About the master of social work program
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About Master of Social Work (MSW) Program

The mission of the School of Social Work at Algoma University (School of Social Work) is to deliver a MSW program that prepares students for generalist practices in anti-racist, anti-colonial, Indigenous, structural, critical feminist, and anti-oppressive social work practices.

Graduates will be able to practice critical anti-oppressive social work in ways that are ethically informed and directed toward advancing equity, and social justice with Black, Indigenous, two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, individuals who express their gender and sexuality in other ways outside heteronormativity and the gender binary (2SLGBTIQ+), Northern, Francophone, as well as other marginalized groups and remote communities. We acknowledge the intersectional realities of these dynamic identities and recognize that these experiences interlock in complex ways.

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Our faculty engages in collaborative community research, practice, and teaching initiatives and engagement. Students will be expected to participate and engage with the faculty and other students in enriching experiential learning in our program. The Social Work Program’s mission statement and program delivery is well embedded in the university’s strategic objectives in line with the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS), and is committed to:

  1. Social justice, social equity, reconciliation, community healing and social change based on humanitarianism and egalitarianism. 
  2. Dismantling anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism and issues of marginalization based on race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age, religion and other forms of oppression by engaging with anti-colonial and anti-oppressive practices and other liberation discourses that value ethical inclusivity, diversity, respect and the dignity and worth of all people.
  3. Highlighting Indigenous knowledge and approaches, and to affirm histories that continue to be neglected and silenced. We problematize colonialism in its historic and ongoing guises. 
  4. Developing professional cultures that bring together teaching faculty, field instructors, students, alumni and social workers in the field, from diverse geographical and spatial locations, for example, South Porcupine (Timmins), Brampton and Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, as partners in the realization of the MSW program’s mission within the mission of the university.
Meet our Faculty's Graduate Committee

The MSW  program will be  an advancement from the BSW degree that is currently being offered. The MSW program will extend, advance  and reinforce the core social work courses taught at the bachelor level. The current  courses offered in the BSW program will help prepare students to undertake the courses in the MSW program.

The MSW program will have a strong and critical anti-oppressive, social justice, anti-racist approach, which is a social work area that is currently very active and has enormous potential in many social work sectors locally and internationally.

The majority of our courses will strengthen students’ critical skills to work on experiential learning projects, where students will participate, reflect, conceptualize and apply knowledge in hands-on activities organized in conjunction with local school, government organizations, and non-governmental  organizations.

Our teaching, learning, practice, and research is guided by the CASWE-ACFTS code of ethics, and the Seven Grandfather Teachings. There are multiple epistemological practices and pedagogical approaches that are employed  and that  include and are not limited to interactive lectures; learning circles and circle work;  small group work; work integrated learning, small group exercises; hands-on skills-based practice learning in areas of individual, couple, group work, family and community practice, video; podcasts, case studies; simulated experience; community visits; engagement with community activism; guest presentations; student presentations; and both culture and land-based instruction, and other forms of experiential learning. As a school, we have developed active partnerships with other colleges, communities, organizations and other local and international stakeholders.

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