By Michele Mitchum
Online baccalaureate social work program provides flexible pathway to enter the field
University of Phoenix is pleased to share the continued success of its accredited baccalaureate social work program (BSSW), in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, in preparing students for the delivery of quality care in the field of social work. The University's BSSW program emphasizes substantive, relevant content, and meaningful opportunities for students to demonstrate and apply social work knowledge, values, and skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects growth in social work jobs of nine percent by 2031, faster than average for all occupations.
Sherrea Fleet graduated from the University’s BSSW program in 2022 and says the flexible start dates and instructor support were key in helping her complete the program and enter the field. “I knew I wanted to serve as a social worker because they play such an important role in providing individuals and families the help they often can’t get elsewhere,” Fleet shares. “I was working full-time when I entered the BSSW program at University of Phoenix, and being able to choose my start date was important. I felt confident because I was ready, and because of the support my instructors and advisors gave me from the beginning. My instructors were always there to answer my questions. I knew they wanted to see me succeed, and that was a great feeling.” Fleet is now employed as a full-time case manager, helping youth and families facing housing instability receive critical support in a community-based setting.
University of Phoenix’s Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program is offered online, with an in-person field education component, and does not require a residency. The program operates five-week courses, and all social work courses are taught by an MSW-degreed faculty. Flexible start dates and online courses aim to give working adults a practical pathway to educational attainment.
“Our students come to us in part because we are committed to meeting them where they are,” states Samantha Dutton, PhD, LCSW, associate dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “It makes sense to offer working adults the chance to earn a degree online, and to support them in their educational journey. It’s a privilege to work with adult learners, like Sherrea, who are kind, compassionate and motivated to serve their communities.”
Last year, the University’s BSSW program was granted initial accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA). CSWE's COA is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards. In accordance with the requirements of CSWE's recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.
“Our Bachelor of Science in Social Work program has always been a high quality, flexible, and practical pathway for those wanting to enter the profession,” states Christina Neider, Ed.D., dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Our accreditation signals to our students and the communities we serve that we are committed to providing our students with the highest quality instruction. What’s so exciting is that we continue to see success in serving students with our online program – and that ability is critical as the demand for social workers increases. I’m proud that we have the chance to play a role in preparing students to go out into their communities and make a positive impact.”
The University of Phoenix BSSW program has skills-mapped its social work curriculum and has established program learning outcomes that correspond to competencies outlined by CSWE. Each assignment is built to help develop a skill found in the career field. In addition, the University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers students access to faculty that possess an average of 27.3 years of professional experience. Current faculty includes 23 executive directors, 30 clinical directors, and 35 social workers.
Click here to learn more about University of Phoenix College of Social and Behavioral Sciences degrees.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.