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Pacific Oaks College    
2020-2021 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
  Mar 26, 2023
2020-2021 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Social Work

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Basic Program Information

The Pacific Oaks College Bachelors in Social Work Program (BSW) will draw on its unique context as an institution grounded in its social justice heritage with access to urban, rural, and international practice opportunities, with a purpose to prepare entry-level social work generalists who are capable of culturally appropriate practice across diverse populations. The purpose of such preparation to educate and train social work generalist professionals who will promote social justice and who can ethically integrate the holistic competencies and dimensions as established by Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in a beginning level social work practice. This foundation will foster the growth of practice wisdom and scientific inquiry with an overarching purpose of enhancing the quality of life in their diverse communities, as culturally intelligent agents of change.  The BSW program will seek to promote well-being, empower and invigorate communities and support a sense of community and family centric models of service and learning. As a strength-based program, it aims to enhance protective factors and prevent the development of problems in communities, groups and families. Grounded in social justice and equity frameworks, individuals will learn how to advocate for change in traditionally underserved communities.  As with most of our other bachelor degree programs, the field education program will be an integral part of this social work degree, as field placements within the professional curriculum provide students multiple opportunities to develop and apply professional skills which can lead to mastery of professional competencies.

This will be a 120-credit degree program.  It will include 46 credits of general education courses, 35 credits of lower and upper division general electives and 39 credits of upper division Social Work major core course.

This program will be housed in Pacific Oaks College’s School of Cultural & Family Psychology, alongside our 20+ year old CA Board of Behavioral Sciences accredited Master of Arts in Marriage Family Therapy programs, the Master of Arts in Cultural & Family Studies, and the Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology program.  See CSWE Accreditation Statement below.

Total Program Credits

120 credits

Maximum Transferable credits

87 credits

Length of Program

Please refer to the program course and delivery section found here: Academic Calendar

Delivery Format






Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees for the College and individual programs can be found here: Financial Aid and Student Accounts Policies

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements can be found here: Admissions Policies

Fieldwork Requirements

The primary goal of the Field Education Program is in the development of competent, beginning generalist (BSW) and advanced generalist social (MSW) workers that demonstrate a reflective and self-evaluative practice guided by professional values of human dignity and social justice.

Interning in the field is often referred to as the “heart of social work education.” The purpose of this Field Education Program is to enable students to receive structured preparation in the discipline of social work practice. By placing students in actual settings under the experienced guidance of staff mentors, students have the opportunity to develop essential competencies in applying social work knowledge, our rigorous social justice values, and skills. Research demonstrates that students consistently remember their field experience as the most important aspect of their social work education and a meaningful relationship with their supervisor is essential for their growth as social workers.

At the bachelor’s level students will complete a total of 420 hours of supervised experience.  Students will work with the Field Education Department and specifically the Field Education Coordinator to complete this requirement.  Students will be enrolled in a number of field education and practicum courses that will support the applied learning and integration of knowledge and skills with theory.

Career Outcomes

“Social work practice can take place at the micro, mezzo, or macro level. Micro social work is practice that concentrates on the individual and family levels. Macro social work is focused on driving change in community systems, institutions, and larger group units, commonly through government or other non-profit agencies. Mezzo social work is focused on groups that fall between the individual and the community, such as neighborhoods, task forces, and support groups.  These levels refer to the scale of the systems being analyzed in each type of practice and are complementary to one another; as a result, there can be considerable overlap between the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work practice (”

Individuals with a “bachelor’s [degree in social work] (BSW)-work with groups, community organizations, and policymakers to develop or improve programs, services, policies, and social conditions. This focus of work is referred to as macro social work (”

A BSW degree is an excellent degree to pursue in the field of human services. A Bachelor of Social Work degree is one of the most useful and flexible degrees one can get in the human services sector.  With this degree you can generally obtain job with the following titles, as an example (

  • Behavioral Management Aide
  • Case Management Aide
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Probation Officer
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Human Services Specialist

Prospective Student

This program will be in an accelerated online modality, therefore prospective students should be willing to engage in online coursework, have internet access and a computer.  Students looking to complete their bachelor’s degree or transferring from a community college are also ideal candidates.  People wanting to pursue a generalist macro (i.e. policy change and program implementation) or micro (case management, care coordinator, healthcare/discharge social work) would be interested in this degree.

Program Need/Rationale

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( the “Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, but will vary by specialization.”

Accreditation Statement

Pacific Oaks College is currently in Pre-Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.

Pre-Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has submitted an application to be reviewed for Candidacy.  A program that has attained Pre-Candidacy has not yet been reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation or been verified to be in compliance with the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.  The Council on Social Work Education does not publicly disclose whether programs have currently attained Pre-Candidacy Status until they are granted Candidacy.

Students who enter the program while it is still in Pre-Candidacy will not be recognized as attending a program in Candidacy unless the program attains Candidacy in the academic year in which those students enter.  The Candidacy Process is typically a three-year process and there is no guarantee that a program in Pre-Candidacy will eventually attain Candidacy or Initial Accreditation.  Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation.  Candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program.  Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.  For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact the Council on Social Work Education.

Curriculum - 120 units

General Education Requirements - 40 credits

Pacific Oaks Culture and Pedagogy (3 credits required)

English Communication (9 credits required)

Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits required)

Arts and Humanities (9 credits required)

(at least one course from the arts and one course from humanities)

Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 credits required)

Physical and Biological Sciences (7 credits required)

(One physical science course and one biological science or life science course, at least one of which includes a lab)

Required Prerequisites - 6 credits

General Electives - 35 units

Choose from courses listed below

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