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Societies that want to thrive need good social workers.

Want to be hands-on and proactive as you help change people’s lives for the better? Good news: you can achieve this and much more by pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at University of the Cumberlands! Through a broad-based immersive curriculum, you will engage in research that addresses social issues at local, national, and global levels. Help diverse groups of people improve their wellbeing. You can make a long-lasting difference, one case at a time. Your community needs you, so ensure you are prepared to give them your best with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Anchor: Stats

By the Numbers

Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

* The credit hours listed on this page only reference the specific program requirements and is not reflective of the total hours necessary to receive your degree. Cumberlands requires all students obtain a minimum of 60 hours for an associate’s degree and a total of 120 hours for a bachelor’s in social work degree. Transfer and prior learning credits may be counted toward those totals.

To learn more about our General Education Requirements, please visit the page referenced below or explore our Academic Catalog

General Education Requirements

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

If you want a social work program with classes specifically designed to align with the profession’s purpose and values, with a special emphasis on preparing you to be an ethical professional and leader, then University of the Cumberlands has the Bachelor's of Social Work program you need. With a bachelor’s degree in social work from Cumberlands, you will be equipped to advocate for social justice for all people groups at local, national, and global levels.

Trained in generalist, evidence-based social work practices, you will work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Knowledgeable faculty will use the person-in-environment framework in courses to train you to promote human and social wellbeing and enhance quality of life for all persons.  Throughout the program, you will be taught to serve diverse populations through a multi-cultural and global perspective. With attention on advocacy, you will have the skillset to prevent conditions that limit human rights and to eliminate poverty. 

Completion of the bachelor’s degree in social work fully prepares the student for social work practice. Social work practice and field practice classes are not available to minors.

Course Requirements

  • SOWK 131 Introduction to Social Work and Social Justice   
  • SOWK 132 Social Welfare   
  • SOWK 234 Social Work Practice Skills  
  • SOWK 237 Human Behavior in a Social Environment  
  • SOWK 331 Individual and Family Assessment  
  • SOWK 333 Human Diversity in Social Work Practice  
  • SOWK 332 Groups and Organizations In Social Work Practice  
  • SOWK 334 Field Practice I and Service Learning  
  • SOWK 335 Social Work Research  
  • SOWK 338 Case Management   
  • SOWK 432 Addiction and Recovery
  • SOWK 434 Professional Ethics   
  • SOWK 436 Human Diversity in a Global Society  
  • SOWK 404 Understanding Child Maltreatment  
  • SOWK 433 Social Work Policy and Practice  
  • SOWK 445 Grief and Crisis Intervention
  • SOWK 437 Mental Health Perspective in Social Work  
  • SOWK 460 Field Practice II  
  • SOWK 461 Field Practice III 

Social Work Minor (21 hours)

  • SOWK 131 Intro to Social Work and Social Justice
  • SOWK 132 Social Welfare
  • SOWK 237 Human Behavior in a Social Environment 
  • SOWK 338 Case Management 
  • SOWK 436 Human Diversity 

Students may choose two of the following courses: 

  • SOWK 404 Understanding Child Maltreatment 
  • SOWK 432 Addiction and Recovery
  • SOWK 445 Grief and Crisis Intervention 
  • SOWK 437 Mental Health Perspective in Social Work 

Completion of the Bachelor of Social Work degree fully prepares the student for social work practice. Social work practice and field practice classes are not available to minors

Field education teaches future social workers “to think, to perform, and to act ethically and with integrity” (CSWE, 2015, p. 12). The University of the Cumberlands Social Work Program field education courses are set up to be a two (2) semester sequence of courses in which the student applies conceptual knowledge gained in a classroom to practice with clients in a social work agency. 
Students are required to complete a professional skills course before field placements begin that will build professional skills and prepare them for future placements. Supervision for students is provided by practitioners with either a BSW or MSW and who have two years of field experience in the area they will be supervising. 
Students complete 150 clock hours of work in SOWK 460 and 250 hours in SOWK 461, for a total of 400 clock hours of field instruction. The educational competencies and policies of field instruction conform to the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standard (2015 EPAS) of CSWE.

Field Education Handbook

Anchor: Mission & Goals

Program Mission & Goals

The mission of the UC Bachelor of Social Work Program is to prepare all social work students to become ethical professionals and leaders through generalist, evidence-based practice grounded in liberal arts education. Bachelor’s degree in social work students will receive evidence-based teaching of social work values, knowledge, and practice skills and will identify with the profession of social work through self-reflection using these components. Students will strengthen critical thinking skills through scientific inquiry of the latest research methods and technologies and be prepared to continue using these skills as lifelong learners.

Through rigorous learning and assessment of knowledge and practice skills, students will serve as ethical leaders and agents of change to advocate for social justice, dignity and worth of the person, and the importance of human relationships. Students will demonstrate the ability to value competence, integrity, and a global perspective that seeks to eliminate poverty and prevent conditions that limit human rights. Students will be prepared to be culturally engaged in practice with diverse individuals, groups, communities, and organizations through a person-in-environment framework that promotes human and social well-being and enhances quality of life for all persons. A multicultural perspective on cultural competence will enable culturally sensitive practice. This includes a range of prevention and intervention methods such as strengths-based perspective, risk and protective factors of human development, and practice skills.

The University of the Cumberlands Bachelor of Social Work Program will guide students to enhance critical thinking skills, professional preparedness, and commitment to human rights and social justice for all at a local, national, and global levels.

