Social Work

About the Social Work Program

Park University's social work degree program prepares students for beginning professional practice in a wide variety of social service settings. As generalist social work practitioners, graduates will be prepared to work with a diverse client population, particularly those who are vulnerable or economically deprived. The program includes both classroom work and two-semester field instruction in a social service setting.

Students considering social work as a major at Park must have a strong desire to help others help themselves as they resolve personal, social, or environmental problems. While it is both challenging and rewarding, the practice of social work requires a sharp intellect, empathetic interpersonal skills, good personal adjustment, and a commitment to maintaining ethical relationships with colleagues, staff, supervisors, and clients.

Director's Welcome

Warmest Greetings:
I am so very pleased that you are considering a professional career in the challenging, gratifying, and expanding field of Social Work. Individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities are affected by many complex social forces. Social workers trained in a Generalist foundation recognize the importance of identifying those forces that prevent people from accessing resources and achieving their highest potential. Social work has a long and rich tradition of attending to the dreams, aspirations and needs of those struggling with the effects of poverty, discrimination, violence, various forms of disability, and societal exclusion.

A BSW from Park University will prepare you to assume your place in molding and shaping a better society. You will learn how social welfare policy has a profound influence on peoples' circumstances, decisions and on how social work is organized and delivered. You will learn various theories which serve to help us gain a deeper understanding for how human beings behave in the social environment. You will learn the importance of research in guiding and directing helping efforts that are effective and efficient. And, you will gain a range of interpersonal helping skills, including relationship building, assessing for strengths in people and in communities, and how to collaboratively develop strategies for advocating on behalf of those who lack power and influence. Integrating themes of the curriculum are Strengths Perspective, Social and Economic Justice, and Multicultural Competence from a global perspective.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to possibly meeting you one day in this beautiful learning setting that is Park University.

Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D., MSW
Professor: Chair/Director


Park University's Bachelor of Social Work Program has been awarded full, unconditional re-affirmation of accreditation by the Council of Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation. The Program received this honor at the CSWE's June 2010 meeting in Alexandria, Va. The period of accreditation granted is for eight years.

Park University's BSW Program was one of the first programs in the nation to be assessed under the new 2008 Educational Program Accreditation Standards. These standards shift the focus from assessing program goals and objectives to graduates' attainment of 10 competencies of professional social work practice.