Program Mission

Program’s Mission The master of social work (MSW) program at Weber State University was designed to be consistent with the mission of the institution, the unique demands of WSU students, local and regional needs for social service and social welfare providers, the purpose and values of the social work profession, the educational policy and accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education, and expected knowledge, skills, and ethics of professional social workers. The program is guided by this mission, its specific goals, and core social work competencies.


MSW Program Mission Statement

The WSU Master of Social Work (MSW) Program is grounded in principles of harm reduction, a set of practical strategies, practices, and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with all types of human behavior, and a movement for social justice, built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of all people. With this as its foundation, the program prepares students for advanced clinical practice with diverse people and systems in a wide variety of settings and contexts, with special focus on the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities in northern Utah and the broader intermountain region. Particular attention is given to clinical practice skills that are relevant to the culture and needs of the area’s growing Latinx population. Emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of knowledge, skills, and ethics required of masters-level practitioners. The Program also emphasizes an underlying value of service to individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and institutions. Graduates of the MSW Program are charged with commitment to the development of human well-being, to social justice, and to the alleviation of poverty and oppression.


Profession’s Purpose

“The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons, locally and globally.” (pg. 5, 2015 EPAS)

The WSU Master of Social Work (MSW) Program reflects and supports the profession’s purpose. The program is guided by a person-in-environment perspective and prepares students for “advanced clinical practice with diverse people and systems in a wide variety of settings and contexts.” The curriculum is collaborative and relies on scientific inquiry, investigation, and evidence-based practice. The program’s explicit attention to the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities in the local region, particularly the area’s Latinx population, takes a broader global perspective and gives it specific relevance to social work practice close to home. While the Utah experience may be somewhat unique, the fundamental issues and challenges faced in the local population (e.g., mental illness, addiction, disparities in health care, poverty, disabilities, homelessness, relationship conflict and abuse, environmental concerns, etc.), are universal and can be extrapolated globally. With roots in harm reduction thinking, the program’s mission is built on a belief in and respect for all people and is firmly grounded in a movement for social justice, the protection and preservation of basic human rights, and the elimination of poverty. Graduates of the MSW Program are charged with commitment to the development of human well-being, to social justice, and to the alleviation of poverty and oppression.


Profession’s Values

“Service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry are among the core values of social work. These values underpin the explicit and implicit curriculum and frame the profession’s commitment to respect for all people and the quest for social and economic justice.” (EP 1.0, 2015 EPAS) The WSU Master of Social Work (MSW) Program reflects and supports the profession’s values. The program’s mission expresses a recognition of the value of human relationships. The program “emphasizes an underlying value of service to individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and institutions” and was designed explicitly to serve the community and help address the growing gap between local service needs and the availability of trained and credentialed social work professionals. A significant part of the program’s mission is to prepare students for “advanced clinical practice with diverse people and systems in a wide variety of settings and contexts” and produce social workers who recognize, respect, and celebrate the varied human experience. As reflected in its harm reduction framework, the WSU MSW program aims to produce graduates who value social justice, who fight for the rights of all people, and who are committed “to the alleviation of poverty and oppression.” Emphasis is placed on “interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of knowledge, skills, and ethics required of masters-level practitioners,” reflecting social work values of integrity, competence, and scientific inquiry