, 23 master’s, and four doctoral majors. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has particularly accredited the BSW program through June 2021. Gannon University is also a member of the Association on Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE).

Gannon University Application Requirements

Enrolling at Gannon University is labeled “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since the Fall 2016 acceptance rate was 79 percent for 4,710 applications. First-year Golden Knights should finish an accredited high school curriculum with 16 academic units, including four in English. Passing each GED subsection with a 145 or higher would be acceptable for the Bachelor of Social Work too. Freshmen display service dedication with at least 40 volunteer hours. Merit is judged based on a minimum 3.0 GPA. Admitted undergrads must score above 1080 on the SAT or 21 on the ACT. The Next Step Program also guarantees acceptance to juniors with 60-64 credits graded “C” or greater. Transfer agreements exist with Laroche College, Franciscan University Steubenville, Jamestown Community College, and two others.

Gannon University doesn’t have set deadlines thanks to the rolling admission policy. Bachelor of Social Work entrants should allow three to four weeks to process the Common Application or Freshman Application online. Packets could also be mailed to 109 University Square in Erie, PA 16541. Contact admissions@gannon.edu or (814) 871-7407 for further instruction. BSW majors typically need to enclose the following:

  • $25 non-refundable application fee
  • Transcript release authorization form
  • Official SAT/ACT scores
  • Guidance counselor or teacher reference
  • Typed, 500-word personal goals essay
  • Pearson, IELTS, or Duolingo English tests

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Gannon University will charge full-time Bachelor of Social Work students $15,590 per semester or $31,180 annually. Taking less than four courses incurs $755 per credit. Summer courses are slightly discounted to $730 per credit. Leave budget space for the $340 university fee and $138 SGA engagement fee. Social work field placement courses have a $25 fee. Living at the Erie campus’ dorms like Finegan Hall adds $3,180 per semester. Dining plans at Beyer Cafeteria cost $3,090 too. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals approximately $46,546 for residents and $34,556 for commuters.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 81 percent of full-time Gannon Golden Knights share $51.87 total for median annual financial aid offers worth $20,711. University funds include the Academic Excellence Scholarship, Founders Scholarship, Catholic Parish Grant, Schuster Memorial Scholarship, Joseph C. Angeloff Scholarship, Bloomstine Family Scholarship, Ivan George Endowed Scholarship, Marie Gerboth Memorial Scholarship, and Sandra Mead Nontraditional Scholarship. The CIC Tuition Exchange Program applies to children of full-time college employees. Filing the FAFSA application with code 003266 could unlock Federal Pell or SEOG Grant funds. Gannon alumni have median debt of $23,249 from Federal Direct, Perkins, and Plus loans. The PHEAA gives Quaker State natives the Pennsylvania State Grant. Other options are the Yellow Ribbon Program, Federal Work-Study Program, Senior Citizen Discount, and University Grant.

Learn more about Gannon University at the Social Work Department website.

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