Welcome to the Department of Social Work

Florida A&M University has a long history of training social workers who are dedicated to facilitating social and economic justice and improving lives in Florida and across the nation.

“Our diverse faculty … are dedicated to advancing knowledge through critical thought and inquiry and each is committed to fostering knowledgeable, ethical and culturally competent leadership."

— Dr. Victoria E. Warner, Founder

About Our Department

The Department of Social Work is housed within the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and is the umbrella unit for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) programs.  Both programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Our accreditation status is important as many states, programs and graduate schools have policies which require or prefer BSW and MSW graduates from accredited social work programs.

 

Our Programs

 

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We seek to educate students who will engage in the problem-solving process with individuals, groups and communities; promote social and economic justice for oppressed people; and demonstrate knowledge and sensitivity to human diversity.

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The MSW program is designed to prepare students for responsible, professional social work practice in community development and administration. 

More about Social Work

The social work faculty, along with the University, students, staff, and community strive to deliver a high-quality program committed to the enhancement of human well-being, social and economic justice, and the alleviation of poverty and oppression in all forms.

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Students are encouraged to cultivate their professional skills through honor and service organizations.

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Each year, The Hubert Reddick Endowed Scholarship awards a $1,500 scholarship to students majoring in social work and one for sociology.

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Field Education is a vital part of the social work curriculum where concepts learned in the classroom are integrated with the practice setting.

 

Purpose & Values

We are committed to human and commuity well-being.

“The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons, locally and globally.”

“Service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry are among the core values of social work. These values underpin the explicit and implicit curriculum and frame the profession’s commitment to respect for all people and the quest for social and economic justice.”

“Generalist practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person-in-environment framework. To promote human and social well-being, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities based on scientific inquiry and best practices. The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Generalist practitioners engage diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. They recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings. They engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice.”

Academic Grievance Policy

1. The formal grade grievance procedure may be initiated by the student only after the student has tried to resolve the appeal informally with the instructor who has assigned the grade. Review and reconsideration of the issue by these two parties may be all that is required for resolution. The student should initiate the formal grade grievance process with the instructor as soon as possible after receipt of notification of the grade.

2. If the instructor and student cannot resolve the student’s issue, the student should make an appointment with the department chair. In the event the instructor is the chair of the department, the student should contact an associate dean in CSSAH and discuss the issue with this individual.

3. The chair may offer to meet with the student and the instructor if the student thinks that a mediating presence would be helpful. If the student would like to remain anonymous, and the nature of the concern makes anonymity possible, the chair may offer to speak to the instructor on behalf of the student.

1. If the department fails to resolve the student's grievance, the student may elect to file an Application for Student Grade Grievance to the CSSAH-GC. The application shall be filed within 30 working days from the first (1st) day of class, at the beginning of the following semester in which the disputed grade was issued. The first (1st) day of class is stipulated in the FAMU Official University Calendar for the summer, fall and spring semesters.

2. The Application for a Student Grade Grievance can be accessed and completed online at www.famu.edu/cssah. Handwritten forms will not be accepted.

 

3. The grievance is required to include the following information:

a. Specific details regarding the actions or events leading to the written grievance and evidence regarding the student's allegation(s) of arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory action or an unacceptable academic learning condition;

b. Redress (the remedy or resolution being sought) by the grievant;

c. Steps already taken;

d. Reasons for dissatisfaction with the response of the instructor and/or with the decision resulting from the formal department review;

e. The course syllabus that was provided by the professor to the class;

f. Any and all assignments; including graded exams, quizzes, homework, graded essays or research papers, e-mails, text messages, Blackboard Assignments or grades, etc.;

g. Any pertinent official university and/or dean’s excuse that grievant has in his/her possession;

h. Additional supporting documentation necessary to support the grievance.

5. Upon receipt of the grievance, the CSSAH-GC chair shall present the materials to the CSSAH-GC by the grievant for the purpose of determining if further discussion or a hearing shall be scheduled to resolve the grievance.

6. Hearing Not Warranted - After reviewing documentation provided by the parties to the grievance, the CSSAH-GC may determine that a College-level hearing is not warranted. The CSSAH-GC shall report its findings and make a recommendation to the CSSAH dean. The dean shall make a decision on the student’s grievance and notify the grievant in writing.

 

7. Hearing Warranted - After reviewing documentation provided by the parties to the grievance, the CSSAH-GC may determine if a hearing is warranted. A hearing will be scheduled by the CSSAH-GC chair.

 

8. Hearing Schedule - The parties to the hearing shall include the grievant, the instructor being aggrieved and the chair of the respective department in which the dispute arose. All parties shall be notified in writing by the CSSAH-GC chair as to the date, time, and location of the formal hearing ten working days in advance of the formal hearing.

 

Unless otherwise directed by the committee or its chair, all hearings will be held in Room 302 Tucker Hall from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. as scheduled.

 

8. Hearing Process - Each party shall be given five (5) minutes during the formal hearing to present his/her respective positions. Additional time may be allowed at the discretion of the CSSAH-GC. The CSSAH-GC may request additional information in the form of questions or documentation after each party has made his/her five (5) minute statement.

9. Legal Counsel and Witnesses – The CSSAH-GC does not serve as legal counsel, a legal entity or in any legal capacity for FAMU or the CSSAH. The CSSAH-GC only makes recommendations regarding the grading processes. The FAMU Office of the General Counsel addresses all legal questions, comments and potential legal issues involving the university.

 

For these reasons, the CSSAH-GC only hears cases involving the parties involved in a grade grievance, which includes the instructor and student. The department chair in which the dispute arose may be requested to attend a hearing to clarify matters of department procedures and guidelines for CSSAH-GC members.

 

Only the student making the grievance, the faculty member, staff member or administrator whose action gave rise to the grievance, and the appropriate department chair will be allowed to

speak during a hearing. Pertinent information from witnesses having direct knowledge of the circumstances giving rise to the appeal may be submitted to the committee in written form, although the committee upon its own motion may call witnesses for oral testimony at a hearing.

 

Legal Counsel for both parties may be permitted to attend the formal hearing. However, legal counsel shall not be permitted to question either party to the hearing, witnesses of either party involved in the hearing or to address the committee.

 

10. After considering the formal grievance, the written response(s), and any verbal statements as previously indicated, the CSSAH-GC shall forward its findings and recommendations in writing to the dean within ten working days of the conclusion of the formal hearing.

 

11. Final Determination. The dean of the CSSAH will review the CSSAH-GC findings and recommendations in a timely manner. As soon as is reasonably practicable; thereafter, he or she will notify the parties to the appeal in writing of his or her decision and also will provide each of the parties with a copy of the CSSAH-GC findings and recommendations.

Social Work Competencies

In 2008 The Council on Social Work Education adopted a competency-based educational approach. 

A competency-based approach refers to identifying and assessing what students demonstrate in practice. In social work this approach involves assessing students’ ability to demonstrate the competencies identified in the educational policy.

Each competency embodies the knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes that comprise the competency at the generalist level of practice, and includes a set of behaviors that integrate these components. The behaviors represent observable components of the competencies, while the competency statements represent the underlying content and processes that inform the behaviors.  The CSWE nine (9) Core Competencies are listed below.

 

For additional information about the Department of Social Work, contact (850) 599-3456. Welcome to our program.