MSW - Graduate Degree
Welcome to the MSW Program Homepage
Department of Social Work Mission Statement
The mission of the MSW program is to provide students with a trauma-informed foundation that will prepare them for advanced practice and leadership. The inherent dignity, rights, and strengths of all individuals, families, and communities, no matter their social, historical, economic, and cultural contexts are core values of the program. Critical thinking, a fundamental program component, is supported by the promotion of multicultural sensitivity, human rights, and social and economic justice.
About the MSW Program
The Master of Social Work program prepares students for advanced social work practice and research in one of two broad concentrations:
- Trauma-Informed Practice
Social Work Administration (beginning Fall 2015, applications will no longer be accepted for this concentration)
The MSW program offers you:
- A wide range of internship opportunities in various agencies
- Diverse faculty with extensive experience in a variety of social work settings
- Full- and part-time program options
- Advanced Standing Option
- Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
- Professional leadership skills and development
- Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state
- A trauma-informed curriculum
What does it mean to be Trauma Informed?
The provision of trauma informed services is much broader than offering specific interventions to individuals who present with trauma symptoms. To be trauma informed requires the adoption of a systemic approach which ensures that all people who come into contact with the social services system will receive services that are sensitive to the impact of trauma (e.g., childhood abuse, domestic violence, war-related trauma). Clients must be able to receive such services regardless of the agency they enter or whether they ever receive trauma-specific treatment.
Being trauma informed means realizing that the vast majority of people social service agencies come in contact with have trauma histories. Trauma must be seen as the expectation, not the exception. Regardless of the reasons an individual comes to an agency, clinical staff should assume the probability of past trauma. All interactions, including those with support staff, must be respectful. Also, it is part of social workers' jobs to educate staff on issues of racism, heterosexism, etc., to promote trauma-informed services.
In a trauma-informed system, services are designed to accommodate the needs of trauma survivors. Agencies incorporate knowledge about trauma in all aspects of service delivery to minimize revictimization and to facilitate recovery. A trauma informed system is also cognizant of the impact of secondary trauma and offers support to staff to help reduce the potential for trauma that may result from working with survivors.
Advanced Social Work Practice in Trauma (CSWE Practice Behaviors).
- Provide a foundation curriculum rooted within a generalist perspective that addresses knowledge and skills necessary for effective and ethical practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
- Provide a concentration curriculum built on the professional foundation that prepares students to practice autonomously as advanced level professionals in either trauma-informed or administrative practice within a wide range of client systems and practice settings
- Infuse social work values and ethics throughout students’ educational experience to serve as guides for practice in field placements and future professional social work practice
- Promote student understanding of diversity through curriculum that identifies the experiences and needs of vulnerable and oppressed groups while emphasizing resilience and strengths
- Increase students’ understanding of the types and processes of discrimination and oppression and enhance their ability to promote social and economic justice through advocacy and social reform
- Prepare students to critically assess and apply empirically-based knowledge, evaluate their own practice effectiveness, and participate in the evaluation of programs and policies
The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and students who successfully complete the program are eligible for social work licensure.