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Bachelor of Social Work Program Mission

Our Bachelor of Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Our undergraduate program has been in existence since 1974. Since then we have grown to include almost 200 majors studying to become the social workers of the future.

Mission of the BSW Program

Social Work is much more than an academic major. For many social workers it is a way of life which embraces a concern and caring for others demonstrated through practice based on values, skills, and knowledge which define Social Work. It is not the most highly paid profession nor the most glamorous, but it is one in which each day brings new challenges and opportunities to make the world a better place.

The mission of the Shippensburg University BSW program is to provide comprehensive preparation for competent entry level social work practice and/or graduate study. This program includes (1) a curriculum grounded in the generalist approach; (2) a special emphasis on the respect for diversity and human rights; and (3) involvement and leadership in the practice community from the local to the global.

Generalist practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person-in-environment framework. To promote human and social well-being, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities based on scientific inquiry and best practices. The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Generalist practitioners engage in diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. They recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings. They engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice (CSWE, 2015).

Flowing from the mission statement are the goals of our program. We have separated our goals into two broad categories that reflect both the education focus and the overall programmatic intent of our department. We see ourselves as educators and Social Work practitioners who work to achieve the purpose of educating future professionals and furthering the broad purposes of the Social Work profession. Our goals reflect this dual approach which is consistent with our belief that educators act as professional role models to students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Educational Goals

  1. To prepare students to use the generalist approach to become competent entry-level Social Work practitioners and/or to prepare students for graduate study in Social Work
  2. To provide leadership about diversity and human rights issues to the University and the region in order to work towards greater inclusion and social justice.
  3. To collaborate with the practice community for mutual professional growth and development, with an emphasis on regional partnerships.
Contact the Social Work and Gerontology Department 382 Shippen Hall 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1717 Fax: (717) 477-4051