Social work has been a part of the University’s curriculum since the first course was taught in the Department of Sociology in 1936. In 1969, the department launched a complete baccalaureate social work program to prepare students for the beginning level of social work practice. The School of Social Work was established in 1999 when Baylor began offering the master of social work degree. The program was moved from within the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Gerontology to become a separate department in the College of Arts & Sciences. In September 2004, the School of Social Work was granted independent status. To honor the founding dean, the School of Social Work was renamed the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) in 2015.
BSW Mission Statement
The mission of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work Baccalaureate Program is to prepare generalist social workers in a Christian context for worldwide service and leadership.
The primary objective of the BSW program is to provide high quality educational preparation for generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. An equally important objective is to prepare students for graduate social work education.
The goals of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work are:
- To produce alumni who are:
- influencing (through service and leadership) the social welfare of people, families, and communities globally.
- ethically integrating religious faith with social work practice.
- culturally responsive and competent.
- effective in creating healthy organizations.
- To produce research by the school and its alumni that:
- provides resources and models for excellence in professional social work practice that contribute to social justice and the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.
- provides resources and models that are respectful, faithful, and effective for communities of faith and religiously-affiliated organizations.
Students entering or enrolled in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work may apply for financial assistance through the Student Financial Aid Office. A comprehensive program of financial aid is available that includes both academic-based and need-based scholarships, as well as grants, loans, and part-time employment. Financial aid information and applications may be obtained from:
Student Financial Aid Office
One Bear Place #97028
Waco, TX 76798-7028
254-710-2611 or 1-800-Baylor-U
Students enrolled may also apply for financial assistance in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. The GSSW has limited scholarship funds available for students who have been admitted to the major and who have proven their commitment by posting good grades. Scholarships are awarded annually based on need and academic achievement. Need is determined through the Office of Financial Aid by means of a completed FAFSA and/or CSS Profile. Applications are due each spring for the upcoming academic year. Inquiries regarding the GSSW undergraduate scholarship application can be directed to the BSW Program Manager.
Phi Alpha is a national honor society for professional social work. The Eta Sigma Chapter of Phi Alpha was chartered at Baylor University in 1998. The organization’s purpose is to promote a closer bond among students of social work and to foster humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha proudly encourages high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievements in social work. To be eligible for membership you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Have completed 9 semester hours of required social work courses or at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the degree, whichever is later achieved.
- Achieve a GPA in the top 35% of the respective degree program (BSW, MSW, or PhD)
Social Work Student Association
The school encourages social work students to participate in opportunities to engage and organize related to their interests. Students can participate in the governance of the school through student representation on GSSW committees, coordinate their interests, and act cooperatively on behalf of all social work students and those they serve.
To enhance Baylor’s learning environment, the university’s undergraduate academic advisors offer services designed to help students formulate academic goals and develop their personal potential. In addition to selecting classes, professional and faculty advisors work with students in reviewing general degree plans and audits, finding and developing specific academic plans within a major or program, and achieving personal goals. To facilitate students in making important life decisions, advisors and mentors also connect students with departmental and campus resources as well as community and professional opportunities. Students are to be advised by the BSW Program Manager and Academic Advisor.
Baylor students pursuing the Bachelor of Social Work degree enter under the Pre-Social Work designation for their major. The process to full entry to the major (typically prior to the start of the junior year) is described below.
Entry to the Major
Students wising to pursue the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree must apply for admission to the major. Students who transfer to Baylor University should discuss application to the major with the BSW program manager for baccalaureate studies. Full entry to the major requires the following:
- Completion of SWO 2321 Introduction to Social Work, or its equivalent, with a minimum grade of “C” in the course.
- An overall GPA of 2.7 on a four-point scale and a grade of “C” or better in all social work courses.
- Submitted application form, including an agreement to abide by the GSSW Student Student Code of Conduct and affirmation of the Code of Ethics as outlined by the National Association of Social Workers
BSW Program leadership reviews applications throughout the year and will provide notification regarding student entry to the major prior to term registration deadlines. Notification will include one of the following decisions:
- Admitted, contingent upon earning a C or better in Introduction to Social Work, or its equivalent, and achieving a minimum 2.7 overall GPA prior to entering the major.
- Not Admitted.
- If student is not admitted, they must wait one year to re-apply. The student is not allowed to reapply to the term for which they were originally denied.
The written decision of the admissions committee will be communicated to the applicant within fifteen days of the decision date. Students are confirmed as “admitted” when they accept their offer of admission which outlines the standards and conditions for maintaining their standing in the program. Students must be admitted to the program prior to enrolling in Practice I (SWO 3371 Social Work Practice I: Generalist Practice).
Students must maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher and not have a grade below “C” in social work courses to continue in the major. To be eligible for field internship, students must have a minimum grade of “B” in Practice I (SWO 3371 Social Work Practice I: Generalist Practice), Practice II (SWO 4372 Social Work Practice II: Generalist Practice with Groups), and Practice III (SWO 4373 Social Work Practice III: Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities) and a GPA of 2.7 or higher in the major. To be eligible to graduate, students must have a minimum grade of “B” in Internship I (SWO 4491 Social Work Internship I) and II (SWO 4492 Social Work Internship II).
