You could personally change someone's life every day you go to work. Now, that's an amazing career.

If you're the person people confide in because you're a good listener and give wise advice, and if you're the kind of person who notices when someone's having a bad day and checks on them, you might find being a social worker a very fulfilling job.

Social work is helping people cope with their problems by teaching them skills and helpful ways to work through their problems. It's being a liaison between them and institutions and advocating for them on their behalf. Social workers not only counsel individuals but often engage with families, children, and groups in need.  

In the Social Work program, you'll learn the principles of societal behavior and gain insight on how to use these principles to think critically and scientifically about the behavior of a group or individual. You'll explore and practice with different methods to help people from different social groups, and ultimately use these to improve someone's quality of life.

There are applied and paraprofessional occupations if you have an associate degree, though most career pathways require graduate level degrees. Social work is found in many different locations, such as child care programs, family services agencies, mental health facilities, assisted living facilities, treatment programs, publicly and privately-run social service offices, hospitals, and other community organizations.

SDCC's Social Work program offers an Associate in Arts degree in Social Work. If you wish to continue to a four-year institution, we recommend you visit a counselor to ensure you meet the requirements of the social work program of the college or university you wish to attend.

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Program Description

Social Work is an applied behavioral science that emphasizes the application of behavioral science principles in a variety of cultural contexts. Social Work students are expected to think critically and scientifically about behavior, to apply the principles of the behavioral sciences, and to understand the role of values in diverse cultural settings. As a profession, social work focuses on methods for helping people from many different social groups to improve the quality of their lives.

Program Goals

The Social Work program has two primary goals. The first is to provide students with the basic science and social work courses that prepare them for entry-level work in the field and/or transfer to four-year colleges, universities or other institutions. The second goal is to provide students with general knowledge related to the behavioral sciences that complements their interests in the field of Social Work.


Most career options directly related to professional (licensed) social work require graduate level degrees. However, there are applied and paraprofessional occupations that value the associate degree. Social services departments, hospitals, academic and community mental health facilities, child care programs, services for the aged, alcohol and other drug treatment programs, family services agencies, and other community organizations are all examples of settings which employ both professional and paraprofessional social service providers. Education at each academic level enhances skills, knowledge, and employability.