Jul 24, 2024  
2023-24 NSU Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-24 NSU Undergraduate Catalog

Social Work B.S.W. *

Location(s): Tahlequah, Broken Arrow

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by College & Department

OSRHE Program Code: 102
CIP Code: 440701
Major Code: 9815


  • 9816 - General Social Work
  • 9817 - Child Welfare Specialization

Transfer Agreements

Mission Statement

The mission of Northeastern State University’s (NSU) Department of Social Work is to academically prepare competent and effective professionals; particularly first generation college students who desire to enter generalist social work practice.  Along with our academic program’s accessibility, our curriculum is designed to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and values of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) competencies and behavioral indicators with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics.  These key foundations prepare our graduates to practice social work in a wide range of agencies and allied settings with diverse client systems and people.  Our academic program has a unique focus in its integration of addressing social work practice with Native American populations, and the option to specialize in child welfare leadership.

Specialty Accreditation

The Bachelor of Social Work (Social Work, B.S.W.) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314-3457, 703-683-8080).  www.cswe.org

Credential Requirements

There are five levels of social work licensure in Oklahoma. Four licenses require a master’s degree, while the LSWA credential requires only a bachelor’s degree. All candidates for licensure must pass an exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Certain licenses also require supervised experience, and all candidates for licensure must submit an application and pay fees. Licensed social workers often find positions in healthcare, education, and the legal system.

Social workers in Oklahoma do not need a clinical license to work independently. While professionals must attain clinical licensure for private practice, a licensed social worker (LSC) and the licensed social worker administration (LSW-Adm) credentials also qualify holders for independent social work practice.

The Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers (OSBLSW) issues provisional licensure after candidates submit their application and fee. Provisionally licensed professionals must pass the exam within a year. Oklahoma does not have a reciprocity agreement with other states, but there is a system in place for out-of-state social workers to gain licensure. Students are encouraged to talk with their faculty mentor about licensure requirements and to consult the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers for more information.

Student Learning Outcomes

Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

  • 1.1 Make ethical decisions by applyig the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant lasw and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional coes of ethics as appropriate to the context.
  • 1.2 Use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations.
  • 1.3 Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication.
  • 1.4 Use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes.
  • 1.5 Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.

Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

  • 2.1 Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  • 2.2 Present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences.
  • 2.3 Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.

Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social Economic, and Environmental Justice

  • 3.1 Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels.
  • 3.2 Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

  • 4.1 Use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research.
  • 4.2 Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings.
  • 4.3 Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice

  • 5.1 Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services.
  • 5.2 Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services.
  • 5.3 Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • 6.1 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies.
  • 6.2 Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • 7.1 Collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies.
  • 7.2 Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies.
  • 7.3 Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies.
  • 7.4 Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • 8.1 Student will critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies.
  • 8.2 Student will apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies.
  • 8.3 Student will use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes.
  • 8.4 Student will negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies 8.5 Student will facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • 9.1 Student will select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes.
  • 9.2 Student will apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes.
  • 9.3 Student will critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes.
  • 9.4 Student will apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.


In keeping with our mission, the goals of the social work program are:

  1. To educate diverse social workers for beginning generalist social work practice.
  2. To provide an accessible social work academic program.
  3. To prepare social workers to practice with diverse populations and systems, including Native American populations.
  4. To develop social work leaders in child welfare social delivery systems.

Curriculum Policy Statement and Curriculum Design

The NSU Bachelor of Social Work Program curriculum is based upon the accreditation standards set forth by our accrediting professional body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  These standards, along with their accompanying behavioral indicators, are integrated throughout our core and elective course offerings; conclude with all components being demonstrated in the student field education experience:  the program’s signature pedagogy.

Program Outcome Evaluation

Program outcomes are assessed on a bi-annual basis per a formally designed assessment plan.  The plan is comprised of student course evaluations addressing the competency standards, faculty committee evaluations, qualitative/quantitative exit interviews of graduating seniors, and the Baccalaureate Education Assessment Project (BEAP). 

NOTE: All social work majors must obtain an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Criminal History background check which must include the Sex Offender check and Violent Offender check (no more than 3 months old). Go to: www.ok.gov/osbi/Criminal_History/ (to be completed as part of SOWK 4013 Practice I).

General Education Requirements

A minimum of 46 hours of academic work in general education is required during the freshman and sophomore years.  For students transferring with the Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Science degree from a public institution in Oklahoma, all general education requirements will be satisfied with respect to degree requirements.  However, some majors may require other specific general education courses as program prerequisites or program requirements.  Students should consult advisors and the program’s plan of study for further information.  Students are required to complete general education requirements by the time they have completed 90 semester hours of college work.  See General Education Requirements  for more information.

Select General SOWK or Child Welfare Specialization

General Social Work - 10 hours (9816)

  • SOWK Electives (3000/4000 level) - 6 hours
  • Advanced Electives (3000/4000 level) - 4 hours
    (Select from American Indian Studies, Psychology, Social Science, and/or Social Work)


Child Welfare Specialization - 10 hours (9817)

Major Total - 60 hours

Graduation GPA Requirements

  • 2.5 Overall GPA
  • 2.5 GPA the Social Work major
  • A minimum grade of C is required in all social work core courses.

Additional Degree Information - College of Liberal Arts

In addition to general education and program requirements stated above, additional hours may be needed to satisfy all minimum degree requirements listed below.

  • English Proficiency: Components I and II of English proficiency should be met with grades of “C” or better prior to the completion of 60 credit hours.
  • ​A minimum of 124 hours is required. PE activity is limited to four hours. Prior learning credit (CLEP, Advanced Standing, Military Credit, etc) is limited to 30 hours.
  • ​A minimum of 30 hours in residence (from NSU) is required for graduation. PE activity is limited to four hours. Hours in residence exclude zero-level courses and prior learning credit such as CLEP, Advanced Placement, Advanced Standing, Military Credit, etc.​
  • A minimum of 40 hours of 3000/4000 level courses is required for graduation.  ​
  • A minimum of 60 hours from a 4-year school is required for graduation excluding zero level and PE activity courses.
  • At least fifty percent of the major requirements must be upper division courses (3000 and 4000 level).
  • At least 18 hours or fifty percent of the major, whichever is greater, must be satisfactorily completed at NSU.
  • The minimum number of credit hours required in the Liberal Arts and Sciences varies based on the type of degree.  B.A., B.F.A. degrees require at least 80 hours.  B.S. degrees require at least 55 hours.  B.A.Ed., B.G.S., B.M.E. and B.S.W. degrees require at least 40 hours.  Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) courses are identified in catalog course descriptions.

For more information, see Bachelor’s Degree Requirements .



Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by College & Department