Additional details regarding policies and procedures related to the BSW program, including academic warning within the major, are found in the BSW Student Handbook. Inquiries regarding the GSSW undergraduate application can be directed to the BSW program manager.
Practicum internship is the practical application of the knowledge, values and skills acquired in the classroom. The primary goal of the internship is education and preparation for professional practice. The aim of the Practicum experience is to provide interns the opportunity to develop and integrate values, knowledge, and skills learned in the classroom with practice in actual practice settings. Practice settings include non-sectarian and religiously affiliated agencies and organizations. Through the internship experience, theory is applied, skills learned, and attitudes, values, and ethical dilemmas are examined. It is expected that each intern will be fully engaged in the professional learning opportunities provided by the placement site under the supervision of the Social Work Supervisor. Baccalaureate interns will be expected to achieve skill development similar to entry level generalist practitioners.
Practicum in the Curriculum
Baccalaureate internship begins after the student has successfully completed the core Social Work courses. At a minimum, these include: Introduction to Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment I and II, and Practice I, II and III. To be eligible for internship, students must have a minimum grade of “B” in Practice I (SWO 3371 Social Work Practice I: Generalist Practice), Practice II (SWO 4372 Social Work Practice II: Generalist Practice with Groups), and Practice III (SWO 4373 Social Work Practice III: Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities) and a GPA of 2.7 or higher in the major.
Internship is the application of the knowledge and skills the student has obtained in the core classroom courses. This includes two semesters of practicum instruction taken concurrently with other courses. Internship I and II each require the student to complete at minimum, 16 hours per week for 15 weeks, for a minimum total of 240 hours per semester or 480 hours total. During the semesters of internship, students are not permitted to take more than 15 semester hours (including internship) without the consent of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. To be eligible to graduate, students must have a minimum grade of “B” in Internship I (SWO 4491 Social Work Internship I) and II (SWO 4492 Social Work Internship II).
Prior to beginning internship, all students must attend internship orientation. This orientation includes presentation of practicum policies, discussion of practicum requirements and evaluation, grading procedures, and a description of the practicum faculty/liaison system. Failure to attend this orientation will prohibit entry into internship and will therefore delay a student’s course of study.
The Application/Registration Process for Internship is found in the Practicum Education Manual along with all other policies and procedures related to Practicum Education.
Students who are denied admission to the internships are informed in writing and are directed to contact their advisor regarding the effect on the completion of the degree plan.
School of Social Work Faculty and Staff
Christen Argueta, M.S.W., Director of Online MSW Program
Carrie Arroyo, M.S.W.
Stephanie, Boddie, Ph.D.
Carolyn Cole, M.S.W.
Jennifer Dickey, Ph.D.
Kerri Fisher, M.S.W., Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
LeAnn Gardner, M.S.W., Associate Director of Practicum Education - Online Program
Luci Ramos Hoppe, M.S.W., Director of BSW Program
Brianna Lemmons, Ph.D. Jinyu Liu, Ph.D.
Whitney Luce, M.S.W., Director of Field Education
Elissa Madden, Ph.D.
Jocelyn McGee, Ph.D.
Sung Seek Moon, Ph.D.
Dennis R. Myers, Ph.D.
Holly K. Oxhandler, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Danielle Parrish, Ph.D.
E. Clay Polson, Ph.D.
Cheryl Pooler, D.S.W.
David K. Pooler, Ph.D.
Sarah Dorrell Ritter, M.S.W., Director of MSW Program
Robin K. Rogers, Ph.D., Co-Director of Ph.D. Program
T. Laine Scales, Ph.D., Co-Director of Ph.D. Program
Becky Scott, Ph.D.
Jon E. Singletary, Ph.D., Dean Emma Taylor, M.S.W., Associate Director of Practicum Education- Online Program
Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., Director of CCCI
Qianwei Zhao, Ph.D.
Melody Y. Zuniga, M.S.W., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
|Angela Bailey||Faculty Development and PhD Program Manager|
|Krista Barrett||Field Education Program Manager|
|Doriann Beverly||MSW Program Manager|
|Jennifer Black||Online MSW Practicum and Program Manager|
|Deborah De Laurell||Academic Affairs and GML Program Manager|
|Crystal Diaz-Espinoza||Director of Enrollment and Alumni Services|
|Rachel Garcia||Program Manager, Baccalaureate Program|
|Amber George||Grants and Sponsored Programs Manager|
|Terry Henderson||Business Officer|
|Jim Heston||Academic Consultant - Instructional Designer|
|Iris Jimenez-Myrick||Assistant to the Dean|
|Krysta Long||Recruitment and Student Services Program Manager|
|Carly Lund||Admissions and Student Services Coordinator|
|Suzanne Sellers||Graduate Admissions Coordinator|
|Nikki Wilmoth||Director of Marketing and Communication|