Mission | Social Work | SIU

Southern Illinois University



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The central mission of the School of Social Work at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the educational preparation of professional social workers in compliance with CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), who are capable of delivering social services to meet the human service needs within state, national, international, and global contexts, with a special focus on rural areas. The organizing principle of the School of Social Work is the enhancement of the quality of life for individuals, families, organizations and communities, especially for poor and oppressed populations, through the promotion of social and economic justice and human rights. Student learning is based on theories and knowledge, and the acquisition of professional values, ethics, and skills, which are necessary for competent social work practice. Special emphasis is given to evidence-based and strengths-based practice, especially as it relates to issues of culture and diversity.


The overall goal of the Baccalaureate program is to prepare professionals with beginning generalist practice skills and knowledge that enables them to engage in ethical, responsible, and self-critical social work practice in public and private social service systems.

The goal of the Masters Program is to prepare human service professionals with advanced skills in practice evaluation, policy, and critical thinking in two discrete concentrations: the Children, Youth and Families concentration, including the Illinois Professional Educator License with Endorsement in School Social Work, and the Health and Mental Health concentration.

The central focus of both programs is to be able to carry out social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities in rural areas founded on family- and community-based practice models derived from social systems theory. Students are prepared to function as responsible professionals and as public citizens. The School is committed to improving the social and economic opportunities of children and families by working in partnership with other educational institutions, public and private social service agencies, and community-based organizations.

The School of Social Work’s mission and goals are not limited to the content of the Curriculum Policy statement, but dynamically reflect regional needs and integrate our institutional priorities in an effort to impact and provide the greatest possible meaning to all program participants. This has been implemented through the individual course objectives for specific courses, as well as the research and service activities undertaken by all faculty.