The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) requires that all social work programs have a gatekeeping process to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the profession of social work and will be a good fit for the program and profession.
The BSSW program at Liberty University includes 4 gates. You are expected to be knowledgeable of the requirements of each gate. You must apply for and be approved through all 4 gates to be eligible to graduate from the Social Work Program.
Successfully completing the 4 Gates in the program serve the following purposes:
- Gate 1 (SOWK 294) –Formal approval into the program.
*Declaring Social Work as your major is not the same as being approved into the program. All students must be approved through Gate 1 by successfully completing SOWK 294, to be officially approved into the Social Work program.
- Gate 2 (SOWK 365) –Approval to be enrolled in SOWK 370 (Junior Field Experience) in the following semester.
- Gate 3 (SOWK 465) –Approval to be enrolled in SOWK 470 (Senior Field Experience) in the following semester.
- Gate 4 (SOWK 494) –Approval to take the final comprehensive exam and graduate from the program
You may declare a major in social work at any time. However, this does not automatically approve you into the BSSW Program. You will be officially approved into the program only after you have successfully completed SOWK 294 (approved through Gate 1). Typically, if you are following a more traditional 4-year schedule, you are eligible for SOWK 294 (Gate 1) in your sophomore year. If you are a hybrid student who transfers in courses, you may be eligible to apply as soon as your second semester at LU, depending on the transferred courses. If you have not met the criteria by that time, you may apply in a subsequent semester.
All of the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to apply for SOWK 294 (Gate 1):
- You must be in good standing with the department, which includes the following:
- Have a “C” or higher in all Major and Major Foundational Requirements.
- Maintain satisfactory citizenship and ethical behavior.
- Consistently demonstrate the values of the profession: integrity, service, the value of human relationships, dignity, and worth of a person, competence, and social justice.
- You must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- All required prerequisite courses for SOWK 294 (Gate 1) must either be completed or in progress during the semester you are registered for SOWK 294.
- SOWK 101 is the only prerequisite for Gate 1 that must be successfully completed prior to a student’s enrollment in SOWK 294.
Students will register for the Gate courses using the Course Registration Tool in the same manner that registration for traditional classes is done. Online students can also be registered for Gate courses by contacting LUO Advising. Students must register for these courses by the registration deadlines for A term courses set by the Registrar’s office.
Students who are registered for a Gate course but then drop below eligibility requirements during the Gate course will not be eligible to successfully complete or pass the course. If this happens, students will need to re-enroll in the course for a future semester when they again meet the eligibility requirements.
Each course is an A-term (full semester), 0-credit course. Each course is also Pass/Fail. All assignments must be submitted correctly by the deadline in order to be eligible to successfully complete the course. If you are unable to successfully complete the course, you will need to re-enroll for the course in a later semester.
You can only be enrolled in one Gate course per semester. Approval through each Gate (a passing grade for the course) must be granted before you can continue forward into the next Gate course.
Grading & Attendance
There will be assignments due weekly for each course like any other course. Successful completion of all assignments by assigned deadlines and full or provisional approval in the Gate 1 Decision assignment is required to successfully complete this course. Assignments will not be accepted if submitted more than two weeks past the assigned deadline. These courses are Pass/Fail. The following would result in a failing grade for the course:
- Not being granted approval through the Gate associated with the course (Gate 1, 2, 3, or 4)
- Failing to submit the required assignments for the course by each deadline (Gate 1, 2, 3, or 4)
- Failing to complete the Field Enrollment Process associated with the course (Gate 2 or Gate 3)
- Not passing the Comprehensive Exam associated with the course (Gate 4).
Tuition & Credit Hours
There are no tuition costs associated with the gate courses. Gate courses are 0 credits each and will not impact the number of credit hours you can take in a semester.
If you have questions about the Gate process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the required Junior and Senior Field Experiences, please review the Field Experiences webpage.