The ULM Department of Social Work, located in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been an accredited program by the Council on Social Work Education since 1977. The CSWE Curriculum Policy Statement can be viewed online at http://www.cswe.org/.
Since that time, the department has continued to grow and has remained a viable program that is committed to providing an academically challenging social work education. The program of study for the degree in social work (BA) requires a minimum of four academic years of full-time study culminating in a total of 120 semester hours. Of these 120 hours, 39 semester hours of social work courses are required for a major. Students may choose to complete a second minor in another field.
The Social Work curriculum is based on a liberal arts perspective which blends well
with the beliefs, values and ethics of the social work profession. Social work professionals
look at entire systems and all factors that may have an impact on a system. This requires
a broad learning base. Social work deals with very diverse populations in terms of
target populations (individuals, families, groups, neighborhoods, communities) and
problem areas (i.e., discrimination, poverty, child maltreatment, mental disorders,
aging, additive disorders, violence). Therefore, it is imperative that the professional
understand and appreciate various cultures, heritages and diverse backgrounds. The
social work professional must have an understanding of government and the bureaucratic
process in order to impact the political system. The liberal arts courses refine the
ability of the social work professional to look at the whole client system.
The Social Work Program has articulated the following goals that emanate from and represent different pathways through which we pursue our mission to provide the values, skills, and knowledge for the beginning generalist social work practice.
1. To educate and prepare students for entry level generalist social work practice in public and private settings with micro, mezzo, and macro client systems.
2. To provide students with the social work knowledge, values, skill base, and opportunities for critical thinking necessary and for ethical social work practice at all levels of professional growth and development.
3. To provide students with a curriculum that builds on a liberal arts perspective and prepares graduates for critical thinking that stresses social responsibility and individual accountability.
4. To develop students with a strong social work identity and educational base that enables them to understand and advocate for practice methods and policy issues related to diverse populations in urban and rural communities, as well as globally, and emphases social and economic justices issues inherent in the provision of these social services.
5. To prepare students to promote the social work profession by maintaining close, reciprocal and ongoing relationships and exchanges with social work practitioners, groups, organizations, and the community at large.
6. To prepare students for graduate education in social work and lifelong learning and leadership.
Social work is a profession which requires both intellectual ability and a set of personal attributes appropriate to the task of helping others.
The student who elects to major in Social Work at ULM is expected to maintain a level of academic performance consistent with their major. In addition to academic expectations, social work students must demonstrate professional behavior which reflects a commitment to the ethics of the social work profession. Students are expected to read, understand, and sign the "Student Acknowledgement of Ethical Behavior and Agreement to Abide: Statement of Ethical Social Work Practice and Program Requirements and Sanctions for Violations of Ethical Behavior."
The knowledge, values, and skills required for entry into the social work profession are learned in the classroom and through practical experience. Practical experience is gained through service and experiential learning and through field experience. The service learning component of the Social Work Program involves selecting a community agency to study and provide a community service for in Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (SOCW 2005). The experiential component requires 30 hours of hands on agency experience in Interviewing and the Helping Relationship (SOCW 3001). These experiences have helped students in deciding whether social work is the profession they want to pursue and in selecting a field of practice early in their university career.