The purpose of the Department of Social Work at Humboldt State University is to:
Provide high quality educational programs that promote excellence in the social work profession.
Engage with tribal, academic, and professional communities to improve the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, and enhance the physical and natural environments within which people live, with particular emphasis on rural Northwestern California.
Offer students and community members opportunities to develop skills, knowledge, practices, and methodologies for fostering change, bringing about social justice, and addressing and healing the ongoing effects of colonization.
The Department faculty, staff and students are viewed and utilized as highly skilled, innovative, creative, competent, and collaborative social work partners. Our reputation, activities, and partnerships attract students and other constituents from local, state, tribal, national, and international contexts. The Department actively contributes to making social work a liberatory profession and the world a more just place.
As a Department, we recognize that people who join us are much more than university students, and that all of us are members of the community. The relational quality between students and faculty reflects a mutual learning and educational process. The faculty is dedicated to the well being of the social work students based on caring and compassion. It is important that the University and Department are seen as an integral part of the overall community fabric (economically, socially, and historically). The Department supports progressive practice that is based on peace, justice, experimentation, risk taking, inclusiveness, partnership, non-expert paradigms of relationships, and a belief in the uniqueness of each student’s own professional goals and vision of becoming the social worker they want to be.
MSW Interns at Open Door Health Clinic with their supervisor, Holli JacksonStudents who join the Department of Social Work are offered an educational experience that prepares them for entry and advanced level professional practice in public, private and tribal agencies and community settings. Students are prepared to practice social work with diverse populations from a social justice perspective, with a special commitment to the indigenous populations in Northern California. The Department’s educational approach emphasizes critical reflection, ethical behavior, and the development of human potential and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Humboldt State University is situated in a geographic region with numerous community resources, including the social and environmental justice organizations and movements that have a long history of activism and involvement in local government. Another strength is the vibrant and committed professional relationships among staff in public and private programs and schools, including partnerships with local governments and private foundations to secure support in meeting the social and health needs of people in this region. There are abundant resources to be found in the love that people express for maintaining the natural beauty of the environment, the well being of local communities, and the preservation of Native American tribal cultures.
Social Work student at a rally in Eureka.The Department of Social Work has a long history of working together with surrounding communities to assure that these resources continue to grow. The geographic area also is presented with the challenges of contemporary life problems (e.g. family violence, crime, substance abuse, homelessness, poverty) coupled with the stresses historically associated with rural/small town communities (e.g. isolation, underdevelopment and inaccessibility). The Department of Social Work is committed to educating students to meet these challenges locally, while providing a curriculum that offers a global perspective on social issues and diverse societal responses.
There are many ways to support the work of the Department of Social Work and its undergraduate and graduate programs. The Social Work Faculty Tribute Scholarship is one way to support our program and our students. The Department of Social Work and Humboldt State University awards one $500 scholarship to a junior or senior in the BA Social Work program or to a graduate student in the MSW program. To make a tax deductible contribution to the Social Work Faculty Scholarship, click here.
Another way to support the work of the Department of Social Work is to make a tax deductible contribution to the Social Work Trust Fund. This is the source of funding we use to pay for student and community events, such as our graduation receptions, field honoring ceremonies, and student gatherings. To make a tax deductible contribution to the Social Work Trust Fund, click here.