College Record 2020-2021

Social Work

The Keuka College social work program is progressive and forward looking, designed to prepare future social workers to work in a rapidly changing, multi-cultural society. The Keuka College social work program prepares students in generalist social work practice utilizing a foundation of liberal arts. A strong dual emphasis of social work theory and practical application form a cornerstone in this program*. Students also have unique opportunities to learn about practice as it relates to rural settings due to the rural location of the College and its support of area agencies and services.

* By the time of graduation, traditional campus students will have approximately 1,000 total hours of social work field experience.

Bachelor's in Social Work

The social work program at Keuka College promotes themes of social justice and social responsibility. These themes are woven throughout the curriculum, experiential Field Periods®, and senior practicum. The junior and senior year Field Periods®  are specifically designed to synthesize the principles of social work theory and practice. SWK-450, the Senior Practicum and Seminar, is the program’s capstone experience where students are placed as professionals-in-training in a wide variety of human service settings. This practicum is taken in the spring semester of the student’s senior year.

Client-centered practice and systems ecological theory is a curriculum emphasis, acknowledging the person in the context of his or her environment. Students integrate knowledge, skills, values, ethics, diversity, and intervention methods for use in a variety of service delivery systems. The program actively seeks a diverse student population.

The Keuka College baccalaureate social work program (BSW) is accredited by the Commission on Social Work Education (CSWE). BSW students are prepared and encouraged to pursue further master’s level social work (MSW) education and training. Our accreditation entitles BSW graduates to apply for advanced standing in these programs.

Social work is repeatedly cited by employment sources as one of the fastest growing career fields.

BSW graduates are qualified to work in a variety of employment settings. Some of these include areas of: children and adolescence, chemical dependencies, criminal justice, counseling, family services, gerontology, hospice, health care, policy, and government, to name a few. The Keuka College social work program is rigorous and has both academic and professional standards for acceptance and continuance in the program. The standards are outlined in the Keuka College Social Work Handbook. Some of these criteria are outlined here:

  1. acceptance by the College;
  2. completion of introductory level course requirements;
  3. demonstration of commitment to the values and ethics of the profession, and capacity to enter generalist social work;
  4. a minimum grade point average of 2.50 and no less than a C in any course required for the major;
  5. demonstration of professional conduct as outlined in the program’s non-discrimination statement, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, College Student Conduct Code, and Non-Academic criteria outlined in the BSW Student Handbook; and
  6. completion of the social work program application process, which includes an interview with the social work faculty. The social work faculty determines whether the student meets the program admissions criteria.

In addition, social work students receive ongoing feedback regarding their performance in meeting the knowledge, skills, and value expectations of the profession. Finally, all social work students must be accepted into the major, complete the practicum readiness-assessment evaluation, and complete all necessary prerequisites for the major prior to enrollment in SWK-450

Senior Practicum

SWK-450, Senior Practicum and Seminar, is a 15-credit learning experience only taken in the spring semester of a social work student’s senior year.

To be eligible for placement in the senior practicum, students must have first satisfactorily completed all other course and program requirements prior to the senior spring semester. Students are not allowed to take any other course work or Field Periods® during this time. Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 by the end of the fall semester of their senior year. Students must have been formally admitted into the social work program during their junior year, and, again, have passed their senior review by the social work faculty in the fall of their senior year. Students must successfully demonstrate a minimum competency level of practice skills, and a consistent demonstration of ability to adhere to the professional codes of conduct set forth by Keuka College, the social work program, and the NASW Code of Ethics.

Students must have successfully completed both social work Field Periods® and be recommended by the social work faculty to enter a practicum placement. It is required that each student possess a valid driver’s license.

The social work program field director works individually with students to develop practicum site placements that are of professional interest to, and challenge, the student. The field director serves as the official liaison between the social work student, the placement agency, and the College while that student completes his/her practicum. Practicum placements are typically done over 35 hours per week for a minimum of 416 total hours at the practicum site. Students are required to attend senior seminar on Fridays at the Keuka College campus as part of the class. Practicum sites are traditionally located within a 100-mile radius from the campus, although students have traveled as far as Albany, N.Y.

Students in the AOE program complete practicum for 16 hours per week and meet for seminar every other week for a four hour block. This is keeping in line with the format of the AOE delivery system.

Some practicum placement sites include: Chemung County Family Services, Division for Youth Services, Elmira Psychiatric Center, Hillside Family of Agencies, Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling and Referral Agency, Yates County ARC, Strong Memorial Hospital, F.F. Thompson Hospital, Ontario County Department of Social Services, a variety of nursing home related facilities, Seneca County Probation Department, and Wayne County Counseling Center.

Faculty Goals

The social work faculty is committed to graduating BSWs of the highest caliber who are knowledgeable, skilled, ethical, compassionate, and an asset to their clients and profession.


Please note that there is no minor offered in social work. We do, however, recommend additional fields of minor study for those social work majors who wish to broaden their skills and marketability. These recommended minors are offered through Keuka College and include: Spanish, gerontology, psychology, sociology, and criminology and criminal justice.

Master's in Social Work

By choosing to earn a master’s degree in social work, you’ve committed yourself to serving diverse, vulnerable, and oppressed communities in order to make a positive difference in the lives of others. As a profession, Social Work seeks to reduce social injustice, inequality, and discrimination, and alleviate the distressing effects of mental illness, trauma, and stressors of everyday life.

Why Earn an MSW?

An MSW degree is often required to provide therapy, supervision, expert court testimony, or to become a human service administrator, and advance your career. You’ll be able to provide services to individuals, families, groups, and communities in a national and international setting.

Social Workers are educators, researchers, practitioners, and political leaders and can be found in hospital settings, nursing homes, correctional facilities, courtrooms, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, mental health clinics, primary care doctor offices, hospice homes, military bases, and all levels of government.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Work is one of the fastest growing careers, with employment openings expected to increase by 19% between 2012 and 2022. This rate is higher than the national occupational average. A Social Worker with a graduate degree can earn approximately $13,000 more a year than with a bachelor’s degree, depending on type of work, experience, and geographic location.

Program Curriculum

The Advanced Standing MSW curriculum includes coursework below and 500 hours of field instruction during the last two semesters of the program and concurrent with coursework. Students spend additional time outside of class to complete readings, assignments, case studies, online discussions, and group work.

Advanced Standing Requirements

If you’ve earned a bachelor’s in social work from an accredited CSWE institution within the past 6 years, then you’re eligible to apply to Keuka College’s Advanced Standing MSW program.