Social Work

Nick McRee, Ph.D., chair

Faculty: Gates, Jones, Rogers

In keeping with the missions of the University of Portland and of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dorothy Day Social Work Program offers an academically rigorous program enriched by intensive, educationally-directed field experiences and is committed to service, leadership, and social justice. The goals of the program are to prepare students to become culturally competent, ethical social work practitioners in a wide range of settings and to assume leadership roles in diverse societies. Based upon Catholic social teachings, the social work program is dedicated to work with vulnerable and marginal populations such as women, older adults, and people with disabilities. It affirms the values of human diversity, self-determination, and community and global solidarity and sustainability. To achieve its goals, the social work program integrates a liberal arts foundation with social work values, skills, and knowledge to prepare students for service that is reflective, responsible, informed by scholarly knowledge, and responsive to the communities they serve.

Learning Outcomes for Social Work Majors

Social work graduates of the University of Portland should be able to:

  1. Articulate social work values that form the foundation of practice such as advocacy for human rights and social and economic justice.
    1. Identify with the social work profession.
    2. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  2. Utilize critical thinking and ethical conceptualization skills when addressing social problems and approaches to working with those problems.
    1. Apply ethical principles in practice.
    2. Apply critical thinking in practice.
  3. Competently apply social work skills that are informed by theory, research, and best practices and that consider the cultural and other contexts in which practice occurs.
    1. Incorporate diversity in practice.
    2. Engage in informed research.
    3. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
    4. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being.
    5. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
    6. Engage, assess, intervene, evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Student Handbook and Program Standards

The Social Work Program Student Handbook is available on the social work website at this link. Students have the responsibility to acquaint themselves with its contents and are held accountable for all statements therein. To remain in good standing with the program and to enter the senior year practicum, students must maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 in all courses required for the major, among other standards outlined in the handbook.

Capstone Experience

During the senior year, students complete a year-long practicum placement in a community agency. Students also take two corequisite Theory and Methods of Social Work Practice courses, which focus on helping students learn to apply skills and knowledge to their work with individuals, groups, communities, and organizations.