History of the School of Social Work

The On-Campus MSW Program was founded in 1969. The BASW and MSW programs were originally created to prepare social workers for work with and on behalf of Spanish speaking populations. The origins of the School were rooted in advocacy and, although its mission, philosophy and objectives were considered revolutionary in 1971, the School was strongly supported during its formative years by both the Chicano community and the California Legislature. In these early years, the program maintained a strong emphasis on macro practice. In response to the needs of the professional community, additional direct practice content was integrated into the structure and content of the curriculum during late 1970s and early 1980s. The emphasis on social justice, concern for oppressed groups, and community practice has been consistently maintained. In 1989, in recognition of growing numbers of immigrants in California from Southeast Asia and other parts of the world, the mission was expanded to include a focus on other minorities, and women. In 1997 this expansion was formalized with the adoption of a transcultural perspective. In 2005 our commitment to this perspective was affirmed and extended. The Online/Hybrid MSW Program option was started in 2016. Throughout its history, the School of Social Work has remained committed to social justice and to addressing the changing needs of diverse communities through education, research, and service.