Student Handbook

Program Goals: 

  1. The Bachelor's of Social Work program will facilitate an appreciation of self-awareness and the diversity of humanity, especially as this relates to the variety of social work careers.
  2. The program will provide students with a core knowledge base in human behavior theory, research methods, and social welfare policy in preparation for a career and/or graduate study.
  3. The program will promote understanding of the social work perspective related to individuals,groups, and communities.
  4. The program will integrate healthy professional boundaries and best ethical practices within the social work capacity.
  5. The program will assist students to demonstrate professional helping skills within the classroom and apply the skills within a professional environment. 
Students walk to class near the Grace Crum Rollins Center

Program Assessment Outcomes

Anchor: Career Outcomes

Social Work Careers & Outcomes

All stats from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Social Worker: $50,390

Social Worker: $50,390

Social workers help people prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives.

Case Manager: $74,000

Case Manager: $74,000

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being.

Childcare Worker: $27,490

Childcare Worker: $27,490

Childcare workers attend to children's needs while helping to foster early development. 

Community Health Worker: $48,860

Community Health Worker: $48,860

Health education specialists develop programs to teach people about conditions affecting well-being. Community health workers promote wellness by helping people adopt healthy behaviors.

Social Science Research Assistant: $50,470

Social Science Research Assistant: $50,470

Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research. May help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

Paralegal: $56,230

Paralegal: $56,230

Paralegals and legal assistants perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers.

Anchor: FAQs

Common Questions

Every day is different in in the life of a social worker, but in general you would be responsible for checking on the economic, social, and physical wellbeing of an individual or a family, working in tandem with your clients and the appropriate entities to arrange the best possible care for your clients. As a social worker, you use your knowledge and your resources to serve people in need in your community.

When you earn your bachelor's degree in social work from University of the Cumberlands, you’ll be well prepared for a wide range of careers, including:

  • Social Worker
  • Child Welfare Worker
  • Social and Human Services Assistant
  • Health Educator
  • Social Science Research Assistant
  • Social Work Case Manager

These are just a few of the careers in the field for social work degree holders. Each career centers on helping people in a structured, meaningful way.

Primarily, this bachelor's in social work prepares you for a job as a social worker. But it can also help you land other similar careers, such as a school or career counselor, healthcare administrator, rehabilitation counselor, or even an administrator working for service and nonprofit organizations in your community. 

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the need for qualified social workers is expected to increase 9 percent over the next several years. The need for human beings to help each other conquer difficult circumstances, get connected with valuable resources, etc. will always be needed in societies around the world. And if you become a social worker, you could be part of the solution.

Social work – and similar careers – will help you strengthen your skills in:

  1. Time management 
  1. Critical thinking
  1. Communication
  1. Emotional regulation
  1. Interpersonal connection
  1. Organization and delegation
  1. Problem-solving

A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is neither a Bachelor of Arts nor Sciences but rather its own kind of degree program. In a bachelor’s degree in social work program, you will study with faculty members who are experienced professionals in the field. Social work classes include, but are not limited to, Social Policy, Human Diversity in a Social Work, and Human Behavior in the Social Environment.

As a Social Work student, you will have countless opportunities to flourish. These include service, leadership experiences, co-curricular educational programming, and fun social events. 

  • Join the Human Services Club and/ or Social Work Honor Society and begin to network with students who share your interests.
  • Travel with faculty on the student trip to explore social work practice in Kentucky and other areas with international opportunities. 
Anchor: Accreditation

Bachelor of Social Work Accreditation Information

In March 2024, the University of the Cumberlands Social Work Program was granted Year 2 Candidacy Status. The program will begin preparing for Initial Accreditation.

University of the Cumberlands Social Work program has achieved year one candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Board of Accreditation (BOA).  Candidacy for a baccalaureate social work program by the BOA indicates that it has made progress toward meeting standards of program quality evaluated through a peer review accreditation process. 
A program that has attained candidacy status has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.   Students who are admitted to candidate programs in the fall (or later) of the academic year in which the program is granted candidacy status will be retroactively recognized as graduates from a CSWE-BOA accredited program as long as the program attains initial accreditation. 
Candidacy is typically a 3-year process and attaining candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain initial accreditation.  Candidacy applies to all program options, which includes locations and delivery methods.  Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.  
Review our program’s candidacy status in CSWE’s Directory of Accredited Programs. For more information about social work accreditation, contact CSWE’s Department of Social Work Accreditation.


Our academic advising team will support you throughout your academic journey. Our advisors are committed to the student’s success and are available to discuss class schedules, professional advising, and career-driven goals.

All students schedule advising appointments with their student success coordinator for academic advising through accessing a student success coordinator’s Outlook calendar or through a provided QR code. In-person, online, and phone appointments are available. All students will be assigned a department faculty member. Students may email their assigned faculty member for academic or professional advising.

Faculty are available to meet with prospective students and major changes in person, by phone, or through Zoom. Prospective students should reach out to admissions [at] (admissions[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu). We also encourage prospective students to visit to learn more about the UC’s Social Work program.

Advising is available in-person or through Microsoft Teams for all students in the Social Work program. Advising sessions can be scheduled by email with any faculty member by emailing socialwork [at] (socialwork[at]ucumberlands[dot]edu) or by emailing individual faculty. 

Anchor: Faculty

Faculty Experts in Social Work

Learn more about your future social work professors.

Dr. Jennifer Knuckles

Dr. Jennifer Knuckles

Department Chair/Associate Professor
Human Services
Social Work

Dr. Jennifer Knuckles

Contact Information

Jennifer.Knuckles [at]
Library Basement #006
Elissa Price

Elissa Price

Field Education Coordinator/Assistant Professor
Human Services
Social Work

Elissa Price

Contact Information

Elissa.Price [at]
Library Basement #007
Gina Bowlin

Dr. Gina Bowlin

Director of Behavioral Health | Adjunct Professor
Counseling Center

Dr. Gina Bowlin

Contact Information

Gina.Bowlin [at]
Browning Annex

Request Information

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