Social Work Degree Programs in South Carolina

According to a report created by Mental Health America entitled “Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America 2015,” South Carolina ranks 33rd in prevalence of mental illness among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, indicating a need for social work degree programs in South Carolina. The reason there is a need for more social work experts in the state is that only 18 states rank lower than South Carolina when it comes to mental illness.

The report indicates that just over eight percent of South Carolina residents are dependent on drugs or alcohol, ranking the state 18th while just under seven percent of youth were found to abuse alcohol or drugs, ranking the state at 28th for youth drug dependency. Just under eight percent of children suffer from emotional behavioral development issues, placing the state in tenth place.

Individuals who have completed social work degree programs in South Carolina are growing in need as the state currently has an almost four percent population of adults who are struggling with mental illness but have no access to care while almost 22 percent say that they were unable to have their needs met in dealing with a serious mental illness.

These statistics indicate the importance of individuals who have successfully completed social work degree programs in South Carolina.

Benedict College

School of Education, Health and Human Services

The School of Education, Health and Human Services at Benedict College prepares students to enter professions designed to address the well-being of others. The school offers comprehensive teaching, research and service opportunities for a well-rounded education. Students are provided the skills and tools necessary to assist others throughout their lifespan on an individual, family and group basis. Through traditional classroom learning, the ability to learn through highly-qualified faculty-led research projects and the ability to work with organizations in the community that will provide hands-on experiences, students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Social Work

The Social Work program at the School of Education, Health and Human Services at Benedict College prepares students for entry-level social work practice or for graduate education. Students are able to apply social work ethical principles and to apply critical thinking to develop and communicate their professional judgment related to the field of social work. Students develop the skills to advance human rights and promote social economic justice. Students learn in research-informed practicums and are involved in research projects that further advance their education. In order to apply for the program, students must take:

  • Successfully complete SW 111 & 112 – Freshman Seminars I & II
  • Successfully complete SW 130 – Critical Thinking
  • Successfully complete SW 230 – Introduction to Social Work which requires a 20-hour volunteer service component that must be completed in a human service agency
  • Complete a joint interview with the faculty member who taught SW 230, the department chair or a designee
  • Provide transcripts that demonstrate the student meets all requirements of the social work major
  • Complete required courses with a grade of “C” and maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in foundation social work courses

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council on Social Work Education

Contact

Benedict College
1600 Harden Street
Columbia, SC 29204
Telephone: 803-705-4761
Program Website

Coker College

Department of Social Work

The Department of Social Work at Coker College helps students confront some of the toughest problems in society, including poverty, illiteracy, disease, substance abuse and much more. The job of a social worker can be difficult, but those with general compassion can find a career in social work very rewarding. Students are provided a broad education in economic and political forces that have an impact on social issues.

Social Work

The Social Work program at Coker College through the Department of Social Work offers more than just certification. Students learn data analysis and research methods as well as gain insight into human behavior, social policies, values and ethics. Students must complete three on-site internships, allowing them to gain practical skills. Students learn to communicate with others and to evaluate various situations. Students develop the desire to become lifelong learners, something that is critical to succeed in the field of social work. Students must apply to be accepted into the social work major with a written statement that addresses their understanding of the social work field. They must have a C+ average as an entering freshman or a 2.00 GPA if they are transferring from another college or a current Coker student. Each applicant must have an interview with at least one member of the social work faculty.

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact

Coker College
300 East College Avenue
Hartsville, SC 29550
Telephone: 843-383-8050
Email: admissions@coker.edu
Program Website

Columbia College

Behavioral Studies and Human Inquiry

The Division of Behavioral Studies and Human Inquiry at Columbia College offers a wide range of majors and minors in fields related to the support of human beings. Students are provided with exciting opportunities in the understanding of human relationships, social institutions and the individual. The programs at the college emphasize self-development, interpersonal relationships, professional knowledge and social responsibility. It is the belief of Columbia College that students who develop those skills are destined to become leaders in their community. Programs are offered through the Women’s College Major Programs, Women’s College Minor Programs, evening programs and the graduate program.

