Department of Social Work
Graduate Social Work Program
Room-104 Bibb Graves Hall
The mission of the Graduate Social Work Program of Alabama A&M University is to prepare students, particularly students from historically oppressed populations, to become ethical, competent, advanced level professionals capable of assuming a wide range of roles and functions in working with vulnerable individuals, families, groups, public and private organizations and institutions, and rural and urban communities The Program mission emanates from the purpose, values, ethics and responsibilities of the social work profession and the mission and policies of Alabama A&M University, its Schools of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies, and the Social Work Department. It reflects the Council on Social Work Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, the legislative mandate, and the needs of the community of northern Alabama and its environs. The Graduate Social Work Program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
The Graduate Program’s concept of the advanced level social work practitioner includes the capability and commitment to address issues of poverty, oppression, discrimination, social, political and economic justice and empowerment within the context of social work knowledge, domains, skills, values and ethics. The Graduate Social Work Program emphasizes effective relationships, as the medium through which personal and societal change occurs. Relationship, based on the values of respect for individual worth and dignity, mutual participation, acceptance, confidentiality, honesty, and the responsible handling of conflict, is critical to the effective practice of professional social work. The Graduate Social Work Program and the Social Work Department is committed to enhancing the quality of life of individuals in the region and the capacity of citizens to identify and address their own social welfare and social justice concerns and needs.
The philosophical base of the Alabama A&M University Graduate Social Work program holds the purpose of social work to be the promotion and/or restoration of mutually beneficial interactions among individuals, families, groups, organizations/institutions, communities, and society which improve the quality of life for all. The dual focus of social work is on the person in-situation, or more broadly, the client system, and it’s ecological system. Social work brings together and facilitates interactions between clients and their environments (ecological systems); seeks balance between the needs of client systems, available resources and their development; and enhances growth, development, problem-solving capabilities, and the optimal functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations/institutions, and communities.
The philosophical base further emphasizes respect for human dignity, the worth of the individual, and the right to self-determination: belief in the equality of all human beings; recognition of vulnerable and oppressed populations; appreciation of human diversity; recognition of the interdependence of people and of people with their environment; and a belief in the ultimate responsibility of society to meet basic human needs. Social workers are responsible for the quality of their practice, including ethical conduct, and to seek lifelong education in social work knowledge and skills, and to endeavor to make social institutions more humane and responsive to human needs.