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The social work faculty is responsible for:
- Maintaining a learning environment that respects all students.
We believe that students come to the educational setting differentially
prepared and with different educational needs. They come to the
academic experience at various developmental stages in their lives and
with different learning styles, values and understanding of diversity.
- Building a relationship with each student.
We believe that in order to be effective, faculty must know their
students. This is much more than just knowing their names. It includes
assessing what their students’ knowledge and experience base is so that
they can empower them to meet their potential.
- Encouraging students to make connections between their experiences and
the subject matter.
This is vital in the students’ development of their professional self
and self-awareness, which is needed in social work.
- Respecting each student and treating him/her as capable and having
something to contribute.
This is demonstrated through the modeling of the strengths perspective.
- Valuing diversity in the classroom, which leads to an increased depth
and breadth of the learning-experience.
- Maintaining a commitment to each student’s success.
This is accomplished through faculty facilitating students’ efforts to
gain new knowledge, insights, critical thinking abilities and skills.
- Recognizing that students learn in different ways.
This includes the faculty’s commitment to developing their teaching
styles to be inclusive of the diverse learning needs of all students so
that they may gain mastery of course material.
- Varying our teaching style and providing a mixture of lecture,
discussion and group activities.
This includes being student-learning centered instead of
- Motivating students to succeed, be excited about social work and the
educational process as well as the class content.
This includes showing enthusiasm, dedication, integrity, competence,
organization and preparedness in each class.
- Articulating the individual class objectives and how they fit in the
overall integrated curricular design of the social work program.
This includes providing students with an overall framework from which to
understand class material as well as articulating our expectations of
students in assignments and the criteria for students’ evaluation.
- Staying current in the subject matter being taught, current social work
theory and research and the field of teaching pedagogy.
This includes being engaged in research, continuing professional
reading, and participating in continued education (i.e. classes,
- Continually assessing and developing our classes through the use of
student feedback and peer review each semester.
This includes making thoughtful selections about what to teach and how
to structure and organize the material.
- Being available and accessible to students and to answer questions and
This includes ensuring wide student participation, making sure to talk
to individual students during class as well as outside the class and
having an open door policy in addition to office hours.
- Mentoring and modeling appropriate social work professionalism.
This includes helping students address issues that impact their ability
to be successful in their academic life. This should not be
confused with counseling or therapy. It does include knowing when to
make appropriate referrals for students who are in need of additional
services that faculty can not provide. At all times the faculty operate
within the NASW Code of Ethics and maintain the highest level of
integrity and professionalism. The faculty utilizes the professional use
of self in their interactions with students.
- Professional development.
This includes maintaining a professional plan to continually develop
their knowledge and teaching skills. Faculty must personalize new
knowledge and continually update their course material with both
research and practice examples.