Social Work Mission
The mission of the Social Work program at Southern Arkansas University is to prepare students for fulfilling careers as knowledgeable, competent, and effective social workers in generalist practice at all systems levels, with a specific emphasis on meeting people’s needs in the context of our rural and diverse service area, but with an understanding of how their work fits into the global quest for social justice, child welfare, and human rights. Grounded in the liberal arts, the program integrates critical thinking, scientific inquiry, experiential learning, and a deep understanding of the history and current literature of the field to instill in students an identification with the social work profession; a respect for the value and dignity of each individual and a recognition of human resiliency; a thirst for championing social justice, alleviating poverty, and fostering healthy human relationships based on equity and productive citizenship; an adherence to the highest ethical standards in practice and in life; and an appreciation for all dimensions of diversity. The program cultivates connection between students and the broader community by providing excellence in instruction over a range of prevention and intervention methods, partnering with practicing social workers in the region, and remaining current in research developments and best practices within the profession.
Social Work Goals
GOAL 1: The SAU Social Work program will produce graduates who demonstrate the knowledge and skills to serve as effective, generalist social workers at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels by:
- demonstrating an understanding of the literature and best practices in the Social Work profession to facilitate a research-informed practice;
- showing mastery of the nine Social Work competencies;
- demonstrating the ability to communicate effectively with peers, clients, and other stakeholders;
- mastering a wide range of prevention and intervention methods;
- recognizing the impact of context on the individuals and communities they serve;
- embracing a personal identification with the Social Work profession
GOAL 2: The SAU Social Work program will produce graduates who demonstrate an ability to bring strong critical thinking skills, grounded in the liberal arts, to bear in applying a variety of theories and interventions, guided by evidence-based practice, scientific inquiry, and a person-in-environment framework.
GOAL 3: The SAU Social Work program will foster an appreciation for the value of all forms of diversity, with graduates demonstrating their commitment to:
- serving diverse communities of clients with sensitivity and an understanding of individual struggles in a broader, global context;
- promoting social and economic justice;
- recognizing the dignity and worth of each individual;
- building and strengthening human resiliency;
- understanding both local and global issues of discrimination, oppression, and empowerment.
GOAL 4: The SAU Social Work program will convey an understanding of, and commitment to, ethical and professional behavior in practice, guided by the NASW Code of Ethics. Professionalism will be manifested through a focus on self-awareness activities integrated throughout the program
GOAL 5: The SAU Social Work program will model excellence to our students and stakeholders through:
- excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service
- attention to the unique needs of our rural communities
- partnering with the Social Work profession in South Arkansas and the surrounding region;
- graduating life-long learners who are committed to their communities and seek continued intellectual growth throughout their years of practice.