About the School of Social Work and Family Sciences


Mission & Goals


Consistent with the mission of the University of Akron and the College of Health and Human Sciences, the mission of the undergraduate social work program is to prepare students for competent and effective generalist practice.


1. To prepare students to integrate the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession for competent and effective generalist practice with diverse client systems in various practice settings
2. To prepare students to identify the strengths and abilities of diverse client systems to foster empowerment toward social justice and systemic well-being
3. To prepare students to utilize theoretically-based social work research, knowledge, and critical thinking skills for effective and ethical social work practice


The mission of the MSW Program is to prepare students to engage in advanced professional practice with and on behalf of diverse populations in Northeast Ohio with emphasis on the health, well-being, and quality of life of oppressed and vulnerable people. We promote the dignity and worth of the person, human diversity, cultural competence, and social and economic justice through scientific inquiry, creative activity, and service. We advance the social work profession through collaboration with the community.


1. To prepare competent and effective practitioners to carry out the purpose of the social work profession with emphasis on its knowledge, skills, and values
2. To advocate for social and economic justice and human rights, professional integrity, and the importance of human relationships consistent with social work’s history, purpose, and philosophy
3. To partner with and provide leadership to the communities of Northeast Ohio in order to develop an effective service delivery system to address human needs and enhance experiential learning opportunities

Generalist Practice

Generalist practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person and environment construct. To promote human and social well-being, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  • The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice.
  • Generalist practitioners incorporate diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.
  • Generalist practitioners recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings.
  • Generalist practitioners engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice. (see CSWE Educational Policy B2.2)


Commitment to Diversity

The School of Social Work is committed to diversity—including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.  (see CSWE Educational Policy B3.1)

This commitment builds upon The University of Akron's Vision 2020, which identifies key Strategic Pathways to Success, including The Akron Experience:  Academic & Inclusive Excellence, which states:  "We will achieve academic and inclusive excellence through a commitment to enhance diversity in all academic programs and create targeted learning pathways that result in a remarkable university experience for each student.  So-called traditional and non-traditional students, included working adults and veterans, will have a comprehensive and transformative learning experience through focused and deliberate programming..."

The School of Social Work and Family Science's undergraduate program reflects this commitment in our learning environment including:

  • our curriculum;
  • the selection of field education settings and their clientele;
  • the composition of our field advisory committee;
  • educational and social resources;
  • resource allocation;
  • program leadership;
  • special programs;
  • research and other initiatives; and
  • the demographic make-up of our faculty, staff, and student.