Patience, understanding and a strong desire to help others are valued characteristics of people working in the social services field. Social services workers usually work under the direction of professionals from a variety of fields such as nursing, psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitative or physical therapy, or social work. They provide direct and indirect client services. They assess clients’ needs and help them obtain services. Populations include, but are not limited to, persons with physical disabilities, emotional and behavioral problems, mental retardation, learning disabilities, substance abuse problems, legal concerns, and mental illness. They may also organize and lead group activities, assist clients in need of counseling or crisis intervention. They may work with adolescents with substance abuse and/or behavioral problems.
Social workers typically identify people who need help; assess clients’ needs, situations, strengths, and support networks to determine their goals; develop plans to improve their clients’ well-being; help clients adjust to changes and challenges in their lives, such as illness, divorce, or unemployment; research and refer clients to community resources, such as food stamps, child care, and healthcare; help clients work with government agencies to apply for and receive benefits such as Medicare; respond to crisis situations such as child abuse; advocate for and help clients get resources that would improve their well-being; follow up with clients to ensure that their situations have improved; and evaluate services provided to ensure that they are effective.
This field is among the most rapidly growing occupations. Employers are developing new ways to deliver and fund services and increasingly are relying on social and human service workers to take on the responsibility in delivering services to clients. The growing elderly population, the increase in job-training programs, and the need to replace workers who advance into new positions are contributing to this growing trend.
Social Workers are employed in the fields of nursing, psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitation, social work, human services, agencies, corrections, health services, military, residential services, individual and family services, substance abuse treatment, case management, community outreach, life skills coaching, state agencies, and education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2012 median pay for Social Workers with bachelor’s or advanced degree was $44,200 per year; the job outlook through 2022 calls for a 19% growth in employment, faster than the average occupation in today’s workplace.
NOTE: Although most Social Workers need a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and two years of post-master experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice. ECC has a transfer agreement with Buena Vista University that allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in Iowa Falls and be employable without pursuing a graduate degree in social work.
ECC’s Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. In many instances, transfer colleges accept this degree as equivalent to their own general education requirements. (See NOTE #1 above regarding transfer of credits to Buena Vista University in Iowa Falls.)
Because the requirements for an AA degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the ECC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.
Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa
ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!
THE ELLSWORTH EXPERIENCE
- ECC currently has the 17th highest student success rate (graduation rate + transfer rate) of any community college in the nation.
- The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages, which is why our graduates have one of the lowest average student debt loads of any college in Iowa, public or private, two-year or four year!
- What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.