BSW Mission and Career Opportunities

BSW Program Mission

The mission of the BSW Program is to prepare generalist social workers who enhance and promote well-being and advocate for social, economic and environmental justice of the citizens, organizations and communities of West Michigan, the state, the nation, and the world; and to further the goals of the University and of the social work profession in this region and beyond. West Michigan’s unique setting consists of diverse cultural communities as well as urban and rural settings, creating significant potential for skilled social work professionals to make a profound impact on our community.

The BSW program’s goals are derived directly from its mission statement and are designed to meet the social service needs of its Program locations and beyond. They are:

  1. To provide a generalist social work curriculum in a high-quality learning environment that prepares BSW graduates for entry level social work practice that promotes social, and economic justice and endeavors to address poverty and other social problems within organizational, individual, and community contexts within, but not limited to, West Michigan and the State of Michigan.
  2. To prepare generalist social workers who exhibit a professional commitment to enhancing social justice, promoting human rights, ensuring the dignity and worth of all individuals, practicing social work with integrity, upholding the NASW Code of Ethics, incorporating diversity into their practice, and advancing the profession’s reputation and knowledge base.
  3. To prepare students for continued professional development opportunities throughout their careers, including graduate education.
  4. To contribute to the development of social work scholarship and human rights advocacy by supporting the engagement of students, faculty and staff in local, regional, statewide, national and international organizations focused improving the quality of life for all persons.

Career Opportunities

Bachelor of Social Work graduates have been employed in a wide range of social service agencies serving many types of people. Life consultation centers, probation and parole, mental health programs, hospital social services, children's centers, senior citizen programs, sheltered workshops, juvenile courts, protective services, programs for the developmentally disabled, and alcoholism treatment programs are just some of the areas in which our graduates are employed. 

The links below are designed to give you a better understanding of the social work profession as well as a glimpse of what a social worker does. We hope they are both informational and helpful for you in your quest for answers.