The practice of social work actively seeks out and develops people's resiliency 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 challenges of an historical, institutional, physiological, socioeconomic, 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. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, there is a rich mix of students from various backgrounds, lifestyles and traditions which results in a diverse context for gaining the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for social work practice and working for social change.
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. For more information, please refer to the undergraduate and graduate Social Work Student Handbooks on the School of Social Work website.
The Minor and Certificate in Gerontology gives the undergraduate an opportunity to learn about the critical issues related to older adults and their families.
The Minor and Certificate in Gerontology consists of an interdisciplinary cluster of courses, which enables students to effectively work with older adults and their families in a variety of settings. Students pursuing a Certificate in Gerontology also have to do an internship (135 hours) to give them first-hand experience of working with older adults and their families. The minor/certificate in gerontology augments individuals pursing majors in social work, recreation, nursing, psychology, sociology, nutrition, and other helping professions to work with older adults and their families.
The mission of the School of Social Work is to provide accessible, high quality education for generalist practice at the baccalaureate level and advanced generalist practice at the graduate level. We educate students to be ethical, knowledgeable, and versatile practitioners and leaders who value collaboration, social and economic justice, and lifelong learning.
Practicums are an integral part of social work education. Students are placed as interns in regional social service programs where they are provided opportunities to apply social work knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to life situations experienced by their clients. It is essential students develop practice skills that reflect social work values and ethics. Successful completion of the field practicum requires a personal and professional commitment to these values and ethics that are the cornerstone of the profession.
The BA and MSW programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) which assures students that their education meets national standards for social work education at the baccalaureate and graduate level and increases their opportunities for employment.
Scholarships & Awards
The school offers scholarships for the BA in Social Work and the MSW programs. Students apply using the University Scholarship application which is available September through January at the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The School also offers various stipend programs.
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 challenges 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, behavioral health clinics, private counseling services, addiction treatment centers, job training programs, adult and child social services, in-home services for older adults or persons with physical and health challenges, social welfare agencies, adult corrections and juvenile probation.