The Bachelor of Arts in the Social Work (BSW) curriculum provides a professional social work foundation transferable to different settings, population groups, and problem areas. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national accrediting body that oversees all accredited BSW programs in the United States.
The undergraduate generalist social work practice model has two central features. It is problem-solving centered, rather than methods driven, and it uses the ecological or person-in-environment perspective for assessment and intervention. This perspective demands that the practitioner view both the individual social functioning and the transactions between the individual and environment. The undergraduate program is informed by bio-psycho-socio-behavioral and ecosystems knowledge, requires students to be theoretically and methodologically open, involves intervention at all system levels, and takes into account context of practice. The objectives of the BSW curriculum as defined at Colorado State University are as follows:
Human behavior in the social environment: Students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge supported by empirical evidence for understanding behavior across the life span of multiple client systems and their interactions.
Students will demonstrate the knowledge, values, and skills to be critical consumers of research for effective practice and to possess basic skills to evaluate their practice.
Students will demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge, values, and skills of generalist social work practice necessary for initial professional social work practice with systems of all sizes and across client populations. Students are prepared to demonstrate mastery of the six foundation social work roles: advocate, broker, community change agent, counselor, mediator, and researcher.
- Social welfare policy:
Students will demonstrate knowledge necessary to understand the development of social services and the skills to analyze, formulate, and influence social policy.
- Populations at risk and social and economic justice:
Students will demonstrate the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for understanding forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
Students will demonstrate knowledge and values to understand and appreciate human differences both as a source of strength and a basis for discrimination; students will practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
Students will demonstrate the ability to practice according to the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles.
- Critical Thinking:
Students will apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.
- Communication skills:
Students will demonstrate the ability to use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities.
- Supervision and consultation:
Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
- Organizational Change:
Students will demonstrate the ability to function within the structure of agency, organization, and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change.
Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate field experiences that offer the opportunity to engage in supervised practice, begin to apply knowledge, values, and skills necessary for effective social work practice, use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice with systems of all sizes, function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems, and seek necessary organizational change. Students will demonstrate mastery of the six foundation social work roles: advocate, broker, community change agent, counselor, mediator, and researcher.
Students will demonstrate the ability to understand and interpret both the history of the profession, and professional socialization and the social welfare system, as part of the context for their practice.
The BSW Program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.