About Us


The mission of the social work program at Bowling Green State University is to prepare students for entry-level generalist practice with diverse, disadvantaged, and oppressed populations, and advanced practice with older adults, based on the values of liberal democracy; respect, dignity, and worth of all people. We instill in students the need for social and economic justice, the need to understand the role of the human environment on behavior, and the need to respect differences and diversity. The program strives to prepare its graduates to engage in critical thinking and scientific inquiry as a means of meeting the profession’s obligation of providing effective services devoted to the needs of people and communities. Emphasizing client system strengths, social justice, respect and appreciation of human diversity, and the worth and dignity of all people through teaching, research, and public service.

Social Work Program Goals

The social work program’s mission provides the foundation for its goals. Our purpose is to prepare students for beginning level generalist practice. Central to this mission is the preparation of students to practice in a diverse and unjust society with empathy, concern, compassion, and respect for human worth at the individual and collective levels. In order to achieve this mission, the program establishes specific goals that ensure students have the capacity to carry out the mandates for competent social work practice. These goals provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for enacting the social worker’s role in contemporary society. Our program goals are as follows:

  1. Prepare students for entry-level, generalist practitioners, and advanced practice with older adults, by providing them with the knowledge and skills needed for intervention and prevention with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  2. Ensure students know social work’s values and demonstrate ethical behavior consistent with them.
  3. Develop student’s ability to practice in a diverse society, especially with at-risk populations and those who suffer from poverty and oppression.
  4. Foster the capacity to engage in action that advances social and economic justice.
  5. Inculcate critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills in the context of social work practice with various client systems.
  6. Instill an understanding of the structure and function of social welfare institutions and policy, and their impact on the delivery of social services.
  7. Instruct students in the use of strengths and empowerment models.
  8. Prepare students for post-degree education and professional practice.

Program Characteristics

Small Class Sizes

The student to faculty ratio is 25:1 for undergraduates and 12:1 for graduate students. This allows for increased student-faculty contact and enhances classroom interaction.

Experiential Component

Students are required to become involved in community service programs while they take courses which allows them to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.

Required Field Work

A major component of the program consists of a full semester of field instruction during the senior year for undergraduate students, and a full year of field instruction for graduate students, where students perform as social workers under the supervision of experienced professionals. Per accreditation statute, the program does not give academic credit for life experience.


The BSSW Program is fully accredited and the MSW Program is currently in candidacy (the first step in the accreditation process) by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates from accredited social work programs are eligible for licensure in states that currently have social work licensing laws, including Ohio.

Advisory Board

The social work program Advisory Board consists of social work practitioners in the community that represent a variety of practice areas. They are interested in the support and development of social work education in Northwest Ohio. They provide information on trends and policies in current social work practice and advise the program on curricular adjustments as needed. The following is a list of current Advisory Board Members:

Name Position
Mr. Shawn Carpenter, LSW Hancock County Juvenile Court – Probation
Mrs. Sirlema Crowley, LISW-S Area Office on Aging
Mrs. Brandi Hahn, LISW-S Empowered for Excellence
Mrs. Brandy Laux, LISW-S Wood County Jobs and Family Services
Mrs. Lorrie Lewandowski, LISW-S Wood County ADAMHS Board (retired)
Mr. Jim Marlow, LISW-S Toledo Hospital (retired)
Mrs. Becky Michaluk, LSW Otterbein Portage Valley Retirement Community
Mrs. Lisa Myers, LISW-S Wood County Committee on Aging
Mrs. Tamara O’Brien, LISW-S Children’s Resource Center
Mr. Tim Polakowski, LISW-S Hospice of Northwest Ohio
Mrs. Julie Pratt, LISW-S Harbor
Mrs. Kim Reno, LISW-S National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Mr. Bill Weaver, LISW-S Lucas County Correctional Treatment Facility
Mr. Markus Whitehead, LISW Lucas County Municipal Court – Adult Probation

Updated: 08/14/2019 12:43PM