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Our Bachelor of Social Work Program

Algoma University’s four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree offers generalist social work in preparing students to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and societies.

 

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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.
Study in Timmins

Students can earn their BSW at our Northern College location in Timmins, Ontario. No matter where you choose to study, you’ll study in a student-centred environment – the ideal learning environment. Learn more about what Algoma U at Timmins has to offer.

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What You Can Expect

Hands-on learning, a close-knit campus community, and caring faculty.

Admissions

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Admissions is a two-step process:

  1. Students are admitted to the first two years from high school, college or university.
  2. All students must apply to be admitted into the third year after all of the pre-requisites are complete. The third and fourth years are the Professional Years of the program.

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Field Placements

As part of any BSW program found in Canada, all students must successfully complete 700 hours of field placement directly related to their studies in social work with established professionals.

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Our Courses

For more detailed information on our courses, please visit our courses schedule section

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