Consistent with the mission of this upper Midwest teaching university, and the Education Policy and Accreditation Standards (2008) of the Council on Social Work Education, the MSUM School of Social Work educates competent entry-level social work professionals with the core knowledge, values, and skills necessary to engage in ethical and empowerment-based generalist practice with all people in a dynamic and diverse society. Graduates are prepared to promote planned change and advance social and economic justice, and human rights, locally, nationally, and globally.
The School of Social Work faculty are committed to creating a student-centered class environment that promotes a community of learning and encourages honest dialogue, critical thinking, and respect for diversity in culture, values, and opinions. The School's faculty employ diverse teaching strategies to meet the various learning styles and needs of students which include, but are not limited to: lecture presentations, class discussions, writing assignments, lab experiences, videos, constructive interaction with guest speakers, simulations, role plays, and various additional formal and informal class activities and processes. Synthesis, integration, and application of knowledge and skills garnered from the various readings, lecture, discussions, and interactive exercises constitute significant learning opportunities for students.
The School strives to cultivate a caring environment for our students, which means we "honor their humanity, hold them in high esteem, expect high performance from them, and use strategies to fulfill their expectations" (Gay, 2000, p. 46). The School also believes that students come to class with knowledge and experience that, if shared, can enhance the learning process of everyone, including the instructors. To engage and challenge each individual, it is necessary to know students as people, so therefore instructors acknowledge that each individual comes to class with their own set of abilities, motivations, attitudes, goals, and cultural backgrounds. Getting to know these various facets of our students allow us to excel as instructors because we utilize and capitalize on students' knowledge, skills, talents, and resources to make the classroom more interesting, dynamic, applicable, and personal.
With a liberal arts foundation, School of Social Work graduates are prepared for entry-level professional social work practice. Further, graduates are prepared to continue their formal education in social work or other graduate discipline. Thus, graduates will be prepared to:
Natasha Smith talks about her experience