The Northeastern State University (NSU) Social Work Program offers an upper-division professional social work curriculum built upon a liberal arts foundation which leads to a bachelor of social work degree (BSW) accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Its primary mission is to provide academic preparation and contribute to the professional and intellectual growth and development of individuals who desire to enter generalist social work practice in a wide range of social agencies and allied settings with diverse client systems of various sizes and types. The program is designed to integrate and apply the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and the knowledge, values, and skills of the profession into a competent generalist social work practice with population-at-risk.
The mission statement of NSU provides the foundation and structure and is commensurate with the mission statement of the Bachelor of Social Work program. Both statements are compatible with academic excellence, as the ultimate mission being reflected in the preparation of students for their professional endeavors as well as good citizenship and personal conduct.
SOCIAL WORK GOALS
To fulfill the above mission, the goals of the social work program are:
- To prepare a diverse student population for beginning professional generalists social work practice based on values and ethics in order to serve client systems of various sizes and types. This includes direct services to the diverse populations-at-risk to facilitate the reduction of poverty, oppression and discrimination that will promote social and economic justice.
- To provide a flexible educational program that increases the students understanding of the bio-psycho-social variables that affect the person within the environment and community which will include the history of social welfare and the social work profession, its structures and issues.
- To provide students the opportunity to acquire, develop and integrate professional social work knowledge, values, and skills. To guide their professional social work practice, primarily through course work and field practicum instruction.
- To provide professional education for practice which will increase appreciation and understanding of working effectively with diverse client systems of various sizes and types with emphases on Native American populations.
- To develop analytical skills and critical thinking that will encourage active participation in the development, evaluation, and improvement of social work knowledge and skills through research aimed at advancing social work practice.
- To encourage students to become aware of the complex tasks of involvement in practice, both direct and indirect, and the global impact of social, spiritual, political, and economic systems.
- To prepare graduates for generalist social work practice with diverse populations and to foster their commitment to lifelong learning and development of social work knowledge, values, and skills with incorporation of effective supervision throughout their careers, which will empower them and their clients.
SOCIAL WORK OBJECTIVES
Graduates of the NSU Social Work Program will be able to:
- Apply critical thinking and research skills within the context of professional social work practice.
- Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly.
- Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
- Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
- Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and the social welfare institution and their contemporary structures and issues.
- Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes.
- Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interaction among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
- Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies that promote social and economic justice, including the global context.
- Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
- Use communication skills differentially across client populations and communities and with colleagues.
- Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
- Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change.
- Understand the need for cultural sensitivity in the provision of services for Native American populations.
Curriculum Policy Statement and Curriculum Design
The BSW curriculum at Northeastern State University is organized, implemented, and evaluated based on a generalist practice framework. This framework incorporates a systems perspective which includes the problem-solving approach, a focus on human diversity, the ability to understand and analyze social work research and to begin to evaluate ones own practice, a commitment to serving populations-at-risk and working toward their empowerment, and a commitment to the values and ethics of the social work profession that leads toward social change and social justice.
The curriculum design is based on NSUs mission and requirements, and is developed in accordance with CSWE accreditation standards (see CSWE Curriculum Policy Statement). It is designed to prepare students for beginning level professional generalist social work practice with individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities.
Program Outcome Evaluation
Senior Social Work Seminar is required of all second semester practicum students. This capstone course enables students to integrate their learning from the NSU Social Work Program and to evaluate their preparation to engage in generalist social work practice in multicultural environments. The seminar format will address each program outcome through oral, written and experiential exercises. At the end of the seminar an outcome exam is administered to students preparing to graduate from the program. This exam is administered by NSUs Office of Academic Affairs. Students test scores are evaluated on a national and individual level.