Becoming a Social Worker in Connecticut
You can begin your social worker education in Connecticut at either the bachelor’s or master’s level. With a bachelor’s degree, you can provide direct services. With a master’s, you can become a mental health professional.
Whatever your current educational level, here’s a guide to get you started.
If You Are in High School
Concentrate on earning high grades and preparing for university admission. If you want to get a head start learning about human behavior, you can opt for advanced placement psychology.
Meanwhile, do some job exploration. You can locate volunteer opportunities through organizations like Network of Care.
Select a university. If you will be pursuing a social work degree at the bachelor’s level, look for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). You will first seek admission to the university. Depending on the school, you will either apply for admission to the social work program or apply for advanced standing within the program. This doesn’t usually happen until after you have been in school for over a year.
Earn a solid GPA while taking general studies and prerequisite courses; 2.5 is often set as the minimum, but this varies by school. It’s good to meet with an advisor early on.
Complete social work courses and field experiences. You may opt for other enriching experiences, for example, membership in the Phi Alpha Honor Society.
The degree you receive will be a Bachelor of Social Work, or BSW.
Seek a position. Licensure is not required at this level in Connecticut, but you may opt for membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). NASW will keep you informed of legislative events and also provide you with professional resources.
You may choose to work full-time or prepare for entry to a master’s program. If you enroll in a master’s program within approximately six years, you may get credit for foundational coursework -- up to two semester’s worth. Connecticut social work schools vary with regard to the expected time frame and minimum GPA.
If You Have a College Degree
Consider your graduate school options. If you have been employed in the human services, you will have more choices, but not all programs require experience.
The Simmons College School of Social Work ([email protected]) is the nation’s oldest school of social work and is offering an innovative Online Master of Social Work program. You can complete this CSWE-accredited Master's in Social Work program in as little as 15 months. There is no GRE required for acceptance to this program. Request information.
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the [email protected] program. A Bachelor's degree is required. Learn more about this program.
Fordham University's top-ranked School of Social Work offers an online MSW program that prepares students for relevant, integrated practice with all populations. GRE scores not required. Request information today.
Capella University is now offering an online Master of Social Work that is in CSWE candidacy status. The MSW program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role (in most states). Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.
You can check the site of Volunteer Connecticut for volunteer opportunities that may strengthen your application.
Complete all admission requirements. If you have a liberal arts background, you have met most prerequisites. You may need to take a course in statistics. You will need to secure two or three references and write a personal statement.
Complete coursework. If you did not do your undergraduate education at a CSWE-accredited school, your program will be 60 semester hours, or slightly above. The first 24 to 30 semester hours will cover social work foundations. Another 30 will focus on a concentration, for example, health and behavioral health. Expect to do at least 900 hours of fieldwork.
If you are a prospective clinical social worker, you will apply to the Connecticut Department of Health to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). You will take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam at the master level.
You will need to work under supervision until you accrue at least 3,000 hours of experience.
You will take the clinical exam through the ASWB and seek the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential.
You may affiliate with the NASW – Connecticut for professional development and networking; this is an optional step.