faculty responsibilities

The social work faculty is responsible for:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Respecting each student and treating him/her as capable and having something to contribute.
    This is demonstrated through the modeling of the strengths perspective.
  5. Valuing diversity in the classroom, which leads to an increased depth and breadth of the learning-experience.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Varying our teaching style and providing a mixture of lecture, discussion and group activities.
    This includes being student-learning centered instead of teacher-oriented.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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, conferences, workshops).
  12. 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.
  13. Being available and accessible to students and to answer questions and concerns.
    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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.