What is a “rural” social work practice?
“Rural” social work deals with communities and people with rural lifestyles and includes systems of all sizes within (and outside of) rural communities. There is no single accepted definition of “rural.” In fact, just as a generalist practice in social work draws on multiple theories, a generalist practice in rural contexts recognizes the many definitions of “rural,” as well as their advantages and disadvantages for research, practice and advocacy. The School of Social Work at SFA utilizes several of these definitions within the United States and globally.
Moreover, rural practice focuses on challenges faced by rural communities, such as poverty, inadequate housing and health care, scarcity of resources, socioeconomic underdevelopment and physical distance from services and transportation. Students in the Master of Social Work program learn to connect, engage and communicate with residents of rural communities, and – through research projects and field work opportunities – they build the skills to address the unique needs of these populations.
An ideal setting for hands-on learning
SFA’s East Texas setting makes it an ideal place to gain valuable experience working with rural populations. Nacogdoches is surrounded by small towns and communities that face the social and economic issues commonly found in rural areas.
Students in the Master of Social Work program help provide valuable social services that are often limited due to a lack of transportation and financial resources. They also provide these historically underserved communities with access to trained professionals.
Graduate program and requirements
Master of Social Work
The 64-credit Master of Social Work program is designed to be completed in two years. The program includes a combination of advanced coursework, research and field work with an approved agency.
To learn more about the prerequisites and required coursework for the Master of Social Work program, visit the graduate programs page.