Social Work Degree

Why Social Work? Are you seeking an education that leads to high-demand, fast-paced, challenging career opportunities? Are you concerned about equity and justice? Do you have a heart for serving others? Want to work in a growing professional field, become a licensed professional in your graduating semester, and obtain employment utilizing your degree from HSU? What about credit toward a graduate degree while completing your undergraduate work?

Being a social worker means serving people who are vulnerable, oppressed, or marginalized, and addressing the conditions of society at the very core of injustice. Social Work is a dynamic profession which has the fundamental commitment of helping people and communities solve problems. It is a unique profession, comprised of people who want to make a difference in the world, who create effective, palpable change, and promote equity and justice for all people through evidence-based, holistic practices. Social workers are found in many fields of practice: mental health, medical, schools, governmental agencies, and the military, addiction and recovery, geriatric care, children and families, foster and adoption. In the HSU Social Work Department, the faculty & staff are passionate about, and highly invested in student success and professionalism, while providing a variety of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.

You can find great information with details about Social Work as a profession here:

CSWE LogoThe Social Work Program is accredited at the baccalaureate level by the Council on Social Work Education, consecutively since 1985.


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Melissa Milliorn-HSU Professor of Social Work

Melissa Milliorn

Professor of Social Work, Department Head of Social Work

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  • Social Work (B.B.S.)
  • Social Work & Psychology (B.S.)


  • Social Work Minor

Why study Social Work at HSU?

Interactive & Service Learning Experiences

Smaller classes mean students are given a more interactive learning environment, opportunities for enhanced service learning experiences locally (like providing prom dresses for local under-served teens), around the State of Texas, nationally, and even internationally, and a higher quality of pre-professional development.


Graduates of the HSU Social Work program are accepted to graduate schools (100%), pass the licensing exam (100%), and professionally employed (100%) at exceptionally high rates. Our graduates seeking the Master’s in Social Work degree typically will complete the MSW within 3 semesters of graduating from HSU Social Work, due to ‘advanced standing’ status. Students graduating from this program are heavily recruited for graduate schools and employment.


Students in the HSU Social Work program develop lifelong, close relationships with each other, the faculty, and in the community. Throughout the social work courses, students are developing connections with professional social workers and others in the community through projects, volunteerism, field trips, and field placements.

Program Details

All courses and course descriptions for each degree type can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog:

Service Learning Opportunities

Social Work being an engaging and interactive profession, students are provided opportunities to connect and serve in the community through volunteerism and field education internship.  Courses requiring service learning hours include:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Social Work Practice I
  • Field Education I & II


  • No academic credit for life or work experience.
  • Program is open to all qualified applicants without discrimination.
  • Students apply for formal admission to the Social Work program upon completion of the Human Behavior and Social Environment courses in their sophomore year.
  • Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 and earn a “C” or higher in all Social Work courses to continue in the major.
  • In Social Work Practice III, students apply for entrance into Field Education for their senior year.

Social Work Program Outcomes

  • Students can apply for the Social Work license in the state of Texas in their graduating semester. 100% of our students pass the exam.
  • Graduates of HSU Social Work will receive either a BBS or BS degree. As the program is accredited by CSWE, students who apply to Graduate Schools of Social Work will receive advanced standing, making it possible to obtain a Master’s in Social Work within one year.
  • Graduates of HSU Social Work seeking employment upon graduation are employed in the professional field 100% of the time.

CSWE Form AS 4(B) Assessment of Learning Outcomes

HSU Annual Assessment of Learning Outcomes

CSWE Reaffirmation Self-Study 2021

Through Knowledge – The Challenge is to Serve

The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

HSU – Sigma Beta Chapter

The Sigma Beta Chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work was established in November 2011 in order to provide social work students with additional opportunities to promote humanitarianism, human and civil rights, and social and economic justice through participation in Chapter projects, events, and activities. As members in good standing, our students can apply for Phi Alpha awards and scholarships. This is a student lead organization with student officers and faculty advisors to guide and direct the organization. For more information about Phi Alpha, please go to their website

To apply, complete the Sigma Beta Application and send to Melissa Milliorn at

Phi Alpha Sigma Beta Officer’s 2020-21

Chris Beavers – President

Hello, my name is Christopher Beavers, I am a senior in the Social Work Program here at Hardin-Simmons. I am on the tennis team and will be in field placement with the Abilene/Taylor County Child Advocacy Center. I am so honored and excited to be serving as the President of Sigma Beta and cannot wait to help grow this program on campus. I hope to have a great year with you all and if you ever have questions, I am always available to help.

