Our program is built on a strong liberal arts base and a solid social work curriculum that provides students with core foundational knowledge, values, and skills that are transferable to different settings, populations, and social issues.
The Valparaiso University Department of Social Work educates culturally-responsive, strengths-based, system-focused generalist practitioners who promote well-being, equity, and social justice as they lead and serve at all levels of practice.
Valparaiso University’s mission as a community of learning dedicated to excellence and grounded in the Lutheran tradition of scholarship, freedom, and faith, prepares students to lead and serve in both church and society (VU Mission). Our Social Work Department mission grows out of this university mission in that we provide a rigorous and stimulating educational environment characterized by a dynamic interchange between faculty and students that promotes critical thinking, conscious use of self, and active engagement in the learning process.
We are a community of critical thinkers applying ethical, culturally responsive, generalist social work practice to enhance equity, well-being and social justice.
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Objectives
The curriculum is designed and organized around one primary goal, namely to educate and prepare students for ethical, effective, and culturally competent generalist social work practice for service in the world.
Program Core Competencies
Program Core Competencies, adopted from CSWE foundational competencies, are covered in courses central to the foundation curriculum (CSWE, EPAS, 2015). These nine core competencies guide faculty as they prepare students to engage in the necessary knowledge, values, and skill development for ethical, effective and culturally competent entry-level generalist practice.
- Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
- Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
- Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
- Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
- Engage in Policy Practice
- Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
We invite you to explore our guiding documents: