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Social Work

According to the 2014 article by the U.S News and World Report, Social Work is in the top 10 Best Social Services Professions. The report praises individuals that enter social work and respond to a variety of needs from individuals that may be emotionally or physically suffering. Improving the quality of someone’s life is the fundamental goal of the profession and this dedication to serving others should be celebrated.

The U.S Department of Labor Statistics reports that the field will continue to grow between 2012-2022 by 19%!  What this means for you: Entering your degree in Social Work is a wise career choice, and ensures a rewarding and stable future.  The curriculum at Ursuline has been designed to meet the changing needs of the profession and emphasizes leadership, communication and problem solving - everything employers are looking for.

Ursuline’s Unique Approach 

The goals of Ursuline’s generalist program are to prepare students to integrate their skills, knowledge and ethical standards into the social work profession. This program has been developed to collaborate with the liberal arts curriculum of Ursuline College and to prepare students for both cultural competence and graduate education in social work.

Ursuline students are placed in the field practicum for one academic year and complete a minimum of 480 hours.  Our students are uniquely matched with field work opportunities that reflect their professional interests. The Ursuline College Social Work Field Education Program is a strengths-based field model that differs from other programs in its on-going assessment and consistent attention to:

  •  The strengths and resources of the individuals involved (student, field instructor, agency colleagues, clients, course instructors, peers)
  • The potential environmental resources available
  • The quality of the relationships between the student and other individuals in their learning environment
  • The monitoring and evaluation of the development and refinement of the students' skills and the resulting impact on students' self-efficacy
  • The self-determination or self-directed learning of the students in completing their course of study
A critical component of the model is a strengths assessment of each student. The strengths assessment is a collaborative process between the student and the field education director that includes strengths and resources that are intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental and professional.

Recent field sites include

AIDS Task Force
Community Partnership of Aging
Friendly Inn Settlement House
Frontline Services
Hospice of the Western Reserve
Lake Hospitals
Medical Free Clinic
MetroHealth Medical Center
West Side Community House
Women's Re-Entry Network

The curriculum of the Social Work Program is designed to assist students in attaining the ten core competencies defined in the Coucil on Social Work Education’s Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS, 2008).  These ten competencies are:

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.

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.

An Advisory Board of real world professionals is engaged with students in the program, and the networking that results often leads students to employment opportunities.

Ursuline graduates have advanced standing in the MSW program at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Social Science.