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Social work students include traditional age students primarily from South Dakota and the four states surrounding it. There are also international students and others who come from a greater distance to USF.  Generally, one third of the social work students are of non-traditional age (25 years or older) who are usually from the immediate geographical area.

Students state that their motivation to help others comes from a variety of sources.   Their Christian commitment, their experience as a peer helper, their wish to contribute to the community, and to reflect the helping they have received are a few of the motivations heard from students.  Most plan to work in the region and are open to serving people in a variety of agency settings, but interest in working with children, adolescents, families and elders are
mentioned often.

Social work students are likely to be involved in activities on campus or in the community. Many have volunteered before coming to USF and choose to continue to volunteer, if time permits.  Course assignments sometimes require an individual or group volunteer experience to expand the students' knowledge of the agencies in Sioux Falls which are similar to agencies in other communities.

Most social work students work while attending college.  Many jobs are available which provide an opportunity to gain experience working with people.  Social work faculty assist students in locating employment in social agencies, if requested.

Social Work Club/SWAT
(Social Workers Accomplishing Together)

The purpose of SWAT is to organize the social work students, arming them as leaders on our campus who will work together with their student peers in serving the social needs of the community of Sioux Falls and beyond.  Student members are able to explore career interests through participation in campus and community activities.  Students work closely with each other, social workers, other community professionals, and faculty to develop a clearer understanding of the social work profession.

Phi Alpha
National Honor Society for Social Work Students

Phi Alpha is a national honor society for social work students. The USF chapter of Phi Alpha (Lambda Chi Chapter) was begun in 2003 and inducts new members annually.  The purpose of the honor society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and to promote humanitarian goals and ideals.  Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.  "Through knowledge--the challenge to serve" describes the society.  Eligible students must be social work majors and have achieved sophomore or upper division status, completed eight semester hours of required social work courses, achieved an overall grade point average of 3.0, and achieved a 3.25 grade point average in required social work courses.


In the world and at home, you have the opportunity and the responsibility to help make the choices which will determine the greatness of this nation. . .
You live in the most privileged nation on earth. You are the most privileged citizens of that privileged nation; for you have been given the opportunity to study and learn. . .
You can use your enormous privilege and opportunity to seek purely private pleasure and gain. But history will judge you, and as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, on the extent to which you have used your gifts to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow man.
 In your hands, not with presidents or leaders, is the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit.

Robert F. Kennedy, Speech to Students of the University of California, 10/23/66