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M.S.W. Program Mission

The mission of the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) Program is to prepare graduate level social workers for advanced direct social work practice with children, youth, and families in both urban and rural areas. The Program produces leaders who demonstrate and build upon the knowledge and skills of advanced direct social work practice; who exemplify the values and ethics of the profession; and who are responsive to the need for services which promote social, economic, and political justice for all groups, especially those confronting discrimination and oppression. Thus, the Program works to increase the pool of master’s level social workers by providing a nurturing academic environment for promising students who reflect the diversity of the state, the nation, and the global community. The Master of Social Work Program supports the implementation of the missions of the University, the College of Public Service, and the School of Social Work.

The goals of the M.S.W. Program are:

  1. to prepare students for advanced direct social work practice with children, youth, and families in local, national, and global settings with systems of all sizes;
  2. to prepare students for leadership roles in the profession of social work and the social welfare arena;
  3. to prepare students to identify patterns, dynamics, and consequences of social, economic, and political discrimination and oppression and promote appropriate change when necessary;
  4. to prepare students for advanced direct social work practice in diverse organizational and social contexts, with an understanding of the ways in which these contexts influence social work practice and with the ability to promote appropriate change when necessary; and
  5. to provide students with a challenging educational experience that develops self-awareness and assures the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, and values and ethics necessary for competent advanced direct social work practice.

The objectives of the M.S.W. Program are to ensure that graduates:

  1. demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and values and ethics relevant to direct practice with children, youth and families in diverse environments;
  2. demonstrate self-awareness and the effective use of self in direct social work practice;
  3. evaluate their own practice in social work settings;
  4. evaluate and apply theoretical perspectives and research findings to practice;
  5. demonstrate the ability to use supervision and consultation appropriate to direct social work practice;
  6. integrate into direct practice a knowledge of the historical development of the profession and the differential impact of social, economic, and political policies;
  7. demonstrate the ability to advocate for social, economic, and political justice and promote appropriate change in organizational and social contexts;
  8. practice without discrimination and with sensitivity when serving diverse populations;
  9. utilize effective oral and written communication skills;
  10. apply critical thinking skills within the context of direct social work practice; and
  11. demonstrate leadership skills and abilities in practice settings.