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Mission

MissionVisionPageOur mission is to promote social well-being and social justice with vulnerable populations through dynamic teaching, research, and service conducted in collaboration with diverse people of South Carolina, the nation, and the international community.

Vision

Our vision is to lead collaborative social change to promote sustainable equity and well-being in South Carolina and beyond. 

 

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Faculty

Tenured Faculty Positions

The College of Social Work invites applications for one or more tenured faculty positions in social work at the rank of associate professor or professor. To view the position posting click here.

Clinical Faculty Positions

The College of Social Work invites applications and nominations for one or more clinical faculty positions.These non-tenure track positions include responsibilities for fostering teaching excellence among the faculty and teaching in both the BSW and MSW programs. To view the position posting click here.

Staff

All staff employment opportunities are listed on the USC Employment page. Click here.

Instructor Teaching Faculty

From time to time the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina hires qualified part-time (instructor) faculty to enrich its MSW, BSW and social work minor programs. Minimum qualifications are a master's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program, plus two years of post-degree social work experience to be eligible to teach practice courses. These appointments are on a course-by-course basis and the College’s needs change from semester to semester (fall, spring, and summer terms).

All BSW and social work minor courses and most MSW courses are offered on the USC Columbia campus and include weekday and evening class meeting times. MSW courses are also offered on Saturdays in Columbia, at the Lowcountry Graduate Center in North Charleston and at the University Center in Greenville. Some courses may be taught on-line or with a “hybrid” (mixed) on-line/traditional delivery format.

The application letter should include geographic preferences and general availability (i.e., weekdays and/or evenings and/or Saturdays). Instructor teaching faculty applicants are required to submit an official copy of their transcripts for our files to comply with accreditation standards. Click here to learn more.

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The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetics, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

What Is Social Work?


WhatIsSocialWorkSocial work is a helping profession; the main goal of social work is to improve a society’s overall well-being, especially for the most vulnerable populations.

You may be wondering, “Why social work instead of other helping professions?” Social work’s distinguishing characteristics are its emphasis on the person-in-environment model and its emphasis on social justice. In other words, social workers not only consider individuals’ internal struggles, as other counselors might, they also work with people to examine their relationships, family history, work environment, community environment, and the structures and policies that impact themin order to identify ways to help address a problem or challenge. Social workers also do not limit their work to individuals; they work with individuals, couples, families, groups, neighborhoods, communities, and organizations.

Social work practice is also strengths-based. Social workers help people or groups identify their problems, determine their skills and capacities, what they are doing well, and how that was accomplished, and then analyze ways that those strengths might be applied to the identified problems.

Social Work Jobs

Social work is an incredibly broad and diverse field; it offers an almost limitless range of career options. Social workers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, non-profit organizations, mental health centers, schools, advocacy agencies, community organizations, and government offices.

Many social workers work directly with clients who are individuals, families or small groups. These social workers help clients cope with problems such as poverty, abuse, addiction, and mental illness by providing counseling, connecting clients with service providers, and empowering clients to meet their own needs.

Other social workers choose to work with communities, organizations or governments. These workers advocate for vulnerable populations, fighting to end the inequalities and injustices they see in their communities. They create policies, break down barriers, and drive reform.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work employment opportunities are expected to grow at a rate of 25% between now and 2020, which is faster than average. This means it’s a great time to become a social worker. Demand will be particularly high for social workers employed in the fields of healthcare, substance abuse, and social services (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012-2013).

With a degree from an accredited school of social work, you can enter any of the following fields:

  • Mental health services
  • Military social work
  • Adoption and foster care
  • Family preservation services
  • Child protective services
  • Homeless services
  • Hospital social work
  • Health and wellness services
  • Outpatient health services
  • School-based social work
  • Psychiatric hospital services
  • Domestic violence services
  • Services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Services to older adults
  • Faith-based services
  • Advocacy services
  • Grant management
  • HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services
  • Addictions prevention and treatment services
  • Services for justice-involved persons
  • Crisis intervention
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • Nonprofit management and support
  • Community organizing and intervention
  • Housing services
  • Guardian ad litem
  • Disaster relief

Why South Carolina?

What Makes the USC College of Social Work Unique?

AutumnHorshoe cso 04 0232Excellent social work can change the world. At the University of South Carolina, we truly believe this. We are dedicated to making excellent social work happen … and we do this in ways you might not expect.

We do it by encouraging our students to participate fully in the life of the community through internships and service learning, often in places where you might not think about social work: as school resource officers, with military bases’ family support services, or at a farmer’s market. We do it by engaging in innovative research, working to find new solutions to challenging problems locally and globally and by engaging in innovative teaching strategies that bring the community into the classroom. And we do it by leading, but leading in a different way … not leading from above but rather leading together with our partners to find real answers that will make a real difference.

The College of Social Work is an exciting place to learn and work. Come join us and be a part of the energy for change.

