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In 1904, Simmons became the first college to provide training for clinical social workers, filling a critical community need, expanding the profession, and offering a vehicle through which women could advance their careers. Since then, Simmons College School of Social Work has been a leader in social work education and an enduring example of the College's signature committment to academic rigor, strong professional preparation, and visionary thinking. Buttressed by a vibrant undergraduate liberal arts college, the School of Social Work's 100 year legacy, consistent growth, and pattern of high quality professional preparation and educational innovation make it an ideal site for a new undergraduate program designed to trained baccalaureate level, generalist social workers.
The new Simmons College BSW Program embraces the history of the School of Social Work while focusing on the needs of contemporary students, the changing social work profession, and our diverse community. The Program has been designed to maintain the educational standards set forth by its accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), while offering students enhanced options for completing their social work education and training.
The Program is currently in Candidacy with the Council on Social Work Education and expects to be fully accredited in June of 2014.
The Simmons College BSW Program offers two degree options for social work students, a Traditional 4-Year Program and an Accelerated 3+1 Program. Students in the Traditional BSW and 3+1 Programs complete the same curricular requirements, including all Simmons College Core Courses, Mode requirements, electives, BSW courses, and BSW Field Placements.
Traditional 4-Year BSW Program
The Traditional Program allows students to earn their undergraduate degree in a typical fashion, by completing their required courses and field work in four years. Students graduating from this Program with their BSW are eligible to apply for Master's level social work (MSW) training as advanced standing students. This means, provided they have met all advanced standing eligibility requirements, Simmons students with an earned BSW may be admitted into their MSW Program as an accelerated student, with some of their BSW courses applied to the MSW degree requirements. To view the course sequence for Traditional BSW students, please click on the side tab.
Accelerated 3+1 BSW/MSW Program
The Accelerated 3+1 BSW/MSW Program is intended for highly motivated students who are interested in accelerating their education and training. This Program option is generally appropriate for new college students or transfer students with a small number of transfer credits (15 credits or less). Current Simmons students may also apply for admission into the 3+1 Program at the end of their first year. Students enrolled in the 3+1 Program complete their undergraduate work in three years by taking five courses rather than four during some semesters and by completing four courses and the 100-hour field placement during the summer between their second and third years. At the end of their BSW plan of study, 3+1 students then apply to the Simmons MSW advanced standing program. Provided they meet all requirements of the program, these students are eligible to earn their MSW in one additional year (3 semesters), allowing them to begin working and earning earlier. Like the traditional BSW Program sequence, the 3+1 Program option prepares students for lifelong learning through the provision of a Simmons liberal arts foundation while also providing classroom learning and field instruction that will allow them to master and demonstrate the Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors required of social work professionals. To view the course sequence for Accelerated 3+1 students, please click on the side tab.
Waldstein Scholarship for 3+1 Students: The Simmons 3+1 Program has received a generous donation from SSW alumna and College Trustee, Andrea Waldstein '60SW, and her husband, Arthur Waldstein, to fund scholarships for current 3+1 students based on financial need. All 3+1 BSW/MSW Program students are eligible to apply for the Waldstein Scholarship upon admission into the Program. Scholarship decisions will be made based on student financial need and availability of funds.
Consistent with the mission of Simmons College, ideals of the School of Social Work, and standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, the Simmons College BSW Program's Mission is:
to prepare baccalaureate-level students for professional generalist social work practice and lifelong professional and personal learning. Consistent with the mission and vision of Simmons College, the School of Social Work, and professional social work tradition, the Program seeks to develop competent, ethical social work practitioners who are attuned to the values of the social work profession, embrace a professional social work identity, value diversity, and seek social justice through effective advocacy and social change efforts.
Within the liberal arts tradition and guided by the purpose and values of the social work profession, the Simmons College BSW Program aims to:
In alignment with the 2008 Council on Social Work Education's Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, the Simmons College Baccalaureate Social Work Program utilizes a competency-based educational model whereby student abilities and Program success are demonstrated by measureable outcomes. Like the Simmons College MSW Program, the BSW Program's pedagogical philosophy is structured around a commitment to ensuring that its graduates are capable of demonstrating their ability to integrate and apply what they have learned in practice that is of high quality. The Program strives to prepare its graduates for generalist social work through the demonstrated mastery of the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for effective, competent, ethical practice.
By the completion of their baccalaureate education and training, the Simmons College BSW graduate will demonstrate the following Core Competencies, operationalized by their Practice Behaviors:
1) Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
2) Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
3) Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
4) Engage diversity and difference in practice
view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants
5) Advance human rights and social and economic justice
6) Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
7) Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
8) Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
9) Respond to contexts that shape practice
10) Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions
Students who earn a BSW degree are trained as social work generalist practitioners. This means that they are provided with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills required to intervene with individuals, families, organizations, and communities. They can work with clients of all ages and assist them in facing an array of life challenges.
BSW Student of Color Mentoring Program - Opening in Fall 2013!