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philosophy & mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Social Work is to prepare its graduates to engage in competent, evidenced-based generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities largely in the rural environment; reflecting the values of economic and social justice, human diversity, the dignity and worth of the person, human rights, integrity, the importance of human relationships, and service.  Graduates will identify with the values and mission of the social work profession and recognize the need for ongoing professional development.

The goal of the social work program is to offer a competency based curriculum, grounded in the liberal arts and guided by the person in environment construct, that prepares professional, generalist social workers who:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the program's core competencies of knowledge, values and skills for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities especially in the rural environment;
  2. Value, affirm, and promote diversity in practice, society, and the world;
  3. Are committed to promoting human rights, social and economic justice, and providing leadership in the development of service delivery systems to enhance the quality of life for all persons;
  4. Identify with the values, ethics, purposes, and philosophy of the social work profession;
  5. Are prepared for graduate education and committed to ongoing personal/professional development, and lifelong learning.

The program at Southeast has adopted the core competencies listed below:

  • Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
  • Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
  • Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgement
  • Engage in diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • Engage in research-informed practice 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


Brandt 329
Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology
One University Plaza, MS 7950
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701