Social Work

Social work has been ranked as one of the fastest growing careers. It is different than psychology or counseling as social workers are trained to address societal problems, such as racism and injustice, while working at the individual, family and group level. Students are provided the tools and knowledge to work in a generalist social work practice. The major combines the liberal arts studies required of all Columbia students with courses that focus on ethics, human behavior, social policy and social work practice. Research is also strongly encouraged. Students must complete a two-semester field placement during their senior year. Students have held internships at the South Carolina Department of Health, Morris Village and Three Rivers Behavioral Health Systems, to name a few. To apply, students must provide an application essay, a copy of all transcripts and official SAT or ACT scores. Students must also provide a written recommendation.

Accreditation

  • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Council on Social Work Education

Contact

Division of Behavioral Studies and Human Inquiry
Wil Lou Gray Building
1301 Columbia College Drive
Columbia, SC 29203
Telephone: 803-786-3342
Program Website

Limestone College

Limestone College is a Christian, non-denominational college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students are provided extensive liberal arts education as well as the tools they need in the professional disciplines they choose. The student body is diverse, providing each of them with an opportunity to develop relationships with others regardless of their background. Students may choose to take classes in the traditional classroom setting or through the college’s online format. Students are offered personal and professional growth using innovation, a highly-qualified faculty and the ability for students to gain hands-on experience through community involvement. All courses are offered with Christian ideals and ethical principles with a focus on critical thinking skills. Students develop communication skills necessary to succeed in their chosen profession with guidance that includes responsible citizenship and an ethical background delivered in a nurturing atmosphere.

Bachelor of Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work at Limestone College provides students with the information they need to understand patterns of behavior in individuals, families, organizations and communities in an effort to help them avoid problems they may face in a society that is rapidly changing. Students are provided the tools and knowledge they need to boost social and economic standing as well as to change social conditions that may be damaging. Students develop an understanding of ethnic, culture, race and gender differences in order to create a better society. In addition to a traditional social work program, Limestone also offers a completely online degree program. Students who qualify may take their social work classes online, in a traditional classroom setting or a combination of both formats. Students must apply for the online program and there is a self-assessment tool available on their website so that students may determine if they are suited for the online format or if they should take classes in the more traditional setting.

Accreditation

  • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Council on Social Work Education

Contact

Limestone College
1115 College Drive
Gaffney, SC 29340-3799
Telephone: 864-489-7151
Program Website

South Carolina State University

Department of Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services at South Carolina State University provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and respond to issues facing individuals, families, groups and communities. The programs offered through the department include training and research into rehabilitation, social work, counselor education and criminal justice personnel. The programs focus on humanities, social sciences and the missions of the university. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level in a variety of subjects related to the field of human service.

Social Work Programs

The Social Work program at South Carolina University began in 1970 when a survey discovered that 80 percent of the students who were majoring in psychology and sociology were interested in pursuing a career in social work. With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, Marguerite Howie completed the necessary training to begin a social work program and, in 1972, additional faculty were added to develop the program even further. Students are prepared to enter the field of social work as competent, ethical and effective generalist practitioners. Upon graduation, students are prepared for entry-level positions in the field of social work. The need for social workers is expected to grow as communities continue to evolve and diversify. Students are provided with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to effect change in their community. To apply for the program, potential students must have a 2.3 GPA and must provide an autobiographical essay. Students must also provide a letter of recommendation and must undergo an interview with the admissions committee. Before applying for the Social Work program, students must complete:

  • BSC 150 & 151
  • PSY 250
  • SOC 250

Students must also successfully complete Introduction to Social Work.

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council on Social Work Education

Contact

South Carolina State University
300 College Street Northeast
Orangeburg, SC 29117
Telephone: 800-260-5956 or 803-536-7000
Program Website

University of South Carolina

College of Social Work

The College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina promotes social justice and well-being with populations that many consider vulnerable. Students are instructed through traditional classroom learning, outstanding research facilities and the ability to perform service in the community. The program hopes to promote sustainable equity not only in South Carolina but nationally and globally as well. The College of Social Work was founded in 1969 and since it began has been dedicated to leadership and service on a local, national and global level. The college prepares social work professionals to address the major challenges that face society today by providing extensive knowledge into the field of social work.

