Mission and Vision


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.


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.


  • 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