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Our Mission and Goals  


The Department of Social Work at Avila University “seeks to provide a values-based education, grounded in the liberal arts, preparing generalist BSW practitioners for effective social work practice and graduate studies, as well as lifelong professional and personal learning integrating knowledge, skills, and values.   Informed in the Catholic tradition and in the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the program is dedicated to the formation of culturally competent social workers as social change agents in a global community who, through ethical practice, are committed to the well-being of self and others, engaged in the pursuit of social and economic justice, empowerment of vulnerable populations, human rights, and the advancement of social work knowledge through research and practice. ”



  • Excellence in teaching and learning
  • Importance of human relationships
  • Worth, dignity and potential of each human being
  • Diversity and its expression
  • Service to others
  • Competence and integrity
  • Social and economic justice
  • Lifelong learning


Goal 1:  To prepare students for graduate studies and as entry level generalist social work practitioners (EP 2.1.1), applying ethical (EP 2.1.2) decision-making (EP 2.1.3) based on social work values, standards, knowledge, skills, and Avila’s Catholic tradition.

Goal 2:  To prepare practitioners who are grounded in evidence-informed (EP 2.1.3, EP 2.1.6) practice, to work with diverse (EP 2.1.4) individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities (EP 2.1.10) viewing personal and social issues through global, strengths, and empowerment perspectives (EP 2.1.4, EP 2.1.9), identifying and affecting the bio-psycho-social, spiritual, and cultural functioning (EP 2.1.7) of people and their environments (EP 2.1.9).

Goal 3:  To prepare students who are committed to influence social policies (EP 2.1.8), deliver effective social services, advance social and economic justice, advocate for human rights (EP 2.1.5), and engage in professional growth and lifelong learning (EP 2.1.1).



The ten core competencies explicated by CSWE provide the BSW program a framework for developing our curriculum and related program activities. The competencies are utilized to measure student performance and learning outcomes. The program has specified practice behaviors to operationalize the ten core competencies that are reflected in its explicit curriculum. These measurable practice behaviors represent the social work knowledge, values, and skills students are expected to demonstrate at the entry level. The ten core competencies are listed below:


EP 2.1.1            Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

EP 2.1.2            Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

EP 2.1.3            Apply critical thinking to inform & communicate professional judgments.

EP 2.1.4            Engage diversity and difference in practice.

EP 2.1.5            Advance human rights and social and economic justice.

EP 2.1.6            Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

EP 2.1.7            Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

EP 2.1.8            Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective                            social work services.

EP 2.1.9           Respond to contexts that shape practice.

EP 2.1.10         Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and   

                           and communities.