Social Work Program Overview

PSU has offered the baccalaureate social work (BSW) degree since 1983 and has been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1995. CSWE is the national educational policy and accreditation standard setting organization for BSW and MSW degree programs in the United States. Accreditation indicates that a program has achieved academic excellence by meeting the thresholds for professional competence established by the Council. The program has an excellent, committed faculty, an engaged group of students.

The mission of the Social Work Program is to educate and prepare baccalaureate students for effective, evidence-based professional social work practice that is rooted in the purpose and values of the profession, including respect for human dignity, diversity, self-determination, and advocating for just policies, programs, and services. In congruence with the University’s philosophy, “Ut prosim,” or “that I may serve,” the program advances knowledge and critical thinking skills to prepare students for generalist practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and to enhance the fulfillment of human potential. The program is committed to promoting the values of social and economic justice. (Revised and Adopted by Social Work faculty on February 13, 2023)

The goals of the BSW program are to prepare students to respect human diversity, oppose social and economic injustice, and support and advocate for social reform in accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics. This preparation is rooted in the social work curriculum, which helps students develop professional values and ethics, as well as the social work practice skills needed to assist individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Graduates of the BSW program will be able to:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker, apply professional values, social work ethics, and respect for human diversity to guide professional practice, and apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  2. Understand the effects of oppression, discrimination, and inequality in a complex, diverse, and global society, and use practice skills to promote social and economic justice and deliver effective and culturally responsive social work services.
  3. Apply the Person-in-Environment perspective and knowledge of human behavior and the social environment to work with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities, and respond to changing social contexts that impact practice.
  4. Engage in BSW-level social work practice (engagement, assessment, intervention, evaluation) informed by the best available research and practice evidence and engage in critical self-reflective practice.

Program Advisory Board

Given the size of the social work faculty, there is no committee structure within the program. However, there is an Advisory Board to the program that was established in Fall 1992. The purpose and structure are as follows:


  • To develop and maintain ongoing ties between the social work practice community and the program/department.
  • To provide opportunities for students, field instructors and social work practitioners to contribute to the program’s educational policies and curriculum content.


There are 10-12 members, which include current students, alumni, field instructors, and social work practitioners from a range of fields of practice; Program Coordinator, and Field Education Director. Students who attend the meetings are either officers of the Social Work Club and/or a student representative to NH NASW

Title IV-E Scholarship

Our program has a Child Welfare Educational Tuition Partnership with the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth and Families, which provides full in-state tuition and an annual stipend for our students.

Plymouth State University and the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth, and Families have had a partnership since 2000 to provide child welfare education and training to a selected group of social work undergraduate students. This partnership project is grant funded through the Division of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. This is made possible through Title IV-E funding authorized by the Social Security Act.  Plymouth State University matches the funding provided through the DCYF grant.

The project provides:

  • Educational preparation for child welfare practice for B.S.W. students
  • 450-hour social work practicum in a New Hampshire DCYF district office
  • Participation in DCYF trainings and conferences
  • Specialized practicum seminar for student interns in a DCYF practicum placement

How to Apply

For more information please contact: Dr. Pamela Chiang, Title IV-E Project Director at (603) 535-3077;

Child Welfare Brochure IV-E

“The signature pedagogy in social work is field education [which] … connects the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting … classroom and field … contribute to the development of the requisite competencies of professional practice.”—CSWE Handbook of Accreditation Standards and Procedures. Each student spends a minimum of 450 supervised hours in a social work practicum in a variety of settings: schools, residential facilities, hospitals, youth agencies, protective service offices, domestic violence programs and other human service agencies in New Hampshire.


Youth Success Project

The Youth Success Project (YSP) is a board of young people who have experienced unaccompanied homelessness in the state of New Hampshire.  YSP works to improve homeless serving systems in New Hampshire by making them more equitable and representative of the needs of the people they seek to serve. 

YSP vision: Every young person’s needs are met in the state of New Hampshire and that young people are entrusted to make decisions about their own lives 

YSP mission: Create an equitable platform for youth voice in decision making spaces through collective power and advocacy work led by those who have been most marginalized

In 2021, YSP began working with PSU as their fiscal sponsor.  Kim Livingstone, Assistant Director and Social Work Program Director helps to facilitate and supervise the work of YSP.

Discover more at

YSP is currently funded through time-limited grants that support the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project in the state of New Hampshire.  They are actively working to sustain their efforts beyond those grants. 

Donate to YSP