Academics

Distance Education/On-Line Learning

The social work program does offer several courses via distance learning. These courses are designed to assist students who are pursuing the Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree, though social work majors may take the courses. The distance education courses can be helpful to students who have gotten out of sequence from regularly scheduled social work courses or those who choose to take a small number of social work courses via distance education.
At this time, the following courses are approved for offering via distance education:

  • SW 2303: Social Welfare Policy I
  • SW 3003: Populations at Risk
  • SW 3013: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
  • SW 3023: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
  • SW 4643: Social Work services in Schools
  • SW 4533: Substance Abuse Services in Social Work

These courses are not typically taught via distance education the same semester that they are offered in the classroom.

Social work majors are urged to take as many classes as possible in the classroom rather than via distance education.


Service Learning

As a part of the admission procedure to the social work program, each student participates in 30 hours of service learning through SW 2313: Introduction to Social Work. This activity provides students an understanding of human service organizations and service delivery systems and encourages the social work value of service. A licensed social worker supervises the experience. Service learning takes place in a variety of agencies in the surrounding communities. Students complete a series of written assignments associated with the service learning experience.


Field

The signature pedagogy of a social work student’s educational experience is field education (CSWE, Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, 2015, p. 12). The field practicum is the major area of student learning which provides the student with opportunities to apply all material learned in the classroom in a generalist practice setting. All social work majors are required to complete a minimum of 450 hours in a structured and supervised social service setting during the last semester of the curriculum. The semester-long field practicum, including the agency hours and eight full-day on-campus learning seminars, is the equivalent of 12 semester hours. Both the Field Coordinator of the MSU Social Work Program and the Field Instructor in each approved practicum agency evaluate student competency by rating the demonstration of 31 component behaviors indicated as necessary for generalist social work practice by CSWE.


A wide array of practicum agencies exists for MSU field students across the state of Mississippi. All practicum agencies offer opportunities to develop generalist practice skills and may involve medical social work settings, child welfare, public health, adoption services, therapeutic foster care, shelter services, school social work, mental health services, and geriatric programs. Planning for field placement begins the semester prior to the field practicum during enrollment in Senior Seminar, SW 4713.


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