Social Work


Put your compassion into action with a degree from one of the oldest accredited programs in the nation.

Degrees & Certificates

Program Highlights

  • ACCREDITED by the Council on Social Work Education—and the ONLY accredited BSW program in the Lehigh Valley
  • LICENSED faculty with practice experience, national and international
  • EVENING scheduling available for all courses
  • CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS enabling students to specialize
  • HIGHLY RESPECTED by local social work agencies who actively seek graduates of our program
  • 100% GRADUATE SUCCESS with full-time employment or admission into graduate school

Program Overview

Today, more than ever, there is a critical need for professionals who are dedicated to community service and to bringing about social change. At Cedar Crest College, we are committed to preparing professionals who will work to alleviate poverty, oppression, and discrimination through a dedicated advocacy for social and economic justice. The SAGE social work program is designed to provide a generalist approach to social work practice, preparing students for graduate studies as well as entry-level positions that work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Philosophically, we are guided by a holistic approach to practice that includes the spiritual dimension of the human condition. We also provide students with a strong liberal arts perspective and give particular attention to the development of women. We invite you to come and observe one of our social work classes in progress.

Our program is one of the oldest BSW programs to be awarded accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education. Because of the academic rigor of the social work program at Cedar Crest College, our graduates are held in high regard by employing agencies and graduate schools. Cedar Crest students who go on to pursue a master’s degree are typically awarded advanced standing. Local social work agencies actively seek our graduates when a position becomes available. Within three months of graduation from our program, all of our students have obtained full-time employment or admission into graduate school.

Recent BSW graduates of Cedar Crest College have gone on to employment in hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health settings, substance abuse and family service agencies, occupational settings, and child welfare, day care, and Head Start agencies. Many of our graduates have been accepted into master’s level programs at respected institutions such as University of Michigan, Hunter College, Columbia University, Marywood University, Kutztown University, Rutgers University, and Temple University.

Why Choose SAGE at Cedar Crest College for This Degree

All of the SAGE programs at Cedar Crest College have been designed with the adult student in mind. In the social work program, all of the courses you will need to complete this major are available in the evening. We also offer a unique curriculum unlike any other, along with an experienced faculty with valuable local networking connections who can assist you in developing your career.

The Value of an Accredited Program

The social work program at Cedar Crest College is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)—the only accrediting agency for social work in the United States. Some facts about Cedar Crest’s social work accreditation:

  • Ours is the only accredited social work program in the Lehigh Valley.
  • Our CSWE accreditation ensures that our program meets all of the standards set for a professional social work education.
  • Cedar Crest’s program is one of the oldest accredited undergraduate social work programs in the United States.

A Superior Education

Receiving your degree from our accredited program means:

  • Employers can be assured that you have received a superior education in social work.
  • You may be eligible for advanced standing in most graduate school programs for social work (see below).

Advanced Standing in Graduate School

Students who meet certain academic standards during their bachelor’s studies in social work at Cedar Crest are able to apply for advanced standing in many schools that offer graduate-level social work programs. At these schools, you can receive credit toward the 60 credits typically required to complete a master’s degree in social work. Here are some of the graduate schools with programs related to this degree:

  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Fordham University
  • Kutztown University
  • Marywood University
  • Rutgers University
  • State University of NY at Stony Brook
  • Temple University
  • University of Denver
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • West Chester University
  • Widener University

Our Generous Credit-Transfer Policy

Learn how you can transfer up to 90 credits with our generous transfer policy.You can also speak to your SAGE adviser to learn about earning your general education requirements here at Cedar Crest College.

The Cedar Crest College Advantage

A fully accredited curriculum

Our social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is one of the oldest accredited BSW programs in the nation. Students who complete the social work major here will be prepared for beginning entry into a social work practice and are usually able to apply several of their undergraduate credits toward a graduate degree in social work.

Experienced faculty, individualized attention

All of our professors have terminal degrees and are licensed social workers with relevant professional experience. The social work faculty represent 35 years of practice, 70 years of teaching experience, and considerable international experience. Our faculty members closely monitor each student’s academic progress and participation in various field experiences.

Valuable field experiences

As a senior, you will work with a faculty member to select a local agency where you will participate in a field experience for one full year (450 hours). It is not uncommon for this experience to result in students receiving job offers prior to graduation.

Research opportunities

During Social Work Research Methods and Design (SWK 325), you will spend the fall semester learning research processes and develop research techniques applied to social policies. The following semester, you will take Evaluating Social Work Research (SWK 326), in which you conduct an original research project, which you will present at the annual Health and Wellness Conference.

Opportunities to specialize

As a social work major, you may dual-major in another field such as psychology or criminal justice. Or you may pursue an add-on certificate in gerontology or child welfare. These options enable you to explore a specialty during your bachelor’s studies to better prepare you for graduate school and/or future employment.

Alumni success

Our program is highly regarded by the social services community in the Lehigh Valley. Many Cedar Crest graduates of the social work program are currently caseworkers and supervisors at social service agencies throughout the greater Lehigh Valley area. The reputation of our students is so exceptional that many local agencies contact our program as soon as vacancies develop on their staff. Historically, up to one-third of the field instructors supervising our current students (during their practicum) are program alumni themselves.


