Mercyhurst University Social Work and Sociology Department provides students with the academic and hands-on experience needed to develop into future leaders who make a difference in the world. Mercyhurst will provide you with the knowledge and skills to enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities through the study of sociology or social work.
If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in law, business, education, health/medicine or allied social work, a foundation in sociology will provide you with a strong understanding of how the world works. While sociology offers you theories and a global perspective on how the social world operates, you may instead want to work directly with people to address issues such as chemical dependency, mental health, child development, poverty, quality of life for older adults, healthy youth development, and community building. With a degree in social work, you will receive hands-on education needed to be effective in working with individuals, groups, communities and systemic change.
Courses such as contemporary social problems, diversity of society, research, human behavior and the social environment and policy prepare to be advocates for social justice and to work with people of all ages and from diverse populations. That, combined with a liberal arts core, ensures that our students leave with the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively to ensure opportunity for all to achieve meaningful, productive lives.
Mercyhurst University’s Baccalaureate Social Work Program has been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1980. Our most recent accreditation process was successfully completed in October 2011, and our accreditation has been reaffirmed through June 2019. As a requirement of CSWE, as well as an internal evaluation of our social work program, we complete yearly assessments to determine how successful our students are at demonstrating the EPAS competency standards (Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards). View our most recent assessment results, which reports the competency benchmarks established for Mercyhurst Universities Student Learning Outcomes.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in this country.
Visit CSWE's website.
CSWE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet them. In accordance with the requirements of CSWE's recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation (OSWA) administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews.
Social Work Major
|A social work degree from Mercyhurst University is a professional degree that prepares students to work
in any number of fields upon graduation.
Students who continue on to graduate school, which is the case for a majority of social work alumni, continually indicate how well prepared they are to excel in their graduate studies. The foundation courses they take at the undergraduate level also allow them to enroll in graduate school as advanced standing students.
Examples of areas with career paths for social workers include:
|Graduates holding a degree in sociology will be well prepared to continue their sociology education at the graduate level, should they want to become professors, researchers or applied sociologists.
The degree also provides a strong liberal arts foundation for entry-level positions in business, social service, and government, as well as for professions that require further study, such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling.
Examples of career paths include:
|Employment of social workers is expected to increase by 22 percent* by 2016, which is much faster than the average for most other occupations. Professional social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers. Additional information about careers in social worker is available at http://www.nasw.org/.
||The employment outlook for the occupations listed above, as well as similar professions are expected to grow between 15-28 percent* by 2010. Go to http//www.asanet.org/research/BachelorsinSociology.pdf for additional information regarding careers in sociology.|
*Employment outlook statistics are provided by The U.S. Department of Labor.
For information on the nature of social work, training, advancement, job outlook and earnings visit the U.S. Department of Labor.
Mercyhurst's Sociology and Social Work Department publishes alumni newsletters annually to share updates and stories about it's alumni, current students and faculty. Click on a newsletter below to open as a pdf:
The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which requires our program to provide students with a curriculum that encompasses the areas of human diversity, populations at risk, human behavior and social environment, social and economic justice, social work research, social welfare and social policy, social work values and social work skills and practice. It's a curriculum of theory combined with practice, giving students first-hand experience with populations often served by social workers.
|Major(s)||Social Work Major|
Ready to begin your journey in social work or sociology? Apply online today -- it's free and getting your application started takes only a few brief minutes. Interested students may also consult the course catalog for more information. As a liberal arts institution, all undergraduate students complete Mercyhurst's core curriculum.
The Social Work Program is dedicated to preparing competent generalist social work practitioners who are well-grounded in the values and ethics of the social work profession. The program is driven by the college mission that calls for students to be "socially merciful…globally responsible ….compassionately hospitable….intellectually creative…reflectively aware…ambassadors of service". Coupled with critical thinking, values and ethics, the program seeks to provide the knowledge base, and competencies required for students to practice in a diverse society. The program strives to lay a foundation that enables students to assist individuals, families, groups and communities in their pursuit of well-being. The program is committed to teaching students about the role we must play in working toward creating a more just society that embraces human diversity and provides for the basic needs of all
The Sociology program provides students with the necessary skills to understand human behaviors and the dynamics of our global society. Our curriculum is based on liberal arts and strives to enhance students' critical thinking skills through a strong foundation of theory and research. A degree in sociology affords a strong foundation for graduate education, and opens the doors to a wide range of career paths such as law, social services, public policy, business, and communication.
The Social Work Program has developed relationships with many nonprofits in the Erie region where students have completed their internship experience. These organizations and agencies are listed below. We work with students to ensure they are placed an agency that meets their interests.
The following is a list of regional businesses and non-profits where some of our students have held internships:
1. AseraCare Hospice
2. Brevillier Village
3. Crime Victims Center
4. Erie Home For Children/Adults
5. Erie Together
6. Erie Housing Authority
7. UPMC/Hamot Medical Center
8. Harborcreek Youth Services
9. HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital
10. Lakeshore Community Services
11. Multicultural Resource Center
12. Northwest Rural AIDS Alliance
13. Mental Health Assoc. of Erie Co.
14. Mercy Center for Women
15. Millcreek Community Hospital
16. Perseus House
17. Perseus House
18. Safe Harbor Behavioral Health
19. Safe Harbor Behavioral Health
|20. Safe Net
PO Box 1436
Erie, PA 16512
21. Sarah Reed Children’s
22. Sarah Reed Children’s Center/School
23. Sarah Reed Retirement Center
24. St. Benedicts Education Center
25. Saint Martin Center
26. St. Mary’s Home at Asbury Ridge
27. St. Mary’s Home of Erie
28. St. Vincent’s Health Center
29. Esper Treatment Center
30. Family Services
33. Erie School District
36. Community Health Net
37. Office of Children and Youth
38. GECAC/aging only
Bora PajoAssistant Professor Office: Preston 121 Phone: (814) 824-2331
Laura LewisPh.D. Faculty field advisor, associate professor of sociology and social work Office: Preston 108 Phone: (814) 824-2359
Peggy BlackPh.D. Department Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Work Office: Preston 111 Phone: (814) 824-2453
Peter BenekosPh.D. Professor of Criminal Justice Office: Preston 115 Phone: (814) 824-2328