Welcome to Northwestern State University Social Work Department. Our social work program, which has been in existence since 1970, assists students in developing the knowledge, skills, competencies, and values to effectively help people confront and resolve personal problems and public issues. The Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW) prepares graduates for immediate entry into direct social work and human services positions. Additionally, our degree allows graduates going on to Masters-level (MSW) social work programs, in many cases, to pass over approximately one-half of the MSW courses. We are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Social workers can be found in all of the following fields of practice:

  • Aging
  • Income Maintenance
  • Alcohol & Substance Abuse
  • Medical and Health Care
  • Child Welfare
  • Mental Health and Illness
  • Community/Neighborhood Work
  • Occupational/Industrial Work
  • Corrections/Criminal Justice
  • Schools
  • Disabilities (Physical and Mental)
  • Social Policy
  • Family Services
  • Youth Services

Some social workers spend their entire career in one field of practice, while others move from one practice area to another over the course of their career. Our program provides a generalist foundation that is transferable among the different fields of practice, populations, and problem areas, so don’t worry if you are not sure of which area of social work you want to enter.

You will find the social work faculty to be friendly and interested in you. They stand ready to engage you in the classroom, advise you academically, help you to think through your career choices, consider further social work education, and even chat with you about their own experiences. I encourage you to get to know the social work faculty members to learn more about opportunities in social work. Their contact information can be found elsewhere on these web pages.

You will have opportunity to develop your interests in this profession outside the classroom, as well as through standard course work. The social work club is open to all social work majors and brings a social work perspective to university, agency, and community projects, putting students’ care and concern for others into action. Pi Delta is our local chapter of the national Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and is for selected students committed to excellence in academic scholarship and professional standards. Social Work majors are represented by some of their peers on departmental and university committees, task forces, and councils. Some seek office in NSU’s Student Government Association and Union Board.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about majoring in social work, the NSU BSW program, or career opportunities in social work. The easiest way to contact me is by email at tyler@nsula.edu. The social work department telephone number is 318-357-5493. I would love to hear from you!

Dr. Wade M. Tyler, MSSW, LCSW-BACS, ACSW, Social Work Department Head

Contact Us

Department of Social Work
Kyser Hall, Room 118 – Main Office
350 Sam Sibley Drive
Natchitoches, LA 71497
Phone: 318-357-5493
Fax: 318-357-6782
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The Mission of the Northwestern State University of Louisiana Social Work Program is to develop competent, solid, beginning level generalist social workers. The program offers an appreciation of human diversity by developing lifelong learners whose values and ethics are consistent with the profession of social work. In this rural setting, NSU maintains a commitment of service to the professional community and populations at risk who suffer from oppression due to social and economic injustice. This program seeks to provide a caring, student-centered environment that encourages professional development.


  1. To enable students to integrate the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession into competent practice.
  2. To prepare students for generalist social work practice at the professional entry level and graduate education in social work.
  3. Provide a professional foundation curriculum that contains the common body of the profession’s knowledge, values, and skills. This base is transferable among settings, population groups and problem areas.
  4. Include a liberal arts perspective and the professional foundation content, which prepares students for direct services with client systems of various sizes and types.
  5. Prepare graduates to practice with diverse populations.
  6. Provide content about the social contexts of social work practice, the changing nature of those contexts, the behavior of organization, and the dynamics of change.
  7. Infuse throughout the curriculum the values and ethics that guide professional social workers in their practice.
  8. Prepare graduates who are aware of their responsibility to continue their professional growth and development.
  9. Contribute knowledge and support to the professional community who serves populations at risk who suffer from oppression due to social and economic injustice.
  10. To offer students an appreciation for the special concerns affecting the rural population.
Program Objectives

  1. Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
  2. Practice within the values and ethics of the social work profession and with an understanding of and respect for the positive value of diversity.
  3. Demonstrate the professional use of self.
  4. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and the strategies of change that advance social and economic justice.
  5. Understand the history of the social work profession and its current structures and issues.
  6. Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work to practice with systems of all sizes.
  7. Apply knowledge of bio-psycho-social variables that affect individual development and behavior, and use theoretical frameworks to understand the interactions among individuals and between individuals and social systems (i.e., families, groups, organizations, and communities).
  8. Analyze the impact of social policies on client systems workers, and agencies.
  9. Evaluate research studies and apply findings to practice, and, under supervision, to evaluate their own practice interventions and those of other relevant systems.
  10. Use communication skills differentially with a variety of client populations, colleagues, and members of the community.
  11. Use supervision appropriate to generalist practice.
  12. Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems, and under supervision, seek necessary organizational change.
  13. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of communications technology and resources.
  14. Use the skills, values and knowledge to meet the special needs of the rural population.

