Ronald Mancoske, Interim Dean, DSW, MSW
Ira Neighbors, DSW, MSW, Program Director 

Gladys Merrick, MSW, BSW, Program Director
Bonnie B. Alston, MSW, Director of Field
Park Campus, New Science, 2nd Floor
(504) 286-5376 Phone
(504) 286-5387 Fax

Provisions of this program are subject to change without notice and do not constitute an irrevocable contract between the University and any student.


The profession of social work is concerned with enhancing social functioning and improving the human condition through the promotion of social and institutional change and the provision of opportunities and resources to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The fundamental concern of social work is the relationship between individuals and social institutions. Of central importance is the development of these relationships in such a way as to promote social and economic justice and protect the opportunities for people to live with dignity and freedom. Professional practice focuses on the transactions between people and their environments that affect their ability to accomplish life tasks.


The Mission of SUNO School of Social Work is to prepare competent and effective social workers committed to address the strengths and challenges of a diverse population in a changing and evolving global community.   Quality educational experiences, undergirded by the School’s themes of advocacy, empowerment and transformation, prepare baccalaureate students for agency based generalist practice and master students for agency based advanced social work practice.  Such practice is further guided by the School’s dedication to critical practice knowledge and skills and the essential values of the profession: service, social and economic justice, the dignity and worth of the individual, and the importance of human relationships.



  1. To use learning approaches and prepare students to integrate the values of ethics, knowledge, and skill base of the social work profession with respect for all people aimed toward social change and promotion of social justice.
  2. Teaching is also designed to anchor social work knowledge in our program’s themes of advocacy, empowerment and transformation.


  1. To provide leadership to the university, the community and the profession.
  2. To serve the local, national and international areas by preparing students to fill the dynamic social welfare resource needs for generalist and advanced practitioners.
  3. To foster the commitment of students and faculty to active involvement in improving the quality of life in the  community in which they live.


  1. To effectively assist the process of professional development among faculty and students.
  2. To contribute to the knowledge base of the strengths of diverse client populations.


Upon completion of the program students will be able to :

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
  4. Engage diversity and difference in  practice
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities



The Southern University School of Social Work is committed to a view of social work that is holistic and transcending in its approach. Emphasis is placed on the strengths and growth potentials of people, individually and collectively. The BSW and MSW curricula focus on generalist and advanced social work practice, respectively which are concerned with enhancing and improving the human condition through the promotion of social and institutional change and the provision of opportunities and resources to individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

The themes of ADVOCACY, EMPOWERMENT, AND TRANSFORMATIONprovide a pivotal and integrating link between the educational objectives of the program and the curriculum content. These themes embrace a view of the individual, family, group, organization or community, as responsible actors in the self-actualization and change processes.

Refers to the act of providing support to and intervention in the interest of client systems. These efforts are directed toward the realignment of power to effect change and achieve freedom from oppression.

Focuses attention on the fact that powerlessness is pervasive and preeminent among oppressed people. As a profession which impacts the lives of these people, we are committed to teaching strategies which incorporate the concept of empowering individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to take control of their own lives, and shape their destinies.

To accomplish transformation, the profession of social work must assist individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to change the structure of systems that exert a confining and oppressive hold on their opportunities for achievement.


The SUNO School of Social Work administers two programs: (1) a four year baccalaureate program (BSW) which provides social work education in preparation for beginning generalist professional practice; and (2) a two year graduate course of study (MSW) which provides social work education in preparation for advanced specialized professional practice.


The SUNO baccalaureate social work program and the master of social work program are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools. Students in these programs are eligible for membership in professional social work organizations.


The School of Social Work is bound by and actively endorses University policies of nondiscrimination respecting all persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability and forbid sexual harassment or discrimination in hiring. Copies of the University’s nondiscrimination policies may be obtained in the Human Resource office.


No academic credit for life experience or previous work experience will be awarded in the Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work degree programs in whole or in part, in lieu of the field practicum or of courses in professional foundation areas.


  1. To provide a social system and an ecological perspective for building knowledge and understanding of diversity (.e. including but not limited to ethnic, race, class, age, gender, sexual orientation) for practice in a pluralistically oriented society.
  2. To provide a frame of reference through which students incorporate and integrate the values and ethics of the social work profession and address the themes of advocacy, empowerment and transformation.
  3. To provide a course of study wherein students explore and develop critical consciousness regarding social equality and social justice issues.
  4. To provide learning experiences where students discuss and analyze the linkages among local, state, national and world issues.
  5. To provide students an opportunity to assess their interest in, and their suitability for a career in the field of social work.
  6. To prepare students who are aware of their responsibility to continue their professional growth and development.


The Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW) is an academic as well as a professional degree.  The commitment of the Baccalaureate Social Work Program is focused on preparing students to become professional social workers as entry level generalist practitioners to practice in private, non-profit, and public agencies and organizations in the urban and rural communities.

The undergraduate social work program comprises two phases: Pre- Social Work phase and Professional Social Work phase.  Pre-Social Work students are students who are admitted to the University and declare social work as their major. The Professional phase begins in the junior year and combines academic course work and a field practicum.