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Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

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Choose Saint Rose for Your Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

Helping people is your passion. You go above and beyond for your family, friends and even strangers – often putting other people’s needs in front of your own.

If you’re a community-minded individual with an altruistic drive, then consider an education at The College of Saint Rose. Not only do we have a top Social Work program aimed at preparing you for a rewarding career, but the college’s mission is also deeply rooted in community service, social justice and wellness with outreach opportunities that reflect these core values.

Social Work is both challenging and rewarding — our program is no exception. Upon acceptance to the college, students are also required to apply for admission to the Social Work major. Our program includes diverse coursework in political science, sociology, and biology as well as opportunities to work with real people in a variety of settings.

Once you complete your undergraduate degree, you’ll gain advanced standing at The College of Saint Rose or another higher education institute offering a Master of Science in Social Work degree, meaning you automatically complete the first year of your MSW coursework.

Graduates have gone on to accept positions at schools, residential treatment centers, mental health treatment agencies, substance abuse and alcohol treatment clinics, probation offices, long-term care facilities, and children and family services.

Our Values

We view social work as an integrated continuum, rather than as a series of silos. We focus on well-being and prevention across five essential domains:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Social/ Environmental
  3. Emotional/ Psychological
  4. Physical
  5. Economic

Outstanding Faculty

Our faculty, all licensed practitioners from different backgrounds and practice areas, instruct and guide you in your area of interest — from addiction and LGBTQ issues to immigrant and prison populations.

Our faculty care about you as a person and go the extra mile to support you, whether that means connecting outside class to discuss research, or being flexible to accommodate your work or family obligations.

Janet Acker, Ph.D., MSSW, M. Div., LCSW-R, Associate Professor of Social Work and MSSW Program Director:

I grew up in a family committed to volunteerism and community service, and when I arrived at my first field placement as a young social work graduate student, I had the immediate sensation that I had found my “place.” I earned my MSSW at Columbia University, and over the next 30 years, developed clinical expertise in mental health, end of life/hospice care, HIV/AIDS, adoption and foster care, and case management.
I am passionate about using this rich body of work as a clinician, advocate, supervisor, administrator, and field instructor as a catalyst for teaching professional excellence and engaging students in their own process of experiential learning in practice settings.

Meet Our Faculty

Janet Acker, Ph.D., MSSW, M. Div., LCSW-R Associate Professor

Over the last 30 years, Dr. Acker has developed clinical expertise in mental health, end-of-life/hospice care, HIV/AIDS, adoption and foster care, and case management, and is passionate about using this experience as a catalyst for teaching and engaging students. Her teaching interests include integrating classroom concepts and theories with practical application in the field, and on the continuum of social work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of society.

View Full Bio

Maureen Rotondi, MSW, LCSW-R Associate Professor, Chair & Program Director

She is a founding member of Rensselaer Child Advocacy Center, which provides trauma-focused counseling to children who have been abused and to non-offending family members. Professor Rotondi participated in the 2013 White House summit on the Affordable Care Act with the Council on Social Work Education. Current teaching subjects include child abuse, social welfare and social policy, diversity workshop, and field practicum.

Her expertise includes diagnosing and treating pediatric mental health disorders, interviewing individuals who have been sexually abused, and testifying in state and federal criminal and family court. She was a social worker for the emergency department at Albany Medical Center.

Chenique Rowe, MSW, LMSW Assistant Professor

Since graduating from Saint Rose in 2011, Professor Rowe has worked at Albany County Department for Children, Youth, and Families, as well as at a local domestic-violence shelter. She later worked in children’s mental health and as the women’s and children’s social worker in a hospital. Her teaching interests include diversity and social justice, various components of social-work practice, and field-experience courses.

View Full Bio

Janet Acker, Ph.D., MSSW, M. Div., LCSW-RAssociate Professor

Over the last 30 years, Dr. Acker has developed clinical expertise in mental health, end-of-life/hospice care, HIV/AIDS, adoption and foster care, and case management, and is passionate about using this experience as a catalyst for teaching and engaging students. Her teaching interests include integrating classroom concepts and theories with practical application in the field, and on the continuum of social work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of society.

View Full Bio

Maureen Rotondi, MSW, LCSW-RAssociate Professor, Chair & Program Director

She is a founding member of Rensselaer Child Advocacy Center, which provides trauma-focused counseling to children who have been abused and to non-offending family members. Professor Rotondi participated in the 2013 White House summit on the Affordable Care Act with the Council on Social Work Education. Current teaching subjects include child abuse, social welfare and social policy, diversity workshop, and field practicum.

Her expertise includes diagnosing and treating pediatric mental health disorders, interviewing individuals who have been sexually abused, and testifying in state and federal criminal and family court. She was a social worker for the emergency department at Albany Medical Center.

Chenique Rowe, MSW, LMSW Assistant Professor

Since graduating from Saint Rose in 2011, Professor Rowe has worked at Albany County Department for Children, Youth, and Families, as well as at a local domestic-violence shelter. She later worked in children’s mental health and as the women’s and children’s social worker in a hospital. Her teaching interests include diversity and social justice, various components of social-work practice, and field-experience courses.

