Professional Development & Advising

The BSSW Program provides a learning environment that supports student’s growth as a professional. Professional mentoring activities help students make the most of their college experience while achieving academic, career, and personal goals.

In the BSSW Program, Advisors as well as other faculty, staff, alumni, and field instructors play important roles as mentors. Students can establish mentoring relationships with a BSSW Program Advisor, other Department faculty, or connect with alumni or field instructors. Under the guidance of a professional mentor, students complete research projects, prepare material for professional presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences, publish articles, and  engage in policy advocacy and leadership.
Students interested in professional development opportunities should discuss their interest with their BSSW Program Advisor.

Through the Curriculum
Professional Writing Skills enhancement: Students are provided with several opportunities to strengthen their academic and professional writing skills. There is a strong emphasis on use of APA in all classes, at least two (2) classes have writing intensive requirements for the University, and students are evaluated on their writing as part of their essays for application to the major. Professional writing workshops have been offered occasionally.

Social Work Day at the Capitol (SWDC): Students  participate in this day long event each spring when the Minnesota Legislature is in session. For more information about Social Work Day at the Capitol go to the NASW-Minnesota webpage.

Professional Licensure Support: The Minnesota Board of Licensing staff comes to campus every fall to discuss the professional licensing. Department faculty, also, offer licensing exam  study groups each semester.  

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Through Program Activities
Participation in BSSW Program Student Advisory Council – The BSSW Program provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the program decision making through the BSSW Student Advisory Council. The members also function as the ambassadors for the BSSW program and are invited to participate in student panels on behalf of the Program.

Participation in Program Search Committees:  When the Program has the opportunity to hire faculty or staff, students participate as members of the search committees.

Social Work Honors Day: The BSSW Program hosts an annual awards event to recognize the students who receive scholarships and the work of our alumni and organizations that support our program.

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Through Social Work Clubs
The Department of Social Work offers students 2 opportunities to organize around their areas of interest through the Phi Alpha Honor Society, Eta Alpha Chapter and the Social Work Student Club. More information about each can be found on the  Department webpage

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Through Educational Travel
Students can complete either academic credit earning coursework or internship experiences in the US or around the world. Students select from short-term (3-4 week group travel programs) to South Africa or Belfast, Northern Ireland or  long term (1 or more semesters) programs. Students have studied or made presentations in South Africa, Northern Ireland, England, Belize, Finland, Australia, Thailand, the Hague, etc.

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Through Financial Support Scholarships  
Students can apply for a rage of scholarships each spring and for financial support for professional development, conference presentations, and educational travel. For additional information scholarships and financial support, go to the Department of Social Work’s Scholarship and Stipends webpage. To apply for scholarships or other financial support, go to Scholarship finder website.

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Through Professional Scholarship
Students are encouraged to work with a Program mentor to learn research and professional writing skills. Under the guidance of a Professional Mentor students complete research projects, publish articles, and make presentations at local, state, national and international conferences. For more information about University supported scholarship opportunities click here.

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Through Community Involvement  
Involvement in Diverse Communities: Students are encouraged to become involved in the many diversity related activities and communities on campus and in the region. For more information about University specific opportunities click. For information about community specific opportunities, go to Mankato Diversity Council as a starting point.

Civic Engagement: Social Work students get involved in their communities. For more about campus based organizations in which to become involved, go to Registered Student Organizations at MSU, M. For more information about how to get involved in your local communities, start with Greater United Way of Mankato.

Professional Organizations: Faculty are involved in and support student participation in many local, state, national, and international organizations, including but not limited to:

The Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, Inc.

The Council on Social Work Education is a For more information about CSWE.

Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) For more information about MSSA.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)For more information about NASW.

The Minnesota Chapter of NASW . For more information NASW-Minnesota.

University Sponsored Support Services: There are many programs and services to assist students develop as academics and as professionals. For more information go online to the Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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