Department of Social Work

Head of Department

Melissa Milliorn


HSU Box 16218


Lauren Cantrell, M.S.S.W., LMSW, Assistant Professor
Melissa Milliorn, M.S.S.W., LMSW-IPR., Professor


Social work is a dynamic profession which has at its core the fundamental commitment to help people, communities and society solve problems. As members of the Christian community of Hardin-Simmons University, the mission of the Social Work Program is to:

  •  prepare students for competent and effective professional social work practice as generalist practitioners by integrating appropriate knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and effective processes to serve individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities,

  • develop holistic social work competence as professionals who promote social justice, dignity and worth of the individual, importance of human relationships, human rights, and scientific inquiry, and who are characterized by integrity, competence and service. And,

  • produce leaders and advocates in policy development and service delivery for human rights and social and economic justice within a global context.

Following this mission, the Social Work Program goals are:

  1. To prepare students for effective, competent and ethical professional social work practice through immersion in the values and ethics of the social work profession including respect and acceptance of all individuals with regard to age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

  2. To provide students with a generalist’s knowledge of social work that is broad in scope including: scientific inquiry for research-informed practice and practice-informed research; theory; values and ethics; the history, purpose and philosophy of the profession; and specific understanding of practice settings, contexts, and clientele.

  3. To educate students to understand and embrace diversity in the world and to be committed to the promotion of human rights and social and economic justice through policy analysis, formulation and development, service delivery and through leadership in the development of a nurturing and supportive environment for all people, applying strategies of advocacy and social change, especially for those who are marginalized.

  4.  To foster students’ development and utilization of relational, cognitive, political and professional skills appropriate to generalist practice, while being able to apply critical thinking within the context of professional social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

  5.  To create and support an environment that values, models and promotes lifelong learning, professional development, and active participation in the profession and community.

The curriculum is designed to provide an integrated model inclusive of social work knowledge, values, skills and cognitive and effective processes toward holistic social work competence, the curriculum is organized around five essential components. These are Human Behavior and Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy and Services, Social Work Practice, Social Work Research, and Field Instruction. It is important that the student make an early decision to enter the program, as courses are in sequential order and begin in the freshman year. The program does not grant academic credit for life or Students must apply for admission to the Social Work program upon the completion of the Human Behavior and Social Environment sequence SCWK-2360 and SCWK-2365. This application process is outlined in the HSU Social Work Student Handbook. The Program is open to all qualified applicants without discrimination.


Technological Competency:

The department accepts CSCI 1303.

The Social Work Program is accredited at the undergraduate level by the Council on Social Work Education. Upper level social work practice and field classes are restricted to majors or minors who have been accepted into the program.