Social Work Assistant

Associate of Applied Science


The most rewarding aspect of a career in social work is the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping others and making a difference. Possible career paths include working with various populations as a social work assistant, human services professional, chemical dependency counselor assistant, case manager, intake coordinator, group leader and many others. 

Why choose COTC?


  • Students have options to attend full time or part time, or they can complete an accelerated program.
  • Hands-on skills courses have evening options at the Newark campus.
  • The social work assistant program can be completed on any of the four COTC campuses.

License/Credentialing Eligibility

  • Graduates who have successfully completed the program are eligible to apply for registration as a Social Work Assistant (SWA) through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.
  • Graduates who have successfully completed the program have fulfilled a portion of the requirements necessary for licensure as a Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant and components of the Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II (LCDC II) and prevention specialist certification through the State of Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.
  • Graduates who have successfully completed the program are eligible to apply and take the examination for the HS-BCP (Human Services – Board Certified Practitioner).

Accreditation, Purpose and Outcomes

National Accreditation 

The COTC social work assistant program is one of two programs in the state of Ohio nationally accredited.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this program is to prepare qualified individuals for entry-level positions in a wide variety of social work assistant and human services settings serving individuals, families, groups, and communities by providing opportunities for personal and professional growth through knowledge-based learning, experiential processes, community involvement, and practical experience under direct supervision of professionals in local agencies.

​​​Learning Outcomes

To accomplish the stated purpose of the Social Work Assistant Program, the following student learning outcomes have been developed.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the human services and social work assistant in a variety of social service settings.
  2. Examine current social and mental health issues and their impact on society, including substance abuse and dependence.
  3. Compare and contrast a variety of family systems and multi-dimensional systems in relation to human behaviors and the environments.
  4. Apply interpersonal skills in helping relationships, including crisis intervention and group dynamics.
  5. Apply case management skills, including documentation, assessment, treatment planning, crisis intervention and the ability to make appropriate referrals.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to adhere to professional, ethical standards, including confidentiality, sensitivity when working with diverse populations and responsibility for professional growth.

Program Outcomes


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take classes face-to-face or online?

At COTC students have the flexibility to take classes face-to-face and online. Programs in the social work pathways are offered online in an asynchronous format for your flexibility and convenience.

How quickly can I complete the social work assistant program?

How quickly a student can complete the social work assistant associate degree depends on whether a student attends full time or part time, or they complete the accelerated program. 

There are two certificates students can complete quickly, in just two semesters, in the social work assistant program. 

Students who complete a certificate have earned credits that can be applied towards the social work assistant associate degree.

    Where can I find a list of classes (plan of study) for the program I want to study?

    Each program at COTC has a plan of study that lists the courses students take to complete a certificate or degree. 

    The social work assistant program has three certificate plans of study. Students who complete the certificates have earned credits toward the social work assistant associate degree. 

    What type of financial assistance is available to help me pay for college?

    COTC awards $1 million in scholarships to students each year.

    Every student is encouraged to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for grants, scholarships and loans. 

    Students who complete a FAFSA are automatically considered for some scholarships. Other scholarships require an application. 

    Connect with the Office of Student Financial Services at 740.366.9435 or email

    Can I pursue a bachelor’s degree after I complete the social work assistant associate degree?

    Students interested in continuing on to pursue a bachelor’s degree can consider transferring to a four-year college or university. COTC has several transfer agreements with four-year colleges.

    Students who know they want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work can also consider completing the Associate of Arts in Social Work. The Associate of Arts in Social Work is intended to transfer to any public, four-year college or university in Ohio. Students should only pursue this option if they know they want to continue to a bachelor’s degree. 

    What is the difference between the Associate of Applied Science in Social Work Assistant and the Associate of Arts in Social Work? 

    Students should only pursue the Associate of Arts in Social Work if they know they want to continue on for a bachelor’s degree and do not want to work in the field immediately. 

    Which COTC degree is for me?

    What organizations are there related to the social work assistant program?

    The Community Outreach Committee is a student organization that social work assistant students who have a desire to help the local community can join. The group organizes volunteer events, plans fundraisers and helps raise awareness about social issues throughout local social services agencies.

    Students can also network with social work professionals by exploring the the National Association of Social Workers and National Organization for Human Services.

    How do I get started at COTC? 

    Help us learn more about you by visiting our Future Students webpage, then follow the COTC Steps to Enroll to get started.