The social work program at Fresno Pacific University offers a rich combination of a liberal arts education and professional training and theoretical knowledge of social work. The program offers an excellent education in a supportive Christian atmosphere that helps students integrate faith and professional ethics in ways that make them highly sought after in the field.
- Integrated theory and practice
- Uses the helper-as-servant model
- Includes a semester-long internship
- Emphasizes an understanding of diversity, social work values and ethics, and social justice
- Informed by a Christian/Anabaptist worldview
One unique feature of the social work major is the "hands on" preparation for entry into the profession. Students in their senior spring semester complete a supervised field placement in which they work 32 hours a week under the supervision of a master's level social worker. At the end of the semester they have completed 448 hours or more of training, making them very desirable employees. Many students are hired by their field placement agencies.
Small classes and individualized student program planning help students maximize their success. Students also take Social Science Research (SOC 461) in the fall of their senior year where they plan and complete a research project. In the spring they take a section of the senior seminar and do their research, collect and analyze data, write a discussion, finish the research paper and present their research to faculty and fellow students. This is excellent preparation for graduate school.
Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in the helping professions: social work, counseling, juvenile and adult probation, ministry, non-profit management, family and child welfare and gerontology. Graduates who complete the program are highly sought after for employment and graduate school. With a master's degree in social work graduates go on to work as medical social workers, school social workers/counselors and licensed clinical social workers.
Current alumnae are doing graduate work at the University of Alaska, University of Wyoming, Loma Linda University, CSU Fresno, MB Biblical Seminary and others. One 2009 graduate was been accepted by the University of Colorado, Denver, with a $20,000 scholarship. Graduates are working in the field around the world in probation, parole, children and family services, the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, the California Armenian Home, the Fresno County Victim Service Center and Central Valley Regional Center.
Social work students are involved in a variety of internships throughout the Central Valley. Some of the most frequently selected internships are:
- Children's Hospital Central California
- Central Valley Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente
- Veteran's Hospital
- Fresno Unified School District at the elementary or high school level
- federal probation
- Fresno County probation
- juvenile probation
- early intervention
- victim services
Children and families--
- Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services
- Central Valley Regional Center
- Valley Teen Ranch
- California Armenian Home
- OASIS Adult Day Care
- Valley Caregiver's Resource Center
- Alzheimer's Research Center
- Donna M. Callahan, MSW - program director
Teaches: Helping People, Foundations of Social Work Practice, Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Gerontology, Studies in Domestic Violence and Senior Seminar/Field Experience
- Stacy Hammons, MSW, Ph.D
Teaches: Marriage & Family, Social Science Research, Cultural Communities of Central California
- Richard Unruh, Ph.D.
Teaches: Social Problems & Public Policy, Urban Society & the Welfare State
- Shirley Keith, MSW, LCSW
Teaches: Becoming a Change Agent
- Hubert Alvarez, BSW, MPA
Teaches: Chemical Dependency
- Caine Christensen, MSW, LCSW
Teaches: Working with Groups
General Education Prerequisites
Select at least four of the following courses:
- BIOL-101L Principles of Biology (4)
- ECON-105 Principles of Economics (4)
- PS-120 American Politics and Society (4)
- PSY-120 Introduction to Psychology (3)
- SOC -120 Introduction to Sociology (3)
Required Courses (14 Courses, 50 Units)
- SW-100 Perspectives in Social Work (1)
- SW-120 Helping People: An Introduction (3)
- PSY-410 Abnormal Psychology (4)
- SOC -310 Cultural Communities of California (3)
- or SOC-410 American Ethnicity and Pluralism (3)
- SOC -461 Introduction to Social Science Research (3)
- SW-300 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3)
- SW-320 Marriage and Family (3)
- SW-350 Urban Society and the Welfare State (4)
- SW-360 Social Problems and Public Policy (4)
- SW-400 Foundations of Social Work Practice (4)
- SW-410 Working With Groups (3)
- SW-420 Becoming a Change Agent (3)
- SW-480 Senior Seminar in Social Work (4)
- SW-482 Field Instruction in Social Work (8)
Recommended Elective Courses
- PS-375 Criminal Justice in America (4)
- PSY-300 Statistics (4)
- SOC -482 Intercultural Practicum (1)
- SW-110 Participation in Volunteer Services (1-3)
- SW-310 Social Gerontology (3)
- SW-390 Chemical Dependency Intervention (1)
- SW-395 Studies in Domestic Violence (2)
- SW-483 Mediation Practicum (1)
Why the Central Valley?
Fresno is uniquely situated to offer a variety of experiences for the serious social work student. The community boasts a wealth of diversity and opportunities to work with a variety of people. It is also a leader in creative programs serving clients of all ages.
How can I prepare for this major?
High school students should take biology, sociology, political science and psychology, if available. They should also take opportunities to volunteer in their communities so they have an idea of the needs and strengths of the people.
Junior college transfers should definitely take sociology, psychology, political science, economics and biology that will meet both prerequisite and general education requirements.