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Mission and Goals

Mission of the BSW Program

The mission of The University of Montana School of Social Work BSW Program is to prepare generalist social workers who are knowledgeable, ethical, reflexive, collaborative, innovative, culturally competent and skilled to practice at multiple levels utilizing the Codes of Ethics for our field. Graduates are prepared to assume a variety of social work roles to address social issues, promote social justice, contribute to a just and humane society and to be lifelong learners.


Goals of The University of Montana School of Social Work BSW Program are to:

1. Build on the liberal arts perspective to prepare competent generalist social work practitioners who possess the requisite ethical, value, knowledge, and skill base for effective practice at local, state, tribal, regional, national, and global levels.

2. Promote community participation through engaged practice that addresses social and economic justice and human rights, particularly when disadvantaged populations are involved.

3. Utilize research and service to analyze and address social problems, improve pedagogy and contribute to the practice of social work


Students in the BSW program will:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the history of social work and its core values and mission.  Students will conduct themselves as professional social workers and will enact the values and practices of the profession as articulated in the program mission, goals and Codes of Ethics.  Students will also use professional communication skills across client populations, organizational settings, and communities and use supervision and consultation to promote effective social work practice. (Educational Policy 2.1.1.Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly)

2. Apply ethical frameworks, strategies and thinking to practice decisions and problems arising in the academic and practice arena to arrive at legal and principled outcomes.  This includes the ability to apply the ethical standards of personal and professional behavior found within our profession’s Codes of Ethics (Educational Policy 2.1.2—Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.)

3. Evidence critical thinking inclusive of the ability to integrate into practice decisions a range of context-dependent logic, knowledge and inquiry.  Students will also demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate models of assessment, intervention and evaluation and be able to effectively and professionally apply and convey their thinking to individuals, families, groups and organizations. (Educational Policy 2.1.3—Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments. )

4. Understand the ways in which intersecting dimensions of diversity shape and condition identity, experience, and access to resources as well as ways in which oppression and inequity condition social position and thus life chances for individuals and groups within the human family.  Students will also demonstrate critical thinking and reflexivity to their own biases and those found within out major social institutions. (Educational Policy 2.1.4—Engage diversity and difference in practice. )

5. Demonstrate knowledge of the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.  Students will practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge and skills related to client’s age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. (Educational Policy 2.1.5—Advance human rights and social and economic justice. )

6.Demonstrate basic research skills of ethical collection and analysis of data, evaluation of research studies, application of research findings to practice, and evaluation of one’s own practice interventions.  To that end students will also engage in evidence-based interventions in their practice and will demonstrate the ability to critique and improve outcomes of service and service delivery mechanisms. (Educational Policy 2.1.6—Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. )

7. Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand and apply to practice theories of individual development and behavior across the life span as well as to understand the interactions among individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.  Students will demonstrate the ability to critique and apply knowledge of human behavior within a global and thus culturally relative and changing social context. (Educational Policy 2.1.7—Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment. )

8. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, formulate, and understand the connections between social problems and social policies. Students will also demonstrate the ability to critically think about policies that impact local and national populations as well as to engage in effective policy advocacy that influences and brings about change on the local or state levels. (Educational Policy 2.1.8—Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services)

9. Show their ability to be informed, resourceful, and proactive practitioners by responding to and integrating changes in knowledge, population, technology, and locales into their practice frameworks.  Students will also demonstrate their ability to envision, articulate and participate in planned changes to improve the quality of service. (Educational Policy 2.1.9—Respond to contexts that shape practice. )

10. Demonstrate their ability to enact practice as a dynamic and planned process of engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation of their practice at the micro, mezzo and macro levels of practice with a range of client populations.  Students will also evidence the ability to implement evidence-based interventions and evaluations of their interventions, the ability to integrate new technologies and intervention modalities, and through their interventions demonstrate leadership and promote social justice. Educational Policy 2.1.10(a)–(d)—Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The University of Montana-Missoula
School of Social Work
Jeannette Rankin Hall 004
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812-4680
Phone 406.243.5543 Fax: 406.243.5275

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