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Master of Social Work

Our program goals are consistent with both the institution’s and program’s missions and reflect the values and priorities of the social work profession. Our mission is to not only teach students specialized skills, but to apply those skills in such a way that service recipients feel respected and cared about. The MSW Program goals are influenced by an ethic of care (Gilligan, 1982), caring theory (Eriksson, 2001), the philosophy of caritas in the Catholic church, and caritas processes identified by Watson (2007), and blended with social work values to develop our program goals. Our goals are

To prepare professional social workers who will

  • Embrace humanistic-altruistic values by practicing with care, compassion, and kindness within a context of professional social work.
  • Develop positive, constructive, professional relationships with people from diverse groups, instilling the belief that change is possible and honoring their different belief systems.
  • Engage in the helping process through partnerships with clients and client systems, and by being authentically present in their interactions.
  • Conceptualize the broader implications of current practice situations and take action to influence policies that contribute to social, economic, spiritual, and environmental justice.
  • Use evidence-based practice, critical thinking, and creativity to accurately assess and intervene with clients facing complex problems in multi-system settings.
  • Practice in an ethical and professional manner, guided by the NASW Code of Ethics, jurisdictional laws, an ethic of care, accepted professional standards, agency policies, and the need for accountability to stakeholders.
  • Intervene in ways that help clients get their basic needs met, improve their life conditions and honor their self-determination, at micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  • When empirical evidence is absent, engage in scientific inquiry to advance knowledge-building in the profession, while remaining open to spiritual unknowns.