A degree in social work is a great option for students who are interested in counseling people with their problems, promoting human rights and social justice, eliminating discrimination and oppression, and advocating for change within communities and across the system.
Social Work Program Goals
- To prepare students to identify and conduct oneself as a professional social worker in accordance with the professions’ values and ethical standards.
- To prepare students to practice professional social work at the generalist level with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities utilizing a strengths-based, justice-orientated, and ecosystems perspective.
- To prepare students for graduate-level work in accredited social work programs.
Social Work Program Curricular Themes
Strengths Perspective– Through a strengths perspective lens, social workers recognize that all individuals and communities are resilient and have inherent strengths and resources, including the right to self-determination. Social workers partner with individuals, families, and communities to build upon the existing strengths and to create mutually agreed upon goals and action plans. The Strengths Perspective (Saleebey, 2009) further emphasizes that challenges and adversity may also be sources of opportunity and growth.
Justice-based practice– Practicing from a justice-oriented perspective means that social workers identify and understand the complex ways in which individuals or groups of people experience inequality, discrimination and/or oppression. Social workers recognize the dignity and worth of all people and seek to advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice by working to dismantle systemic oppression at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Human Diversity– Social workers seek to understand the significance of the lived experiences of individuals, groups, and communities and the impact of the intersection of such differences. Social workers view differences as sources of strength and opportunity. Social workers intentionally seek out differing voices, experiences, and perspectives to inform their understanding of people and their environments.
Ecosystems Perspective– Social workers understand that the relationship between an individual and their environment is unique, dynamic, and complex and apply this knowledge to their practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Social workers recognize that an people’s decisions and actions are informed by their relationships and experiences with their environment, just as environments and communities are impacted by individual experiences.
Inter–professional Collaboration– Building upon a liberal arts foundation and the social work profession’s values and ethical standards, social workers actively participate in a variety of collaborative roles with client systems, colleagues, and stakeholders. Social workers conduct themselves professionally while building meaningful collaborations.
Social Work Practicums
Boston is home to over 200 social service agencies that service a wide range of populations. Students pursue internship and practicum experiences at many of these locations. During the last year of course work, social work students are placed in approved agencies where they practice their social work skills at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The agency settings and populations served reflect the diverse field of social work practice. The Social Work Field Education Office continually works to develop and maintain practicum placements that provide an array of meaningful learning experiences in accordance with Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards and requirements.
Recent field practicum settings include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal Justice (District Attorney’s office; local courts; jails; juvenile detention centers)
- School-based (After school programs; pre-schools; elementary schools; high school)
- Healthcare (Hospitals; community health clinics; HIV/AIDS programs)
- At-Risk Youth (Child Protective Services; residential programs, foster/adoption programs; Early Intervention programs)
- Special Populations (Domestic violence shelter, Rape Crisis Center; homeless shelters; human trafficking outreach and awareness program; elder services; detoxification/relapse prevention programs)
Students are also encouraged to engage with associations and clubs on campus including The Students’ Association of Social Workers (SASW Club) and Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, Theta Mu Chapter.