Over the last 56 years, our faculty has established a reputation for innovation and quality in social work education. We are immensely proud of the generations of impactful and talented social workers and academics we have educated and helped to train.
We are also proud of our legacy as innovators. Our strategic plan builds on this tradition, informed by the needs of our students and the social work community.As we prepared to reimagine our iconic Bachelor of Social Work program, we engaged in an unprecedented outreach campaign with alumni, current students, stakeholders, and the social work community. The valuable feedback we received is reflected in this plan and informed our new BSW curriculum.
There is an emphasis on addressing the intersectionality of racism, colonization, social injustice, sustainability, well-being, and social change. We also heard about the importance of experiential learning – building the skills needed for practice, along with foundational learning. The global pandemic has also brought change in many ways.
The move online has accelerated the growing demand from our students for flexible, online education that allows them to work and serve their communities while pursuing their degree. The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of providing timely support for student’s mental health, which is also a priority in this plan.
Our role as Alberta’s province-wide school of social work brings a responsibility to support the profession with lifelong learning and professional development. This is reflected in this strategic plan and our ongoing commitment to support professional development. For example, over the past academic year thousands of social workers benefitted from 17 free and paid webinars and courses.
With our partners, including Alberta Health Services, we look to build on this in the coming year.COVID has underlined the importance of social workers in the post-pandemic world, and the demand for skilled professionals continues to grow. Our plan is focused on educating and training future generations of social workers ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.