Our Lady of the Lake University

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Studying Social Work at OLLU

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

Since 1974, the Worden School of Social Service has awarded the Bachelor of Social Work for Our Lady of the Lake University undergrads to pursue culturally competent generalist practice in a biliterate setting. Chaired by Dr. Rebecca Gomez, the 120-credit, eight-term degree focuses on community betterment from a Catholic worldview. Diverse faculty engage with students at a 10:1 ratio throughout Texas courses like Social Welfare Policy, Sociological Statistics, Evolution, and Abnormal Psychology. At least 450 practicum hours are integrated at partnering agencies, such as Mujeres Unida, Amara Hospice, Driscoll Children’s Services, Veranda Rehab, and Saenz Therapeutic Care. Majors might also pledge Phi Alpha, add the Violence Prevention Certificate, attend Spirit Day, travel to Valencia, and become McNair Scholars.

In San Antonio or online via Blackboard, Our Lady of the Lake University grants one of the United States’ three Master of Social Work programs focused on serving Latino families across the lifespan. Organized by Dr. Karina Gil, a CSWE Director Academy member, the 57-credit, non-thesis curriculum strengthens leadership capabilities. Qualifying BSW grads could finish the 31-credit Advanced Standing track in one year. Expect practical courses like Clinical Psychopathology, Immigration Policy, Hispanic Youth, and Program Evaluation. In seven-week terms, MSW majors complete 950 fieldwork (500 for Advanced Standing) hours with Spanish-speaking populations from Merida Health to Texas Safe Haven. Other opportunities include engaging in the SBIRT Project, taking the 4+1 Track, continuing for the Social Work Ph.D., joining WSWO activities, and getting master’s licensure.

About Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University was opened in Main Building in 1895 by the Catholic Congregation of Divine Providence for women’s high school education. Sixteen years later, the first two-year degree was created. In 1919, Our Lady of the Lake joined the Texas Association of Colleges to start Bachelor of Arts study. Coeducational since 1969, OLLU grew into a private, faith-based liberal arts school of the Red River Conference. Its 52-acre South Texas campus in San Antonio has expanded to the Woodlands, Rio Grande Valley, and internet. Our Lady of the Lake University carries a $25.9 million endowment to teach 3,334 Saints, including Social Work majors, who are 57 percent Hispanic. Linked to 12,991 LinkedIn alumni, OLLU has graduated Emma Tenayuca, Ciro Rodriguez, Helen Miller, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Our Lady of the Lake 86th among West colleges with the 105th best social work program nationally. On Niche, OLLU is America’s 211th best location, 438th most liberal college, and 653rd safest campus. Times Higher Education included Our Lady of the Lake University in its top 800. College Factual declared OLLU the country’s 163rd best Catholic school with the 205th top social work degree. WalletHub placed OLLU 433rd for career outcomes and 367th for value. Washington Monthly crowned Our Lady of the Lake the 32nd best service college and 200th best Peace Corps trainer. PayScale calculated a median mid-career salary of $76,300 for OLLU alumni. The Worden School also received the 2009 CSWE Presidential Award for Excellence.

Our Lady of the Lake University Accreditation Details

In 2012, Our Lady of the Lake University submitted to its 10-year institutional review from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to reaffirm the Level V accreditation under its eighth president Sister Jane Ann Slater, Ph.D. Located 15 hours away in Decatur, this 11-state regional accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Texas Education Agency to evaluate OLLU’s 33 baccalaureate, 14 master’s, and two doctoral majors. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has also extended dual undergrad and graduate accreditation through June 2020.

Our Lady of the Lake University Application Requirements

Scoring spots at the Worden School of Social Service is considered “minimally difficult” by Peterson’s with 89 percent acceptance in Fall 2016. First-year Our Lady of the Lake University Saints are judged based on the strength of their high school curriculum. Passing the GED with a 2250 or better is acceptable too. Freshmen should hold a minimum 2.5 GPA. For GPAs from 2.0 to 2.49, achieving at least a 17 on the ACT or 880 on the SAT is required. Undergrads finishing one to four semesters at other accredited colleges with averages above “C” can transfer. International learners verify English glibness with a 6.0 IELTS or 525 TOEFL score. The Master of Social Work mandates a four-year bachelor’s with 30+ liberal arts credits and 2.5 GPAs. Earning Advanced Standing depends on a 3.0 average in CSWE-accredited training and satisfactory fieldwork.

Our Lady of the Lake University created an Early Action deadline of November 14th and Regular Decision deadline of May 1st for freshmen. Transfers have priority dates of September 1st for Spring and May 1st for Fall starts. The Master of Social Work suggests that Fall cohorts apply by April 2nd. Please submit the OLLU Application or ApplyTexas form online. Paper materials might be mailed to 411 SW 24th Street in San Antonio, TX 78207. Contact admissions@ollusa.edu or (800) 436-6558 for more information. Social work majors generally send the following:

  • $35 non-refundable fee ($40 for MSW)
  • All transcripts through the TREx system
  • Official test scores from the agency
  • Two-page, double-spaced personal essay
  • Three signed letters of recommendation
  • Résumé of community service experience

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2017-18, Our Lady of the Lake University billed full-time BSW students $13,682 per semester or $27,364 annually. Part-time undergrad study incurs $877 per credit. Mandatory fees cost $828 each year. Living at the San Antonio campus’ dorms like Flores Hall adds $5,700 for room and $3,898 for board. Budgets should save $1,200 for books, $1,450 for transport, and $1,850 for personal/health expenses. Annual bachelor’s attendance is approximately $42,290. The OLLU Master of Social Work currently charges $889 per credit, which equals $27,559 with Advanced Standing or $53,340 traditionally.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 89 percent of full-time OLLU Saints share $19.32 million in financial assistance packages worth $16,078 on average. University funds include the Greehey Excellence Scholarship, Heritage Scholarship, Sr. Rose Annelle McClung Scholarship, Honors Scholarship, Alumni Scholarship, and Worden School Practicum Stipend. MSW majors can graduate assistantships covering six credits. Filing the FAFSA form with code 003598 unlocks Federal Pell and FSEOG Grant opportunity. Lonestar State natives might claim the TEXAS Grant, Tuition Equalization Grant, or Charley Wootan Grant. San Antonio Express-News reported median OLLU graduate debt of $18,169 from Perkins, Direct, Plus, and College Access Loans. Other options include the Federal Work-Study program, Catholic School Employee Discount, Yellow Ribbon program, and NASW Texas Chapter awards.

Learn more about Our Lady of the Lake University at the Worden School of Social Service website.

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