We welcome students to the social work profession. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Stephen F. Austin State University is to prepare competent and effective professional social workers committed to generalist practice. We are committed to providing leaderships for the region and globally, particularly in identifying and addressing community needs and issues, specifically those related to the alleviation of poverty and oppression, cultural diversity and social economic justice.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve as educators, advisors and mentors to the next generation of social workers. We pledge our sincere efforts to help students to become competent professionals who identify as social workers, think critically, and advocate change for all people.
Sam Copeland, PhD, LCSW, ACSW
BSW Program Director
The BSW program at Stephen F. Austin State University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program prepares graduates for generalist practice in entry level social work practice as well as continuing professional development. The BSW graduate has a basic knowledge of theory and the ability to engage in thought with conceptual complexity. Possession of the common body of the profession's knowledge, values and skills allows graduates to apply their generalist practice abilities in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in a variety of agency settings.
BSW Program Mission Statement
The mission of the BSW program at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) is to prepare competent and effective professional social workers committed to generalist practice with the ability to respond to the needs of individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. The program is committed to providing leadership for the region and globally, particularly in identifying and addressing community needs and issues, including those related to the alleviation of poverty and oppression, cultural diversity and social and economic justice. In support of its educational endeavors, the program is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, life long learning and community service.
BSW Program Goals
The BSW program has six distinct program goals that directly support the school mission. The goals are as follows:
- Prepare social work graduates who will be able to demonstrate integration of social work knowledge, values, and skills into generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
- Produce a curriculum that builds on a liberal arts perspective that prepares graduates to be capable of critical thinking and ethical social work practice with systems of all sizes.
- Prepare social work graduates who identify with the social work profession and are lifelong learners.
- Prepare social work graduates who will be able to evaluate practice, understand practice issues related to diversity including rural lifestyles, advocate for social and economic change, and recognize the global context of social work practice.
- Prepare social work graduates committed to the enhancement of human well-being and to the alleviation of discrimination, poverty and oppression.
- Maintain reciprocal relationships with social work practitioners, groups, communities and organizations.
BSW Learning Outcomes
- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
- Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
- Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
- Engage diversity and difference in practice.
- Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
- Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
- Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
- Respond to context that shape practice.
- Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
BSW Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication in a social service agency (PB: EP 2.1.1).
- Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development (PB: EP 2.1.1).
- Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences (PB: EP 2.1.4).
- Demonstrate the ability to use the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics in making ethical decisions in practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations (PB: EP 2.1.2).
- Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups (PB: EP 2.1.4).
- Demonstrate the ability to distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom (PB: EP 2.1.3).
- Demonstrate the ability to use supervision and consultation to strengthen knowledge of generalist practice (PB: EP 2.1.1).
- Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice (PB: EP 2.1.2).
- Begin to understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination when working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities (PB: EP 2.1.5.).
- Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services (PB: EP 2.1.9).
- Demonstrate the ability to attend to professional roles and boundaries in an agency setting (PB: EP 2.1.1)
- The student analyzes models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation. (PB EP 220.127.116.11)
- The student demonstrates effective oral and written communication in working with, and colleagues. (PB EP 18.104.22.168)
- The student recognizes the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power. (PB EP 22.214.171.124)
- The student gains sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups. (PB EP 126.96.36.199)
- The student recognizes and communicates their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences. (PB EP 188.8.131.52)
- The students view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants. (PB EP 184.108.40.206)
- The student understands the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination. (PB EP 220.127.116.11)
- The student advocates for human rights and social and economic justice. (PB EP 18.104.22.168)
- The student engages in practices that advance social and economic justice. (PB EP 22.214.171.124)
- The student uses practice experience to inform scientific inquiry. (PB EP 126.96.36.199)
- The student uses research evidence to inform practice. (PB EP 188.8.131.52)
- The student utilizes conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation. (PB EP 184.108.40.206)
- The student critiques and applies knowledge to understand person and environment.(PB EP 220.127.116.11)
- The student analyzes, formulates, and advocates for policies that advance social well-being. (PB EP 18.104.22.168)
- The student collaborates with colleagues and clients for effective policy action. (PB EP 22.214.171.124)
- The student continuously discovers, appraises, and attends to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services. (PB EP 126.96.36.199)
- The student provides leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services. (PB EP 188.8.131.52)
- The student substantively and affectively prepares for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. (PB EP 2.1.10(a).1)
- The student uses empathy and other interpersonal skills. (PB EP 2.1.10(a).2)
- The student develops a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes. (PB EP 2.1.10(a).3)
- The student collects, organizes, and interprets client data. (PB EP 2.1.10(b).1)
- The student assesses client strengths and limitations. (PB EP 2.1.10(b).2)
- The student develops mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives. (PB EP 2.1.10(b).3)
- The student selects appropriate intervention strategies. (PB EP 2.1.10(b).4)
- The student initiates actions to achieve organizational goals. (PB EP 2.1.10(c).1)
- The student implements prevention that enhances client capacities. (PB EP 2.1.10(c).2)
- The student helps clients resolve problems. (PB EP 2.1.10(c).3)
- The student negotiates, mediates, and advocates for clients. (PB EP 2.1.10(c).4)
- The student facilitates transitions and endings. (PB EP 2.1.10(c).5)
- The student critically analyzes, monitors, and evaluates interventions. (PB EP 2.1.10 (d) .1)
Generalist practice is a practice perspective that serves client systems utilizing an ecological systems approach focusing on persons, families, groups, organizations, and communities. It is not confined by a narrow cadre of theories; rather it is versatile enough to allow problems and situations, as well as strengths, capacities, and resources, to determine the practice approach. Generalist practice employs a problem solving framework and a broad knowledge, value, and skill base which demands ethical practice and on-going self-assessment. Briefly, generalist social work practice:
- Is multi-level to include individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
- Is multi-theory, allowing for the free selection of theories as appropriate
- Utilizes a problem identification and solving focus that follows a problem-solving framework
- Utilizes multiple interventions at multiple levels, as appropriate
- Addresses the complexity of individual, family, group, organizational, and community system interactions
- Requires an integration of awareness, competence, and professional response to issues of values, ethics, diversity, culture, social justice, and populations-at-risk