Recent thesis topics investigated by our students include: strategies for addressing rural food insecurity, an assessment of child well-being in orphanages in India, and outcomes for children who were raised by lesbian parents.
Students complete a 4-year program resulting in a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) from the Honors Tutorial College. If eligible, these graduates may apply for advanced standing status allowing them to finish the Master of Science in Social Work (MSW) degree in a minimum of one additional year. The BASW degree qualifies students to take the LSW licensure exam; then, the MSW degree qualifies students to take the LISW licensure exam. These licenses are vital keys for career opportunities in the profession.
The program provides students with: 1) a core of social work knowledge through a series of courses and tutorials; 2) the requisite skills to critically analyze social problems from a theoretical perspective; 3) the opportunity to apply theory to practice in social service internships; and 4) guidance through the process of conducting a research study on a topic of their interest that will lead to the completion of a thesis.
Students are required to complete at least six tutorials with the approval of the Director of Studies (DOS). Because social work is inherently an interdisciplinary field, some tutorials can be taken in Colleges other than the College of Health Sciences and Professions. In the first year, students will take a freshman seminar to introduce them to professional concepts, theories, ethics and provide them with an overview of the program.
During subsequent tutorials designed to enrich required social work courses through the junior sequence, students will meet weekly with the designated professor to learn advanced concepts, read challenging materials, and produce a course-related literature review, project or report. During their junior and senior years, tutorials will focus on research endeavors that culminate in a thesis. The DOS will guide and advise throughout students' college experience including on the completion of the thesis and the BASW curriculum requirements.
The tutorial program offers students the opportunity to design a curriculum tailored to their own needs and interests while preparing them for graduate education and a career in the multi-faceted profession of social work. To fulfill the BASW accreditation requirements that will enable them to take the LSW licensing exam and qualify for Advanced Standing (1 year program) in an MSW program, students will take a supplemented core social work curriculum. Plus, they will receive a liberal arts education that includes courses in English, statistics, social and physical sciences, foreign language, and electives. During their junior year, students will work in a 120 hour internship during the fall semester and 160 hours during the spring semester. Students are expected to take at least 15 credit hours each semester.
The Honors Thesis is a reflection of the student's unique interests. This major paper will constitute work of the highest quality in investigating a significant social welfare problem of concern to both scholars and practitioners. The thesis should entail an in-depth review of the relevant theoretical, practice, policy and research literatures, data collection and analysis, as part of a complete research study using a qualitative and/or quantitative design. International learning and data collection experiences may be arranged depending upon a student's interests. The DOS along with a tutor can work with students to create a paper for submission to a peer-reviewed professional journal for publication as part of preparation for graduate school.
Students are selected by the Honors Tutorial College and the Social Work Director of Studies on the basis of superior academic ability and the potential for self-motivated, academic study, practice and research. A high school class rank in the upper ten percent, a minimum combined score of 1300 on the SAT or an ACT composite of 30 are generally required for entry into the program. Two recommendations, preferably from high school teachers, are strongly recommended.
Note: Because of the personalized nature of the tutorial system, a student may be accepted who has not met all the standardized criteria but who has demonstrated exceptional aptitude in other ways.
The deadline for submission of application materials is December 1; however, applications may be considered after this date. Initial interviews are held in January.
Director of Studies
Social Work Tutorial Program
Department of Social and Public Health
College of Health Sciences and Professions
Morton Hall 416
Athens, OH 45701-2979