Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Social Work: Purpose or Scope of Collection

Date Drafted: May 1991 Dates Revised: March 2003, April 2005 SN, December 2010 HM

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

The purpose of this collection is to support the identified curricular and research needs of the School of Social Work at Michigan State University.  The Social Work collection supports the curriculum at the B.A., M.S.W., and Ph.D. levels.

The undergraduate program has as its principal educational objective to prepare students for beginning social work practice.  Courses cover social work practice, social welfare policy, human behavior in the social environment, social research, and practicum experience.  The junior year diversity project highlights the signature theme of the undergraduate curriculum of diversity, with an emphasis on advancing social justice for oppressed populations.

The School of Social Work’s M.S.W. program emphasizes the development and well-being of individuals, communities, and broader national and international groups.  The focus of the program is preparation of social workers for beginning advanced practice in management, policy analysis, research and clinical practice.  The program provides a generalist foundation with courses in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, and field education.  Students go on to acquire advanced skills in clinical social work or organization and community practice. 

In addition to offering the full M.S.W. program on the East Lansing campus, remote campuses in Flint, Oakland, and Saginaw offer the clinical specialization.  A distance learning program is currently offered for the clinical specialization and a weekend program for the organization and community practice concentration will begin in 2012.

Certificate programs for M.S.W. students are offered in school social work, clinical social work with families, child and family advocacy, and gerontology.  A joint MSW/JD degree program is also offered.

After many years of offering a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, the School now offers a Ph.D. program in Social Work but does not ignore the interdisciplinary nature of the field of study.  The program anticipates that graduates will assume leadership positions as educators, researchers of social problems and intervention methods, as well as positions as planners, policy makers, and analysts.

Social Work draws on interdisciplinary scholarship from the fields of psychology, education, public health, law, sociology, disability studies, and other social and behavioral sciences.  The Social Work collection, along with collections in education, psychology, and sociology, also supports instruction and research in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies related to family diversity, couple and family therapy, child and youth development.


B.  History of the Collection

“Social Work courses were first offered at Michigan State University in 1921 in the School of Home Economics. In 1925, an additional social work course, “The Field of Social Work”, was made available by the Department of Sociology. It was the 1930’s that the Department of Sociology developed a complete undergraduate social work curriculum. In 1944, social work education was moved from the Department of Sociology into the newly created Department of Social Services. In the 1950’s, the Department of Social Service became the School of Social Work. The social work program was accredited that same decade and since that time has been continuously accredited.”
Source: MSU School of Social Work Undergraduate Student Handbook 2010-2012.


© 2014 Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

Privacy Statement