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Student Learning Objectives from the "" college of arts and science

Social Work

MSW Program Goals

The goals of the MSW program are derived from its mission, which is derived from the university’s and college’s missions. The goals also incorporate the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational Policy, augmented by the department’s focus on serving rural families, particularly in Appalachia, and encouraging the development of a culture of research in the local practice community. The goals are to:

  • Prepare social work students for the professional practice of social work with diverse systems of various sizes, emphasizing the provision of competent, ethical, clinical and administrative services to families in Appalachia and other rural communities.
  • Prepare social work students to conduct research to guide their own practice and to contribute to the knowledge base of the social work profession by disseminating that knowledge in appropriate forums and serving as Researcher-Practitioner role models in the agencies and communities they serve. Implicit in this goal is that faculty will conduct independent and collaborative research with colleagues and students, and act as Researcher-Practitioner role models for students and community agencies.
  • Prepare social workers for service leadership in professional organizations and in advocacy for the development and improvement of social policies and services.
MSW Program Objectives

(A) Prepare social work students for the professional practice of social work with diverse systems of various sizes, emphasizing the provision of competent, ethical, clinical and administrative services to families in Appalachia and other rural communities, based on the core competencies of social work.

  • Ensure that students are able to understand and practice with the values, ethics, and historical traditions of the social work profession.
  • Ensure that students are able to understand the distinctive characteristics of diverse populations as well as the nature of oppression and discrimination and the implications these have for practice with client systems of all sizes (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities).
  • Ensure that students are able to utilize a biopsychosocial, strengths-based perspective to guide assessment and intervention efforts with client systems of all sizes.
  • Ensure that students are able to critically evaluate and apply the theoretical and empirical knowledge and skills of generalist and advanced social work perspectives to practice in the pre-engagement through ending phases with client systems of all sizes.
  • Ensure that students are able to use appropriate oral and written communication skills with client systems of all sizes.
  • Ensure that students are able to utilize information technology to enhance their effectiveness as social work professionals.
  • Ensure that students are able, through the use of supervision and independently, to demonstrate self-awareness and professional use of self to enhance professional social work practice with client systems of all sizes.
  • Ensure that students are able to advocate, through professional and political means, for policies and programs that address the social and economic well being of clients and others in need of assistance.

(B) Prepare social work students to conduct research to guide their own practice and to contribute to the knowledge base of the social work profession by disseminating that knowledge in appropriate forums and serving as Researcher-Practitioner role models in the agencies and communities they serve. Implicit in this goal is that faculty will conduct independent and collaborative research with colleagues and students, and act as Researcher-Practitioner role models for students and community agencies.

  • Encourage students to conduct independent and/or collaborative research that increases the knowledge base of social work practice, models scientific inquiry for the practice community and increases the capacity to evaluate and improve social work practice.
  • Encourage students to disseminate the results of their research and other scientific inquiry through professional presentations, trainings and publications.
  • Encourage students to participate in interdisciplinary research collaborations to expand scholarly development and maximize funding options.
  • Enable students to assess practice effectiveness, evaluate research findings, and apply research knowledge and conduct research to enhance practice interventions.
  • Enable students to analyze the impact of social policies and agency structures on clients, workers and the delivery of social work services and to promote organizational change.

(C) Prepare social workers for service leadership in professional organizations and in advocacy for the development and improvement of service delivery systems.

  • Encourage students to become engaged in ongoing service and consultation to local, regional and national organizations relevant to the provision or improvement of rural social work services and to local, regional and national professional social work organizations, and promote change when warranted.
  • Ensure that student course assignments and field experiences include multiple opportunities to understand and interact with rural families and community groups through such means as case studies, guest speakers, meeting attendance, needs assessments and provision of technical assistance.

The Following is a sample objective
with narrative information and a table explaining how it is operationalized. Discussion of the findings, and how they are used for continuous assessment and program improvement, are also available.

(Objective A.1) Ensure that students are able to understand and practice with the values, ethics, and historical traditions of the social work profession.

The Curriculum Committee reviews all syllabi annually to ensure that each course reflects content on social work ethics and values. The historic traditions of the social work profession are addressed in SW 522: The History of Social Work and Social Welfare, and are reiterated in other courses and departmental activities. For example, in 2004, three faculty members collaborated on a presentation and discussion of the life of Alice Paul, incorporating the showing of the film, Iron-Jawed Angels. In addition, the MSW Chair currently serves as the Ethics Chair of the Ohio Chapter of NASW, has conducted training on ethics for NASW-OH that have been required for licensure renewal in the state since 2003, and oversees the approval of ethics trainers endorsed by NASW-OH. She has also published several refereed journal articles on social work ethics, and the Ethics and Law course she developed was included in CSWE’s published compilation of model ethics syllabi, Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics: A Curriculum Resource, 2002. All MSW students are also required to take an online training on research ethics prior to submitting their research proposals to the Institutional Review Board. Further, the Field Learning Contract requires that students and field instructors, in consultation, develop individualized field goals relevant to ethics and values, as noted in Table 1-16, the Field Learning Contract Goals. Table 1-1 displays the outcomes and measures used to evaluate Objective A1.

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