Social work is not just a degree. It is also a passionate calling of courage, service, leadership, and discovery. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Find yourself in Defiance College’s social work program where the knowledge, values, and skills of professional social work are cultivated in service opportunities both within and outside of the classroom, and in local, national, and global settings.
Social work is a helping profession, dedicated to improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Social workers are problem solvers, advocates, mediators, counselors, and brokers. They use and mobilize resources to meet the basic needs of all people. In hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, mental health centers, veteran services, nursing homes, adoption and foster care agencies, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, disability services, substance abuse treatment centers, and elsewhere, social workers engage in the service of others to make a difference in the world.
Social workers are required to adhere to high standards of professional and ethical conduct in their work with clients. This work requires compassion, integrity, determination, and a high regard for social justice.
Students in the Defiance College social work program also benefit from an extracurricular organization, an honorary society, an annual urban trip, and on campus workshops presented by leaders in the field. Social work faculty, serving students as teachers and mentors, have a high level of expertise in the field and are actively involved in social work practice.
Benefits of the Program
Defiance College social work students have two field placements totaling 590 hours of hands-on experiences with well-established agencies and field instructors who are well-versed in the profession and our program approach.
Students are formally admitted to the social work program after the sophomore year. During the fall semester of the junior year, students will be engaged in hands-on field experience consisting of 10 hours per week in a social service agency with limited duties. The second field placement will be conducted during the spring semester of the senior year, which involves working 30 hours per week as a fully-functioning professional. In addition, students have many opportunities to participate in social agencies as volunteers or while completing class assignments or projects.
A few of our agency field sites include:
Students have been able to apply their social work skills and knowledge internationally
in Cambodia, Belize, Tanzania, and Panama through the McMaster School. Through Project
701, social work students have also been instrumental in organizing and implementing
the Free Clinic for Defiance area citizens needing health and dental care.
Empty Bowls Dinner
The social work organization sponsors Empty Bowls, an annual fundraiser for the local homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Over the years, Empty Bowls has donated more than $50,000 to the PATH center.
Night Without a Home
Defiance College social work students partner with local agencies to conduct Night Without a Home on the DC campus to draw attention to the problem of rural homelessness.
Social Work Urban Trip
The social work program travels to an urban center annually to visit agencies and programs on a larger scale. Locations vary between Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, and Cleveland.
Student-Led Philanthropy Pay it Forward
This project combines skills of community assessment, fundraising, and grant writing to address a community need. Since 2008, Pay It Forward has awarded more than $17,000 to local social services to address needs such as transportation, hunger, unemployment, youth mentorship, and families in poverty.
After College — What’s Next?
Graduates 2012 - 2016:
Students may select to begin graduate studies or to become a working professional immediately after completing their degree. Social work graduates with a Bachelor’s degree are employed in many different work settings under public or private auspices that may include nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, home health care, substance abuse programs, mental health services, developmental disabilities services, family service agencies, youth services, aging services, domestic violence programs, schools, and homeless shelters.
Recent graduates have been employed at:
Defiance College students choosing to continue their social work studies have been accepted at more than 30 graduate schools across the country including the University of Michigan, Case Western Reserve University, The Ohio State University, Syracuse, Boston University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Florida State University, and others.
Many graduates of Defiance are admitted with advanced standing allowing them to complete
their graduate degree in one year.
The social work program at Defiance College is nationally accredited by the Council
on Social Work Education. Graduates are thereby license eligible in Ohio and all other
states that license professional social workers at the baccalaureate level. Secondly,
students with excellent academic records qualify for advanced standing in the graduate
schools of social work.
"The personalized interaction with my professors allowed me to become more confident
in my studies and with my future plans. They encouraged me to step outside my comfort
zone and get involved in the community to help build up my resume. I have had the
opportunity to get involved with Service Leaders, Dance Marathon, Free Clinic, Hench
Autism, and many more community outreach programs. This program has helped me work
towards my dreams and help build a better foundation for others in the community."
--Aubrey Kemerer, 2015 Graduate
"DC’s academic program has prepared me for the job market and my future career in
terms of helping me network. The social work major sets you up with two field experiences
(internships) - a junior and senior one - that prepare you for the field. With these
opportunities, you get hands-on experience and have the chance to expand your knowledge
and learn from the professionals themselves."
--Brittany Pittman, 2015 Graduate
"Being able to transfer knowledge and learning from the classroom to the ‘real world’
helped prepare me for graduate school and the career that I am now in. I am eternally
grateful for the education that I received at Defiance College and the personal attention
and care with which I was provided. The faculty not only educated and challenged me,
but also continue to be professional mentors for whom I have the utmost admiration
--Rebecca L. Sanford, Ph.D., 2004 Graduate, BSW Field Education Coordinator and Lecturer at Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia, Canada
Tess Homier, MSW, LISW-S
Assistant Professor of Practice of Social Work