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In 1904, Simmons became the first college to provide training for clinical social workers, filling a critical community need, expanding the profession, and offering a vehicle through which women could advance their careers. Since then, Simmons College School of Social Work has been a leader in social work education and an enduring example of the College's signature committment to academic rigor, strong professional preparation, and visionary thinking. Buttressed by a vibrant undergraduate liberal arts college, the School of Social Work's 100 year legacy, consistent growth, and pattern of high quality professional preparation and educational innovation make it an ideal site for a new undergraduate program designed to trained baccalaureate level, generalist social workers.
The new Simmons College BSW Program embraces the history of the School of Social Work while focusing on the needs of contemporary students, the changing social work profession, and our diverse community. The Program has been designed to maintain the educational standards set forth by its accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), while offering students enhanced options for completing their social work education and training. The Program features a traditional 4-year plan of study and a "3+1" option (opening in Fall 2013) which allows particularly focused students to complete their BSW and MSW in a total of four years.
The Program is currently in Candidacy with the Council on Social Work Education and expects to be fully accredited in June of 2015.
Consistent with the mission of Simmons College, ideals of the School of Social Work, and standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, the Simmons College BSW Program's Mission is:
to prepare baccalaureate-level students for professional generalist social work practice and lifelong professional and personal learning. Consistent with the mission and vision of Simmons College, the School of Social Work, and professional social work tradition, the Program seeks to develop competent, ethical social work practitioners who are attuned to the values of the social work profession, embrace a professional social work identity, value diversity, and seek social justice through effective advocacy and social change efforts.
Within the liberal arts tradition and guided by the purpose and values of the social work profession, the Simmons College BSW Program aims to:
1) Contribute to the fulfillment of the mission and goals of Simmons College and the School of Social Work by contributing to a liberal arts foundation adn providing strong social work career preparation at the baccalaureate level;
2) Prepare students for generalist social work employment and graduate level education;
3) provide students with instruction, field experiences, and opportunities to develop the knowledge, values, and skills and master the core competencies needed for effective, culturally sensitive, evidence-based, ethical social work practice;
4) Provide students with instructional opportunities that will facilitate the development of critical thinking and writing skills necessary for effective social work practice;
5) Prepare students to become competent practitioners, social justice advocates, policy analysts, and agents of social change;
6) Provide a foundation for students' professional futures, emphasizing life-long learning, growth, and professional development
Simmons College Baccalaureate Social Work Program's Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors:
In alignment with the 2008 Council on Social Work Education's Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, the Simmons College Baccalaureate Social Work Program utilizes a competency-based educational model whereby student abilities and Program success are demonstrated by measureable outcomes. Like the Simmons College MSW Program, the BSW Program's pedagogical philosophy is structured around a commitment to ensuring that its graduates are capable of demonstrating their ability to integrate and apply what they have learned in practice that is of high quality. The Program strives to prepare its graduates for generalist social work through the demonstrated mastery of the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for effective, competent, ethical practice.
By the completion of their baccalaureate education and training, the Simmons College BSW graduate will demonstrate the following Core Competencies, operationalized by their Practice Behaviors:
1) Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
2) Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
3) Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
4) Engage diversity and difference in practice
view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants
5) Advance human rights and social and economic justice
6) Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
7) Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
8) Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
9) Respond to contexts that shape practice
10) Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions
Students who earn a BSW degree are trained as social work generalist practitioners. This means that they are provided with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills required to intervene with individuals, families, organizations, and communities. They can work with clients of all ages and assist them in facing an array of life challenges.