Social Work Program: Our Approach

Mission

The mission of our social work education program is to prepare baccalaureate students for beginning level generalist practice with emphasis on social and economic justice, anti-oppressive practice, and engaging effectively across differences. Generalist practice is founded upon the purposes and core values of the social work profession.

The social work education program has three goals which contribute to the program’s mission and which are congruent with the purposes of social work education.

  1. To provide students with the knowledge, skills, values and ethics that will prepare them for beginning professional generalist social work practice.
  2. To prepare students to practice effectively with diverse client populations, and to advocate on behalf of those who are at risk of exploitation, oppression, and discrimination.
  3. To prepare students for graduate social work education in areas of advanced specialized practice.

Our Focus

The social work program emphasizes four areas of professional development in the curriculum:

Human Behavior and Social Environment

At GC, we approach social work from a holistic perspective of human beings and their relationships and interactions in their social systems. In your studies, you will explore the multidisciplinary facets of human development as well as the range of human needs and social programs designed to meet those needs.

Social Welfare Policy and Programs

You will examine social problems and their impact upon individuals, groups and societies in a historical context. You will also evaluate the multitude of current policies and programs in relation to their success in achieving goals of service, and form skills in program development. Social justice serves as an organizing principle for our policy curriculum.

Social Research

As a GC social work major, you will learn the scientific principles and methods of social research including project design, data analysis and interpretation for both quantitative and qualitative research projects, whether gathering knowledge about people, social welfare programs and/or direct practice. An appreciation for scientific inquiry, individual creativity and a questioning mind are essential qualities for competent social work practice.

Social Work Practice Theory

Finally, you will develop professional skills in communication, organization, problem solving and evaluation necessary for direct practice with individuals, families, groups and communities. Throughout the program, we offer many opportunities to examine your personal values and develop the tools for ethical practice in social work settings.

Program Assessment

Goshen College’s Social Work Education Program’s current assessment data indicate that the Social Work Education Program continues to surpass each of its student learning outcome benchmarks: 90 percent or more of students achieved and demonstrated competency with a mean of 3.0 or higher in each of the 10 social work competencies.  Of the 10 core competencies, seven were achieved by 100 percent of the students and three were achieved at slightly lower rates— Professional Identity was achieved by 99.5 percent, Critical Thinking by 99 percent, and Policy Practice by 97 percent.  These findings provide clear and strong evidence of the quality of Goshen College’s Social Work Education Program. Further information about the Social Work Education Program and/or its assessment plan and data may be requested from Dr. Jeanne Liechty, social work education program director.