Undergraduate Social Work

The undergraduate social work program prepares students for generalist practice in the social work field. Students are given the tools they need to work with individuals, families, groups and communities. Students are taught using cutting edge curriculum and are provided with real-world experiences through the opportunity for service in the community. Students gain experience through engagement with other students by participating in the Undergraduate Social Work Student Association. Students learn to improve the social function of individuals as well as their interaction with families and members of the community. Students learn how to provide those in need with the ability to manage resources, accomplish goals and prevent or alleviate distress. Students learn how to recognize the strengths and resilience of those they work with as well as about systems that are in place to assist those in need while teaching them to meet their own needs.

Master of Social Work Program

The Master of Social Work Program at the College of Social Work is designed for those who wish to become advanced practitioners in the social work field. The program provides students with the knowledge, skills and values they need to promote social well-being and justice for populations that are considered vulnerable. Graduates are ready for employment in social work practice and administration. Programs are available part-times, full-time or advance standing full-time for students who hold a Bachelor of Social Work. Students may choose to concentrate in:

  • Agiing
  • Children, Youth and Their Families
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Social, Community & Economic Development
  • Military

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council on Social Work Education

Contact

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Undergraduate Email: COSWBSW@mailbox.sc.edu
Graduate Email: coswrcrt@mailbox.sc.edu
Website:
Undergraduate
Graduate

Winthrop University

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences at Winthrop University offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in 14 different departments with instruction offered by a talented, world-renowned faculty dedicated to student growth. In addition to traditional classroom learning, students are provided the opportunity to learn abroad as well as develop advanced knowledge through research. Students also are provided the ability to engage in interdisciplinary study as well as engage in internships and service learning that further enhances their education.

Bachelor of Social Work

Students who successfully complete the Bachelor of Social Work program through the College of Arts and Sciences are prepared for entry-level positions in the field of generalist social work. Students are qualified for positions in child welfare agencies, hospitals, prisons, schools and many other agencies whose focus is helping others gain a better quality of life. Students are provided traditional classroom learning as well as extensive internship experiences that provide assistance to individuals, families, organizations and communities. Students may apply for status as a social work major at any time. Once accepted, they must agree to abide by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics which means that student behavior must meet the standards of ethical conduct in that code. Students must formally apply for admittance and must have earned an overall GPA of 2.20 and 2.40 GPA in social work courses. Students must earn a grade C- or better in SCWK through SCWK 433. In order to graduate from the program, students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.20 and a GPA of 2.40 in all social work classes. At least 12 semester hours must be completed at Winthrop University.

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work through the Department of Social Work prepares students for professional positions in the field of social work. The program is designed on an empowerment practice which assesses the influence of personal, structural and societal systems. The process seeks to establish and maintain systems that use culturally relevant strategies so that clients are empowered to improve their situations. Students may pursue the program as a two-year full-time program, three-year weekend program, one-year full-time advanced program or two-year advanced standing program. Only students who hold CSWE-accredited bachelor’s degrees in social work may apply for the advanced standing programs. To apply for the program, students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and must have a bachelor’s level degree from an accredited college or university. Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 for the Advanced Standing Program or 3.0 on the last 60 credit hours they have earned for the full-time or weekend program. Students must also provide GRE or Miller Analogies test scores. Three professional recommendations, a professional resume and a personal narrative statement are required. The narrative statement must include:

  • The student’s reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in social work.
  • The student’s career goals after completing the degree requirements.
  • Human services experience, whether paid or volunteer.
  • Any experiences working with diverse populations.
  • Any information that the student feels is necessary to convey their interest in pursuing a graduate degree in social work.
  • There is also a Master of Social Work Questionnaire required that may be completed online.

Accreditation

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council on Social Work Education

Contact

Undergraduate:
Department of
Social Work
132 Bancroft Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
Telephone: 803-323-2168
Program Website

Graduate:
Graduate School
211 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
Telephone: 800-411-7041 or 803-323-2204
Email:gradschool@winthrop.edu
Program Website

For those who hope to enter a career where they help individuals, families, groups or communities improve their lives, a social work degree will be beneficial in helping them achieve those goals. Whether someone is suffering from mental illness, substance abuse or simply is struggling to make their way in the world. Individuals who have successfully completed a social work degree program in South Carolina will be the best option for guiding them and helping them resolve their problems in the best way.

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