Welcome to Social Work at Warren Wilson

Program History

The Warren Wilson College Social Work Program is viewed as a natural extension of the College mission statement, which accords value to personal and social transformation in a diverse and collaborative community environment. Service has always been a cornerstone of the College’s purpose, and social work education was included in the initial curriculum when the college made its transition from a two year to a four year institution in 1965.

The Social Work Program was among the earliest college baccalaureate programs to become accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in 1978; and, the Program has maintained continuous CSWE accreditation since then. The program of study is based on the CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards for the Baccalaureate Degree Programs in Social Work Education as set forth in the CSWE Commission on Accreditation Handbook of Accreditation Standards and Procedures, 6th Edition (2008). The CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards is available at: http://www.cswe.org/File.aspx?id=13780

Areas of Focus

The Warren Wilson College Social Work Curriculum reflects three areas of focus, which are infused throughout the curriculum. The three areas are:

Multigenerational Practice
As the population ages, multiple generations co-exist like never before. Social workers today need to be skilled and knowledgeable about multigenerational needs, issues, and opportunities. Whether they work with children, teens, the elderly, communities, or social policies, social workers are bound to work with multiple generations at once. This particular area of focus is supported by the CSWE Gero-Ed Curriculum Development Institute, of which the Warren Wilson College Social Work Program is a participant (2005-2007).

International/Global Perspective
As the world becomes more and more “globalized” it is essential for social workers to approach their work with a global perspective. As students prepare for their profession, the development of understanding global interdependence will aid them in working with client systems, whether domestically or abroad.

Environmental Sustainability
As the state of the physical and natural environments has become more urgent, social work can no longer afford to ignore the effects of environmental degradation on people and communities, as well as the relationship between social and environmental justice. Social workers today must be skilled and knowledgeable about our physical and natural surroundings as much as our social environments.



Lucy Lawrence, Ph.D. (Chair)
Sarah Himmelheber, Ph.D.

Student Research

Field Education

Field education is a consciously planned set of experiences based on students’ learning needs as defined by the student, the Director of Field Education, and the Field Instructor. Field education provides opportunities to test, integrate and incorporate classroom theory with practice experience. The intent of field education is not job training, but rather it is an integrative educational/practice experience that prepares students for careers in social work.

The Field Education component of the curriculum is an indispensable aspect of undergraduate social work education. Field education is the culminating component of the curriculum where students have the opportunity to practice baccalaureate level generalist social work with clients. SWK 430: Field Education is typically taken during the student’s last semester of study at Warren Wilson College, and is taken simultaneously with SWK 435: Field Education Seminar. Together, these two courses account for a full academic load of 16 credits. In general, students are not permitted to take other courses, in addition to SWK 430 and SWK 435, during the field placement semester so that their full efforts can be devoted entirely to Field Education. The campus work requirement is waived for students in the field internship. In addition, students are highly discouraged from engaging in outside employment during the semester of field education. Such involvement tends to detract necessary time and energy from the intensive and demanding field education experience.

Sample of field placement agencies:

  • Pisgah Legal Service
  • Children First Family Resource Center
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Homeward Bound of Asheville
  • Women’s Well-Being Development Foundation
  • Hinds Feet Farm
  • Department of Social Services
  • Trinity Place
  • Eliada Homes
  • Asheville City Schools
  • Mission Hospitals
  • The Mediation Center of Western North Carolina
  • Center for Participatory Change