Online Learning Readiness - Online Social Work Program | Briar Cliff University

Distance Learning Readiness

Is the online BSW program a good fit for your academic needs and preferences?

Although the promise of attending class from anywhere at nearly any time can be appealing, the reality is that distance learning and online coursework are not a good match for every student.  Distance learning is most effective for students who are highly independent and self-motivated learners and who require little or no face-to-face interaction with their professor and peers in order to understand and appreciate course material.   

If you are an experienced student and learn best on your own (by reading course material, participating in online discussion boards, and synthesizing material from multiple sources), you might be a good candidate for distance learning.  If you are an independent learner with a complicated work or family schedule, online courses could be an excellent way to complete college coursework while meeting your other obligations.

What do I need to know about BCUs online BSW Program?

Briar Cliff’s online BSW is an independent, intensive study with the same competencies, practice behaviors and learning objectives as the on campus program. In this program: 

  • You will be required to partner with local resources for course assignments.
  • You will identify volunteers whom you will interview in video-recorded help sessions in your first practice course.
  • Group coursework requires forming, conducting and video recording your own group sessions. 
  • You will recruit volunteers and mentors to assist you with the social work practice courses.
  • BCU faculty will work directly with you in weekly personal mentoring, coaching, and assessment online consultations, which you will schedule with your professors for each of your courses.
  • You will work with BCU’s Director of Field Education in the planning and completion of 450 hours of required field internship – a requirement for graduation from BCU.
  • You will help identify and work with field instructors and the Director of Field Education and work with them in developing an effective learning contract for your field experience, which they will supervise.

Are you better suited for on-campus learning format?

If your learning preferences include the following, visit the on-campus Social Work undergraduate social work major page. The face-to-face program includes:

  • Individual face-to-face contact with students and faculty
  • Faculty facilitated networking with community and professional leaders
  • On campus learning format
  • Completing your degree in person on a scenic hilltop campus in Sioux City, Iowa.

Technological requirements

You will need a computer with a microphone, web camera, and stable Internet connection.


Class Format

Online courses

Next Start Dates

» August 2020

Tuition Cost



47 credit hours