At Cedar Crest College, all of our social work courses are taught by highly experienced and licensed professionals with experience and connections in social work—locally, nationally and internationally. Our faculty members have more than 35 years of experience in the social work field and 70 years of teaching experience.

» Read full profiles of faculty members.

Faculty Publications

Baker,K., Boland, K., Nowik, C. (May, 2012) A Campus Survey of Faculty and Students Perception of Disabled Persons. Journal of Postsecondary Education.Boland, K. (Fall 2011) Confidentiality, Privileged Communication, Duty to Warn and Mandated Reporting. Gannett Education. Approved by AASWB.Baker, K., & Boland, K. (2011). Assessing safety: A campus-wide initiative. College Student Journal, 45(4) 683-699.Baker, K. Boland, K., Meade, E., Weaver, S. (2011) The Democratic Academy: Pedagogies for Student Engagement. Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Vol. 1 and 2.Baker, K., & Boland, K. (2010). Female college students’ perceptions of organ donation. College Student Journal, 43(1) 178-187.Boland, K. (2010). Professional boundaries in healthcare. Gannett Education. Approved provider of social work continuing education by Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Retrieved from

Boland, K. (2009). Law and ethics in social work. Teaching social work values and ethics, 2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: CSWE Press: Council on Social Work Education.

Baker, K., Boland, K, & Laffey J. (2006). The health connection at Cedar Crest College. National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 43(3) 446-463.

Boland, K. (2006). Ethical decision-making among hospital social workers. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 3(1).

Spiezio, K., Baker, K., & Boland, K. (2006). General education and civic engagement: An empirical analysis of pedagogical possibilities. The Journal of General Education, 54(4), 273-294.

Baker, K., Spiezio, K., & Boland, K. (2004). Education and training in I-O psychology: Student engagement: transference of attitudes and skills to the workplace, profession and community. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 42(2) 101-107.

Weaver, Suzanne, & Meade, Elizabeth. (2004) Toolkit for Teaching in a Democratic Academy. Cedar Crest College.

Course Requirements

Add-On Certificates and Majors/Minors

Many social work majors choose to double-major in psychology, criminal justice or art therapy, affording them an even wider array of professional opportunities and expertise. For example, there are more social workers providing therapy for clients in the United States than there are psychologists and psychiatrists combined. Social work students can also add any other major or minor offered by Cedar Crest or one of the following certificates:

» Child Welfare Certificate
» Gerontology Certificate

Course Descriptions

Read full descriptions of courses.Social Work
Social Justice – A Global Perspective

Two-Year Degree Completion

Your SAGE adviser will assist you in developing a schedule of studies that works best for you. Typically, students take 2 or 3 courses during the fall and spring semesters. You may also take a course during the winter semester.

The social work major requires:
57 credits: Professional CoursesTransfer Your General Education Credits

Learn how you can transfer up to 90 credits with our generous transfer policy.You can also speak to your SAGE adviser to learn about earning your general education requirements here at Cedar Crest College.

Career Opportunities

Many career paths will be open to you after you earn your bachelor’s degree in social work. Here are just some of the occupations for which this major is well suited. (Additional training may be required for some of them.)

  • Addiction treatment facilities
  • Adoption agencies
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Aging services
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Counseling centers
  • Crime victims counseling
  • Domestic violence services
  • Family service agencies
  • Group homes
  • Hospice services
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health centers and hospitals
  • Military bases
  • Nursing homes
  • Public welfare offices
  • Research centers
  • Schools
  • Trauma services
  • Veteran services

Alumni Success Stories

Our alumni are well-known in the social work community—locally, nationally and internationally—for their high ethical standards and exceptional skills and knowledge. In fact, many of our students have received job offers or advancement prior to graduation. Others have gone on to pursue an advanced degree in graduate school. Within 3 months of graduation from our BSW program, all of our students have obtained full-time employment or admission into graduate school.

Where Our Graduates Work

  • Queens University in Belfast, Ireland (as a faculty member)
  • Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
  • Hospice
  • Hospitals
  • Pediatric hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Mental health settings
  • Substance abuse agencies
  • Family service agencies
  • Occupational settings
  • Child welfare, day care, and Head Start agencies

Where Our Graduates Study

Within five years of graduating from Cedar Crest, 90 percent of our program graduates attend a master’s level program in social work at many of the most highly rated graduate schools in the US. Some of the graduate schools that our students have been accepted into include:

  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Columbia University
  • Fordham University
  • Hunter College
  • Kutztown University
  • Marywood University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Nevada
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Southern California
  • Washington University
  • West Chester University

Additional Links

What Is Social Work?
Experiential Learning
Global Social Justice Living Learning Community
Clubs & Honor Societies
Forms for Social Work Background Checks
Directory of Masters Degree Programs in Social Work

Next Steps

Apply Now
Rolling admissions and a free online application make it easy.

Attend an Information Session
Program directors and faculty will meet with you to share details about our SAGE programs, admissions process, and flexible options.

Contact SAGE Admissions
Call 610-740-3770

Tuition and Fees
Valuable, competitive, affordable options for adults