Our BSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
Madonna University’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares students for a generalist social work practice and eligibility for Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) licensure in the state of Michigan.
Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the BSW degree prepares students for work in both public and private settings with an array of clients.
The Social Work bachelor’s degree focuses on preparing practitioners that can enhance people’s problem-solving and coping capacities. In this field, social workers link individuals, families, and communities with systems that provide them with resources, services, and opportunities they may previously not have been able to access.
To succeed in this field, the coursework and practicum experience in Madonna’s BSW degree builds the knowledge and skills needed to support diverse clients and vulnerable populations. Upon graduation, BSW students possess the following professional competencies:
Learn more about the program’s mission and standards in the BSW Student Handbook.
The social work courses are designed and scheduled specifically to meet the needs of individuals who are balancing many responsibilities beyond just college. Classes meet in the late afternoon with some being offered in a hybrid or online format. Class sizes are kept small, fostering strong relationships between students and professors who bring a broad range of professional knowledge and experiences to the classroom setting.
Madonna’s Social Work bachelor’s degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours of professional core courses, prerequisites, and general education requirements. This mix of course types ensures our social work students receive a well-rounded integrated education grounded in a liberal arts perspective.
Social work students complete a minimum of 400 hours of supervised field work over two semesters during the senior year at a community agency, such as courts, hospitals, nursing homes, and shelters.
The field practicum experience challenges students to put the helping skills they learned in the classroom into action working with real clients. Students are concurrently enrolled in a field seminar that fosters discussion and a shared knowledge between students about the field experience.
BSW students take an integrative capstone course during their senior year that builds upon all previous courses and field internships in the curriculum. The course pulls together how to use critical thinking to integrate social work knowledge, skills, theory, evidence, and values, and includes in-depth self-reflection.
In addition to the program being offered at the Livonia campus, students in Northern Michigan can also choose to study in-person at our University Center at Gaylord. The BSW degree in Gaylord is a part-time degree completion program designed specifically for students transferring from a regional community college.
This program enrolls students in a cohort model that begins every two years and can be completed in 2 ½ years. Classes are scheduled in a manner that accommodates working adult students, including many convenient online courses.
The Gaylord Social Work Distance Learning Program replicates the main campus part-time degree completion program and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The BSW program prepares students for entry-level generalist social work practice and/or graduate social work studies for the purpose of promoting social and economic justice globally.
A large percentage of BSW students continue on to graduate school, with many students opting to earn both the BSW and MSW in three years when paired with Madonna’s advanced standing MSW program. Those who seek to get started in their social world career find employment in the field immediately after graduation.
There is a vital need for compassionate, skilled social workers in public and private settings at the local, national, and global levels. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the social work field is expected to grow at a rate of 13%, which outpaces most professions.
|Medical Social Worker|
|Child Protective Services|
|Macomb Oakland Regional Center|
|St. Vincent & Sarah Fisher Center|
|Garden City Hospital|
|Dept. of Human Services|
|Connection Youth Services|
Students apply to Madonna’s Bachelor of Social Work while in the process of taking or after completion of initial social work classes (SW 2300 and SW 3400) with at least a "C" (2.0) grade.
Additional program application requirements include:
Applicants are accepted yearly in the fall and must demonstrate aptitude for social work practice as evidenced in service learning experiences and recommendations. Please note that only students formally admitted to the program are merited to enroll in 4000-level social work courses.
Madonna University’s Bachelor of Social Work degree provides extensive preparation for a rewarding career assisting vulnerable populations in your community. Through a commitment to social justice, you will learn the skills of how to connect individuals and families with the vital resources they need to thrive.
Begin your journey improving the lives of others in your community. Request more information about undergraduate admission or start your application!
The diverse range of skills you gain in the Social Work Certificate program prepares you to work in both public and private settings with an array of clients.
The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is required for advanced clinical or macro practice and is in high demand for employers seeking social work professionals who can work with clients and provide leadership in the agency and community.
The Addiction Studies Certificate program provides a comprehensive overview of the dynamics of substance- and non-substance-related addictions, treatment, and prevention. To a significant extent, the coursework meets the educational requirements of the Michigan Certification Board of Addiction Professionals (MCBAP)
As a student in the Humane Studies minor, you will become part of an exciting, cutting-edge field based on the idea of the interconnectedness of social justice, sustainability, and animal protection.
This program provides you with the tools needed to promote positive social change in your community and beyond, preparing you for active, lasting, civic engagement, and community leadership roles, as well as a variety of careers in social services, administration, management, and government organizations.
Chair, Social Work Department Director, MSW Program Associate Professor, Social Work
B.A., University of Detroit Mercy
M.S.W, Wayne State University
Ph.D., Walden University
Irena Glover, Ph.D., LMSW, joined the Social Work Department at Madonna University in August 2017 as an Assistant Professor. She earned a BA in Developmental Psychology from the University of Detroit Mercy in 1998. She went on to earn her MSW in 2000 from Wayne State University. In 2016, Irena earned her Ph.D. in Human Services with a specialization in Family Studies and Intervention Strategies.
Prior to arriving at Madonna, Irena worked in various settings, including Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Family Reunification Program. She also has experience with nonprofit and program development. Her interests include parenting education, father engagement, working with at-risk children and youth, intergenerational issues such as poverty and teenage pregnancy, and individual and family counseling.
