The mission of the Master of Social Work program is to advance social and economic justice by educating students for knowledgeable, ethical, and culturally competent leadership as macro social work practitioners. Specifically, the foci are social service administration, program planning and evaluation, policy analysis and advocacy, and community practice designed for diverse populations.
The Department of Social Work holds the following values essential to the achievement of the MSW program's mission:
The program seeks to prepare students who will serve the poor and oppressed in both urban and rural areas, and who will work to alleviate poverty, oppression, and discrimination, particularly among people of color. These values affirm the social work profession’s historical commitment to promoting a just social order, thereby ensuring equal access to opportunities for all persons to achieve their full potential. The mission is congruent with the mission statement of Florida A&M University, which is to advance learning and contribute to improving the quality of life for those individuals it serves and to society.
The MSW program prepares students to solve human, organizational, policy, and social problems, particularly those affecting impoverished and historically oppressed communities. The MSW program seeks to produce and apply research and scholarship aimed at advancing social work practice. The identification of the causes, consequences, and elimination of numerous forms of oppression is woven throughout the curriculum.
The MSW program has a specific commitment to the education and development of minority social work practitioners, educators, and researchers. The MSW program works closely with social work practitioners, community groups, and organizations to promote, provide, influence, and evaluate social policies and social work services to oppressed populations, particularly those located in African-American communities in both urban and rural areas.
The program, however, is sufficiently broad enough to provide students with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to work with diverse populations. Drawing from the African-American experience, the program is particularly sensitive to the plight of other oppressed and under-served populations, as distinguished by age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation. Accordingly, while attention is specifically given to the various aspects of African-American life, the program is responsive to and concerned with other groups who share in the struggle for equality and freedom from oppression around the world.
Recognizing the interdependence of nations and the need for worldwide professional cooperation, the MSW program is also committed to the socio-economic well-being of people in other countries, particularly those in Africa and the Caribbean. The MSW program seeks to:
- Foster in its students an understanding and commitment to the global community, particularly in those areas where issues of economic, social and political justice and social welfare for people of color and the impoverished are concerned.
- Educate international students for positions of empowering social work practice, as well as for leadership roles in social welfare administration and community development in their homelands.
- Develop practitioners who can effectively work with refugees and other displaced populations. With our commitment to global issues, the MSW faculty continues to conduct research, publish in refereed journals, deliver course content on international issues in classes, and deliver research papers at various conferences in order to advance its commitment to the international community.
The MSW program seeks to teach students how to be lifelong learners who are motivated to continue developing new knowledge and skills throughout their careers. The faculty models this for students by assuming leadership roles within the profession and the community, engaging in research and scholarship aimed at continually advancing social work practice, and offering curricula that is at the forefront of the new and developing knowledge bases of social work and its related disciplines.