Undergraduate Goals

Our goal for all BSW graduates is to be healthy, competent, conscientious, and innovative Agents for Change in their communities and globally.

Students are prepared to obtain social work licensure in Massachusetts and enter employment immediately after graduation, or to pursue advanced preparation through graduate studies. The majority of our students continue their education in a Master's of Social Work (MSW) program and seek professional licensure at the masters-prepared level. Furthermore, our graduates are eligible for Advanced Standing in an MSW program, which allows students to accelerate to the second year of graduate work (this saves BSW students 30 credit hours’ worth of graduate school tuition and coursework).

Simmons BSW students are:

  • Employment ready for practice with individuals, families, group, and communities.
  • Competent in methods of engaging, assessing, and intervening with clients.
  • Practiced in analyzing and developing policy.
  • Skilled at advocating for vulnerable populations, communities, and social policy change.
  • Emerging leaders in the profession and their communities.
  • Eligible to hold licensure in Massachusetts as a Licensed Social Worker.
  • Prepared to continue their education and training in an MSW program as an Advanced Standing Student.

Contemporary Vision

Simmons BSW Program embraces the history of the School of Social Work while taking a dynamic approach to meeting the needs of contemporary students, the changing social work profession, and the complex needs of our diverse community. The Program offers an engaging, rigorous, and supportive learning environment pairing classroom experiences with Field Education. Students are engaged in Field Education — "hands on" learning working with real people and communities in agencies and programs throughout Boston — beginning their first semester, and continuing through their senior year. Simmons BSW Program offers students over 625 hours of Field Education over their 4 years in the program — much more than other BSW programs. Our BSW courses use activity-based learning to teach students theories of human behavior in social environments, assessment skills, how to use evidence-based models of practice with diverse populations, approaching practice with cultural humility, and being a healthy social work professional. To meet the evolving challenges of our modern, global society, the Program offers simulation-based learning, opportunities to engage in interprofessional practice, and insight into how our profession uses technology to support practice.

Consistent with the mission of Simmons, ideals of the School of Social Work, and standards set forth by the Council on Social Work Education, the Simmons 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, 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 University BSW Program aims to:

  1. Contribute to the fulfillment of the mission and goals of Simmons University and the School of Social Work by contributing to a liberal arts foundation and 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.

In alignment with the 2015 Council on Social Work Education's Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, the Simmons University Baccalaureate Social Work Program utilizes a competency-based educational model whereby student abilities and Program success are demonstrated by measurable outcomes. Like the Simmons University 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 University BSW graduate will demonstrate the following Core Competencies, operationalized by their Practice Behaviors:

1) Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

  • make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context;
  • use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
  • demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication;
  • use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and
  • use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior

2) Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

  • apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels;
  • present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences; and
  • apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.

3) Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

  • apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and
  • system levels; and
  • engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

4) Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

  • use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research;
  • apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings; and
  • use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

5) Engage in Policy Practice

  • Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services;
  • assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services;
  • apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

6) Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies; and
  • use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

7) Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies;
  • develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies; and
  • select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

8) Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies;
  • use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes;
  • negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies; and
  • facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

9) Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes;
  • critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes; and
  • apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.