Becoming a Social Worker in Vermont
You will have the most options as a social worker if you pursue a master's degree. However, you can begin your social worker education in Vermont at the baccalaureate level. The following guide may be of value, whatever your current educational level.
If You Are a High School Student
Prepare for university admission first -- you will not be admitted to a social work school until one to two years later. Meanwhile, begin career exploration. Although volunteer work will not be required until you get to college, there are advantages to beginning early.
Select a university. You have choices. Vermont does not license social workers at the baccalaureate level, and you may be hired into similar positions with either a CSWE-accredited social work degree or other human service degree. However, there are advantages to having a degree from a CSWE-accredited program, particularly if you are considering entering a master's program in social work at a later stage.
Declare a social work or pre-social work major early and take all the required prerequisite and supportive courses. While supportive courses often simultaneously meet university-wide general studies requirements, there may be fewer choices with regards to what science, social science, and math coursework is acceptable. Your school may require sociology, psychology, statistics, and biology. Some schools also require 40 hours of volunteer experience before they will formally admit you.
Excel in your social work coursework. If you plan to continue on for a Master of Social Work, you should maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. Your field experience evaluation is often reviewed as well.
Take the next step: employment and/ or graduate study. With your bachelor's, you can pursue positions in a variety of arenas, from case work to community organization. In Vermont, baccalaureate level positions that use 'social worker' in the title often require some human service experience; sometimes this comes through a traineeship. You can work your way up or enroll in a master's program that will qualify you as a clinical social worker.
With a BSW, you may be eligible for advanced standing in a master's level social work program.
If You Have a College Degree
Plan ahead for entry in a master’s level program. Human service experience is not necessarily required, but is often favored. Some candidates opt for programs like Americorps to get intensive entry-level experience. Although the GRE is not a common MSW requirement nationwide, some Vermont programs require it.
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.
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.
Enroll and begin social work coursework. If you do not have advanced standing, your first year will consist of foundations (generalist) coursework.
Select a concentration. If your school offers multiple concentrations, you may be able to delay your decision until you have completed some social work coursework; if you are enrolled in an advanced standing program, you may need to know at the onset. At the broadest level, the program may prepare you as a clinical social worker or advanced generalist. There are a variety of options, including transformative social work.
Seek a position. If you will be providing psychotherapy as part of your job, you must register to be placed on the Roster of Non-Licensed and Non-Certified Psychotherapists. (This may change in the future due to proposed legislation that would create a new license category.)
Complete steps for clinical licensure. Work under supervision for at least two years. Take the Association of Social Work Boards clinical exam to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Stay on top of changes in licensing regulations and requirements. You may want to become a voluntary member of the National Association of Social Workers – Vermont.