Why Social Work?

If you want a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, social work is for you! Social workers are skilled professionals who work empower individuals, relieve suffering, and affect social change. They are generalists and specialists who work in wide variety of setting but apply common core values, principles and techniques.

Social work is set apart from other helping professions by its “person-in-environment” orientation. Social workers view clients within an environmental system that includes their personal and significant relationships, economic and social conditions, and physical and mental health issues. Social workers help people identify and manage the interrelated factors that have created or contributed to the problems they face, and select interventions that might provide relief or resolution.

Social workers are also advocates for social change. They serve as facilitators, coalition builders, and activists in organizations; communities; and local, state, and federal governments to help meet the basic needs of federal governments to help meet the basic needs of all people and strengthen those who are vulnerable, oppressed, or living in poverty.

Social work is an excellent career choice for those who care about human dignity and social justice—and it may be just what you’re looking for.

From National Association of Social Workers (NASW). For more information about the social work profession visit, www.HelpStartsHere.org

What can you do with a social work degree?

Social Work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people’s lives.  It is one of today’s most versatile professions, providing exciting employment opportunities. With an MSW degree you will learn how to:

  • Work with caregivers of persons with physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
  • Develop community programs to encourage healthy development of children, teenagers, and adults.
  • Develop support programs for victims of neglect or abuse.
  • Design community and social policies that help families out of poverty.
  • Organize shelters and ongoing services for the homeless.
  • Provide counseling for individuals.
  • Work with national and international foster care and adoption.
  • Build communities that support elderly adults and single parents.

Social Work Code of Ethics

According to the NASW Code of Ethics, social work core values are defined as:

  • Service: Social work’s primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems.
  • Social Justice: Social workers challenge social injustice.
  • Dignity and Worth of the Person: Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.
  • Importance of Human Relationships: Social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships.
  • Integrity: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner.
  • Competence: Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise.

The full NASW Code of Ethics can be found on the NASW website, www.socialworkers.org.

Video: On any given day, Social Workers help // produced by the National Association of Social Workers.
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Why Walla Walla University?

Our spirit of excellence and spiritual emphasis provide an education that will help prepare you for a life of service.  Social workers strive for planned, positive change—in individual lives, families, groups, and communities. Some social workers focus on helping people confront existing problems while others focus on developing ways to prevent future problems. Some focus on helping people make changes in their own lives, others focus on helping to change the social environment. Regardless, all social workers focus on helping individuals, groups, and communities to build better futures.

Our faculty has a rich breadth of knowledge, diverse backgrounds, and extensive professional experience.

Our small class size gives you one-on-one access to your professor. This low student/teacher ratio means you’re a name, not just an ID number.

Our Social Work Club is committed to social justice and community service that reflects Christian social work values.

The social work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Career options
In social work, the bachelor’s degree is a generalist practice degree. Employment opportunities for social workers have grown over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow. Many social workers are involved in children’s welfare, working in public support agencies, schools, adolescent group homes, and juvenile and family courts. Others work with older adults in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, home health care, and programs for seniors. Social workers are employed in hospitals, developmental centers, transition homes, and rehabilitation centers. They also find jobs in neighborhood and community centers and with police departments. Possibilities are too numerous to list completely! Social workers are employed in both public and private agencies, in small towns, rural areas, and large cities.

Opportunities for graduate education
Graduate study offered by Walla Walla University opens up more options. With a master of social work degree, you can specialize in an aspect of social work that strongly interests you. An undergraduate degree in social work may make you eligible for an advanced standing master’s program, which means you complete your program with fewer credit hours than are required for students without a BSW.

Visit our campus
Still not sure if WWU is for you? Come for a visit and see for yourself! Tour the campus, meet our social work professors, and get all your questions answered (we'll even cover the cost!) Schedule your visit now >

Why an MSW at Walla Walla University?

  • Advanced clinical concentration is emphasized.
  • The program uniquely integrates theory and practice, preparing you for immediate transition from the classroom to a clinical position.
  • An MSW can be earned in six quarters.
  • Four quarters Advanced Standing program is available for students who have graduated with Bachelor of Social Work degree from an institution whose program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  • Field placement opportunities are often available in the students’ home area.
  • Classes meet two days per week.
  • Small classes facilitate individualized attention and meaningful personal interaction.
  • Flexible time-frame is offered to accommodate both full- and part-time students.
  • Spiritual atmosphere encourages personal growth and faith development.
  • The program is designed to accommodate the needs of traditional and non-traditional students.
  • Faculty has a rich breadth of knowledge, diverse backgrounds, and extensive professional experience.
  • There are three northwest campus options: College Place, Washington; Billings, Montana; and Missoula, Montana.
  • The Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

What our program can do for you:

  • Help you develop highly marketable skills.
  • Enhance your clinical competence.
  • Expand your experience through an agency field placement.
  • Increase your earning potential.
  • Expand your range of professional contacts and opportunities.