BSW Program Overview

The History of the JSU Social Work Program


1979 - Social Work courses begin at Jacksonville State University


1981 - Dr. Rebecca Turner and Dr. Mark Fagan are hired to build the curriculum for a minor in Social Work with a field component


1987 - The Bachelor of Social Work program is approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE)


1988 - The first class of 15 students graduated with their Bachelor of Social Work degree from Jacksonville State University


1992 - The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) granted initial accreditation for four years with retroactive accreditation status effective back to April 1988


1996, 2004, 2012 - The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) granted Reaffirmation of Accreditation for the Bachelor of Social Work program


2017 - Jacksonville State University starts the Master of Social Work program


2018 - The Commission on Accreditation grants Candidacy Status to the MSW program



The Detailed History of the Social Work Program at JSU (pdf)

BSW Program Overview

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human wellbeing and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual wellbeing in a social context and the wellbeing of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living. (NASW Code of Ethics).

The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community wellbeing. Guided by a person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work’s purpose is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons. (CSWE EPAS)

BSW Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program at Jacksonville State University is to prepare generalist practitioners with the knowledge, skills, values, and interests to prepare them for life-long learning, ongoing professional development, and service to advance individual and societal well-being. The BSW program succeeds through partnerships of service and a central focus of being a regionally responsive, community-based, and practice-centered program.

BSW Program Goals

1. To educate social work students as competent generalist social work practitioners prepared for practice with diverse client systems, in diverse communities, and in organizations of various sizes and types.

2. To prepare students to maintain high professional standards through an academic foundation grounded in the liberal arts and person-in-environment framework.

3. To prepare students to pursue social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty and inequality, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all.

4. To prepare students to apply scientific inquiry and critical analysis to evidence-based practice interventions and to evaluate their own practice outcomes.

5. To foster an environment for students to develop a professional identity that incorporates the values and ethics of the social work profession guided by the NASW Code of Ethics.

BSW Educational Competencies (Council on Social Work Education)

  • Competency # 1 - Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  • Competency # 2 - Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  • Competency # 3 - Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  • Competency # 4 - Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  • Competency # 5 - Engage in Policy Practice
  • Competency # 6 - Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency # 7 - Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency # 8 - Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency # 9 - Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities