Social work is one of the fastest-growing majors at Mary Baldwin University, says Dianna Parrish, an Academic adviser and Adjunct faculty member at the University’s Roanoke Higher Education Center location. Social workers with bachelor’s degrees are needed for substance abuse programs, social services, and in healthcare settings, and eighty percent of graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months after earning a degree.
MBU offers a BSW program at the Higher Education Center designed for students who may already work full-time. The program can be completed in two years with approved transfer courses, and combines on-line classes featuring interactive discussion boards with four to eight face-to-face Saturday morning sessions each semester.
During the final semester, students complete a 450-hour practicum, which provides hands-on training and direct practice. Some prospective interns have been hired as employees or promoted to new positions as the internship begins, allowing them to complete their course work while holding down employment.
Parrish says the Virginia Community College System has a Guaranteed Admission Agreement with the University to allow students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher to transfer up to 90 academic credits. Roanoke students can also take classes at the Staunton campus or participate in study abroad trips to experience a traditional college setting. Earning a BSW allows for completion of an MSW in one year in an Advanced Standing Program, and is a good background for graduate work in many other fields.