The St. Thomas University Bachelor of Social Work program is located in a small liberal arts institution whose mission statement includes values and beliefs that are congruent with the teaching philosophy and structural perspective adopted in our social work program.
We are a university primarily concerned with people, ideas and values. We are an institution with a social conscience. We are united in the belief that women and men of divergent backgrounds and abilities should have an opportunity to learn and practice critical thought and to realize their intellectual potential in an academic setting that is both responsive and stimulating. St. Thomas University Calendar.
Within the context of the practical and philosophical mission of the larger university, the School of Social Work subscribes to humanitarian and egalitarian goals. Our Mission Statement provides an ideological foundation and is a step in the evolution of our teaching philosophy and in our efforts to make the social/political structures of the BSW program more congruent with the values espoused in the curriculum. There is an intrinsic understanding of the diversity of people attempting to work collaboratively in the educational endeavour as well as an acceptance of the conflictual nature of growth and change. The Mission Statement informs behavioural objectives which flow from the structural social work value base and also provides clear guidelines for conflict resolution. It attempts to clarify a continually developing program vision for teaching and work practices that are congruent with the structural perspective taught in this BSW program.
The STU School of Social Work is committed to a politicized social work practice that is grounded in a structural approach to social work practice. This approach advances an awareness of broad and intersecting injustices caused by oppressive structures while preparing students to be effective and ethical practitioners. A central goal is that graduates are able to integrate vision, knowledge and skills for practice that may lead to social transformation toward a more equitable and just society. While seeking to develop and teach a politicized social work practice, we strive to remain open to new ideas, analyses, and realities that challenge and inform our ongoing efforts.
The mission reflects our core principles:
- To promote theoretical frameworks which address oppression in its multiple and intersecting forms;
- To foster the research and teaching of practice strategies which facilitate the empowerment of people and groups experiencing oppression; and
- To engage in ongoing critical reflection and analysis on our pedagogy and praxis as a School.