Mission & Goals

Social Work

Mission: The Social Work Program is dedicated to preparing competent generalist social work practitioners who are well-grounded in the values and ethics of the social work profession. The program is driven by the college mission that calls for students to be "socially merciful…globally responsible ….compassionately hospitable….intellectually creative…reflectively aware…ambassadors of service". Coupled with critical thinking, values and ethics, the program seeks to provide the knowledge base, and competencies required for students to practice in a diverse society. The program strives to lay a foundation that enables students to assist individuals, families, groups and communities in their pursuit of well-being. The program is committed to teaching students about the role we must play in working toward creating a more just society that embraces human diversity and provides for the basic needs of all


  • Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  • Apply critical thinking to inform & communicate professional judgments
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in research-informed and practice-informed research
  • Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment
  • Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
  • Respond to contexts that shape practice
  • Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities


  • Advocate for client access to the services of social work
  • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development
  • Attend to professional roles and boundaries
  • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication
  • Engage in career-long learning
  • Use supervision and consultation
  • Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice
  • Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work Statement of Principles
  • Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts
  • Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions
  • Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom
  • Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may opposes, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power
  • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups
  • Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences
  • View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants
  • Understand (sic: "can identify and articulate") the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination
  • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice
  • Use practice experiences to inform scientific inquiry
  • Use research evidence to inform practice
  • Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation
  • Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment
  • Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being
  • Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action
  • Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services
  • Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services
  • Substantively & affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
  • Use empathy and other interpersonal skills
  • Develop mutually agreed-upon focus of work & desired outcomes
  • Collect, organize, and interpret client data
  • Assess client strengths and limitations
  • Develop mutually agreed-upon intervention goals & objectives
  • Select appropriate intervention strategies
  • Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals
  • Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities
  • Help clients resolve problems
  • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients
  • Facilitate transitions and endings
  • Social workers critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions


Mission: The Sociology program provides students with the necessary skills to understand human behaviors and the dynamics of our global society. Our curriculum is based on liberal arts and strives to enhance students' critical thinking skills through a strong foundation of theory and research. A degree in sociology affords a strong foundation for graduate education, and opens the doors to a wide range of career paths such as law, social services, public policy, business, and communication.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical background of the field of sociology
  • Understand the importance of different types of scientific research, be able to formulate research questions, and demonstrate an understanding of data collection and data analysis
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognize social problems and their impact on human behavior and well-being
  • Demonstrate skills in critically thinking and ethical decision making through academic discourse


  • Demonstrate effective critical thinking and analysis between the relationship of social problems and environment
  • Demonstrate the ability to appropriately apply key theoretical frameworks of sociology
  • Demonstrate the process of ethical decision making
  • Be able to identify different types of scientific research and formulate research questions
  • Demonstrate skill of data collection, and data analysis
  • Demonstrate effective written communication utilizing appropriate APA format



Cummings Gallery
Art Faculty Show

Dates: Aug 21-Sep 28, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

William Close and The Earth Harp Collective
William Close and The Earth Harp Collective

Dates: Sep 5

Location: Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center

Anais Mitchell
Anaïs Mitchell

Dates: Sep 30

Location: Erie Art Museum

Social Work Program

Learn about Social Work at Mercyhurst

MU Course Catalog