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Social Work

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

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 to become lifelong learners and cultural-humility practitioners who will 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 on our website for more information:

Field Education

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.


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 Scholarship Office or from the Financial Aid Office Website at For more information please consult the school. Undergraduate scholarships for Social Work majors include the Aileen Collier Glenn, the Mary French, the Archie McDonald, the Paul Martinsen, and the Art Preciado Scholarships. They are awarded to BA-level students who have attained sophomore status or above. The master's level scholarships include the Art Preciado, the Lois McDonald, the Paula Artis-Chomistek, and the Victor Treatment Centers Scholarships which are awarded to MSW students. The School also offers various stipend programs.

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.

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