Social work is a broadly based profession that seeks to identify and alleviate both the individual and social causes of problems related to meeting basic human needs, and assists people in interacting effectively with one another and with the environment. Consistent with this, the mission of Western Michigan University's Bachelor of Social Work program is to provide a generalist social work education encompassing a broad range of helping skills designed to enhance the social functioning of individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. The School of Social Work educates social workers to advocate for social and economic justice and personal well-being for all people. The program promotes social and economic justice by teaching students to critically examine oppressive and discriminatory social constructs, policies, practices, attitudes and assumptions.
The B.S.W. program goals stemming from this mission are:
- To provide a professional education that prepares generalist practitioners to enhance, advocate, and support social and economic justice and personal well-being for all people.
- Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with diverse, vulnerable and underserved populations.
- Possess critical thinking skills, embrace social work values, and have the requisite skills needed to formulate and realize a vision of a just society.
Program graduates will be prepared for entry- or mid-level careers in various settings, which include:
- Adoption agencies
- Child welfare departments
- Community mental health agencies
- Corrections and public safety departments
- Employment services
- Family service agencies
- Foster care agencies
- Human rights and advocacy organizations
- International aid and refugee relief organizations
- Labor unions
- Local, state and federal governments
- Public interest groups
- Senior services
- Social service agencies