About

Our BSW and MSW programs are nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and we are ranked among the top 100 social work programs in the U.S. Indeed, we have a nearly 50 year legacy of training BSW and MSW students who serve as leaders and professional practitioners in numerous human service settings locally, regionally and across the U.S.

Mission

Our core purpose:

Western Michigan University's School of Social Work educates social workers to advocate for social and economic justice and personal well-being for all people. The faculty provides leadership on a local, national and international level through research, scholarship, community service and partnerships, and other creative activities relevant to the profession.

Vision

We seek to be a school that:

  •  Strengthens students' critical thinking skills, helps them formulate a vision of a just society, and enables them to move towards the realization of their vision.
  • Prepares ethical, competent, reflective practitioners to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and institutions within a global and changing environment.
  • Fosters sensitivity to diversity, cultural competence and practice effectiveness.
  • Is a nurturing, respectful, inclusive environment that maximizes the contributions and development of students, faculty and staff.

Values

  •  Person-centered and ecologically oriented interventions
  • Advocacy and social justice
  • Student-centered educational environment, and client-centered professional practice
  • Collaborative relationships
  • Trustworthiness, collegial behaviors, and modeling professional behavior for students
  • Excellence in professional education
  • Professional competence
  • Commitment to lifelong professional learning
  • Evaluating educational outcomes
  • Focus on best practices
  • Evidence-based practice

Goals

  1. To provide a professional education that prepares generalist and advanced practitioners to enhance, advocate, and support social and economic justice and personal well-being for all people.
  2. To prepare generalist and advanced practitioners who demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with diverse, vulnerable, and underserved populations.
  3. To prepare generalist and advanced practitioners who possess critical thinking skills, embrace social work values, and have the requisite skills needed to formulate and realize a vision of a just society.
  4. To prepare ethical, reflective, and competent generalist and advanced practitioners in interpersonal practice to work with individuals, families, and groups; and in policy, planning, and administration to work with organizations, communities, and institutions within a global and changing environment.
  5. To prepare generalist and advanced practitioners who effectively intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and institutions by utilizing evidence­-based knowledge and theories and guided by person­-centered ecological models.
  6. To prepare generalist and advanced practitioners who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to consume and produce social work knowledge and the ability to actively participate in the evaluation of professional practice.
  7. To prepare advanced practitioners who are grounded in a bio­psycho­social­-spiritual framework, understand the historical roots of the social work profession, and can analyze, develop, and utilize social policy.