Northwest Nazarene University

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Becoming a Social Worker at NNU

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

Since 1977, the College of Arts and Sciences has awarded an accredited B.A. in Social Work for Northwest Nazarene University undergrads to develop Christ-like character for alleviating injustices in diverse communities. Directed by Prof. Leann Stensgaard, LCSW, the 124-credit generalist program admits sophomores or juniors ready to embrace God’s call to serve their neighbors. The 16:1 student-faculty ratio keeps mentors close in Nampa courses like Human Behavior, Contemporary Society, Economic Analysis, and Child Welfare Services. At least 500 supervised fieldwork hours are arranged at Idaho Behavioral Health, Helping Hands, Abundant Wellness, D7 Drug Court, Wish Granters, and more. Students might also join the International Justice Mission, minor in Evangelism, exchange to Ambrose University, pledge Phi Delta Lambda, enter the Honors College, and attend the Lenten Journey Series.

In Nampa or Idaho Falls, Northwest Nazarene University offers the Master of Social Work for post-grad cohorts to receive interactive LMSW preparation centered on helping rural clients thrive. Chaired by Dr. Lawanna Lancaster, the 63-credit traditional program builds a generalist foundation before two concentrations: Clinical Mental Health & Addictions or Integrated Clinical & Community Practice. Those with CSWE-accredited backgrounds can enter the 41-credit Specialized Standing track instead. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are spent on eight-week courses like Play Therapy, Grant Writing, Domestic Violence, and Research Design. The required 600 practicum hours lead to 95 percent job placement from St. Luke’s Boise to Mini Cassia Care Center. Other opportunities include attending the Wesley Center Conference, researching in the Thomas Family Center, and serving missions to Lodwar.

About Northwest Nazarene University

Northwest Nazarene University first earned liberal arts degree-granting authority in 1917 under H. Orton Wiley as Northwest Holiness College. During Russell V. DeLong’s five-year tenure, it earned the Church’s first accreditation in 1931. Thirty years later, master’s programs were started by the private, Protestant GNAC member. In 1999, the Northwest Nazarene University name was adopted at the 40-building Canyon County campus six miles west of Meridian. Budgeting $39.2 million yearly, NNU now serves 8,000 Nighthawks, including Social Work majors, from 14 nations. Linked to 7,903 LinkedIn alumni, Northwest Nazarene has graduated Thomas Jay Oord, Donna Fletcher Crow, Richard Hieb, and others.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Northwest Nazarene the 47th best West school, 12th top value, and 24th best for vets college. On Niche, NNU boasts America’s 43rd best religious studies, 52nd best standout academics, and 193rd top college dorms. The “College of Distinction” was recognized for the eighth safest campus on Cappex. Northwest Nazarene University has the country’s 264th most Peace Corps volunteers and 310th best financial aid in Washington Monthly. College Factual named NNU the 301st best buy with the 217th best social work program. PayScale calculated a 20-year net ROI of $126,000 from Northwest Nazarene grads. WalletHub also placed NNU 502nd for career outcomes.

Northwest Nazarene University Accreditation Details

In September 2019, Northwest Nazarene University will undergo its mid-cycle evaluation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) to keep the Level V accreditation for another five years under its 13th president, Dr. Joel K. Pearsall. Located seven hours north in Redmond, this seven-state regional accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure the effectiveness of NNU’s 62 baccalaureate, 19 master’s, and two doctoral degrees. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has accredited the B.A. and MSW programs through the June 2025 review too.

Northwest Nazarene University Application Requirements

The Princeton Review reported a “selective” admission rate of 69 percent at Northwest Nazarene University. First-year Nighthawks preparing for the B.A. in Social Work must graduate from senior high schools. Presenting a standard GED score above 450 also qualifies. Full acceptance requires a 2.5 GPA, but averages down to 2.0 are considered provisionally. Freshmen need a minimum 18 ACT or 1270 SAT score too. Declaring the Social Work major involves finishing 30+ credits, including Introduction to Social Welfare and Lifespan Development, with a “B-” average or greater. The MSW judges moral and academic merit throughout a four-year bachelor’s program. Master’s applicants should have 21+ liberal arts credits with major GPAs of 3.0 or better. Background checks must show no felonies. Preference is also given for initial Idaho licensure and one year of full-time experience.

Northwest Nazarene University has freshmen deadlines of November 15th for Early Action, January 15th for Early Action II, and March 31st for Standard Decision. B.A. in Social Work transfers apply until August 15th for Fall or December 15th for Spring. The MSW Program has a November 28th deadline to land interview spots. File the Common Application or NNU Admissions form online. If needed, mail extras to 623 South University Blvd. in Nampa, ID 83686. Contact (208) 467-8383 or admissions@nnu.edu with questions. Social workers are responsible for these:

  • $50 fee payable to the Business Office
  • One official transcript per institution
  • College tests, i.e. SAT, ACT, and TOEFL
  • Three faculty/supervisor references
  • Nationwide background check form
  • Personal statement of five to eight pages
  • Copies of BSW field evaluations if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Northwest Nazarene University will bill full-time B.A. in Social Work majors $14,650 per semester or $29,300 annually. Studying part-time incurs $1,265 per credit. Each undergrad pays $500 for registration, facility, and health fees each year. Student health insurance premiums cost $1,773. Living at the Nampa campus’ dorms like Dooley Hall charges $7,250. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals $39,690 on-site or $33,420 with family. The MSW Program prices $575 per credit. Tuition totals are approximately $36,225 for traditional and $23,575 for Specialized Standing post-grads.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 93 percent of full-time NNU Nighthawks share $20.11 million yearly with financial aid offers worth $16,514 on average. University funds include the President’s Scholarship, Wesley Scholarship, Mission Aviation Fellowship, ROTC Housing Scholarship, Christian Education Partner High School Grant, and Church of Nazarene Grant. For $85, interest-free monthly payment plans are arranged by Tuition Management Services. The Yellow Ribbon Program offers undergrads $5,500 and post-grads $2,200 after military service. Filing the FAFSA application with code 001624 opens Federal Pell, FSEOG, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant money. Idahoans could receive the Opportunity Scholarship, Gear Up Scholarship, or Postsecondary Credit Scholarship. Federal Work-Study jobs from Riley Library to The Dex pay at least $8.75/hour. The National Health Services Corp Repayment Program could also forgive Direct and Grad PLUS loans.

Learn more about Northwest Nazarene University at the Social Work Department website.

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