Message from the Dean
Exceptional preparation for generalist social work practice
Building on the unique strengths of the St. Catherine University-University of St. Thomas School of Social Work, the Social Work major prepares graduates for social work practice at the generalist level; licensure; for graduate study; and for any career that requires a systemic perspective, critical thinking, problem-solving, and exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
The St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work recognizes two goals of generalist social work practice: to restore and enhance the social functioning of systems of all sizes (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities); and to promote a more just society. Our students are often drawn to the profession by their interest in making a difference in others’ lives and making a positive impact on society. The St. Kate's - St. Thomas BSW program develops their skills and provides real-life experiences that prepare them to do both.
The BSW is an applied, professional degree. Our curriculum, our faculty, and our field experiences create a rich learning environment that integrates theory and practice and teaches students to apply this integrated learning in real-world settings. Building on our universities’ strong liberal arts foundations, our students learn to think critically and synthesize relevant research and theory from liberal arts disciplines such as psychology, sociology, biology, justice & peace studies, communications, philosophy, and more.
Our BSW faculty are actively engaged in social work practice and research, and bring their community engagement and practice-focus to the classroom. Many faculty involve students in applied research projects that provide additional opportunities for professional development. What truly sets the social work major apart, however, is the opportunity for all BSW students to apply their classroom learning during 600 hours of field placement in local agencies during their Junior and Senior years. Field education is called "the heart of social work education" and we are deeply committed to providing students with experiences that will foster student learning, professional development, and the integration of theory and practice.
Social work is a rapidly growing profession and the need is greater than everl! Please contact us to discuss any aspect of our program or our profession. We look forward to working with you as you explore a career in social work!
Barbara W. Shank, MSW, PhD, LICSW
Dean and professor