History of the College of Social Work


hamiltonFrom its inception in 1969, the College of Social Work has operated as an institution of highest quality. The Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education has awarded unconditional accreditation to the College’s programs after every review. As the College continues to grow and develop to meet new needs and emerging challenges, it will maintain this historic commitment to quality in every endeavor.

The Early Days
The College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina was established in 1969 as the result of the efforts of many social workers throughout the state. In the early 1940s, USC had offered a graduate program in social work, but it was discontinued after only a brief period because of the war effort. The establishment of this new graduate school of social work in 1969 represented a major milestone in the state.

After the first class of graduate students received their degrees in 1971, the faculty and student body expanded rapidly in order to address the growing need for social workers in South Carolina. The College began offering part-time coursework in Charleston, Greenville, and Spartanburg to provide a more flexible program that catered to the other areas of the state.

Change in the 80s
In the early 1980s, changes in the structure and funding of social programs caused enrollment in social work programs to decline throughout the United States. At USC, however, enrollment held steady. This was, in part, because of creative developments in the College that strengthened academic standards, ensured the relevancy of the curriculum to the needs of the state, and increased accessibility to students. For example, the College raised its GPA admissions requirement to 3.0, initiated an Advanced Standing program, and offered courses throughout the state via interactive satellite television.

Reaching New Heights
In 1987, the PhD program began. It was the first doctoral program in social work in Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina. This program maintains a unique focus, given its mission to prepare social work educators and researchers. Its graduates have received academic appointments throughout the country.
In the early 1990s, applications to the MSW program increased five-fold. The College capped enrollment at approximately 400 MSW students (full-time and part-time) for a period of time. Currently, more than 225 MSW students graduate each year.

Throughout the College’s history, diversity has been a top priority. The faculty has always included significant numbers of minorities. The percentage of African Americans in the student body has consistently been among the highest of all graduate programs at the University of South Carolina. In 1994, the College manifested its commitment to diversity by developing the I. DeQuincey Newman Chair, the first fully endowed chair at USC named after an African American.

An International Scope
In the 1990s, the College expanded its activities in the international arena. For several years the College offered international study tours for students and practicing social workers to such countries as Mexico, Israel, and Greece. The College currently offers study abroad programs each summer and has an international field placement option within the MSW program.

In 1993, the College launched its MSW program in Seoul, Korea. This was in response to an invitation from Korean social workers who were aware of the College’s reputation for part-time social work education. With the Korea-based program, the College became the first school of social work to offer an MSW program in its entirety on foreign soil. The seventh cohort in the Korea-based program will graduate in December of 2013.

Recent Collaborations and Expansions
The College has offered dual degrees in public administration since 1984, in public health since 1990, and in law since 1999. Furthermore, a certificate in gerontology was added in 1987, and the certificate in graduate study in drug and addictions studies was moved to the College of Social Work in 2004. In 2013 the certificate Social and Behavioral Health Services for military members, veterans and military families was established.

In 2007 the College began the process of developing a BSW program. It was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Higher Education and was granted candidacy status by the Council on Social Work Education. In the fall of 2009, the first seven BSW students were admitted. The program received full accreditation from CSWE in October 2012. In 2014 there were approximately 170 BSW majors.
As the College gains new programs, it also gains new faculty and staff members. Currently, there are over 35 full-time faculty and over 20 staff at the College.

Community Engagement
The College as a whole has always had strong community ties through its MSW field education program. Currently there are over 500 MSW students placed in human service agencies across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. That commitment to the community has grown with the continuing development of the BSW program, the College’s field education and service-learning components, and the increasing numbers of faculty and PhD students engaged in community-based research.

After a year of extended program review and strategic planning by the COSW faculty, the focus of the doctoral program became community-engaged, transdisciplinary research. The program focus builds on the community-engaged research strengths of the COSW faculty and the transdisciplinary resources of the University of South Carolina. The program retains its historic emphasis on preparing scholars to teach social work and enhances their capacity for applying advanced quantitative and qualitative methods to the study of social justice concerns.

Cutting-Edge Technology
Over 30 years ago, the College began using satellite television to deliver distance education classes to students all over the state. In the beginning, students gathered at sites in hospitals, libraries, and at other colleges. While state-of-the-art for the time, satellite delivery was often at the mercy of storms and other weather-related events that interfered with the signal. 

In the fall of 2008, the College—along with the rest of the university—changed from using satellite television for its distance education (now called “distributed learning”) classes and adopted Adobe Connect and Adobe Presenter to deliver courses to students living across the state. Students can view a class from any place where reliable Internet is available. Blackboard, a course management system, helps faculty and students organize, communicate, and improve their distributed learning experience. 

The College of Social Work has grown and changed dramatically over its 50-plus years. But one thing has not changed: Our commitment to excellent education, meaningful research, and service to the community has been, and will continue to be, at the core of all that we do.

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