students walking across bridge on WWU campus

William Woods to award scholarships to prospective social work students, host campus school social work discussion panel

The Department of Social Work at William Woods University (WWU) will be awarding ten $1,000 scholarships to incoming students who intend to study social work beginning with the Fall 2023 semester, thanks to a contract with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s School-Based Mental Health Recruitment and Retention Initiative.

Also included in the funds secured through the contract, the WWU Department of Social Work will be hosting a panel discussion on school social work this Friday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Aldridge Hall on the WWU campus. Panelists include Dr. Sarah Wisdom, Superintendent of New Bloomfield (Mo.) Public Schools; Allison Mattox, a social worker with Mexico (Mo.) Public Schools, and School Social Work Specialist Dr. Freddie Avant, and the event is free and open to the public.

The new scholarships will be offered to students who express an interest in and propensity towards school social work, specifically, students who declare a major in social work and articulate an intent to complete a field placement with a local school district and subsequently pursue a career in school social work. Students who are admitted from high school must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.50. The scholarship application will consist of transcripts and a short essay response of 300-500 words to questions about their interest in social work, specifically school social work and/or school-based mental health services; their personal strengths and weaknesses, and their experience working with children 17 and under.

“The goal of this statewide initiative is to increase the number of school-based mental health professionals in public schools, as school social workers are an important part of this school-based inter-professional team,” said Steve Cooper, Director of the Bachelor of Social Work Program and Professor at William Woods.  “According to the School Social Workers Association of Missouri, schools should have at least one social worker for every 250 students.  Currently, the average in Missouri is one school social worker for every 985 students.  We are very excited to be part of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s efforts to ensure that all of our children have an opportunity to realize wellness and achieve academic success.” 

Students who submit a scholarship application by July 31 will be given priority consideration. For more information on the scholarship and related questions, please contact