Highlights, News, and Events

Thinking about majoring in Social Work? Join the Social Work Orientation Meetings
Thursday, December 4 from 3:30-4:30 pm
RSVP here. RSVP recommended, but not required.

The Social Work & Gerontology department wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Contact Information

Department of Social Work & Gerontology
Shippensburg University
382 Shippen Hall
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1717


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Events and Resources

Shippen Hall 

In addition to the educational program offered, the Social Work Department has a variety of groups, activities, and resources which enhance the quality of life in the Department for students and faculty alike. The following describes the major events and groups. However, other special activities are likely to develop throughout the semester.

Department Resource Room (384B Shippen Hall)

The Resource Room serves as a quiet study room and meeting place for Social Work students. In this room, students will find the Department Social Work journals, NASW membership materials, information about the graduate program, and resources related to internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities.  The Resource Room provides a quiet meeting and/or study space for Social Work students who want to develop relationships with their peers and faculty. 


Student Social Work Organization (SWO)

SWO attended the NASW-PA/PAUSWE conference in Monroeville.

SWO offers students with an opportunity to broaden their understanding and awareness of the Social Work profession while providing opportunities in community service and service learning. Community service experiences include volunteering at King's Kettle in Shippensburg, participating in all inclusive events on campus, working with elementary students in the local community, learning about and educating others on needs in the local area, and participating in events such as Relay for Life. As a group, SWO is always seeking additional opportunities to offer to the Social Work Students here at Shippensburg University. Our students utilize SWO for a variety of reasons including:

  • departmental concerns and issues that affect the Social Work student body
  • to organize social functions
  • to assist students in becoming familiar with the program and with eachother to create a vast aray of networks
  • helping new majors familiarize themselves with the program and the opportunities within the department.
  • to bring professional conference opportunities at a subsidized rate for students

SWO is your organization as a Social Work Major. All Social Work majors are automaticallty a member of SWO, but it is each individual's choice to become an active member. Each semester one faculty member serves as the advisor to the organization, helping to organize bigger opportunities. Being an active member of the Social Work Organization you have the opportunity to express your concerns as it pertains to policy within in the department, you have the opportunity to travel to professional conferences for little or no cost, and you can connect with other students in the major.

Learn who the current leaders are and what is happening with SWO by finding them on Facebook or on their webpage!

                                                               BSW program meeting

BSW Program Meeting                                        

During the first several weeks of the Fall semester a full Department meeting is held where all Social Work students and faculty are required to attend. The purpose of the meeting is for new students to meet faculty and for returning students to become reacquainted and department goals for the year are discussed. The time of the meeting is announced at the beginning of the semester.


Senior Presentations


At the end of each semester, Social Work students who have completed their field work practicum, present an oral summary of their field and academic experiences. All Social Work students are encouraged to attend this celebratory event as the presentations offer an opportunity to learn more about internship opportunities. During the fall event, the Robert L. Hewitt Vision for Excellence in Social Work Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding senior who demonstrates professional commitment and leadership ability. This scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Robert L. Hewitt who retired in 2008 after 21 years of teaching in the Department of Social Work and Gerontology.  

                                                                                                                                    Social Work Events - Senior Orals

Phi Alpha

Phi Alpha is the National Social Work Honor Society with Alpha Lambda being the Shippensburg Chapter. This society provides students with an opportunity for professional growth and development of leadership skills. Each semester the group carries out a community service project and a fund raiser. Members are given the opportunity to attend faculty meetings and the organization maintains a relationship with the Social Work Alumni Association. Qualifications for membership are 12 semester hours in social work or admission into the professional standing level of the major. A GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.5 in Social Work must be maintained. (These qualifications are pending approval by the National Office of Phi Alpha.) 

Special Events

The Social Work Department, Phi Alpha, and SWO support and sponsor a range of activities related to the profession and special populations. The activities are designed to increase the students' awareness of Social Work issues and professional trends. Examples of activities include: cultural diversity skits/discussions; field trips to NASW headquarters; attendance at NASW National Conference; guest speakers on AIDS, the state of America's families and children, and other relevant topics; an informational fair on Social Work practice; and celebration of Social Work month in March of each year.