Social Work - Learning Outcomes


Alverno College Social Work Program

Social work is a challenging profession with a substantial range of career options and opportunities in the greater Milwaukee area as well as in the region, state, and nation. Social workers help people move forward with their goals and life, including overcoming barriers, social inequality, and harmful oppression.  Social workers help individuals, families, organizations, and communities secure resources that empower dignity, self-determination, and strengths.  Because of the ongoing need for social justice action, it is essential that social work continuously adapts to support individual, families, organizations, and communities in overcoming inequalities, underrepresentation, and oppression.     

Alverno College’s baccalaureate Social Work Department is seeking accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for social work education. As of February 2019, our social work program has been approved for candidacy status with plans to be fully accredited by May 2021. The three-year accreditation process will grant Alverno students the opportunity to earn a CSWE-approved Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree that will increase their knowledge, skills, and strengths while advancing their marketability for employment and success with graduate programs.

Learning Outcomes of the Social Work Program

The learning outcomes reflect the learning students demonstrate prior to earning a bachelor in social work (BSW). Following each program learning outcome is the Alverno College Abilities that are addressed. 

The program learning outcomes are:  

  • Graduates are able to apply their understanding of an effective, ethical, and culturally competent social work practice that emphasizes the strengths of people, families, groups, organizations, and communities to define, process, solve, and prevent social problems at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.  (Alverno Abilities: Communication, Analysis, Problem-Solving, Valuing in Decision Making, Social Interaction, Effective Citizenship)
  • Graduates are able to apply their gained knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive/affective processes of the social work field, which emphasizes applied research and scholarship to positively impact generalist social work field practice and social welfare policy.  (Alverno Abilities: Communication, Analysis, Problem-Solving, Valuing in Decision Making, Social Interaction, Effective Citizenship)
  • Graduates are able to apply their comprehension of person-centered, theory-driven, evidence-based, and culturally enriched knowledge that engages, assesses, intervenes, and evaluates for socially and economically vulnerable and oppressed people, groups, families, organizations, and communities in a respectful manner while fostering human diversity and social justice perspectives.  (Alverno Abilities: Communication, Analysis, Problem-Solving, Valuing in Decision Making, Social Interaction, Effective Citizenship) 

The program learning outcomes of this Social Work Department are consistent with the purpose and values of the social work profession. By having the program grounded in a liberal arts education and by having a holistic curriculum rooted in person-centered, social justice, and person-in-the environment philosophies, students are prepared to work all levels of generalist social work practice. Throughout the curriculum, students learn, process, and demonstrate the social work nine competencies through classroom learning and field education experiences.

Mission of the Social Work Program

Dedicated to educational advancement and community engagement, we prepare generalist social workers committed to professional ethics and values, service, strengths, social justice, and human rights.

The mission is to provide an engaging and enriching learning environment that supports life-long learning as students demonstrate competency in their knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive/affective processes of generalist social work education.  Graduates, who are client-centered, ethics-grounded, social justice-focused, strengths-based, human rights-centered, and future-driven, will advocate for the advancement of the quality of life for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Alverno College BSW program’s mission statement holistically addresses the Purpose of Social Work Practice, Education, and Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards as the fundamental concepts, outcomes, and philosophies of social work are embedded. 

Nine (9) Core Competencies of Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

The purpose of generalist social work education is to promote students’ ability to engage in evidence-based practice with individual (micro), families and groups (mezzo), and organizations and communities (macro). Programs need to provide the education needed to teach the nine (9) core competencies while their students need to demonstrate their ability to practice the nine (9) core competencies. The nine (9) core competencies are: 

  • Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  • Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  • Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  • Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  • Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice
  • Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Admission to Bachelor of Social Work Program

Students cannot declare a Social Work major until they have completed the admission process. This process is a means of ensuring the student is aware of the field of Social Work, both educational and professional, as well as ensuring the students have the essential academic strengths to be successful in such a rigorous academic program.

Admission to Major

The Application Selection Committee conducts a regular and systematic review of all candidates’ eligibility for admission. The Application Selection Committee is made up of faculty who teach the social work required courses. To be admitted into the Bachelor of Social Work program, students must apply and meet the established criteria, which are provided below.

The admission process into the BSW major involves students completing the following steps:

  1. Admission to Alverno College.
  2. Completion or enrollment in SW 200: Social Work Programs and Policies.
  3. Participation in an advisement session, 299 Event, which includes an orientation to the social work major as well as information on the application process and the background check process.
  4. Completion of the application for admission to the BSW program, which includes the application ( with a personal statement. This application includes the students noting that they have read and will follow the Code of Ethics and the Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice.
  5. Participation in a scheduled meeting with the students' assigned social work adviser, an Application Selection Committee member. Prior to the start of this meeting, the student is to submit their application with personal statement and be prepared to answer a list of educational and professional questions during the meeting.  No advanced preparation is needed for the questions.
  6. Take the provided Change of Major Form, given by the social work advisor during the meeting, to the Registrar’s Office to change the student’s major to social work.

Failure to complete any of these required steps may cause the students’ application or status as a social work major to be postponed until the next semester.


 Social Work Student Handbook

 Results of Assessment Plan