Bridget Cloud – Vice President

Hey y’all! My name is Bridget Cloud and I am a senior here at HSU and I am excited to act as your VP! I will be completing my field placement this year with Windcrest Health & Rehabilitation. This is my first time in a Sigma Beta officer position, but I am ready for this period of growth and excitement for the year ahead!

Beth Ferguson – Secretary

Hi! My name is Beth Ferguson, and I am a junior at Hardin-Simmons University. I have been a part of the Social Work Program here at HSU since my freshman year of college, and I am so excited to serve as Secretary of our Sigma Beta chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society! I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for community involvement and interpersonal relationship building, and I know God will use our chapter to do great things! For more information about HSU’s Sigma Beta Chapter, please review the Sigma Beta Constitution and By-laws.


Social Work Club LogoThe Purpose of the Social Work Club at HSU

  1. To facilitate communication and fellowship among the social work majors and faculty
  2. To promote interest in social work issues; and
  3. To promote social action and service both within and outside the campus community.

Social Work Club Officers for 2020-2021


Bridget Cloud – Vice PresidentAmber Guthrie – SecretaryKaylin Bouse – Treasurer

Bridget Cloud – President

Hey y’all! My name is Bridget Cloud and I am a senior here at HSU. I am from Abilene, TX and have loved my time in this program. I look forward to serving as your club President for the 2021-2022 school year, after having served as your club Secretary last year. I will be completing my field placement with Windcrest Health & Rehabilitation and look forward to all that will be experienced there. I am excited to see what all we can accomplish this year and the impact we can make. Let’s have a great year!

Chris Beavers – Vice President

Hello, my name is Christopher Beavers and I am the Vice President of the Social Work Club! I am so excited to be serving as Vice President and hope to provide the best resources to the club. I am a senior in the Social Work program and will be doing my field placement with the Abilene/Taylor County Child Advocacy Center. God has a very big plan for us and I am excited to experience these adventures with you. I stay very busy with tennis throughout the year. I hope to have a great year with you all.

Amber Guthrie – Secretary

Hey everyone, my name is Amber Guthrie and I am this year’s social work club secretary! I’m from Greenville, TX, and a sophomore here at Hardin-Simmons. I’m a member of the university’s Honors program and pursuing a double degree in social work and criminal justice. I am hoping to eventually work for Child Protective Services and use everything I learn through my time in college to help vulnerable and at-risk children. I am so honored to be serving in this position during the 2021-2022 school year and excited to work alongside all of the incredible people in this program! I know God has many, many amazing things planned for us and I cannot wait to see what is in store!

Kaylin Bouse – Treasurer

Hello! My name is Kaylin Bouse, and I am a junior in the social work program. I have been wanting to get more involved in Social Work Club and am honored to be serving as the treasurer. My mother is a licensed social worker, and her work in child welfare impacted my decision to be a social work major, for I really admire her and what she does for people. I hope to go into a similar field and serve youth and/or families. 

Stasia Hodge – Chaplain

Hey guys, my name is Stasia Hodge. My hometown is Arlington, Texas. I am a Junior here at Hardin-Simmons and am Double Majoring in Social Work and Psychology. I am so glad to be serving as the Chaplain for The Social Work Club 2021-2022. My goal this year is to get closer to the students and faculty of the social work program and Hardin-Simmons University. I want to use my skills and learning in my classes in my everyday life to make someone else’s life better. I hope to become a clinical social worker with the specialty of helping abused and neglected children. Let’s have an outstanding year and strengthen the love of Christ within the community.  

Lauren Stokes – Photographer

Hi, I’m Lauren Stokes, and I absolutely love social work! I am a senior from El Paso, TX. I also run cross country and track here at HSU. I am so excited to be the photographer of the Social Work Club! My field placement is with Communities in Schools of the Big Country. I can’t wait to make a difference and see the impact we make this year!

Social Work Club Newsletter

2019-2020 Newsletter

2018-2019 Newsletter

Social Work Club Meetings/Activities

2021-2022 Social Work Gatherings and Events

Fall 2021

  • Social Work Orientation Wednesday, September 1 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Back to School Picnic on the Lawn (Anderson) Tuesday, September 14 @Noon
  • Social Work Club Meeting Wednesday, October 6 @Noon
  • NASW Texas Conference October 21-23
  • Pumpkin Party Thursday, October 28 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Veteran’s Appreciation Thursday, November 11 @Noon
  • Mission Thanksgiving with Love & Care Ministries November 19
  • Christmas Party Thursday, December 2 6:00pm-8:00pm

Spring 2022

  • Social Work Orientation Wednesday, January 26 12:00pm – 2:00pm
  • Social Work Club Meeting Thursday, February 24 @Noon
  • Social Work Prom Party Event – February 26

March is Social Work Month!

