Social Work

The Social Work program at Ferrum College is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates of the program receive the B.S.W. degree which prepares them for the beginning professional practice of social work or possibly advanced standing graduate work leading toward the M.S.W. Instruction in the program emphasizes the theoretical foundations of beginning generalist social work practice in both rural and urban communities. The importance of cultural diversity is blended throughout an academic presentation of values, ethics, and knowledge for practice of the social work profession. Within the curriculum are incorporated both classroom learning and supervised direct practice in the field. Learn about the program’s accreditation from the “Ferrum College BSW Assessment of Student Competencies/Learning Outcomes, EPAS 2015, May 2016 report” report »

Coursework in Social Work

The curriculum incorporates a variety of topics to prepare students for opportunities in the field of Social Work, and includes courses such as:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Human Behavior & Social Environ.
  • Human Growth & Development
  • Intro to Community Service
  • Intro to Social Work
  • Social Problems
  • Social Sciences Research
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Social Work Practice I, II, & III
  • Sociology of US Cultural Diversity

Related Clubs

There are over 50 clubs and organizations available to students at Ferrum College. These are specifically related to Social Work:

  • Alpha Delta Mu: Social Work Honor Society
  • Social Work Club: Activities such as sponsoring a United Way Bowlathon, attending Rally in the Valley with social work students from all over Virginia, participating in Lobby Day at the Virginia General Assembly, and attending various conferences.

Experiential & Hands-on Learning Opportunities

Ferrum College believes in hands-on learning in tandem with classroom and textbook studies. Here’s how:

  • Internships: Social Work Majors are required to complete two separate field experiences; one in the sophomore year (75 hrs.) and one in the senior year (400 hrs). The Social Work Field Coordinator assists the student in finding a local field placement with appropriate social worker supervision which meets the student’s interest areas. A seminar with professor and peers is concurrent.
  • Most Social Work classes include some type of community service learning project. For example, the SWK 330 class coordinates the annual “Take Back the Night” community event to raise awareness about domestic violence. The SWK 410 class works on a community project, currently students are conducting a needs assessment for use in a grant which will help fund an old schoolhouse renovation to create a community center. Students are also encouraged to seek out other service-learning opportunities.

What can I be with a Major in Social Work?

A major in Social Work leads to traditional career paths, as well as less expected fields. For example:

  • You could be a(n) …
  • Child Protective Service Worker
  • Elderly or Child Advocate
  • Foster Care Social Worker
  • Hospice Social Worker
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • Lobbyist/Grassroots Organizer
  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Probation & Parole Officer

Social Work Faculty

Jennie West
Associate Professor of Social Work
Program Coordinator of Social Work and Sociology
M.S.W., University of Georgia
(540) 365-4406

Martha Haley-Bowling
Assistant Professor of Social Work
M.S.W., Virginia Commonwealth University
Ph.D., Capella University
(540) 365-4481

Susan Mead
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Virginia Tech
(540) 365-4611
Peg Wimmer
Assistant Professor of Sociology
M.S., Virginia Tech
(540) 365-4315

Administrative Support

Joyce Creel
Academic Secretary to Social Work and Sociology
School of Social Sciences and Professional Studies
(540) 365-4401 – Office
(540) 365-4391 – Fax

Find Out More

Contact Jennie West at
Contact Martha Haley-Bowling at
Contact Susan Mead at
Contact Peg Wimmer at