BSSW Program Advising

The BSSW Program believes that each student’s academic and professional advising needs are unique as no two students have the same academic and professional goals. Academic advising and professional mentoring are an integral part of the preparation for the professional social work practice.

Declare Social Work as a Major
Selecting or ‘declaring’ social work as a major is the first step to completing your BSSW degree. Students can declare social work as their major or change from another major to social work at any time by completing the form under the Major Button area here:

Formally declaring social work as a major/degree program is not a guarantee that the student will be admitted to the major. For information on the BSSW Program’s admissions requirements and application  process go to Application to the Major  and see Application to the Major section in the BSSW Student Handbook.

To learn more about social work as a possible career before declaring it as a major contact the

Department of Social Work Office,
358 Trafton Science Center North
(507) 389-6504

Allied Health Advising Office,
(507) 389- 6315

Back to Top
Find your BSSW Program Advisor
Students who declare a social work major are assigned a BSSW Program Advisor. All BSSW Program Advisors are Department of Social Work faculty members. First year students will also have an Allied Health Advising Office staff person assigned as a general education advisor. Students transition fully to the BSSW Program Advisor at the beginning of their sophomore year. Transfer students are assigned to BSSW Program Advisor after attending a Transfer Orientation session.

To have an academic advisor assigned, complete the form under the Major Button area here:  

After a BSSW Program Advisor is assigned, the student should:

  • Schedule a meeting with the BSSW Program Advisor as soon as possible. Students who wait until their course registration window opens or the semester is almost over will have difficulty getting a timely appointment scheduled with their advisor.  
  • To schedule an appointment with your Advisor, send an email, leave a detailed telephone message, or use MavConnect.
  • Meet regularly with their BSSW Faculty Advisor to ensure they meet the BSSW Program curriculum requirements, identify areas for professional growth, and develop plans to strengthen these areas.

Back to Top

Advising Responsibilities
To develop an effective advisor-advisee working relationship,
The Student Advisee should

  • Initiate and arrange contact with advisor at least 1 time per semester to develop and monitor academic plan. Consider meeting several times each semester.
  • Inform advisor of academic progress and standing
  • Consult with advisor regarding changes in and permission to move forward with program plan (i.e. adding a minor or major, leave of absence)
  • Consult with advisor regarding potential barriers to academic success or future professional social work practice  
  • Consult with advisor on permission to register for upper-division courses (300+ level courses)
  • Consult with advisor when applying for admission to the BSSW major
  • Discuss academic and professional goals and explore opportunities to support these goals

The BSSW Program Advisor will

  • Assist student to develop an academic course plan to insure that BSSW curriculum requirements are met
  • Help determine when the student is ready to take upper-division (300 & 400-level)
  • Help student choose appropriate elective and supporting coursework and sequencing
  • Complete academic or curriculum related documents on behalf of advisee
  • Provide support to student when completing the Application for Admission to the Major
  • Consult with student about academic, professional, and career goals
  • Guide the student to resources needed to resolve academic, personal, or financial issues which may impede their education
  • Consult with student about professional development opportunities

Back to Top

Academic Advising Resources
The following list is a beginning list of resources for students to begin the advising process at Minnesota State Mankato. It is not comprehensive.

  • DARS, also known as your Degree Audit Report, is one of the most useful resources for  information about your progress in completing the general education requirements for graduation and the goal areas you have met, the number of credits you have completed, the courses you have completed for the BSSW Program, and for your university and BSSW Program GPAs. To access your DARS, go to E-Services, sign in with your Star ID and password, select  ‘Academic Records’ on the left side and select ‘Degree Audit Report’ on the left side.
  • Starfish/MavConnect, also known as Starfish, is an online program that keeps you connected with your classes, schedules. It also is used by your BSSW Program Advisor and your professors to keep you informed of your progress in your classes.
  • Allied Health Advising Office: The staff helps students learn about university graduation and general education requirements and academic supports available on campus. This office helps with first year student and transfer advising. Staff provides advising tools and tips, assists with interpreting DARS, and assists with general education or course completion problems. They also provide support for students on academic probation or suspension.
  • University Academic Resources and Policies
  • University Forms for Students 
  • University Resources for Students
  • Office of New Students and Families Program Advising Information    
  • Important Dates 

Academic Advising Specific to your Student Status
Students take various paths when deciding to pursue social work as a major. Many are high school or first year students who have already decided to pursue social work as a career. Other students often explore several majors before discovering social work. Students transfer from 2 year colleges or other 4 year institutions; some with completed social work courses, some without    

New Students
High school students: Students are encouraged to schedule a tour of the campus through the Admissions Office. They may also contact the BSSW Program to schedule a meeting with one of the Program Advisors. Once the students has been accepted, they will be invited to participate in one of the many New Student Orientations. During this Orientation, they will meet with the Allied Health Advising Center staff and will also have the opportunity to talk with the BSSW Program Director. Potential students are encouraged to like the Department Facebook page to learn more about the BSSW Program.   

First year students: Students can contact the BSSW Program at their earliest convenience to schedule an appointment with a BSSW Program Advisor to learn more about the Program and the profession. After they declare social work as their major they are formally assigned a BSSW Program Advisor. Meeting with your Advisor in your first semester will ensure a smoother course plan process in which students are able to complete required general education and foundation courses in a more integrated manner.  For more information go to Office of New Student and Family Programs

Students Changing Majors
Minnesota State Mankato students in other majors or who are undecided can change majors at any time. Students who want to know more about social work as a potential career should schedule an appointment with a BSSW Program Advisor. The student and BSSW Program Advisor will review number of credits earned and prior completed coursework and develop a potential course plan. They will also discuss the potential impact that declaring social work as a major may have on graduation timeline.

Back to Top

If you are:

  • Planning to transfer to the BSSW Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Returning to school after an extended absence or
  • Have a BA or BS degree

Go to the Transfer and Returning Student page for more information about how to successfully plan for your transfer or return to school. 

Back to Top