Social Work Degree Programs in South Dakota

Don't underestimate our nation's fifth least populated state because there are five top-notch social work degrees in South Dakota that maintain academic excellence with CSWE accreditation.

Although its best known for its vast expanses of land in the Great Plains, South Dakota actually provides several highly ranked educational opportunities in the Midwest for aspiring social workers looking to take off in this economy-proof career. Social work majors in South Dakota also receive the unique chance to practice in rural areas and with diverse populations, including the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Dakota, Kiowa, Oglala, Sioux, and other Native American tribes living here.

The following is a guide to the five social work degree programs accredited throughout South Dakota.

Oglala Lakota College

Social Work Department

Initially chartered by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council in 1971, Oglala Lakota College is a fully accredited independent tribal institution that serves around 1,400 students from its main campus in Kyle as well as the satellite instructional centers in Rapid City and on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. As a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), OLC has stepped beyond its status as a community college to now offer bachelor's programs and one master's degree centered. The Social Work Department aims to develop competent licensed social workers who can lead tribal, state, and federal organizations for boosting the well-being of Lakota people.

Bachelors in Social Work (BSW)

Available with emphasis areas in Liberal Arts or Chemical Dependency Counseling, the Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) program at OLC is focused on educating undergraduate students on essential components of social change processes to build a successful career in fairly distributing scarce economic and social resources in South Dakota. The program seeks to prepare students for beginning professional social work practice to specifically make life better for Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation. As an upper-division generalist social work program, students enter in their junior year and spend two semesters clocking 400 hours of practicum within the field.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact

3 Mile Creek Road
Kyle, SD 57752
(605) 393-7374
kkidd[email protected]
Program Website

Presentation College

Social Work Department

As a small comprehensive four-year private Roman Catholic liberal arts institution, Presentation College is currently serving a close-knit community of around 780 students on a main 100-acre rural campus in the town of Aberdeen near the Minnesota border. Sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM), the college welcomes learners of all faiths to find personal and professional growth in more than 25 associate's, bachelor's, and certificate programs. From a unique Catholic worldview, the Social Work Department is focused on the values of service, social justice, dignity, and integrity to produce generalist social workers who can effectively address social problems.

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Fully accredited by the CSWE, the Bachelor of Science in Social Work program at Presentation is available at the main Aberdeen, Lakota, and Sioux Falls campuses to provide a hands-on education that prepares students for succeeding in a variety of social work settings. With a personalized curriculum that can be tailored to fit each students' goals, the program offers an excellent opportunity to find entry-level positions in public health, human services, geriatrics, substance abuse, mental health, family services, child welfare, and more. In the 120-credit degree plan, social work majors will be expected to complete a minimum of 400 practicum hours in an approved field site for developing essential knowledge, skills, values, and ethics.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact

1500 North Main Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(605) 271-7694
[email protected]
Program Website

University of Sioux Falls

Department of Social Work

Situated on a beautiful 58-acre urban campus in the state's largest city along the banks of the Big Sioux River, the University of Sioux Falls is a comprehensive four-year private Christian liberal arts institution educating more than 1,400 students annually. With a mission to develop mature Christian persons for serving God and humankind through the character of Christ, USF is currently ranked as the 38th best regional college in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. The Department of Social Work has received CSWE accreditation for delivering valuable social work education that explores all facets of generalist practice with hands-on service learning opportunities.

B.A. in Social Work

Designed as preparation for advanced studies in graduate school or as a direct pathway towards the workplace, the B.A. in Social Work program at USF includes a wide range of thought-provoking classes to challenge undergraduate students to engage in social problems surrounding them. From an entry-level generalist approach, students build upon their liberal arts core with 56 credit hours of major social work coursework. In the final year, students also complete a block field placement to complete 450 or more hours of field practicum in one semester. Graduates will be well-equipped for working in mental health, elderly care, medicine, corrections, family services, case management, human resources, ministry, and more.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact

1101 West 22nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
(605) 331-6600
[email protected]
Program Website

University of South Dakota

Department of Social Work

Initially established within the Dakota Territory in 1862, the University of South Dakota is a major comprehensive public research institution with over 10,200 students on its 276-acre rural campus in the small college town of Vermillion within just 39 miles northwest of Sioux City, Iowa. Named a "Best Value" in Forbes magazine, USD is currently ranked as the 168th best national university, 93rd top public school, and 55th top college for veterans in America by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the School of Health Sciences, the Department of Social Work is accredited by the CSWE to serve students with a passion for social justice and a desire to improve the quality of people's lives.

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Within a four-year degree plan of 120 total credits, the Bachelor of Science in Social Work at USD is focused on combining classroom instruction with field education to develop the evidence-based knowledge, values, and skills students will need as entry-level generalist social work professionals. Founded with an emphasis on diversity, the program seeks to develop versatile social workers who can effectively address emerging social issues with diverse populations. In addition to field practicum, students can also build professional connections by participating in the Social Work Student Club, obtaining membership with the NASW, and striving for acceptance into the Sigma Theta Phi Alpha Honor Society.

Master of Science in Social Work

Offered in a full-time or part-time format, the Master of Science in Social Work program has the goal of preparing graduate students as advanced social work professionals to provide high-quality clinical, therapeutic, or social services to South Dakota's diverse communities. Most students are admitted into the regular 60-credit non-thesis program, but those with a CSWE-accredited bachelor's degree in social work can apply for the 36-credit advanced standing program for an accelerated path. Regardless of the track chosen, graduate social work majors will take courses in research methods, program evaluation, social justice, social policy, community health, mental health assessment, and organizational practice before their 500 clock hours of advanced field education.

Accreditations

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact

1400 West 22nd Street
Vermillion, SD 57105
(605) 677-5401
[email protected]
Program Website

Earning a social work degree in the "Mount Rushmore State" is beneficial for anyone hoping to start a rewarding career in helping individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations improve. Once you find the right school, choose fitting field practicum sites, and receive your degree, you'll have the unparalleled opportunity to make a real difference in our world's social functioning. You'll certainly find favorable job prospects also because employment for social workers is expected to skyrocket by 19 percent before 2022, especially in the healthcare and mental health fields. Turn your hobby in community service and passion for helping others into an in-demand career by attending one of these accredited social work degrees in South Dakota.

See also: Social Work Degree Programs in North Dakota

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