Program MissionMSW5

The mission of the joint MU-SU MSW Program is to provide accessible social work graduate education in the South Central region of Pennsylvania. We prepare students to be effective advanced generalist practitioners, committed to the purpose and values of the social work profession.

Definition of Advanced Generalist Perspective

The advanced generalist approach to direct and indirect practice is characterized by the practitioner’s ability to address complex situations within multiple roles and levels. This strengths-based orientation is grounded in a liberal arts foundation and guided by a systems approach incorporating core social work values and ethics and respect for diversity. Using research-informed practice, the advanced generalist social worker promotes positive change in the social, political, and economic arenas to alleviate suffering and advance human rights.

Program Goals

The MU-SU MSW Program seeks to:

  1. Prepare students for competent advanced generalist practice through the acquisition and demonstration of social work practice behaviors consistent with CSWE educational standards and policies.
  2. Prepare students with the specialized knowledge and skills for social work practice with client systems to resolve problems and facilitate change within the boundaries of ethical practice and with attention to the profession's commitment to social justice and human rights.
  3. Encourage students' commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning by providing opportunities for community engagement and real life learning experiences.

MSW Curriculum Competencies and Practice Behaviors

PBF = Practice Behavior Foundation
PBC = Practice Behavior Concentration


Educational Policy 2.1.1—Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly

PBF 1.1 Advocate for client access to the services of social work
PBF 1.2 Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development
PBF 1.3 Attend to professional roles and boundaries
PBF 1.4 Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication
PBF 1.5 Engage in career-long learning
PBF 1.6 Use supervision and consultation

PBC 1.1 Advocate for client access to the services by identifying unmet needs and by designing programs to address them
PBC 1.2 Engage in ongoing self-reflective practice including an awareness of and strategies for addressing professional strengths and challenges as areas for professional growth and development
PBC 1.3 Practice professional roles and demonstrate professional demeanor including taking responsibility for the development of professional competence and boundaries in field settings

Educational Policy 2.1.2—Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice

PBF 2.1 Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice
PBF 2.2 Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work Statement of Principles
PBF 2.3 Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts
PBF 2.4 Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions

PBC 2.1 Make ethical decisions and resolve ethical dilemmas in consultation with decision making frameworks, laws, and regulatory guidelines consistent with the standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles
PBC 2.2 Accept ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts/dilemmas and employ ethical decision making frameworks to make professional judgments

Educational Policy 2.1.3-—Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments

PBF 3.1 Distinguish, appraise and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom
PBF 3.2 Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation
PBF 3.3 Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and colleagues

PBC 3.1 Analyze, synthesize, and evaluate models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation, and identify best practices
PBC 3.2 Apply effective oral and written communication skills in complex situations when working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues

Educational Policy 2.1.4 -—Engage diversity and difference in practice

PBF 4.1 Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power
PBF 4.2 Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups
PBF 4.3 Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences
PBF 4.4 View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants

PBC 4.1 Engage in ongoing self-reflective practice in an effort to address professional strengths and challenges related to working with diverse groups
PBC 4.2 Apply an understanding of how societal structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, create or enhance privilege and power and their impact on shaping life experiences
PBC 4.3 Engage in relationships with clients that are collaborative, empowering, and strengths based

Educational Policy 2.1.5 -— Advance human rights and social and economic justice

PBF 5.1 Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination
PBF 5.2 Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice
PBF 5.3 Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice

PBC 5.1 Advocate for and promote human rights and nondiscrimination of marginalized social groups at appropriate levels of intervention
PBC 5.2 Analyze, assess and address the impact of human rights violations on disadvantaged populations

Educational Policy 2.1.6 -— Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

PBF 6.1 Use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry
PBF 6.2 Use research evidence to inform practice

PBC 6.1 Apply evidence based processes in social work practice and evaluation
PBC 6.2 Use research to analyze and evaluate practice effectiveness

Educational Policy 2.1.7 -— Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

PBF 7.1 Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation
PBF 7.2 Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment

PBC 7.1 Critique and apply bio-psychosocial conceptual frameworks to the process of assessment, intervention, and evaluation in client systems

Educational Policy 2.1.8 -— Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services

PBF 8.1 Analyze formulate and advocate for policies that advance social well-being
PBF 8.2 Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action

PBC 8.1 Develop strategies for influencing policy to affect positive changes in the social environment
PBC 8.2 Collaborate with other systems to affect policy change

Educational Policy 2.1.9 -— Respond to contexts that shape practice

PBF 9.1 Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services
PBF 9.2 Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services

PBC 9.1 Develop intervention plans based on the changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to improve and/or create new services
PBC 9.2 Work collaboratively with others and provide leadership to affect sustainable systemic changes

Educational Policy 2.1.10 (a) -— Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

PBF 10 (a).1 Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
PBF 10 (a).2 Use empathy and other interpersonal skills
PBF 10 (a).3 Develop a mutually agreed on focus of work and desired outcomes

PBC 10 (a).1 Effectively prepare students for advanced generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities utilizing a strengths-based approach that draws on a range of intervention theories as appropriate
PBC 10 (a).2 Implement a process that encourages client systems to be equal participants in the establishment of treatment goals and expected outcomes

Educational Policy 2.1.10 (b) -— Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

PBF 10 (b).1 Collect, organize, and interpret client data
PBF 10 (b).2 Assess client strengths and limitations
PBF 10 (b).3 Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives
PBF 10 (b).4 Select appropriate intervention strategies

PBC 10 (b).1 Use empirical knowledge, practice wisdom, personal experience, and client characteristics to assess client strengths and limitations
PBC 10 (b).2 Critique and select appropriate intervention strategies using empirical knowledge, practice wisdom, personal experience, and client characteristics

Educational Policy 2.1.10 (c) -— Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

PBF 10 (c).1 Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals
PBF 10 (c).2 Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities
PBF 10 (c).3 Help clients resolve problems
PBF 10 (c).4 ` Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients
PBF 10 (c).5 Facilitate transitions and endings

PBC 10 (c).1 Develop clear, timely, and appropriate organizational plans with measurable outcome objectives
PBC 10 (c).2 Develop intervention and service plans in conjunction with clients beyond crises towards self-actualizing behaviors and practices

Educational Policy 2.1.10 (d) -— Evaluate interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

PBF 10 (d).1 Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions

PBC 10 (d).1 Acquire proficiency in analyzing, monitoring and evaluating interventions

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