Social Work

Make the world a brighter place

Social workers make the world a better place. They work with low-income families, children, recovering addicts and the elderly to provide them with housing, food, employment, health care—and most importantly — hope for the future.

Snapshot of the BSW Program

The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program in the Department of Social Work is to provide students with a liberal arts and social work education that is focused on culturally competent practice. The BSW Program will prepare graduates for graduate Department or to enter the job market as competent entry-level generalist practitioners with a foundational understanding of culturally competent practice with individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities. Our mission aligns with the profession’s primary mission of enhancing human well-being and addressing the basic human needs of all people, particularly those vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty, by producing graduates who demonstrate generalist practice skills through a unique culturally competent lens.

  • Along with a traditional course of study, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program offers evening courses for individuals who want to enhance their career advancement and success opportunities.
  • The BSW Program provides flexible, convenient schedules and a variety of course styles including classes on campus, online, and our flex option for courses that include both online and in-class instruction.
  • Students in the BSW Program must complete a 400-hour internship. The internship provides students with opportunities to engage in professional social work tasks that will enable them to acquire and apply generalist knowledge and skills, develop an understanding of self in the problem-solving process, and the use and importance of effective communication.
  • Each year, the BSW Office of Field Education (OFE) at Ƶ places approximately 15 – 30 students in a variety of social work agency settings across Mecklenburg County, the city of Charlotte, and surrounding areas. The field program represents a dynamic partnership with community agencies and committed field instructors committed to the education of our students by agreeing to participate. The program is staffed by the BSW Field Director, Dr. Dezette Johnson and one adjunct faculty member who serves as the Field Liaison.
  • The BSW Program is fully which is the national association representing social work education in the United States.
  • The Department of Social Work was the first to have a BSW student attend The Inaugural Congressional Social Work Caucus Round Table meetings with JCSU Department of Social Work Faculty Round Table Caucus Member Dr. Judith Crocker-Billingsley
  • The Department of Social Work was the first to have a BSW student as a congressional intern with social work congressional leaders.
  • The Department of Social Work was the first to have a BSW intern student participate in the language drafting of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act which was passed in the House and the Senate in 2021.
  • The Department of Social Work was the first to have a Black male undergraduate student serve as a congressional intern with the Congressional Research Institute of Social Work and Policy (CRISP) and as national lead student organizer of March Is Social Work Month: Student Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) 4+1 degree is an accelerated program that allows students to earn both a BSW and a Master of Social Work (MSW) in five years instead of six. After completing their BSW degree, social work students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher can qualify to enroll in an Advanced Master of Social Work (MSW) program. This accelerated program allows them to earn their MSW degree in just one additional academic year.

Students with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from an accredited social work program like the one we have here at Ƶ are eligible to participate in advanced standing programs, which allow them to complete their master's degree in one year. These programs typically allow students to focus on electives, concentration coursework, and advanced field education. Advanced standing programs have strict admission requirements, and students must have demonstrated strong academic and internship/professional performance during their BSW program.

The 4+1 social work degree path combines the BSW and MSW programs, providing a streamlined route for aspiring social workers to enter the workforce with a solid educational foundation and the potential for further specialization. BSW students who elect to take the 4 + 1 route will receive concentrated advising and a special orientation to assist them in transitioning from the BSW to the MSW curriculum.

The JCSU Department of Social Work BSW Program “Firsts”

Some of our program's points of pride. 

First to have a BSW student attend The Inaugural Congressional Social Work Caucus Roundtable meetings with JCSU Department of Social Work Faculty RoundTable Caucus Member
First to have BSW student as a congressional intern with social work warrior and congressional pioneer
First to have BSW intern student participate in the language drafting of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act which was passed in the House and the Senate
First BSW students to participate in and lead congressional discussions in the Senate with other social work graduate students on the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act
First to have Black male undergraduate student as congressional intern with the Congressional Research Institute of Social Work and Policy (CRISP) and as national lead student organizer of March Is Social Work Month: Student Advocacy Day in DC
First to host “Exploring Professional Opportunities for Black Men In Social Work” national and international online seminar due to an increased enrollment of Black male social work students
First Department of Social Work to host “The NASW National President Delivers the Keynote Address”

What will I study as a social work major?