B.A., University of Toledo
M.S.S.A., Case Western Reserve University
Ph.D., University of Toledo
Sarah Jo Twitchell holds her LISW-S license in Ohio and joined the Social Work faculty in August 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Twitchell earned her MSSA from Case Western Reserve University and her doctorate from The University of Toledo. Before arriving at Madonna University, Dr. Twitchell has also taught social work courses at Owens Community College and Glenville State College in West Virginia. In addition to teaching at the college level, Dr. Twitchell serves as a consultant to various non-profits in the areas of development and grant writing. She has held numerous positions in Toledo area agencies focusing on homelessness, poverty, education and faith-based services.
B.A., San Francisco State University
M.S.W & Ph.D., University of Michigan
Cathryn Fabian joined the Social Work faculty at Madonna University in 2017 as an Assistant Professor. She earned both her MSW (Community Organization/Community and Social Systems) and her Ph.D. (Social Work and Psychology) from the University of Michigan.
Prior to coming to Madonna, Dr. Fabian was a lecturer at the University of Michigan and at Eastern Michigan University, and was also a research associate at the University of Notre Dame. Her practice experience includes working with homeless and elderly populations, and in community-based program development and evaluation. Dr. Fabian also has expertise on the role of service learning in higher education, particularly as it relates to cognitive and career development.
B.A., M.S.W & Ph.D., University of Michigan
Samantha Hallman joined the faculty at Madonna University in the fall of 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Social Work. Prior to that time, she held a variety of teaching and research positions at the University of Michigan, including a Postdoctoral Assessment and Evaluation position at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching; a Graduate Student Instructor for several courses in both Social Work and Psychology; and Research Assistant positions at the Institute for Social Research, the School of Education, and the Department of Psychology.
In addition to those roles, she was a Research and Evaluation Manager at the non-profit Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. She received a B.A. in Psychology with Honors in 2006, a Master's in Social Work in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology in 2015 from the University of Michigan. Broadly speaking, her research interests lie in understanding the "achievement gap" and bio-psycho-social models of intervention aimed at ameliorating it. Her dissertation explored the role of self-regulatory strength, in conjunction with expectancy and value, in explaining differences in levels of homework completion as a function of race and socioeconomic status.
B.A. & M.S.W., Wayne State University
Janice King, LMSW, joined the Social Work Department at Madonna University in 2004 as an adjunct assistant professor. Ms. King earned a MSW in Social Work (organizations and communities) and a BA, in Humanistic Studies at Wayne State University. In August 2014 she became the new Field Education Director for the Social Work program and continues to teach practice method courses in groups and families, and organizations.
Ms. King was previously the Program Manager for the National Resource Center for Adoption at Spaulding for Children, supporting States, Tribes and Territories with relevant practice information in the area of public child welfare adoption, child and family well-being, disproportionality and adoption support and preservation services.
B.A., Occidental College
M.A., University of Pennsylvania
M.S.W., California State University, Sacramento
Ph.D., Wayne State University
Cristina Tucker, who goes by Shelly, joined our Social Work faculty in 2018. Shelly earned her PhD in Social Work from Wayne State University in 2010. Her dissertation research focused on the acculturation of Latino immigrants in the US, including experiences with discrimination, racism, and other barriers to full integration into American society. Shelly also holds an MA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSW from California State University Sacramento, and a BA in Spanish from Occidental College.
She most recently comes to us from the non-profit arena where she developed and ran an innovative prisoner reentry program in Michigan and Oklahoma. She has vast experience working in all levels of practice and enjoys guiding students to find their best fit in the social work field. Shelly specializes in immigration, reentry, program development, social policy, and organizational leadership.
B.A. Liberal Arts, Wilberforce University
M.S.W, Wayne State University
P.H.D, Oakland University
La Toi S. Smith , PhD, LMSW joined the department as an adjunct instructor in the fall of 2019.She joined the department in fall 2022 as an assistant professor. She earned a BA in Liberal arts in Social Work from Wiberforce University in Wiberforce, OH in 2000. She went on to earn her MSW in 2002 from Wayne State University. She has been licensed through the State of Michigan as a micro/macro livel clinician. In 2018, La Toi earned her PhD in counseling from Oakland University. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of African American women who grew up with nonresidential father.
Dr. Smith was previously employed with a local health system working with individual who suffered from end stage Renel Disease. While there she assisted in interviewing in onboarding LLMSW and LMSWs. She was also employed as an Adult Outpatient Supervisor at a local community mental health center in Detroit, MI.
B.S.W., Madonna University
M.S.W., Michigan State
D.S.W., St. Thomas University (in process)
Dana Holcomb is an Assistant Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Social Work Distance Learning Program in Gaylord. She joined Madonna University in 2009. Dana completed her BSW from Madonna University in 2003 and her MSW from Michigan State University in 2009. Dana is currently pursuing her DSW from St. Thomas University with an anticipated graduation date of May 2021. Her practice experience includes working with clients impacted by substance abuse and mental health diagnoses as well as families involved in the child welfare system. Dana has experience in program development and evaluation as well as grant writing. Dana’s research focuses on the importance of mentoring within higher education.