Why do I need a Social Work degree??

Good question!  Completion of the BA program at Loras and passing a social work licensing exam upon graduation, will gain a person the title of “social worker”.  With a BA degree, a variety of social service positions are available.
The BA program is very developed with the goal of preparing the student for a master’s degree in the post-Loras future.  Foundational courses provide a liberal background for a student planning to continue the social work program into more depth.  Social workers are versatile people.  The foundation courses allow students to gain knowledge in preparation for mastery of a variety of applied social work experiences in major courses.

After completing the BA program in social work at Loras, a student has the educational standing to obtain a master’s degree (MSW) in many cases, in only one year!  An MSW degree is beneficial because it allows for better job opportunities, salaries, and advanced standing among colleagues.

With these foundation courses, you will need to take specific courses and electives for the 36 additional hours required to complete your social work major.  A student can individualize the social work program to fit his or her needs with personal choice of area electives.

For more information contact:
Nancy Z. Fett, L.M.S.W.
e-mail: nancy.fett@loras.edu

  • You can declare a social work major and be admitted to the bi-college social work program during your sophomore year, following your successful completion of one introductory class (Intro to Social Welfare) and during another introductory course (HBSE).
  • Beginning the program at a student’s earliest allows for more travel abroad opportunities and it allows for easier incorporation of a second major or minor.
  • A faculty evaluation, reference letters, an essay and personal interview are required to ensure that you are a good match with the program and that you will have a successful undergraduate experience.
  • As a major, you will take a sequence of courses that will give you a sound liberal arts base and a solid education in social work. 
“I first knew I wanted to be a social worker my sophomore year in high school.  I became determined to find out what I wanted to be, so I sent away for information on all sorts of helping professions – nursing, psychology, special education teaching, physical therapy, etc.  Then I received a pamphlet in the mail that explained all the different fields one can go into as a social worker and I knew.  I knew that was what I wanted to be for the rest of my life.  Here I am, four years later, and I still feel the same way.”
                                 - Stacia Edwards
“When I entered college, I knew that I wanted a career that would be personally satisfying as well as challenging.  I wanted to study a profession that would allow me to be flexible and also allow me to develop my own value system.  Through the social work program at Loras College I have become more involved in my community and in my college environment.  I have learned priceless communication skills that I will value the rest of my life, and I have made wonderful friends.  I look forward to a bright career as a social worker in a few short years!”
                                  - Melissa Link

A major strength of the bi-college social work program is a field placement, which is the opportunity for supervised on-the-job experience at a local social agency. This senior year practicum will provide you with real experience in dealing with individual, group, and community social work.  Field placement seminar is a nine credit course that can be carried out by the student in one semester, spread out over two semesters, or over the summer.  Generally, field placements are done in the city of Dubuque during the normal school year.  However, if the student chooses to do his or her field over the summer months, the placement can be at any social agency of the student’s choice.

As you carry out educationally directed work assignments, you will be putting your social work academics into practice. You will also receive intense individual supervision and consultation from your supervisors and the social work field coordinator.

In addition, students often gain practical experience through paid social work jobs with the local agencies that supplement the academic training of the classroom.

Field Placement opportunities at area agencies such as (but not limited to):
Dubuque Human Services
Juvenile Probation
Department of Correctional Services
Hillcrest Family Services
Mercy Medical Center
Finley Hospital
Catholic Charities
Maria House
The Gannon Center
Area Aging Agency
Substance Abuse Services
Lutheran Social Services
Operation New View
Stonehill Care Center
Family Resource Center

For more information contact:
Nancy Z. Fett, L.M.S.W.
e-mail: nancy.fett@loras.edu
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