View Full Bio

Donna Van Alst, MBA, LMSW Assistant Professor

Professor Van Alst worked as a program evaluator and coordinated a direct service program for youth aging out of foster care. She holds an MBA from New York University, and is interested in how social services are organized and delivered, as well as social entrepreneurship. She taught at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, where she was research director of the Institute for Families and held a joint appointment with the school’s Child Welfare and Child Wellbeing Research Unit. Areas of expertise include child welfare services, disaster recovery, health services, social administration, and social policy. She is a mixed-methods researcher with a strong interest in program evaluation and intervention research.

Sunny Mathew, Ph.D., MSW Assistant Professor

Dr. Mathews spent a decade as a social worker in India focusing on community development, the empowerment of marginalized ethnic groups (Dalit), the elimination of child labor, and women’s and children’s health programs. His current research is on child-rearing patterns of Asian Americans in the U.S. Northeast, as well as the cumulative effect of poverty on health. He is also a Catholic priest in the Carmelite Order.

Julie Piepenbring, Ph.D., MSW Assistant Professor

Formerly executive VP and chief clinical officer at Adelbrook Behavioral and Developmental Services (Cromwell, Conn.), which serves youths diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, Professor Piepenbring taught social work at Southern Connecticut State University and provided clinical therapy to children and adults in private practice. Her research and academic interests focus on autism spectrum disorder and its impact on families, culturally competent clinical practice, and organizational leadership. She strongly believes in supportively challenging students to become critical thinkers and encouraging them to work to their full potential.

Donna Van Alst, MBA, LMSWAssistant Professor

Professor Van Alst worked as a program evaluator and coordinated a direct service program for youth aging out of foster care. She holds an MBA from New York University, and is interested in how social services are organized and delivered, as well as social entrepreneurship. She taught at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, where she was research director of the Institute for Families and held a joint appointment with the school’s Child Welfare and Child Wellbeing Research Unit. Areas of expertise include child welfare services, disaster recovery, health services, social administration, and social policy. She is a mixed-methods researcher with a strong interest in program evaluation and intervention research.

Sunny Mathew, Ph.D., MSWAssistant Professor

Dr. Mathews spent a decade as a social worker in India focusing on community development, the empowerment of marginalized ethnic groups (Dalit), the elimination of child labor, and women’s and children’s health programs. His current research is on child-rearing patterns of Asian Americans in the U.S. Northeast, as well as the cumulative effect of poverty on health. He is also a Catholic priest in the Carmelite Order.

Julie Piepenbring, Ph.D., MSWAssistant Professor

Formerly executive VP and chief clinical officer at Adelbrook Behavioral and Developmental Services (Cromwell, Conn.), which serves youths diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, Professor Piepenbring taught social work at Southern Connecticut State University and provided clinical therapy to children and adults in private practice. Her research and academic interests focus on autism spectrum disorder and its impact on families, culturally competent clinical practice, and organizational leadership. She strongly believes in supportively challenging students to become critical thinkers and encouraging them to work to their full potential.

Patricia Weldon, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW Assistant Professor

Before entering academia, Professor Weldon was a social worker providing direct care and administration in mental-health and healthcare settings, mostly in trauma and crisis intervention. She focuses on helping students develop critical-thinking skills, expand their understanding of diverse experiences, and being lifelong learners. Her current research includes projects on trauma-informed care, organizational crisis management, and workplace critical incident response.

I-Hsuan Lin, Ph.D., MSW, MBA Assistant Professor

Dr. Lin, who worked as a social worker and administrator in organizations focusing on disadvantaged women and their families in Taiwan, later served homeless and immigrant older-adult populations in California. Currently vice president for a nonprofit organization working with Asian and Asian-American populations in California, she is building connections with communities in New York. She taught and helped develop online coursework at Indiana University. Her research interests center around the gendered work-family interface.

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Heather Fronckowiak, MSW, LCSW Assistant Professor

As the clinical coordinator for a child-advocacy center in Rensselaer County, in Troy, Professor Fronckowiak provided therapy to child victims and their families and worked on several multidisciplinary teams regarding child-abuse investigations and prevention. She worked on a Federally funded project to implement an evidence-based group treatment for youth with problematic sexual behavior, and helped create a community-change team focused on systemic change.

She has been a child-advocacy trainer for New York State and currently consults to Fordham University on training for child protection-and-prevention workers. Other interests include secondary traumatic stress for practitioners and effective clinical supervision.

Patricia Weldon, Ph.D., MSW, LCSWAssistant Professor

Before entering academia, Professor Weldon was a social worker providing direct care and administration in mental-health and healthcare settings, mostly in trauma and crisis intervention. She focuses on helping students develop critical-thinking skills, expand their understanding of diverse experiences, and being lifelong learners. Her current research includes projects on trauma-informed care, organizational crisis management, and workplace critical incident response.

