Social Work

Your Foundation for Success in Today's In-Demand Social Work Career

Students talking and working together at a table

Program Overview

Interested in making a meaningful impact in society? The Social Work program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) prepares you for a fulfilling career dedicated to service and advocacy. This Associate of Arts degree program not only meets the general education requirements for Idaho public institutions but also provides a comprehensive understanding of generalist social work practice. Whether your focus is addiction, crisis intervention, child services, or mental health care, this program equips you with the knowledge and skills to affect positive change.

CWI's program emphasizes practical experience through service learning and internships, allowing you to apply classroom learning in real-world settings. You will develop professional networks, gain hands-on experience with populations facing barriers, and build a strong foundation for further education in social work. The program’s personalized transfer-readiness support ensures a smooth transition to Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs, making it an ideal choice for aspiring social workers.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Arts



Additional cost may apply.

Time to Complete

2 years

Primary Location

Social worker talking to patient in office

Learning Opportunities

  • Hands-On Experience with Populations Facing Barriers: Work directly with diverse groups, gaining practical skills and empathy.
  • Professional Networking Opportunities: Build relationships with community agencies for potential job opportunities and career advancement.
  • Preparation for Advanced Studies: Receive support and guidance for transferring to BSW programs with established relationships with Idaho institutions.
  • Community Engagement & Advocacy: Participate in events highlighting social issues and supporting populations facing barriers.
  • Development of Communication & Advocacy Skills: Enhance your ability to advocate effectively and educate others on social issues.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Social Work – Associate of Arts Degree




Social Worker interacting with a preschool child

Career Opportunities

  • Postsecondary Teachers


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers

    Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Social and Community Service Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. Oversee the program or organization’s budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits. Work may involve directing social workers, counselors, or probation officers.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Healthcare Social Workers

    Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers. Provide patients with information and counseling, and make referrals for other services. May also provide case and care management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

    Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

    Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Counselors, All Other

    All counselors not listed separately.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Social Workers, All Other

    All social workers not listed separately.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Marriage and Family Therapists

    Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.


Step 1

Step 2

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Academic CalendarNew Student Checklist


Denim Day seeks to raise awareness of sexual abuse and show support for survivors.

Read more about Denim Day

College of Western Idaho took over Memorial Stadium in a BOLD way Thursday night during CWI Night at the Hawks raising more than $1,000 for scholarships.

Read more about SCORE Big Hits It Out of the Park

Speak Up! Ink Up!, a charity event hosted by 2022 College of Western Idaho graduate, Craig Petersen, raises nearly $11,500 for Idaho foster children.

Read more about Fostering Change

Congratulations to Social Work faculty, Hilary Cobb, named College of Western Idaho’s Faculty of Distinction for January 2022.

Read more about Cobb Named Faculty of Distinction for January

Social work students have been busy this year working in partnership with the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections.

Read more about Social Work Students Partner with Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections

Social Work students complete service-learning hours at the YMCA THRIVE Center for neurodiverse individuals and their families.

Read more about CWI Students Volunteer at South Meridian YMCA

Congratulations to Annie Estvold, College of Western Idaho’s Faculty of Distinction for December 2020.

Read more about Faculty of Distinction – December 2020

Begin your journey to a rewarding career dedicated to supporting people within our community with a degree in Social Work at CWI.

Read more about CWI Launches New Social Work Degree

Psychology and Social Work students participate in service-learning project with the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections.

Read more about Service-Learning Project Brings Opportunity and Perspective
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