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Social Work

The practice of social work actively seeks out and develops people’s capacities by reaching for strengths in individuals, families, organizations, communities, and society as a whole. Social work rests on the firm belief that all people are of equal value and that every person possesses the capacity to face challenges and to grow and change. People experience “problems in living” when life presents them with challenges of an historical, institutional, interpersonal, or intrapersonal nature. The social work profession has always been in the forefront of promoting positive social change in the broader societal context, empowering our most vulnerable citizens.

Our Mission

The mission of the School of Social Work is to provide high quality social work education for generalist social work practice at the baccalaureate level, advanced practice and leadership at the master’s level, and high quality general education courses. Our intent is to educate social work practitioners at both levels who are ethical, knowledgeable, and versatile in serving rural and urban areas throughout the region and state. Through collaborative efforts with community service agencies, social work professionals and organizations, the program educates social workers who will become lifelong learners and culturally competent practitioners who work to promote social and economic justice in an increasingly complex, diverse, and interconnected world.

The baccalaureate curriculum and the first year of the MSW curriculum are based upon competencies necessary for social work practice at the foundation level. The second year of the MSW curriculum prepares students for advanced social work practice. Faculty members assess students’ progress in acquiring those competencies throughout their coursework, including all practicums. Please refer to the undergraduate and graduate Social Work Student Handbooks for more information.

Field Education

Practicums are an integral part of social work education. Students are placed as interns in regional social service programs to integrate social work knowledge with the realities of working in the field. Practicums provide opportunities for students to develop practice skills in relation to social work values and ethics.

Accreditation

The baccalaureate  program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) which assures students their education meets national standards for social work education at the baccalaureate level and increases their opportunities for employment and admission into MSW programs. The MSW program was awarded official “candidacy” status by CSWE on July 2, 2001, and is now working toward full accreditation.

Scholarships

The school administers the Aileen Collier Glenn, the Mary French, the Archie McDonald, the Paul Martinsen, and the Art Preciado Scholarships, which are awarded to BA-level students who have attained sophomore status or above. For more information please consult the school. Students can apply for these scholarships at the Financial Aid Office between November 1 and January 30 of each year. Financial aid is being developed for the MSW program. Contact the MSW Program for more information.

Career Outlook

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. For variety, few professions can compare with social work. While social workers are employed as lobbyists, administrators, and policymakers, they frequently choose to work directly with individuals, families, and groups of people who experience problems that are economically, politically, and socially based. Social work is unique in its dedication to working with people who are economically disadvantaged. Among the settings that employ social workers are schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, private counseling services, drug and alcohol clinics, job training programs, adult and child social services, in-home services for isolated older
adults or persons with AIDS, social welfare agencies, adult corrections and juvenile probation.