Master of Social Work
Park University’s Master of Social Work program is designed to prepare graduates with the knowledge, values and skills needed to deliver effective and efficient advanced, generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The advanced practice concentration is in Behavioral Health. Within this concentration, students are given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in one of three areas of emphasis: gerontological social work, military social work or social work with children and families. We do not offer administrative or clinical tracks; instead, all MSW students take required curriculum focusing on clinical practice, assessment and diagnosis, leadership, supervision, program evaluation, business techniques, grant development, and more. Created by PhDs and experienced clinicians also working in the public and private sector, course content focuses on areas needed by new social workers to keep up in an ever-changing practice environment. Park University is known for small class sizes, accessible full-time instructors, and flexible coursework to aid adult learners in career development. Tuition covers all fees.
Please note that if you are admitted to the program and accept Park University’s offer to attend graduate school, you will be required to submit to a background check through Verified Credentials. This background check may also be used for the internship experience as well during the same calendar year. Any and all information about your performance and conduct in your undergraduate/graduate program (as well as the wider community), may be taken into account by the Admissions Committee.
The Master of Social Work, Advanced Standing, M.S.W. (33 Graduate credit hours) also requires a 3 credit hour bridging course that is held during the month of June prior to beginning the program in August. Students may not start internships or other coursework until this bridging course is complete.
If you are wishing to transfer credits or prior coursework, this information cannot be submitted into the CAS system. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with specific transfer requests as these will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
Park University graduates (e.g., Social Work, B.S.W. or other discipline) do not need to request official transcripts from Park University for the MSW application. However, in your application, please indicate you are alumni so that we know your application is complete. Further, please provide your Park Student ID number so we may retrieve transcripts accordingly.
At the current time, all courses are held on the Parkville campus in Parkville, MO. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Park University earned full initial accreditation at the February, 2016 meetings of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA).
The mission of Park’s Master of Social Work program is to prepare graduates for effective and efficient advanced social work practice in behavioral health. Guided by the purpose of the profession, the program promotes social and economic justice, equal access to community resources, equal opportunity and the attainment of individual and community well-being.
The Master of Social Work program will be committed to enhancing the physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being of all people, particularly those who have experienced oppression, exclusion and discrimination, and who have experienced the impact of poverty upon their health, well-being and sense of fulfillment.
Purpose of the Program
Social workers are called upon to intervene and assist large numbers of people while federal and state allocations for social welfare and treatment are being cut or drastically reduced. Therefore, social workers must become ever-more effective and efficient in the development and delivery of interventions. Moreover, they must become even more focused on advocacy efforts designed to promote access to naturally occurring, sustainable resources. Social workers who possess the knowledge and skills to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate comprehensive, individualized interventions will be in demand.
Park University identifies three areas of emphasis in Behavioral Health social work practice. These areas were identified based on current and future projections relative to demand for behavioral health services and treatment:
- Military Social Work: The social/psychological impact of serving in the military on service members and their families is profound.
- Gerontological Social Work: The demographic data illustrates that the demand for effective social work practice with older persons will continue to grow.
- Social Work with Children and Families: There is a growing recognition of the need for effective and efficient behavioral health interventions with children and families.
In summary, the mission of Park’s Master of Social Work program reflects the values of the profession and of the University, and it is developed within the context of current and future demand for effective and efficient social work interventions in behavioral health.
- Establish collaborative partnerships with community agencies that provide students with opportunities to enhance their knowledge, values and skills in behavioral health social work practice, with emphasis on effective and efficient interventions in military social work, gerontological social work or social work with children and families.
- Educate students regarding the principles, philosophy and behavioral health advanced practice applications of the strengths perspective for social work practice to enhance individual and community well-being, social and economic justice, equity and equal opportunity for all people.
- Infuse and model the social work code of ethics and the six core values of the profession as guiding concepts in all aspects behavioral health interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, with particular attention to factors that impact the well-being of service members/veterans, children and families, and older persons.
- Graduate advanced social work practitioners that are prepared to assume leadership roles in providing effective and efficient multilevel behavioral health interventions that reflect mastery of the competencies.
- The MSW Program at Park University uses the Social Work CAS system for applications. Please visit https://socialworkcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login to submit your application to submit an application.
- 3.0 GPA (undergraduate cumulative GPA or graduate GPA from a different program/area). *Lower GPA’s will be considered for probationary admission.
- Three recommendation forms submitted through the CAS system. The three references should complete a recommendation form regarding your capacity for graduate education.
- BSW degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program is required for Master of Social Work, Advanced Standing, M.S.W. applications.
- Each applicant completes three narratives (described below)
- Ethical Critique (2-3 pages utilizing APA format).
- Describe an ethical dilemma that you have encountered in your personal or professional life. Using appropriate confidentiality, define the parties involved, the ethical dilemma, the values that informed your decisions and how the dilemma was addressed and/ or resolved. Discuss how the experience and outcome affected you, in particular any lessons you learned.
- Personal Statement (2-3 pages utilizing APA format).
- What are the significant experiences that influenced your decision to enter social work? What are your short-term (3-5 years) and long term goals (10+ years), and how does a MSW prepare you to meet those goals? How will you meet the demands of graduate academic responsibilities (20+ hours per week in class and task completion for coursework and 15-24 practicum hours per week). Do you anticipate any barriers to meeting these expectations and how do you plan to address these barriers?
- Professional Statement (2-3 pages utilizing APA format).
- What is your concept of social work as a profession? Discuss a current societal concern, including contributing/ causal factors and why this concern warrants public attention and resources from the social work community. What intervention do you believe will successfully address this situation (direct practice/ policy change, etc.)? What positive or negative results may occur following this intervention? Discuss your rationale and what role you might be involved in if such an intervention were to be employed?
The review process is time intensive. Because we do not want to rush the process arbitrarily or unfairly, we cannot guarantee a specific date for a decision on your application. You will be notified by email with the results of your application as well as providing you with information about next steps if you gain acceptance into the program. A follow up letter will be mailed.
Learning Outcomes Assessment / Program Assessment
The Master of Social Work program has established practice behaviors for both the foundation and advanced years of the program that measure student attainment of the 9 competencies established by the Council on Social Work Education. Each course delineates learning objectives which correspond with the foundation or advanced year practice behaviors and the CSWE competencies, respectively. The overall attainments of the practice behaviors and competencies are assessed through the following:
- Integrative Seminar Project — Students are expected to integrate all 10 competencies in the planning, development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of the ISP. This project will relate directly to the chosen emphasis of working with either gerontological, military, or children and family service participants, and will be tied to their field practicum.
- Field Learning Education Plan — This is designed to be both an ongoing guide to the activities and tasks for the student in their practicum experience, as well as an overview of the competencies and the practice behaviors.
- Student Self-Assessment — Students are asked to complete the self-assessment near the end of the spring semester of the advanced year.