In the first year of graduate study, students take courses that provide a common base of knowledge across all practice settings and populations.  They gain basic knowledge and skills for generalist practice in order to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities

On completion of 30 foundation credit hours, students have the core knowledge, skills, and values of the profession to move into an area of specialization or concentration. Full-time students will complete the foundation in one year; part-time students will complete the foundation coursework in two years.  Students cannot proceed to their concentration choice without having successfully completed most foundation courses

It is anticipated that students who successfully complete the foundation courses will be able to demonstrate (in observable ways) a measurable degree of achievement of the following objectives:

Foundation Objectives

  1. Students will gain knowledge of the historical development of the social work profession and identify as professional social workers and conduct themselves accordingly.

  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and a strong commitment to the values and ethics of the social work profession and an understanding of the relationship between personal beliefs and values, professional values and ethics, and professional social work practice.

  3. Students will use critical thinking, capacity building, analytical and communication skills to integrate various sources of knowledge to synthesize and analyze information to inform social work practice.

  4. Students will develop self-awareness and understand the importance of diversity, difference, power, and privilege in shaping life experiences for diversity competent practice.

  5. Students will possess the knowledge and skills to fight effectively against human oppression, discrimination, and social inequity and to formulate and foster social change initiatives to advance social and economic justice.

  6. Students will become familiar with scientific inquiry and evaluate their own professional practice and /or the professional practice of others to engage in research informed practice and practice informed research.

  7. Students will understand and apply theories of human behavior across the life span and the person-in-environment perspective to guide assessment and intervention

  8. Students will know major social and welfare policies and be able to analyze and formulate policies to advocate for social and economic justice.

  9. Students will gain awareness of evolving societal trends and use leadership skills to respond to the changing context of social work practice

  10. Students will utilize skills of engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation-including theory and practice skills- for practice with individual, group, family, organization, community and policy.