Northwestern State University’s Bachelor of Social Work program has been rated as the third most affordable online program in the U.S., according to bestschools.org.
The website rated online social work programs based on the quality of the program, the types of available online classes for social work, faculty, rankings and prestige, including the school’s reputation for providing quality online degree programs.
NSU’s Bachelor of Social Work degree prepares graduates for immediate entry into direct social work and human services positions.
“One of the benefits of the NSU social work program is that it allows students great freedom to individualize their study plans,” said Ruth T. Weinzettle, Ph.D., head of the Department of Social Work. “Core courses and social work courses are offered according to the regular semester schedule and online offerings are available every semester. This allows a student to begin their social work studies in any semester, including the summer, and to work at their own pace through the curriculum, whether it be on a part-time basis or full-time basis.”
Weinzettle said the majority of the courses are asynchronous, so students can also work on courses on their own schedule. Students “do have to adhere to prerequisite requirements and to complete an internship with face-to-face hours in a social service agency, although the agency will be in their geographical area.”
Another strong point of the social work program is that most online social work courses are taught by the same faculty member who is teaching the face-to face class on campus.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with every professor I have had the pleasure to learn from and interact with,” said social work major Joshua Adair of Denver. “Amidst all the many transitions I’ve experienced this year, everyone has been so understanding and helpful. I was of course wary when choosing an online program, but it was the only choice as I have to work full time and I knew that I would be moving to another state, but ever since starting the program with NSU I have enjoyed every class and professor I have had.”
According to Weinzettle, adjunct faculty members are carefully selected for their ability to provide quality instruction.
“Faculty are invested in ensuring that the online student obtains a quality education, that, although in a different format, is equal to that of the face-to-face program,” she said. “Faculty are actively engaged in their own learning processes about strengthening online education and about new technologies that improve learning outcomes.”
Weinzettle said the “program’s mission is to graduate competent entry level generalist social workers, who are ethical practitioners, who understand and value diversity, and who commit to lifelong professionalism and learning.”
She pointed out that program accreditation allows Northwestern State BSW graduates to apply for advanced standing in any MSW program, and if eligible, complete one year of study to obtain the MSW in what is otherwise a two-year course of study.