Fall 2015 - Spring 2016


Professional social workers are guided by: 
A person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry.

We also embrace several core values: 
Service, social justice, the dignity and worth of people, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry (see the NASW Code of Ethics).

These values underpin our commitment to: 
Respect of all people, social and economic justice, and human and community well-being

These values underpin our MSUM Social Work program's strategic statements: 
Consistent with the mission of this upper Midwest teaching university, and the Education Policy and Accreditation Standards (2008) of the Council on Social Work Education, the MSUM School of Social Work educates competent entry-level social work professionals with the core knowledge, values, and skills necessary to engage in ethical and empowerment-based generalist practice with all people in a dynamic and diverse society. Graduates are prepared to promote planned change and advance social and economic justice, and human rights, locally, nationally, and globally. 

Further, with a liberal arts foundation, MSUM SSW graduates are prepared for entry-level professional social work practice, and continue their formal education in social work or other graduate discipline. Thus, MSUM SSW graduates will be prepared to:

1. Engage in evidence-based, entry-level social work practice with individual, families, groups, organizations, and communities within local, national, and global multicultural societies;

2. Practice within the principles, values, and ethics that guide the social work profession;

3. Influence social policies in order to alleviate poverty, oppression, and social and economic injustice as well as advocate for human rights;

4. Identify and affect the bio-psycho-social, spiritual, and cultural functioning of people; and

5. Practice from a culturally-sensitive perspective that recognizes and appreciates diverse cultures, particularly those that differ from one's own.

These values also underpin our program's formal competency-based educational structure and curriculum: 
Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education for almost 40 years, our program's curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts, and uses an intentional design to 
promote mastery of 10 core competencies required for licensed generalist practice throughout the United States.

Competency-based education is an outcome performance approach to curriculum design: Competencies are conceptual ideas that include measurable practice behaviors comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. Our goal in using this outcome approach is to assist students in learning, integrating, and applying the 10 competencies and their related 41 practice behaviors in practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

These competencies and nested behaviors include:

SW400W Research Students: 

Welcome to the School of Social Work, and congratulations on being admitted to our fine program. In SW400W, you will take your first steps toward mastering several core competencies and their practice behaviors, as well as key writing intensive (WI) skills required of all licensed generalist social work practitioners. Specifically, you will apply knowledge gained from sociology, psychology, social psychology, and philosophy, as well as SW250 - Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work, and SW330 - HBSE, to understand how licensed professional social workers use research processes to guide their practice and programs. You will also extend further the writing skills developed thus far in WI general education courses as you apply these skills in the context of your professional training.

To begin your pre-professional training, please read 
our course web page carefully (particularly the resource page, see its link)and familiarize yourself with SW400W and all requirements, especially its writing-intensive format!

Then, read materials for Module 1. 

Finally, select a social problem you wish to study this term and visit before the first day of class, an agency that addresses that problem. Please get their general brochure, and other reading materials to use in class this semester. Although we will use these the entire semester, we will especially consult them during the first two weeks of class.

I look forward to working with each of you this semester in our study of empirical methods used in social work practice. 
(UPDATED: 2 September, 2014)

SW460W Policy Students:
I am excited to begin our study of evidence-based generalist policy practice! In SW460W, you will continue developing core competencies while continuing to refine your writing intensive skills such that both closely approximate those required of all licensed generalist social work practitioners.  We explore social policy and its creation, legitimization, and evaluation. We will draw on your knowledge from Political Science, Economics, History, and Paralegal Studies, as well as SW250 (Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work), SW330 (HBSE), and SW400 (Research Methods), as we use the planned change model in the context of generalist social work policy practice!

Please read our course web page carefully (particularly the resource page, see its link "Class Notes") and familiarize yourself with SW460W and all its requirements, especially its writing-intensive format! 

Then, read materials for Module 1. 

Finally, select a social problem you wish to study this term and visit an agency before the first day of class that addresses the selected problem to get their general brochure and other reading materials. You may also use the agency/social problem studied in SW400W. We will use these materials during our first class meeting.

I look forward to working with each of you again this semester in our study of evidence-based policy practice in generalist social work and technical writing in professional social work practice. 
(UPDATED: 2 September, 2014)

Phi Alpha:
Earning a high grade point across all university classes is truly difficult; but when one does, it deserves special recognition! If you have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better, you are eligible to join our Phi Alpha Honor Society. So please consider joining in special celebration of your hard work and resultant academic achievement! See our Department staff for details!

(UPDATED: 5 January, 2011)

All students are encouraged to participate in the Social Work Student Organization DRAGON SOS.
(UPDATED: 5 January, 2011) 

Flood Statement Addendum: 
Spring flooding in the Red River Valley can be challenging. Often floods require sandbagging and levee building, even temporary evacuation. A spring flood emergency may require us to adjust our class schedule, alter our instructional delivery, work independently, and perhaps make special accommodations for students in extraordinary situations. To be notified of any emergency, I strongly encourage each of you to enroll in the E2Campus emergency notification system ( ) which will notify students about class cancellations and other emergency related information. Should a significant flood emergency occur that interrupts university processes, we will proceed with instruction to the extent possible. I will contact you via our class listserv to coordinate coursework; and you can contact me via email about questions. In an emergency, we may temporarily need to work independently, during which time I will continuously update you about assignments and due dates, and answer class questions as though we are in our classroom. My goal is to continue our learning of course materials as much as possible and prepare you for licensed generalist social work.(UPDATED: 5 January, 2011) 

The Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Social Work Program prepares competent and effective professionals for entry-level generalist social work practice. The MSUM Social Work Program also provides leadership in developing service delivery systems and advancing social and economic justice.