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Social Work

  • Available as major (B.S.W. degree) and minor
    Make change happen — in lives, communities and our world. Become a social worker.

  • At Olivet, social work is a service-oriented degree program. We train you to be a successful professional in a professional career. We teach you how to live — and model for you — a life of Christian service as an expression of your faith.

    Social work is a versatile degree program at Olivet. Prepare to serve any population or age group. Become a generalist, ready to work in many different settings.

    The need for bilingual social workers continues to grow. Study Spanish now, and expand your job opportunities for after graduation.

    At Olivet, you can:  

    • Study international social work, crisis intervention, child welfare services, social work with the aging, emergency management, mental health and more.
    • Minor or double major in intercultural studies or another area of study.
    • Learn about social work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities from both the person-in-environment (ecological) and strengths-based perspectives. 
    • Have lunch with your department chair.
    • Serve as a research assistant for one of your professors. 
    • Prepare and present your project at national conferences, such as North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW).
    • Complete more than 540 clock hours of hands-on experience before you graduate.
    • Receive your social work pin during a special ceremony before graduation.
    • And so much more!

    Faculty members have experience in the areas of medical social work, international social work, geriatrics, clinical, substance abuse, school social work, child welfare, and social service. All have worked professionally in their chosen fields. Two are licensed clinical social workers, and one is a licensed social worker.

    About 50 percent of our social work graduates go on to graduate school, and approximately 98 percent are accepted wherever they apply. Our graduates have earned their master of social work (MSW) degree from Asbury University, University of Hawaii, University of Denver, Roberts Wesleyan, University of Illinois, Loyola University, Case Western and many more schools.  The other 50 percent experience outstanding success in finding jobs in their area of interest and enter the workforce.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Complete your required 90 clock hours of applied learning by volunteering to serve a variety of populations in the greater Kankakee area or other locations. For example, you may plan and present a workshop and learning activities to students at the Community Resource Center in Kankakee.

    Field placement experience during the final semester of the senior year is also required for this degree. Complete 450 clock hours at an agency or facility within a 250-mile radius of Bourbonnais or at another approved location. Under professional supervision, find out more about social work practice in agency environments. Prepare for professional employment in a variety of social work settings.

    In the past, our students have completed field placements in settings like a Spanish-speaking agency in Olathe, Kan.; Duke Research Hospital in N.C.; an international adoption agency in Nashville, Tenn.; and in Romania, Haiti and Puerto Rico.

    Diakonia, the social work club on campus, focuses on serving the community through planned activities. Go trick or treating to collect necessities for local food pantries and homeless shelters. Entertain foster children and families at a Christmas party.  Visit our Facebook page.

    March is National Social Work Month, and one of the favorite activities is attending Social Work Advocacy Day in Springfield, the capital of Illinois. See the merging of government, public policy and professionalism. Attend lectures and seminars to learn about hot button topics. Contact government officials about current issues. Collect vitamins for the elderly in Romania.

    Volunteer to prepare for and help in times of area disasters. In 1999, our social work students assisted following a train accident in Bourbonnais. In 2005, several helped with relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, some were part of community disaster drills in Kankakee.

    Olivet is licensed to offer continuing education opportunities for area social workers. Help your professors meet a community need by assisting with these events.

    Be part of a three-week service trip to Romania in May. Join with students from other majors to bless the elderly and children with the love of Jesus. Experience the Romanian culture firsthand.

    Study abroad opportunities are a good fit for students in our program. Trips to Egypt, Spain, Uganda, Romania, Costa Rica, Argentina, Ecuador and other locations have enriched the academic experiences of many of our students

    Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), since 1996


    •  If you are a person who wants to:
    • help people and make a difference in their lives
    • have a global impact 
    • serve individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
    • bring about changes in legislative policy
    • live out your faith in practical ways
    • care for widows and orphans
    • feed the hungry
    • work with troubled youth
    • make societal change happen

    then a social work career may be for you.

    A bachelor’s is considered a professional degree for social work and is licensable in most states. If you want to pursue a career as a school or clinical social worker, you will need a master’s degree (MSW). Graduate programs eagerly welcome our students because they are well-prepared for this next step. Many offer advanced standing admission to their programs, reducing the time of completing the MSW degree by approximately one-third.

    Possible careers at the bachelor’s degree level include: case manager, crisis counselor, program director, residential worker, outreach coordinator, advocate

    Possible work settings include: in-patient treatment facility, outpatient care facility, residential youth facility, senior services agency, retirement facility, nursing care facility, rehabilitation facility, after-school program, social service agency, community mental health agency, social justice organization, child welfare system, outreach programs

    Alumni careers include: site director for a pregnancy resource center; case managers for agencies serving the elderly, youth, children; resident director for university student housing; corrections social worker; child protection services; adoption services; community organizing

    Social Work annual report

    AS4-B Disclosure Form

    Social Work is part of the Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice within the School of Life and Health Sciences.

  • Social Work Right Image
  • Because it is a versatile program, a social work degree from Olivet will prepare you to serve any population or age group.

  • Social Work annual report
  • Click here to view the Social Work annual report.
  • Complete list of faculty

  • Diakonia image