Summary of social work graduate programs prepared by Melissa C.F. Becker, MSW, September 2000
Return to the table of contents to see the summaries of other programs.

Our Lady of the Lake University Worden School of Social Service

Identity: The mission of the Worden School of Social Service is the education of social workers for professional advanced practice in the human services. This mission derives directly from the philosophy and purposes of the University and from the humanitarian values of the social work profession. Reflecting the Catholic tradition in higher education, the University philosophy calls for "a dedication to the service of others" from all members of the University community. For many years the professional programs of the University have focused on education for direct service to people. Intertwined in the objectives of the Worden School are the values and ethics of the social work profession, including belief in the dignity and worth of human beings, respect for individual differences, and dedication to the truth. Consistent with the tradition of social work, the School prepares social workers to work directly with people as well as to participate in the development of human services.

Fundamental to the education of social workers is active concern for social justice and cultural pluralism. In particular the School considers that it has a special responsibility to sensitize social workers to the special needs of regional ethnic minorities, Mexican Americans, and African Americans, as well as other population groups who have been victims of institutional oppression, such as the poor, women, and the aged. Every component of the educational program of the School -- curriculum, faculty composition, field instruction settings, and the student body -- will reflect cultural diversity and special efforts will be made to prepare social workers who represent the principal ethnic minorities of the Southwest. In the view of the School, professional education should be directed toward preparing social workers to provide culturally relevant services to vulnerable population groups.

Hours: 59 credit hours; semester system; generally 3 credit courses.

Pre Reqs: Baccalaureate degree; liberal arts foundation demonstrated by at least 30 semester hours of study in the liberal arts, including human biology.

Program Structures: Full time (4 semesters, 21 months, 59 credit hour curriculum); Part time (up to 4 years); Advanced standing (12 month, 36 credit hour program).

Foundation Requirements: 24 semester credit hours. Principles of Generalist Social Work Practice; Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Social Systems; Social Work Research I & II; Practicum I & II (16 hrs/wk); Methods of Social Work Practice; Social Welfare Policy and Services; Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Individuals and Families.

Concentrations: 29 semester credit hours. One concentration: Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families and Small groups. Courses include: Advanced Social Work Practice: Individuals; Advanced Social Work Practice: Families; Interventions with Minority Groups of the Southwest; Practicum III & IV (20 hrs/wk); Elective 3 semester hours (optional); Advanced Social Work Practice: Groups; Psychopathology; Administrative Policy and Practice in Human Services; Elective 3 semester hours (optional).

Practicum: 2 placements over 2 year program. Foundation practicum: 16 hours per week. Concentration practicum: 20 hours per week.

Electives: In addition to required foundation and concentration courses, the curriculum allows for 6 semester credit hours of electives. For students in the regular full time or part time (59 hour) program, these six hours of electives may be in social work or in related fields. For students in the advanced standing (36 hour) program, three of these six hours must be in social work with the remaining three hours from either social work or a related field. Electives may be taken either during the summer or the fall or spring semesters of the second year.

Specialization Options: The School is currently a participating partner in the Child Welfare Training Institute, which is a Title IV-E funded consortium of the 4 graduate social work schools and select BSW programs in Texas to provide social work training to child welfare practitioners in the state.

Dual Degree Options:

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You can email Melissa: - online since April 1999
This page posted October 15, 2000