University of Calgary campus Faculty of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work Redesign

Our reimagined BSW is coming Sept. 24

We are re-imagining our leading Bachelor of Social Work program. We started with an unprecedented community engagement process that asked you, all of our community partners what our new BSW should look like. Through our various town hall discussions, surveys, focus groups and other tools we really identified the common themes that you wanted to see in our new program. We can't wait to show you! We plan on introducing our new BSW in fall of 2024.

Reimagining our Bachelor of Social Work Program

Dr. Ellen Perrault, PhD, RSW discusses why we're redesigning our BSW and how you can get involved

Speaker's Corner

Social workers and community members provide their thoughts on what we should be teaching future social workers. If you'd like to appear on this page contact us:

UCalgary Faculty of Social Work MSW alumna Pauline Cardinal on critical skills that future BSW students will need.

Jason Chernow

Why the Redesign?

Some background information on factors leading to our BSW Redesign.

Alumni John Manyok and Sam Mathon at our Lethbridge campus

Alumni John Manyok and Sam Mathon at our Lethbridge campus

Kloie Picot

  1. Why are you doing this now?

    • The Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) 2021 has changed accreditation standards. We need to create a single curriculum for our BSW program, which provided a good opportunity to reimagine the program.
    • We continually strive for excellence in our programs, including our undergraduate education which is recognized for its quality and innovation across Canada. 
    • Students today have evolving needs from when our program was created decades ago. Our new program looks to meet the needs of today’s students.
    • To better meet the needs of the social work profession. Our goal is to ensure we are aligned with needs outlined through our community consultation process.
    • Our accreditation partners CASWE have said that single curriculum approach is necessary to ensure that students across the province receive the same curriculum.
    • To deliver our program more efficiently across the province and to make Bachelor of Social Work education more accessible regardless of where you live in Alberta or across Canada.
  2. Will you be leaving some communities?

    • No. We value and look to build our presence in each of the Alberta communities where we currently partner in social work education.
    • While our program will necessarily look different after the redesign process, this will not change our commitment to supporting the needs of the social work communities across Alberta or our valuable partnerships in field education. 
    • A more flexible program could potentially lead to greater accessibility allowing more equitable access to social work education across Alberta.
  3. How will this affect current students?

    • This shouldn’t affect current students at all. Students will continue under the existing curriculum and program outcomes they entered the program under.
    • We are, however, looking for our student’s suggestions, opinions and insights during the redesign process.
  4. Who can provide feedback?

    • We are anxious to hear from all our partners in social work education, this includes (but isn’t limited) to:
      • Current students
      • Faculty members and sessional instructors
      • Alumni
      • Field instructors
      • The professional social work community (professional social workers, agencies, health care bodies, government etc.)
      • Interested community members (especially those involved in community research collaborations etc.)
  5. How can I get involved?

    • There are several ways you can provide input. These include, but are not limited to:
      • Surveys and web polls
      • Participation in virtual town hall meetings
      • Send us an email
  6. Where will you be doing outreach?

    • Given that our timeframe is in the coming 6-10 months, most of our townhall meetings and focus groups will likely be held on Zoom to avoid hosting of “spreader” events, online sessions should allow anyone across the province to take-part and be heard.
    • These opportunities will be well advertised in advance through ACSW channels, social media and on our faculty website.
  7. How much input can we have? Isn’t your curriculum set by CASWE?

    • While elements of our program are necessarily outlined by CASWE requirements, exactly how we meet these requirements and how we deliver our program – curriculum and field education, etc. – will be determined through this unprecedented engagement process. We want to know what makes a BSW from the University of Calgary different and special? We're looking for your input to help us create an even more extraordinary program. 

Our redesign and engagement process reflects a number of factors. While the curriculum design and Program Level Outcomes will be built on CASWE accreditation requirements we really want to know what should make our BSW special? How can we make it the best in Canada? 


  1. Our students have different needs

    This redesign allows us to better meet the needs of today's students. Our research shows that most of our students need to work while going to school, many are parents and many also do valuable volunteer / community building work while they study.

  2. The need for a single, province-wide curriculum

    It's no secret that our current BSW program is somewhat different, depending on where it's being delivered. Our accreditation partners CASWE have suggested the necessity for a single BSW curriculum approach - to ensure that students across the province experience the same curriculum. While the curriculum design and Program Level Outcomes will be built on CASWE accreditation requirements, we want your help in creating a uniquely Alberta - and possibly the very best BSW program in Canada. 

  3. To meet the evolving needs of the social work profession

    • Our goal with this engagement process and the resulting redesign is also to better meet the needs of the social work profession in Alberta and across Canada. Our goal is to ensure we are aligned with needs outlined through our community consultation process.

  4. To find the best way to deliver our programs

    • We hope this re-design will allow us to find the most effective way to deliver our programs. This includes several factors such as:
      • leveraging new and emerging teaching and learning technologies.
      • financial considerations that might allow us to spend less on bricks and mortar locations to invest in other areas.
      • to reach more students across the province using new technology.
      • to find the right balance between in-person and online learning.
  5. To explore new program approaches

    • The redesign will also allow us the opportunity to explore new delivery models aimed at attracting the best students, including, for example the option of a four-year, high school entry program.

Dr. Ellen Perrault, PhD, RSW provides context on why we're redesigning our BSW and how you can get involved.

Bamboo Shoots

Students at our Calgary campus

Program Level Outcomes (PLOS)

After graduating from our BSW Program, our students will achieve the following Program Level Outcomes set by CASWE

Read the PLOS

BSW Redesign Working Group Members

Cari Gulbrandsen, Undergraduate Program Director, Chair
Ellen Perrault, Dean
Jessica Ayala, Vice Dean
Richard Enns, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs
Hieu Van Ngo, Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning
Irene Hoffart, FSW Alumni, Consultant, Synergy Research
Linda Fehr, Senior Instructor
Maria Fernandez, Academic Services Coordinator
Lorraine Letkemann, Director of Field Education
Flora Liu, Learning and Instructional Design Specialist, Faculty of Social Work
Julie Mann Johnson, Associate Director of Field Education
Donald McSwiney, Manager, Communications & Marketing
Krista Osborne, Instructor
Rahim Pira, PhD Candidate, Werklund School of Education
Kristen Raimundo, Student Advisor Team Lead
Imogene Roulson, MSW Student and Graduate Research Assistant
Patricia Samson, Assistant Professor, Academic and Operations Coordinator
Maria Soos-Gonczol, Manager, Student Services
Natalie St. Denis, Assistant Professor
Jacqueline Warrell, Instructional Design Specialist, Faculty of Social Work