Peers to Higher Education

Peers to Higher Education is a supportive and collaborative effort that guides Peers through multiple pathways to earn a Bachelor's and/or Master in Social Work. We have illuminated paths for Peers to achieve their higher education goals by creating an environment that supports frequently faced hurdles including childcare, finances, and time. We're here to assist you as you explore options and find the right path that fits your needs for your future with Peers to Higher Education in the Wayne State University School of Social Work. 


The purpose of Peers to Higher Education is to facilitate the movement of peers, who play a critical role in the recovery community, to higher-wage and higher-demand jobs through higher education. Our goal is to increase and improve the behavioral health workforce while also honoring peers' skills and experience. 


Pathway 1: Traditional 4-year college/university

BSW students start with two years of general education courses followed by two years of advanced Social Work specific courses. Peers seeking a BSW will be prepared for ethical, competent, entry-level, generalist professional social work practice with diverse, poor, vulnerable and oppressed individuals, families, groups and communities. 

Named a top 50 School for Social Work in 2023 according to U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School ranking, the MSW program will prepare Peers to become world-class practitioners committed to achieving social and economic justice, assisting vulnerable or oppressed individuals and improving the lives of individuals, families, groups and communities. Peers will study for two years or one year via our Advanced Standing option.

Wayne State is dedicated to helping students cross the graduation stage. We offer wrap-around services to support individuals, from financial aid to academic help. With the Wayne State Guarantee, eligible students can earn their full BSW with no-cost tuition. Customizable in-person and online programs, and day and evening course offerings, ensure success is within reach.

Pathway 2: Community college

Community colleges offer an affordable and accessible pathway to a social work degree, saving students time and money. Many community colleges have transfer programs that allow students to complete general education requirements before transferring to a 4-year university to complete their BSW. The School of Social Work has established a formal articulation agreement for the BSW program with Henry Ford College, Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, and Wayne County Community College District to provide a clearl documented path to graduation. This agreement guarantees the transfer of specific courses between institutions and minimizes coursework duplication, saving students time and money.

Additionally, community colleges may offer certifications in addiction studies or associates in social services that allow individuals to take advantage of the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP) and Social Work Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) credentialing. Online programs are also available to make coursework more flexible for students. Financial aid and scholarships are also available for students pursuing this pathway, and wrap-around support services are community college-specific. 

Wayne State advantage

Earning a social work degree is essential in pursuing a career in social work and making a difference in your community. At Peers to Higher Education, we believe everyone should have access to higher education, regardless of their background or circumstances. With extensive wrap-around support services available, Wayne State is committed to your success. 


With full- or part-time in-person and online program options, Peers can earn a BSW or MSW in their time and in their way. Classes are offered in day and evening formats. 


Wayne State offers a variety of child care resources, including WSU child care centers, free to low-cost child care materials, special needs resources and much more. 

Financial aid

Wayne State has expanded its commitment to ensuring finances do not impede students' ability to pursue their passion. With extensive financial aid opportunities including the Wayne State Guarantee, Peers may now qualify for a no-cost way to attain their BSW. The Wayne State Guarantee is open to all Pell Grant-eligible Michigan residents, as well as most families who earn $70,000 or less and have $50,000 or less in assets. Qualifying students incur zero out-of-pocket expenses.

Although the Wayne State Guarantee is not open to transfer applicants, WSU offers a range of transfer scholarships including University Transfer Merit ScholarshipsReconnect Transfer Award, and Frontliners Forward. The School of Social Work also offers over 60 private scholarships to students. 

Student support

Tackling college can feel overwhelming, but we've got your back. Wayne State and the School of Social Work offer a variety of student supports to ensure there is no hurdle we can't tackle together. 


Apply now

Pursue your passion with in-person or online, and flexible day or evening courses in one of our pathways. 

We invite you to request information to learn more about Wayne State's BSW and MSW programs, attend an upcoming BSW or MSW Information Session, or start your social work journey today and apply now!


Larry West
Project coordinator