The mission of the social work program is to prepare competent professionals committed to advancing social justice, human rights, and the dignity and worth of diverse individuals, groups, families and communities through generalist social work practice.  Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the program delivers competency-based instruction designed for students’ acquisition of core social work knowledge, values and skills.  A unique combination of the social work major with a constellation of  courses from multiple disciplines that complement the major culminates in graduates receiving the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree.  This designation identifies the graduate as a professional practitioner   prepared to enter professional positions in a wide array of social work settings such as health care, juvenile justice and services for the elderly. In addition to entering professional employment upon graduation, many BSW graduates opt to complete an advanced degree, such as an MSW.

Throughout the program students are exposed to the values and ethics that guide professional practice. The social work curriculum develop awareness in students of the need for continued professional development following graduation and throughout their professional careers. The entry level to the profession of social work is generalist practice. The generalist practitioner has the capacity to provide services across a broad range of client systems. The generalist is able to work with an array of problem situations and can apply a common or generic social work method across a variety of service systems within an eco-systems model and utilizing a strengths perspective. The generalist practitioner provides services to clients directly.  Although the curriculum certainly contains elements of preparation for such activities as planning, research, supervision and administration, the major skill preparation is for direct practice with clients.

The Social Work Program is built on a humanistic philosophy that exemplifies the values of social justice, respect for human rights, dignity and diversity. The Social Work Program seeks to respond to the unique needs of the Upper Peninsula by providing educational opportunities for social work practitioners and other professionals.