Our Bachelor of Social Work Program
Algoma University’s Bachelor of Social Work degree offers generalist social work in preparing students to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and societies.
Given Algoma University’s location in Northern Ontario in Sault Ste. Marie, and Timmins, and our special mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous communities and other communities, our social work program has a specific focus on Indigenous, structural, critical feminist, anti-oppressive, and anti-racism perspectives with northern, rural, remote, Indigenous, and Franco-Ontarian communities. Graduates of our program will be prepared to practice anti-oppressive social work at the entry level with diverse populations in a Canadian context and be introduced to anti-racism perspectives.
Students enrolled in our program will examine a variety of topics and will understand how northern communities significantly differ from urban communities in regards to health services, family and child welfare, and the social welfare system. Our graduates will understand crisis intervention, and how to deal with victims of abuse, including those who were affected by the residential school system in Canada. Unlike any other Ontario university, Algoma U is situated on the former site of the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, and offers special lectures and guest presentations from residential school Survivors. Many fellow classmates may in fact be Survivors. This provides our students with a unique learning experience, and the opportunity for students to better understand oppression, colonization, and self-determination.
Our social work program was developed in consultation with various local employers in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins, who have cited a growing need for employees. For this reason, our program is designed to help fulfill the need for social workers in northern, rural, remote regions. A degree in social work is highly sought after in the work world. Plus, social workers are found in the broadest range of workplace settings: public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, police departments, courts, etc. Social work graduates have an easier time finding employment after graduation than graduates in most other fields. How do I know if this BSW is right for me? Please read our Expectations Document.
Social Work Program Mission and Principles
The mission of the School of Social Work at Algoma University is to deliver a BSW program that prepares students for generalist practices in anti-racist, anti-colonial, Indigenous, structural, critical feminist, and anti-oppressive social work practice. Graduates will be able to practice critical anti-oppressive social work in ways that are ethically informed and directed toward advancing equity, equality, 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. Our faculty engages in collaborative community research, practice and teaching initiatives and engagement. You 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 Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), and is committed to:
- Social justice, social equity, reconciliation, community healing and social change based on humanitarianism and egalitarianism.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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), and Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, as partners in the realization of the BSW program’s mission within the mission of the university.
- Our teaching, learning, practice, and research being guided by the CASWE code of ethics, and the seven grandfather teachings.
- Multiple epistemological practices and pedagogical approaches that employ inclusive, 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.
- Developing partnerships with other colleges, communities, organizations and other local and international stakeholders.
- Working with, and advancing the accreditation standards of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education at the BSW level.
What You Can Expect
Hands-on learning, a close-knit campus community, and caring faculty.
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Earn a degree with high career prospects
Social workers are in high demand in Canada, especially in northern, rural, remote areas. Our program was developed in consultation with local employers in Northern Ontario who have cited a growing need for social workers.
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Social workers promote positive development for individuals, families, communities, and societies. Thus, it is not surprising that by helping others, social workers have higher levels of self-worth, making their work personally rewarding.
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Get hands-on experience
Students will complete a 700-hour field practicum which will give students real-life experience working in a social work setting. If you are a college graduate or have work experience, you may be eligible for a reduction in your field practicum hours.
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Earn your Bachelor of Social Work at Timmins
Students can earn their Bachelor of Social Work in Sault Ste. Marie, or at our extension programming site at Northern College in Timmins, Ontario. No matter where you choose to study, you’ll study in a student-centred environment – the ideal learning environment.
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The Social Work Club
The Social Work Club is an entirely student-run club, made up of volunteer committee members who have an interest in social work. The Social Work Club works to raise money for charities, advocate for change, and advocate for the students of Algoma U. To find out more about the Social Work Club, email [email protected]
You can apply from high school, college, university or as a mature student. College graduates and working professionals may be eligible for a reduction in their field placement hours.
As part of any BSW program found in Canada, all students must successfully complete 700 hours of field placement. If you are a college graduate or have work experience, you may be eligible for a reduction in your field practicum hours.Learn More
For more detailed information on our courses, please visit our courses schedule sectionGet started now
Meet our Faculty
Our Social Work faculty are experts in the field. Get to know them!
Ashley Beharriell, B.A, B.Ed
School of Social Work Administrative AssistantView Full Bio
Dr. Rose Cameron
Associate ProfessorView Full Bio
Meghan Boston-McCracken, MSW, RSW
Social Work Field Education, Admissions and Community Engagement CoordinatorView Full Bio
Dr. Walter Chan, MSW, PhD
Assistant ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Jodi Webber, MSW, PhD
Assistant ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Suleyman Demi, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, School of Social WorkView Full Bio
Social Work Administrative Assistant (Timmins)View Full Bio
Faculty Liaison for Field PlacementView Full Bio
Sessional InstructorView Full Bio
Field Education, Admissions & Engagement CoordinatorView Full Bio
Part-time FacultyView Full Bio
Dr. Dionisio Nyaga, MSW, Ph.D.
Assistant ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Rose Ann Torres
Director of the School of Social WorkView Full Bio
“Algoma U has given me opportunities to make a real impact through the social work program. Through learning and working in an environment of like-minded social activists, and connecting classroom education with hands-on experience, I have a new direction for future activist work.”
“Attending Algoma University has been a great experience for me. The faculty in the Social Work program are outstanding and truly supportive on all fronts. The program itself has allowed me to grow as a person, and into the social worker I want to become.”
“I went into the Social Work program because I wanted to help people. But the program has really opened my eyes to see there’s so much more than just helping people. There are limits and regulations which affect everyone differently and we have to learn about their underlying situation before we can implement any kind of solution. It’s mind-blowing and overwhelming to learn about people’s situations…I’ve gained a new outlook and perspective on life.”
“My experience at the University has been very helpful in my own personal identity, I am grateful for that and this University. And my self-confidence is at an all-time high, and I believe in myself. It’s hard to put in words how I feel about this University, and what it has given to me. But it has been an incredible journey and I am a whole new person because of it. Algoma U has given me something that I never thought imaginable.”
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