Mission and Goals
Department of Social Work Mission
We change lives by graduating social work professionals who value and advocate for diversity, inclusion, and justice.
Being a new department, the Department of Social Work met on October 1, 2021 to draft our departmental goals. We believe this draft not only reflects an ambitious vision for our future, but is also a starting point for conversation with our strategic partners. We look forward to posting these goals once as we have affirmed our shared vision for success.
Baccalaureate Social Work (BSW) Program Mission
The Eastern Kentucky University BSW program provides a student-centered collaborative and dynamic environment that prepares students for competent and ethical social work practice in a diverse world. This is accomplished through self-reflection, rigorous academics, knowledge based on scientific inquiry and experiential learning in a safe and nurturing environment. We strive to graduate students who understand the complexities of the relationship between people and their environments, value human rights and believe in the dignity and worth of all human beings. Completion of EKU’s generalist social work degree will provide the knowledge, values, and skills to become practitioners who can think critically and creatively. Our mission is to graduate ethical leaders who advocate for social and economic justice in rural, urban, and global communities, with an emphasis on EKU’s identified service region.
BSW Program Goals
The EKU BSW program prepares students to:
- provide a fluid curriculum, grounded in a liberal arts perspective that prepares students for competent and effective entry-level generalist professional social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities through mastery of the knowledge, values, and skills that inform the ten core competencies;
- integrate into the program the values, knowledge, and skills of the social work profession and to socialize students to the profession through self-assessment and self-awareness;
- prepare students to deliver ethical social work practice through the development of critical thinking to guide professional judgments and practice; and
- prepare students for advocacy and service to diverse populations-at-risk and to advance economic and social justice.
Master of Social Work (MSW) Program Mission
The mission of the Eastern Kentucky University MSW program is to prepare students to be advanced generalist social workers who can mobilize the power of interprofessional teams in a manner that promotes social welfare, respect for human rights, and social, economic, and environmental justice. Students learn how to balance the breadth and depth of social work expertise with the expertise of other professionals for culturally inclusive interprofessional practice. This includes the use of critical thinking and scientific inquiry to support interprofessional teamwork congruent with social work values and ethics in response to shared concerns.
MSW Program Goals
The EKU MSW program employs a cumulative process of building student capacity to engage with complex systems. A traditional generalist program curriculum informs the type of foundation courses offered and rationale for how these courses are sequenced, while students are held to high standards for professional and academic performance as part of completion. The EKU MSW Program enables students to develop an increasingly robust capacity to apply social work theory and research as generalist social workers. Building on the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) 2017 definition of generalist practice, the generalist practice course sequence promotes mastery of generalist competencies. The EKU MSW program prepares students to:
- reference a liberal arts and person-in-environment framework;
- use scientific inquiry, ethical principles and critical thinking to apply best practices;
- engage diversity and difference in practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice; and
- recognize and build upon the strengths and resiliency of all human beings.
The specialized practice curriculum further enables students to develop a robust capacity to apply social work theory and research as advanced generalist social workers. In keeping with CSWE’s (2017) definition of generalist practice, the specialized practice course sequence enhances the performance of generalist competencies as reflected by the following six program goals. The EKU MSW program prepares students to:
- reflect the breadth and depth of social work values, ethics, and practice principles;
- seek personal insight with a commitment to advocate for justice and equality;
- build on social work theory based on scientific inquiry and best practices;
- draw from diverse perspectives to inform culturally inclusive practices;
- mobilize the power of interprofessional teamwork and related partnerships; and
- inspire resilience through prevention and intervention methods congruent with expertise.
Students are concurrently enrolled in an Interdisciplinary University Certificate (IUC) program. This means they take elective courses outside of the MSW program, although may choose social work electives that correspond with their IUC program. IUC electives enhance the general fund of knowledge and required social work courses to support the utilization of this knowledge. Student IUC program participation supports the mastery of integrative advanced generalist practice competencies further developed in the classroom and field.