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School of Social Work

The School of Social Work focuses on Indigenous, structural, critical feminist, anti-oppressive, and anti-racism perspectives with northern, rural, remote, Indigenous, and Franco-Ontarian communities.

The BSW is a professional program accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). Students who graduate from our program are eligible to register as professionals with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Many employers require registration with the OCSWSSW.

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Admissions

For more information on how to get started and applying at the School of Social Work, please contact ashley.beharriell@algomau.ca. We can’t wait to chat with you!

The School of Social Work at Algoma University offers academic excellence for professional education in Sault Ste Marie and in Timmins. Graduates of the four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree are prepared to practice anti-oppressive social work at the entry-level with diverse populations in a Canadian context and are introduced to anti-racism perspectives. Our programming 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 programming is designed to help fulfil the need for social workers in northern, rural, and remote regions.

We are aware of the impact that colonial actions, legislation, policy and institutions, including Residential Schools and child welfare systems, have on Indigenous Peoples, and we are committed to preparing students to critically reflect on how their work as future social workers has a role in working to move forward for a better future. The School of Social Work is committed to playing its role in addressing the Calls to Action that have been made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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.
Our Social Work Program

Students can expect opportunities for personal, academic, and professional growth through our small class sizes and one-on-one interactions with dedicated faculty who are active in their fields of research.

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Two Unique Campus Locations

The Sault Ste. Marie campus is located in the heart of the Great Lakes, while the Timmins campus is located on the Mattagami River; each providing truly unique northern experiences. Both locations have cited a growing need for employees. For this reason, our program is designed to help fulfil the need for social workers in northern, rural and remote regions.

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Special Mission

Algoma University is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and respectful learning community; one that values the opportunities to learn from and with students, staff and visitors from all parts of the world. This is what makes Algoma University such a special place.

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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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Meet Our Team

Meet the faculty and staff members of the School of Social Work

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