BSW Goals and Competencies


The overarching mission of the East Tennessee State University Bachelor of Social Work Program is to prepare students with the competencies that reflect the core values and ethical obligations  necessary for entry-level generalist practice in the social work profession.


The following goals of the BSW Program are derived from the program's mission.  The BSW Program aims to:

  1. provide a sound educational environment that nurtures learning, stimulates self-reflection, encourages open dialogue, and is characterized by honesty, integrity, trust, and respect.

  2. draw on students' liberal arts foundation to build the knowledge, skills, values, ethics, and professional identity necessary for competent entry-level generalist practice in various contexts and all levels of practice.

  3. ensure a knowledge base in human behavior theories that support intervention at multiple levels in order to improve the quality of life for all citizens, especially those who are disadvantaged.

  4. prepare students to comprehend current social welfare policies' history, socio-politico-economic contexts, provisions, and consequences top client systems.

  5. prepare students to advocate for more effective policies, programs, and services to advance social well-being.

  6. motivate and prepare students for use of research tools to critically evaluate and improve practice, programs, and service delivery systems that employ social workers.

  7. prepare students to meet social welfare needs in a culturally competent manner with diverse populations, giving attention to Northeast Tennessee and surrounding areas.


EP 2.1.1 -- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

  1. Advocate for client access to the services of social work.

  2. Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development.

  3. Attend to professional roles and boundaries.

  4. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication.

  5. Use supervision and consultation.

  6. Commitment to career-long learning.

EP 2.2.2 -- Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

  1. Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values  to guide practice.

  2. Make ethical decisions by applying standards of National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles.

  3. Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical dilemmas.

  4. Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to  arrive at principles decisions.

EP 2.1.3 -- Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

  1. Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom.

  2. Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation.

  3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

EP 2.1.4 -- Engage diversity and difference in practice.

  1. Recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power.

  2. Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups.

  3. Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.

  4. View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

EP 2.1.5 -- Advance human rights and social economic justice.

  1. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.

  2. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice

  3. Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

EP 2.1.6 -- Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

  1. Capacity to use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry

  2. Use research evidence to inform practice.

EP 2.1.7 -- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

  1. Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

  2. Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

EP 2.1.8 -- Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

  1. Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.

  2. Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

EP 2.1.9 -- Respond to contexts that shape practice.

  1. Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services.

  2. Demonstrate skills in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

EP 2.1.10a-d -- Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

EP 2.1.10a -- Engagement

  1. Substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  2. Use empathy and other interpersonal skills.

  3. Develop a mutually agreed-on focus and desired outcomes.

EP 2.1.10b -- Assessment

  1. Collect, organize, and interpret client data.

  2. Assess client strengths and limitations.

  3. Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives.

  4. Select appropriate intervention strategies.

EP 2.1.10c -- Intervention

  1. Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals.

  2. Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities.

  3. Help clients resolve problems

  4. Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients.

  5. Facilitate transitions and endings.

EP 2.1.10d -- Evaluation

  1. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.