Minors & Initiatives

In response to growing interest, the BSW program will be offering two new undergraduate minors beginning in fall 2014. The first minor, Social Service Management, will combine social work and business courses to provide students with knowledge, values and skills focused on entry-level management and fundraising in social service organizations. The second is a minor in Chemical Dependency Counseling: Addiction and Recovery. The St. Kate’s – St. Thomas BSW program once offered both a minor and a major in chemical dependency counseling and we are pleased to reintroduce the minor. The minor is available to social work and other majors and will prepare the students to sit for their LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors) license. We continue to offer our Social Welfare Minor and our Gero-social work practice initiative.

Please note, these minors are not accepted by the Council on Social Work Education as preparation for beginning-level generalist social work practice and completing one of these minors will not allow you to be "advanced standing" for MSW programs or sit for the social work licensing exam.

Minor in Social Service Management


The ability to administer programs, raise funds, and write grants is increasingly important in social service and nonprofit work. The purpose of this minor is to prepare students for administrative, management, or fundraising roles with nonprofits and social service agencies. Students will be introduced to social work and social services, gain an understanding of the impact of social policies on the provision and scope of social services in the United States as well as gain tangible skills, such as fundraising, grant writing, management, program evaluation, and accounting or marketing, for work in social services management.  Students will learn critical leadership skills necessary for effective management. Upon completion of the minor, students will have enhanced skills that will help to position them to be successful advocates, administrators, and managers within social service and nonprofit agencies.

Go to the Social Services Management Minor webpage



Minor in Chemical Dependency Counseling: Addiction & Recovery


This minor provides students preparing for work in a variety of settings (social work, health care, criminal justice, etc.) with a foundational understanding of addiction and recovery and their impact on multiple areas of life, how to identify abuse and addiction, beginning steps in assisting, advocating for, and referring people who have chemical health concerns. It will provide the academic foundation for those interested in pursuing the LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors) license.  

Go to the Chemical Dependency Counseling: Addiction & Recovery webpage

Minor in Social Welfare

A minor in social welfare is available through the joint School of Social Work at St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas. A minor in social welfare is not accepted by the Council on Social Work Education as preparation for beginning-level generalist social work practice. A minor is offered for your own learning in the area of social welfare.

  • SOWK 281/SOWK 2810: Introduction to Social Work (4 cr)
  • SOWK 340/SOWK 3400: Human Behavior and the Social Environment (4 cr)
  • SOWK 391/SOWK 3910: Social Policy for Social Change (4 cr)

Plus eight credits from the following:

St. Thomas courses:

  • PSYC 202: Lifespan Development (4 cr)
  • PSYC 207: Alcohol, Other Drugs and Behavior (4 cr)
  • SOCI 251: Race and Ethnicity (4 cr)
  • SOWK 380: Social Research: Designs and Statistical Application (4 cr)

 St. Kate's courses:

  • PSYC 2025: Lifespan Developmental Psychology (4 cr)
  • PSYC 3150: Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (4 cr)
  • SOCI 3450: Women in a Transnational World (4 cr)
  • SOCI 3510: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (4 cr)
  • SOWK 3800: Social Work Research (4 cr)

BSW Area of Emphasis in Gero-Social Work



To enhance the practice skills, theoretical knowledge, and leadership capacity in BSW students in the area of gerontological social work practice. To increase the visibility and understanding of aging issues across the School of Social Work community and beyond.

Program Overview

The Area of Emphasis in Gero-Social Work will guide Senior students through linking coursework, field practice, and leadership to gerontological social work. Approximately 4-6 BSW seniors will be selected for the program each year. The program will combine an aging specific course, course assignments, field practice, and leadership opportunities for the students. The School of Social Work Aging Services Coordinator selects students in consultation with BSW faculty. The Aging Services Coordinator will serve as the program advisor to selected students.

Each student will receive a tuition stipend upon successful completion of each semester including coursework and field practice.  *Students receiving tuition remission are ineligible for tuition stipend.

Program Requirements

Students accepted to the Area of Emphasis in Gero-Social Work program will be expected to complete the following:

  • Course: SOWK 490 – Practice with Older Adults and their Families
  • Assignments:
    • SOWK 401 – Generalist Practice I: Small Client Systems
      • Complete at least one primary assignment focused on aging
    • SOWK 402 – Generalist Practice II: Large Client Systems
      • Complete at least one primary assignment focused on aging
  • Field Placement: Complete SR field placement in gero-social work setting
  • Leadership:
    • Participate in the Area of Emphasis in Aging Leadership Council (3 meetings/year)
    • Intentionally serve as a leader in representing gero-social work practice and issues in your social work classes
    • Participate in one or more of the following by bringing a specific gero-social work perspective to the project/event:
      • Carondelet Village IPE Project
      • Beta Epsilon Activity
      • Room at the Table (SSW)
      • Careers in Aging Week (SCU)
      • Salon (SSW)
      • Social Work Day at the Capitol (SSW)
      • Social Work Club Activity (SSW)
      • Other – with approval  of Aging Services Coordinator

The BSW Area of Emphasis in Gero-Social Work grew out of the BEL program grant from the Council on Social Work Education Gero-EdCenter and is sustained through support from the School of Social Work.

For more information about the School of Social Work's gero-social work initiatives, please contact:

Tanya Rand, MSW, LICSW, Clinical Faculty and Coordinator of Aging Services at 651-962-5817 or tjrand@stthomas.edu

Download an application: BSW Gero Social Work Initiative Application

Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars (HEALS) Initiative

We are proud to announce that in 2015, the School of Social Work was selected as one of just 10 schools in the nation to participate in the Social Work Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars (HEALS) program. This five year grant supports up to 20 BSW and MSW students with $110,000 in funding. Awarded by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the program aims to develop the next generation of social work leaders who will lead efforts to address system-level changes, heighten awareness of prevention and wellness, and address the issues of structural racism that are embedded in social institutions. Social work students selected to participate in the HEALS program will have the opportunity to experience robust healthcare education and training, connect with peers, advocate for policy issues, and practice as members of interprofessional healthcare teams.  Read Announcement»

Eligibility criteria: Students entering their senior year with a commitment to focused health care social work education.

Award Amount: $5500 total; $4000 in scholarship funds split between fall/spring and $1500 in travel support to attend the required policy and education event in Washington D.C.

Deadline: The call for applications will be emailed to eligible students in late May