Field Orientation

Follow the link below to hear the recorded Field Orientation given by our Director of Field, Dr. Ruth Weinzettle to students enrolled in field, field instuctors and faculty liaisons.

Malcolm C. Braudaway Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Malcolm Braudaway

An Associate Professor of Social Work, Dr. Malcolm Braudaway was an early pioneer in undergraduate social work education. His leadership was invaluable in the development of the Social Work Program at Northwestern State University. The Department of Sociology and Social Work, under the direction of Millard Bienvenu, Ph.D., hired Mr. Braudaway in 1972 as an Assistant Professor of Social Work from the Family Court of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Malcolm brought to the University his practice wisdom, insight into people and a firm professional knowledge base. While at NSU, he was instrumental in obtaining national accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education for the Social Work Program from 1977 to 1996. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Social Work in 1977 and named Program Director of Social Work. He remained in this position throughout his tenure at the University until his retirement in 1996.

Malcolm attended Louisiana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1965. He later graduated with a Master of Social Work from the University of Arkansas, at Little Rock, in 1970. He was honored by the Louisiana Council on Social Work Education in 1997 as an Outstanding Educator in the Social Work field. He served as president of the NSU Faculty Senate and the President’s Advisory Council from 1983-1984.The quote was a favorite of Mr. Malcolm Braudaway, who like Emerson, possessed a unique wisdom and insight into people and human behavior. Soft-spoken and gentle in temperament, Malcolm was devoted to his profession and to his students. He passed away on September 18, 2003. He was well loved and respected by colleagues and students alike, and is deeply missed by all. Although a man of many many talents, one quality stood out about all others, Malcolm was a gentleman at all times.The Endowment Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Malcolm C. Braudaway and his contribution to the field of Social Work. Scholarships will be awarded to deserving students to support Malcolm’s dreams of furthering student’s education in becoming competent social work professionals. However, this endeavor cannot be accomplished without your help. Please join us in providing an ongoing tribute to this fine individual. There are two ways in which you can help to further our efforts: either by making a one-time donation or by making a monthly or quarterly pledge. The Department of Social Work faculty, staff, and students greatly appreciate your support in this endeavor

Social Work Academic Advisors

Alexandria Campus
Dr. Ruth Weinzettle
LCRP Suite 222, Room 216
318-484-2184, ext. 119 (Cenla office)

Main Campus
Room 345K Kyser Hall
Please see your academic advisor for advising, substitution, academic plans, and audit requests.

Ms. Patricia Clark
Kyser 343-K
Ms. Denise Bailey
Kyser 343-J
Ms. Sepora Fisher
Kyser 343-G
Mr. Andrew Fultz
Kyser 345-K
Mr. Byron McKinney
Kyser 345-B
Mr. Demarius Payne
Kyser 345-J

Community Advisory Board

Damarius Payne, MSW
Volunteer Supervisor, CASA

Daphne Bonnette
Supervisory, OCS (Natchitoches)

Teresa Gibson
Director of Housing (Natchitoches Parish)

Alexa Boyette, MSW, LCSW
Retired, OCS (Natchitoches) and NSU Instructor

Gerald Long
State Senator

James Wagley, LCSW
Many, LA

Anthony Williams, RSW
Alexandria, LA

Markela Robertson
President of Social Work Club (NSU)

Barb Pierce-Cruise
Faculty Coordinator

Claudia Triche
Department Head

It is the policy of NSU to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal law, state law, and the University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities. Any student with a disability who needs accommodations, for example in seating placement or in arrangements for examinations, should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Support, which is located in Kyser Hall, Room 239, telephone (318)357-4460 or TTD (318)357-4393.

Social Work Staff

Denise Bailey – Assistant Professor
Phone:(318) 357-6129
John S. Kyser Hall – 343J

Pat Clark – Associate Professor
Phone:(318) 357-5941
John S. Kyser Hall – 343K

Brenda Falcon – Administrative Assistant
Phone:(318) 357-4103
John S. Kyser Hall – 345L

Tina Feldt – Instructor
Phone:(318) 357-5493
John S. Kyser Hall – 345A

Sepora Fisher – Associate Professor
Phone:(318) 357-6126
John S. Kyser Hall – 343G

Andrew Fultz – Assistant Professor
Phone:(318) 357-5002
John S. Kyser Hall – 345K

Bessie Jones – Administrative Assistant
Phone:(318) 357-5493
John S. Kyser Hall – 149

Byron McKinney – Assistant Professor
Phone:(318) 357-4167
John S. Kyser Hall – 343I

Demarius Payne – Assistant Professor
Phone:(318) 357-6922
John S. Kyser Hall – 345J

Wade Tyler – Department Head
Phone:(318) 357-5491
John S. Kyser Hall – 149

Ruth Weinzettle – Professor
Phone:(318) 357-5021
John S. Kyser Hall – 345B