Becoming a Social Worker in Kansas
Kansas social workers practice at many levels, from entry-level social services to mental health practice. Whatever your current educational level, you can complete your social worker education in Kansas and get started on a new career.
If You Are a High School Student
Take the standard college preparatory curriculum: English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language. Meanwhile, do some career exploration or human services volunteering. You can check the site of Volunteer Kansas for volunteer opportunities.
Apply to a school with a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work program if you will be pursuing social work at the undergraduate level. Meet with a program adviser and plan your pre-social work studies.
Apply to the social work school when you become eligible; typically, this occurs during your third or fourth semester.
Maintain a solid grade point average throughout your undergraduate studies. An acceptable GPA (2.0 to 2.5) is a prerequisite for admission to upper division social work courses. Grades in social work courses become more important once you get into the professional program -- at least if you are considering returning for an MSW. A strong performance in a BSW program can mean a shorter path to an MSW.
When you are nearing completion, apply to become a Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW). With Board permission, you can take the bachelor's level licensing exam that is offered through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
If You Have a College Degree
Decide if you are ready to apply or need to spend time volunteering. It is not necessary to have a prior degree in social work. However, schools typically take into account professional and volunteer experience as well as academic aptitude and personal qualities. Allow time to receive reference letters and prepare your resume, personal statement, and essay.
Select the program that best meets your needs. If you are beginning social work studies at the master's level, your program will take two years full-time or three to four years part-time. The second half of the program will develop competencies in a concentration.
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.
If you have a relatively recent BSW, you may move straight into concentration coursework (or do so after a short transition period). Among the concentrations are clinical or administrative social work. If you will be seeking clinical licensure in Kansas, make sure your program includes at least 15 semester hours of coursework that supports diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders; there must be a course in psychopathology and a practicum that includes practice with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Complete MSW coursework. Expect to do 900 or more hours of practicum work. Some Kansas schools include a good deal more. An optional step is to become a student member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
At the conclusion of your studies, apply to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). You will take the master's level licensing exam through the ASWB. Step 5: Take a social work position in you practice area. If you are vying a clinical license, you will need to work under supervision for at least two years, and until such time as you have 4,000 hours of acceptable experience.
You will also need to take the ASWB clinical exam. When all requirements have been met, you will become a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW).