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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Fall 2021 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication

Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work

The Social Work Department at Clarke University prepares students for professional careers that carry out the values of the university’s mission – to promote diversity and global awareness, advocate for social justice and assist in the empowerment of individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities. With a social work degree from Clarke, you will obtain skills and hands-on experience to make a difference in the lives of others. The BSW program at Clarke University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Students must formally apply for admission to the BSW program through the Social Work Department. Students will typically apply during their sophomore year when they are enrolled in SW 231: Human Behavior and the Social Environment. The application timeline may vary for students who switch majors or transfer to Clarke. Additional application requirements are listed in the BSW Student Handbook.

Clarke University Senior Social Work Major students gain real world experience.
Clarke University Social Work graduates engage with their community.

Social Work Degree Specifics

In our social work degree program, classroom time is fast-paced and the work is rigorous. Students create close relationships within their cohorts and, after graduation, remain colleagues and networking teammates. In the social work major program, the academic work culminates in a 440-hour field practicum with an area agency. Clarke students graduate as competent professionals ready to work in a range of settings. With our bachelor of social work, you will become a leader in social work and a mentor to those who surround you.

Through evidence-based training, you’ll gain the insights and practical skills you need to pursue a career in a number of social work fields, from child welfare, family services, and elder care programs to mental health, addiction, domestic violence, and corrections services. You WILL make a difference with Clarke’s social work degree.

Rewarding Careers with Clarke’s Social Work Degree

Your Social Work degree opens the door to diverse employment opportunities like:

  • Adoption and Foster Care Worker
  • Agency Director
  • Child Protective Worker
  • Case Manager
  • Community Organizer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Disability Support Worker
  • Domestic Violence Advocate
  • Family Service Worker
  • Fundraiser/Grant Writer
  • Geriatric Social Worker
  • Group Worker
  • Homelessness Outreach and Case Manager
  • Juvenile Justice Worker
  • Mental Health Assistant
  • Policy Advocate
  • Residential Case Worker
  • Social Activist
  • Youth Services Provider
Clarke University Social Work Majors find a wide variety of career choices.

Program Details

Clarke’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program focuses on helping build practical skills and knowledge needed to be an ethical and competent practitioner. Our CSWE-accredited program includes 440 hours of field practicum to help you prepare for future employment.  In class, you will study topics such as social policy, research, diversity and privilege, and human behavior and the social environment.

With our BSW program, you’ll perform research for area social service agencies early in your program of study and earn eight credits working in a human service agency under the supervision of a professional social worker.

  • Students spend their final one or two semesters learning and working at their field practicum.
  • Students select from over 100 local agencies for their field practicum.
  • Students are involved in service-learning projects each semester.
  • Students with a BSW can enter graduate school with advanced standing and receive an MSW in one year.

Social Work Classes

Social Work with Individuals — Introduction to the professional practice of social work with an emphasis on development of written and oral communication skills through the use of interviewing, role plays, videotaping, and case studies.

Issues in Social Work Practice — Exploration of various social work topics including Child Welfare, Case Management, Social Justice, Spirituality in Social Work, and Family Violence.

Social Work with Communities and Organizations — Introduction to generalist practice working with large groups, communities, and organizations.

Classes You'll Take

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

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Meet Our Faculty

When social work graduates talk about Clarke moments that helped shape them, there is always a professor in the story. The faculty at Clarke University are deeply passionate about educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know you by your first name.
View Our Faculty & Staff
Mary Gitau, Ph.D.

Mary Gitau, Ph.D.

Professor of Social Work

I am always prepared to share knowledge, to facilitate discussion and activities, to provide learning opportunities, and to evaluate the course and students’ effort.

Colleen Mahoney, Ph.D.

Colleen Mahoney, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Social Work

My enthusiasm for my students’ ideals and potential, I hope, provides encouragement and inspiration for them to believe in themselves and begin to impact the world around them.

Tara Velez, MSW

Tara Velez, MSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work; Director of Field Education

I strive to create a classroom environment built upon respect and dignity.

Samantha Hicks

Samantha Hicks

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Director of Field Education

My love for social work expands with every student and community organization relationship I help to facilitate. Watching students grow and learn from their field education experiences excites me for the future of the social work field.

Jaimie O'Gara

Jaimie O'Gara

Assistant Professor of Social Work

My goal as an educator is to prepare students to make a positive impact on the world. I strive to provide a supportive space where learning is student driven, diversity is celebrated, and critical thinking is required.

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There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond


But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Suzie Stroud

Suzie Stroud

Social Work ‘15, MSW '18

Finding my niche and having faculty support, encourage, and show genuine interest in me helped me realize, or re-discover, that I CAN accomplish things. I am currently employed at Crescent Community Health Center as a social worker and it is my passion.

Mackenzie Jaeger

Mackenzie Jaeger

Social Work '17, MSW '18

My educational experience in Clarke’s social work program greatly exceeded expectations by allowing me to learn from knowledgeable professors with years of experience. The small class sizes and individualized attention I received helped me to better develop my skill set to begin my Master of Social Work degree.

Elena Domingez

Elena Domingez

Social Work '20

My experience in working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work in Clarke’s program has been outstanding. I couldn’t ask for more qualified, professional, and knowledgeable professors from which to learn. After graduation I plan to continue to earn my MSW and will begin working locally, serving members of my community.


$50,470

Median salary for a social worker in Iowa in 2019.

13 %

Employment for social workers is projected to increase overall by 13% by 2029, and the need for health care, mental health, and substance abuse social workers is projected to grow at an even higher rate, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

9:1

Average student to faculty ratio. Intimate classroom setting and one-on-one attention from professors foster learning.

Accreditation

Clarke University’s social work program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education, 1701 Duke St., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA, 22314.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Social Work for Yourself

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