Every person has certain basic needs that need to be met in order to live a healthy and happy life. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, the most important needs are:

  • Adequate food and water
  • Shelter
  • A sense of being loved and belonging
  • Strong self-esteem

As a major in JCSU’s nationally accredited social work program, you’ll learn how to help people meet these needs. Your classes will focus on the behavioral reactions when these needs are not met and the psychological reasons behind them.

Where will I study social work?

As a major in our social work program, your education won’t stay in the classroom.

All social work majors participate in internships that allow them to put what they’ve learned to good use. Whether they work with young children, low-income families, the elderly or survivors of domestic abuse, these internships set our majors on a path toward a rewarding career of service.

The Department of Social Work also offers our majors a resource library that features:

  • Books
  • Films
  • Graduate school material
  • Journals

Our students often use the library as a skills lab to tape case presentations, simulations and case staffing for their class assignments.

What will I learn outside the social work program?

JCSU is a private liberal arts university. What this means to you is that your education will broadly cover all areas of study. The diversity of your classes will help you look at “the big picture” in any career you choose.

  • Classes incomputer scienceandcommunicationartswill give you a definite advantage in the job market and workplace.
  • Taking severalEnglishandforeign language classeswill help you interact with a global community that is getting smaller each day.
  • By takingmathandscience classes, you’ll have a better understanding of the world around you.
  • Healthandphysical educationcourses give you the knowledge to cope with everyday stress and lead a better, longer life.

Having a college education will give you the tools to succeed in life. Having a liberal arts education will give you the opportunity to take your success further.

Our social work program has been specifically tailored to meet the demands of today’s workplace.

  • With an aging Baby Boomer population, the study of aging and the ability to work with the elderly is becoming more important.
  • The ongoing economic recession has caused even more trouble for families and children who were already struggling financially.

Caring and compassionate social workers are needed now more than ever. At JCSU, you’ll learn the skills necessary to help those who need it most.

We prepare you for success beyond the classroom.

We know that to be an effective social worker, you have to know the people you’ll be serving. And although you can learn a lot from your classes, your best teacher will be experience.

Your JCSU professors have connections to a variety of service agencies throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Based on your interests, they’ll help place you in an organization where you can learn firsthand the daily responsibilities of a social worker.

If your future plans involve graduate school, approximately 60% of all social work majors continue to graduate school to obtain a Master of Social Work degree, the experience you have in the field will stand out on your application.

Research opportunities you won’t find anywhere else.

Our students are active members of the community. Their research findings can help us better our neighborhoods and provide the citizens of Charlotte with a better quality of life.

Our students have researched important topics that include:

  • Children in Residential Care and Educational Challenges and Barriers
  • A Study of Factors Related to Why Students Drop Out of High School
  • Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients, the Effects on Family Members Financially and Emotionally

Get involved in on-campus activities and organizations.

The Social Work Club will help you get to know your professors and classmates and take advantage of opportunities for fun, fellowship and service. Our club holds several community service projects a year, some of which include:

• A community service project with a local battered women’s shelter
• A clothing drive for Goodwill
• A mentoring program with older adults in the community
• An alumni mixer
• Department of Social Work socials

Phi Alpha Honor Society, the national social work honor society, is another organization where our students can exchange ideas with other social work majors.

As a member of the honor society, you’ll be able to participate in meaningful service projects in the Charlotte community. In the past, our students have helped mentor children in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

Your path to a successful career begins the minute you step on campus.

Careers and Advanced Degrees:

Our program has enabled JCSU graduates to make an impact in the lives of community members across North Carolina, as well as the country. They’ve found work as social workers in organizations such as:

  • Miracle House Inc.

Advanced Degrees

Our graduates have been accepted by some of the top social work graduate programs in the nation, including:

  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Maryland
  • Case Western Reserve University


You’ll have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives working at a variety of organizations:

Assessment Report

Review the BSW Program Assessment Data Collected during the Academic Year 2022-2023.