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School of Liberal Arts and Education

Social Work

The VSU Baccalaureate Social Work Program was granted candidacy status from the Council of Social Work Education in October 2010. The Program is a growing academic program that provides students the opportunity to earn academic credits in the social work program. Full accreditation is expected October 2013. Because the program was granted candidacy status in October 2010, all students graduating from the VSU BSW Program prior to October 2013 with their BSW degree will be recognized by CSWE as having graduated from a fully accredited social work program. 

Dr.Thronton Class

Building on a generalist model of social work practice and the firm liberal arts foundation, baccalaureate social work students are specifically prepared for beginning generalist professional social work practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities. Upon graduation, BSW graduates may be immediately considered for employment in social service agencies, health and governmental agencies, schools, hospitals, corrections, private community service agencies and other organizations. They work with individuals of all ages from infancy through the end of life in areas such as child welfare, developmental disabilities, health, mental health, policy and planning, domestic violence, and gerontology. No other degree provides greater diversity in jobs than a BSW.


Virginia State University [a historically black university - HBCU], America's first fully state assisted four-year institution of higher learning for Blacks [African Americans] is a comprehensive University and one of two land-grant institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As an HBCU with a land-grant mission, the University is committed to:

  • Giving personalized attention to students in the delivery of instruction
  • Providing a holistic approach to student development
  • Providing a nurturing environment that supports the needs of students and the constant pursuit of educational excellence.

The Virginia State University [VSU] Mission promotes and sustains academic programs that integrate instruction, research, and extension/public service most responsive to the needs and endeavors of individuals and groups throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The University is dedicated to the promotion of knowledgeable, perceptive, and humane citizens – secure in their self-awareness, equipped for personal fulfillment, sensitive to the needs and aspiration of others, and committed to assuming productive roles in a challenging and ever-changing global society, by offering relevant undergraduate and graduate educational programs. 

Social Work

The Social Work Program is committed to collaborating and partnering with the community to assist in implementing the following requests made by the community residents and stakeholders in the Central and Southern Virginia regions:

Community Needs

  • Help with the analysis of community issues
  • Develop a service for the assessment of community needs
  • Provide organizational training and assistance
  • Assist community groups and others with grant writing, especially the evaluation component
  • Implement research on community issues
  • Actively assist with the revitalization/advancement of communities in crisis
  • Cultivate more grant applications and grant-funded programs with the community
  • Promote interaction, communication and faculty involvement with the local community

Community Development

  • Convene various agencies (local, state and federal) and community groups for the dissemination and collection of information and coordination of activities.
  • Implementation of a community development project through coursework or an academic program.
  • Promote service learning and active citizenship among students.

The University welcomes and extends its resources to students who tend to be predominately first-generation African -American traditional students striving for academic excellence, whatever their nationality or religious affiliation. The University and the BSW program enrolls students with a diverse range of talents and abilities, including:

  1. students whose pre-college records reveal high academic achievement and talent,
  2. students who through a combination of factors have demonstrated the potential to be successful in college, and
  3. students whose secondary school records reveal potential but who need special academic enhancement. In this spirit, the BSW program serves a diverse [racial, ethnic, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, cultural backgrounds] student.

Student Handbook 2012-2013

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