  • Social Work Advocacy Day events in Abilene and Austin – TBD
  • Promoting Social Work March 7 – 11
  • Women’s International Empowerment Day (Anderson Lawn) March 10 at Noon
  • Champion for Children Conference March 22 & 23
  • NASW West Central Texas Branch Awards – Proposed date – Thursday, March 31 (4:30pm) (TBD)
  • Social Work Club Meeting (Elections) April 13
  • Social Work Banquet Thursday, April 28 6:00pm-8:00pm

Social Work Program Vision

HSU Social Work will be a premier social work education program in West Texas, developing competent and effective social work professionals to meet the needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, and to serve those who are the most vulnerable and oppressed in society.

Social Work Program Mission

As members of the Christian community of Hardin-Simmons University, the mission of the Social Work Program is to:

  • Prepare students for competent and effective professional social work practice as generalist practitioners by providing appropriate knowledge, values, and skills to serve individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities,
  • Develop professionals who promote social justice, dignity and worth of the individual, importance of human relationships, human rights, and scientific inquiry, and who are characterized by integrity, competence and service. And,
  • Produce leaders and advocates in policy development and service delivery for human rights and social and economic justice within a global context.

Social Work Program Goals

  • To prepare students for effective, competent and ethical professional social work practice through immersion in the values and ethics of the social work profession including respect and acceptance of all individuals with regard to age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.
  • To provide students with a generalist’s knowledge of social work that is broad in scope including scientific inquiry for research-informed practice and practice-informed research; theory; values and ethics; the history, purpose, and philosophy of the profession; and specific understanding of practice settings, contexts, and clientele.
  • To educate students to understand and embrace diversity in the world and to be committed to the promotion of human rights and social and economic justice through policy analysis, formulation and development, service delivery and through leadership in the development of a nurturing and supportive environment for all people, applying strategies of advocacy and social change, especially for those who are marginalized.
  • To foster student’s development and utilization of relational, cognitive, political and professional skills appropriate to generalist practice, while being able to apply critical thinking within the context of professional social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • To create and support an environment that values, models and promotes lifelong learning, professional development, and active participation in the profession and community.

The HSU Social Work Program has numerous awards and scholarship that are awarded annually at the Social Work/Sociology Banquet. These awards and scholarships have specific criteria for recipient selection. Recipients are chosen by the Social Work and Sociology faculty based on the respective award or scholarship criteria. If you have questions about any of these awards or scholarships, please contact the Social Work office at 325-670-1281. Students are encouraged to explore other opportunities for recognition and scholarships outside of HSU, for example NASW, CSWE, and AAUW. Other scholarship information is available through the Financial Aid Office at 325-670-1206

  • J.L. Cole Social Work Scholarship: The recipient of this scholarship must be a social work major, possess strong social work values and ethics, completing Social Work Practice I course and showing high leadership and academic promise
  • Dan Cooper Excellence in Research Annual Endowed Award: The recipient of this award must be a graduating senior; social work major having displayed outstanding achievement in social work research.
  • Doris S. Thornton Alumni Social Work Award: The recipient of this award must be a graduating senior, social work major with transcending competence in social work practice and achieving outstanding academic achievement.
  • James B. Simmons Social Work Award for Human & Civil Rights, Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice: The award recipient must be a social work major who exhibits an outstanding integration of Christ’s love & missions, social work education, and equity for all people through outstanding research, service, and advocacy in addressing and challenging inequity and injustice.
  • Everett E. Woods and Orabeth K. Woods Foundation Endowment Scholarship: This scholarship recipient is a junior social work major with the highest overall GPA.
  • Everett E. Woods and Orabeth K. Woods Social Work Scholarship: The recipient of this scholarship is a minority student and social work major who displays outstanding academic excellence and overall achievement in social work.
  • Jeremy Rhodes Macro Policy Practice Award: The recipient of this award must be a social work major exhibiting remarkable capacity for macro policy practice through work, research, volunteerism, professional engagement, campus, and community life. This student epitomizes the core values of the social work profession through their life and work.
  • Joanne Roberts Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award: The recipient of this award must be a social work major who manifests through academics, work, service-learning opportunities and life, the core values of the social work profession. Explicitly the core values of service, justice, dignity and worth of the person, integrity, and the importance of human relationships are exemplified.