Goals and Competencies


MSW Program Goals

The MSW Program’s six defined goals also stem directly from the overarching goals of the school:


1. Prepare graduates for advanced, independent, professional social work practice grounded in a solid liberal arts and professional foundation of knowledge, skills, and values focusing on strengths perspective and person-in-environment.

2. Prepare graduates for advanced, empirically based professional social work practice from a multi-systems life course perspective.

3. Prepare graduates for advanced social work practice with a firm grounding in strategies and tactics for poverty reduction in a range of constantly changing contexts, including interdisciplinary collaborative learning and across system levels in Arkansas, nationally, and globally.

4. Prepare graduates for advanced professional social work practice who are skilled in the use of a variety of technologies and techniques for direct practice, including research, intervention, and advocacy across the range of social systems, with sensitivity to the diverse needs of persons across the life course.

5. Prepare graduates for advanced practice emphasizing collaborative and assets-based practice approaches to prepare non-profit, public, and private sector leader-practitioners committed to social and economic justice who are skilled in the use of a variety of technologies and techniques for practice in community and organizational development, management, and finance.

6. Prepare advanced professional social work practitioners for evidence-based, life-long learning including, but not limited to, doctoral studies.

Foundation Competencies

At the foundation level, the MSW Program utilizes the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) operational practice behaviors in its curriculum design and assessment. The MSW Program Foundation Competencies are identified below:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Advanced Competencies