I-Hsuan Lin, Ph.D., MSW, MBAAssistant Professor

Dr. Lin, who worked as a social worker and administrator in organizations focusing on disadvantaged women and their families in Taiwan, later served homeless and immigrant older-adult populations in California. Currently vice president for a nonprofit organization working with Asian and Asian-American populations in California, she is building connections with communities in New York. She taught and helped develop online coursework at Indiana University. Her research interests center around the gendered work-family interface.

View Full Bio

Heather Fronckowiak, MSW, LCSWAssistant Professor

As the clinical coordinator for a child-advocacy center in Rensselaer County, in Troy, Professor Fronckowiak provided therapy to child victims and their families and worked on several multidisciplinary teams regarding child-abuse investigations and prevention. She worked on a Federally funded project to implement an evidence-based group treatment for youth with problematic sexual behavior, and helped create a community-change team focused on systemic change.

She has been a child-advocacy trainer for New York State and currently consults to Fordham University on training for child protection-and-prevention workers. Other interests include secondary traumatic stress for practitioners and effective clinical supervision.

Liz Espinoza, MSW, LCSW-R Visiting Assistant Professor

Professor Espinoza provides individual, family, and bilingual counseling and conducting mental-health evaluations for local courts and facilities through her private practice, and has more than a decade of experience as a clinician or social worker in school, hospital, and government-agency settings. Her teaching interests include clinical work, social justice, intersectionality, and immigration. Her research has focused on transnational social work. She has taught social work at the University at Albany, Smith College, and Simmons College.

Liz Espinoza, MSW, LCSW-RVisiting Assistant Professor

Professor Espinoza provides individual, family, and bilingual counseling and conducting mental-health evaluations for local courts and facilities through her private practice, and has more than a decade of experience as a clinician or social worker in school, hospital, and government-agency settings. Her teaching interests include clinical work, social justice, intersectionality, and immigration. Her research has focused on transnational social work. She has taught social work at the University at Albany, Smith College, and Simmons College.

Program Highlights

Academic Excellence

  • Gain the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue graduate study degrees in Social Work or related fields such as Counseling, Community Psychology or Law
  • Gain advanced standing at Saint Rose or any university or college offering an MSW degree as we are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

Rooted in the real world

  • Join a prestigious network of alumni who have gone on to pursue master’s degrees in social work, sociology, counseling, community psychology, political science, and educational psychology and have successfully attended law schools
  • Prepare for an entry-level professional Social Work position through rigorous coursework and agency field work
  • Cultivate real-world experience by working with clients at schools, hospitals, residential treatment centers, children and family services and more

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2018 and 2028 demand for social workers will grow:

Curriculum

Put your knowledge to work

From your first semester through the end of your final year, we give you ample opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve gained in the classroom.Comprising coursework in practice, research, policy, and human behavior, our 64- or 65-credit bachelor’s program intertwines hands-on experience with theory throughout the curriculum. Some courses featuring a heavy emphasis on service or field work:

Fieldwork Internships

We require 120 hours of internship (field work) in the third year, and a full-year internship of 400 hours during the fourth year. That’s because we strongly believe that hands-on, real-world practice is essential to a deeper understanding of classroom content – and makes you a better social worker.

CourseTypically taken*
Introduction to social work (SWK 114)Year 1
Community practice (SWK 322)Year 3
Pre-field experience (SWK 378)Year 3
Field practicum (SWK 480)Year 4
Field practicum, continued (SWK 482)Year 4
Social work research methods (SWK 451)Year 4
Practice with individuals and families (SWK 481)Year 4
Practice with groups (SWK 483)Year 4

*Assuming a full-time schedule over four years

View Course Requirements

What Our Students Say

Alayna Shaw ‘13, MSW (pronouns: she/her/hers)

AmeriCorps program coordinator
Colorado Youth for A Change
Denver, Colorado

Before I entered the BSW program at Saint Rose, like many undergraduate students, I was feeling unsure about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. However, with the incredible guidance, leadership, passion and dedication of the amazing faculty in my program, this was short-lived.

I am forever grateful for the ways in which my worldview was altered for the better, for the ways in which I was challenged to think critically about mental health, policies, and systemic oppression, and for the lifelong relationships that were cultivated throughout my time in this program.

Career Outlook

Influence the future.

Graduates have gone on to accept positions at schools, residential treatment centers, mental health treatment agencies, substance abuse and alcohol treatment clinics, probation offices, long-term care facilities, and children and family services.

Organizations employing Saint Rose graduates:

  • Albany Medical Center
  • Catholic Charities
  • City School District of Albany
  • In Our Own Voices
  • Northern Rivers Family Service
  • Rensselaer County
  • Saint Catherine’s Center for Children
  • Saint Peters Health Partners
  • United Tenants
  • Savio House (Denver, Colo.)

Outcomes Report – 2020

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Contact Us Now

Of course, if you have any questions, please reach out. We’re here to help.

Maureen Rotondi, MSW, LCSW-R

Department of Social Work

Got Questions?

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