Two-thirds of our students in the Social Work and Social Welfare (SW) Program enter the clinical concentration, which prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, families, and small groups. The basic principles and values of practical thought serve as an orienting perspective, emphasizing theoretical diversity and comparative approaches to growth and change. Defining features of the program emphasize the use of both scientific and humanistic domains of understanding: the crucial role of the practitioner-client relationship; students' progressive narrative and experiential learning; and the importance of diverse client narratives, empirical findings, and methods. Students consider the strengths and limits of different approaches in light of the values and concerns of the broader social work profession as they develop a critical reflective practice.
The program also emphasizes the ways in which social, cultural, political, and economic conditions shape the experience of vulnerability, need, and problems in living, and the role of advocacy as practitioners work to create more humane and responsive organizations and communities. Direct practitioners serve a variety of roles in a wide range of settings, and graduates assume supervisory, management, and consulting responsibilities over the course of their careers.