The Mission of the USJ M.S.W. program is to prepare students for clinical practice in community-based settings. The program will produce graduates who are guided by professional ethics and standards and who use culturally responsive research and practice to promote individual and social change. Through the use of an innovative field education model in partnership with community-based organizations, students and faculty develop, test, implement, and disseminate evidence-informed practice to advance clinical Social Work. The program promotes services to diverse populations that improve individual functioning, strengthen families and communities, and promote a civil society based on human rights, social and economic justice, and peace.
Social Work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States and includes diverse and varied fields of practice. Social Work students prepare for careers in community-based clinical practice in fields such as child welfare, elder services, health and mental/behavioral health, veterans’ services, immigrant and refugee services, school social work, and many other fields.
Graduate Social Work students enjoy small classes and caring faculty who offer personal attention, academic advising, and guidance in career development. Students gain professional experience while they complete two separate year-long placements in an innovative student unit model.
USJ graduates in the M.S.W. program possess the knowledge and skills to improve the health and well-being of persons and their communities by assessing needs, planning interventions, strengthening resources, coordinating care, delivering services, and evaluating outcomes. In addition, the graduates are prepared to promote community mental health by collaborating with community members and with health and human services providers in developing person-centered, evidence-based, integrative clinical services that are culturally responsive, trauma-informed, recovery-oriented, and delivered in the person’s community setting.
Through its collaborations with community-based agencies, the M.S.W. program works to improve access to high-quality health and human services for all populations, especially high-need populations such as abused and neglected children, senior citizens and veterans. To this end, the program prepares community-based clinical social workers for emerging fields of practice and labor force shortage areas.
The program features a student unit model of field education in which university-employed clinical preceptors supervise students in select partnering organizations. This model of field education provides multidisciplinary opportunities for student learning and community-engaged research. Students, faculty, and clinical preceptors contribute to the professional knowledge base by community-engaged research and practice that develops promising practices, demonstrates best practices, and facilitates communication among multidisciplinary providers and the communities that they serve.
The M.S.W. program does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.