Social Work

Dr. Donald Kissinger, chair

Dr. Kathleen Belanger, director

Prof. Ricardo Chaparro-Pacheco

Prof. Kathleen Neher



The Bachelor of Science degree in social work prepares students to become licensed social workers enabling them to help individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations function to the best of their ability. As a Catholic university, the Social Work Program at Franciscan University educates students to contribute responsibly to the social well-being of individuals, to the community as a whole, and to the effective functioning of families. The Social Work Program has been granted accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education, which means the curriculum combines the desire to help others with the knowledge, skills and values common to generalist social work practice. Also students may apply for advanced standing in master’s programs.

Career opportunities include employment in the following: mental health centers, health care institutions and hospitals, correctional institutions, and public and private agencies that provide assistance to individuals, families and groups. Graduates may apply to take the state license exam where it is appropriate for their state.

Assessment Learning Goals

The program will prepare students to:

  1. become competent generalist practitioners who can effectively intervene with client systems at all levels of intervention;
  2. conduct themselves ethically, in congruence with social work values, and in a manner that honors the dignity of all persons; 
  3. advocate for the rights and needs of all persons and promote justice and human rights; 
  4. be able to consume and produce research to inform generalist practice;
  5. be aware of the influence of culture, context, and diversity on social work practice and policy development.


Social Work Course Descriptions