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Mission & Values


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

Program Goals

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 nine 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 behaviors to operationalize the nine core competencies that are reflected in its explicit curriculum. These measurable behaviors represent the social work knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes students are expected to demonstrate at the entry level. The nine core competencies and corresponding behaviors utilized by the Social Work Program are listed below:

  • Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  • Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  • Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  • Competency 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  • Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice
  • Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

All College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

The Avila Promise

  • Tuition Protection
  • 4-Year Graduation Guarantee
  • Internship or Research Guarantee
  • Up to $1,000 Travel Award


That’s the Avila Promise.

Why choose an Avila BSW?

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Avila University Ranked in Top 5 Social Work Programs in Missouri

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