Goals and Competencies

Goals

Each unit of the School derives its goals from those of the School. The goals of the MSW program flow from those of the School and are listed below.

The program’s goals flow from its mission and that of the University of Arkansas and are influenced by its context, especially in their attention to leadership development (i.e., counties and agencies without professional social workers), poverty reduction (i.e., 2nd highest poverty rate among the 50 states and Washington DC), advocacy, and cross-system social change. The goals are linked to the 10 required competencies and provide additional specificity, thus guiding the curriculum design used in the graduate program. The Program’s goals are listed below. They are followed (in italics) by the linked required competencies.

Prepare graduates for advanced independent professional social work practice grounded in a solid liberal arts and professional foundation of knowledge, skills, and values.
Competency 2.1.1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
Competency 2.1.2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
Competency 2.1.3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
Competency 2.1.7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

Prepare graduates for advanced empirically based professional social work practice from a multi-system, life course perspective.
Competency 2.1.6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
Competency 2.1.10(a) – (d). Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Prepare graduates for advanced social work practice with a firm grounding in strategies and tactics for poverty reduction in a range of constantly changing contexts, including interdisciplinary collaborative learning and across system levels in Arkansas, nationally, and globally.
Competency 2.1.5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
Competency 2.1.8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
Competency 2.1.9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.

Prepare graduates for advanced professional social work practice who are skilled in the use of a variety of technologies and techniques for direct practice including research, intervention, and advocacy across the range of social systems with sensitivity to the differing needs of persons across the life course.
Competency 2.1.4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
Competency 2.1.8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
Competency 2.1.10(a) – (d). Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Prepare graduates for advanced practice emphasizing collaborative and assets-based practice approaches to prepare non-profit, public, and private sector leader/ practitioners committed to social and economic justice who are skilled in the use of a variety of technologies and techniques for practice in community and organizational development, management, and finance.
Competency 2.1.5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
Competency 2.1.8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
Competency 2.1.10(a) – (d). Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Prepare advanced professional social work practitioners for life-long learning including, but not limited to, doctoral studies.
Competency 2.1.1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

Foundation Competencies

At the foundation level, the MSW Program utilizes the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) operational practice behaviors in its curriculum design and assessment. The MSW Program Foundation Competencies are identified below:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Advanced Competencies