Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work - St. Augustine College
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Bilingual /ESL,


The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is to prepare graduates for entry into generalist social work practice with diverse urban populations. It aspires to fill cultural, educational, and socioeconomic gaps, beginning with those in the multi-cultural and multi-linguistic neighborhoods of Chicago. Program goals include advocacy for social justice, individual well-being on behalf of oppressed and vulnerable people, and a commitment to life-long learning and professional development.

Program Description

The BSW program is one of three programs in Chicago, but it's the only one of its kind in the Midwest with a bilingual curriculum. The BSW program started in response to a need for bilingual social workers in local agencies due to an increase in the Latino population. A 2004 Survey by the National Association of Social Workers, found only 4% of licensed Social Work respondents in Illinois were Hispanic. Latinos represent only 11% of the BSW graduates nationally and only 9% of the MSW graduates (CSWE, 2013).

Students progress from an AA degree to BSW degree and are eligible after graduation for an accelerated Master of Social Work degree. This BSW program provides access to higher education (90% of students start college with remedial English and Math). The college has the lowest tuition of any private Chicago college. Students pay $9,840 per year from their PELL grant and financial awards for 12 credit hours per semester. The college provides very low-cost childcare, free parking, and free tutoring.


In 2016 the BSW program had 61 enrolled students and 90% of them identified as Latino.

In 2013, After earning a pre-requisite AA degree, 58% of BSW students graduated in two years and 90% graduated within 4 years. 

The same year, 56% of BSW alumni reported having employment in Latino serving social, educational, or health agencies.  Additionally, 32% of the same group reported applying to MSW programs.