About Us

San José State University School of Social Work Mission and Goals


… to provide leadership that advances social justice through a transcultural perspective for the health and well being of those who are marginalized in an increasingly diverse society…


The mission of the School of Social Work at San José State University is to prepare social work professionals for effective, ethical practice and leadership from a trans-cultural perspective with diverse individuals, families and communities.

In the service of this mission, the school is active in scholarship and professional leadership endeavors that advance the field of social work and respond to the emerging needs of diverse communities. The trans-cultural perspective is infused throughout the curriculum, informs faculty scholarship and reflects an enduring commitment to advocating for social justice, honoring the strengths of diverse cultures, and enhancing the well being of individuals and communities.


To prepare social workers for ethical social work and use of the transcultural perspective with diverse and marginalized populations.

(BASW) To prepare social workers for effective generalist practice from a transcultural perspective with individuals across the lifespan, and with families, groups, organizations and communities.

(MSW) To prepare social workers for advanced practice from a transcultural multi-systems perspective with individuals and families across the lifespan, groups, organizations and communities.

To prepare social workers for leadership in advocating for change and innovation in policies and practices to enhance social justice and the well being of individuals, families and communities.

To prepare social workers for critical inquiry in the service of the above goals.

To contribute to social work through professional leadership and scholarship that advances social work knowledge, practice and values.


The School of Social Work is committed to core social work values: service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry.

Scholarship and Learning
The academic freedom of faculty and students is vital to the role of promoting life-long learning and intellectual inquiry through research, scholarship, and the pursuit of knowledge.

Student and Faculty/Staff Success
The school places the highest priority on ensuring the academic success and personal growth of the San Jose State University community.

he highest standards are held in support of continual improvement and innovation in all that the school does.

All individuals are held accountable for their behavior; including being honest and fair in all their work and interactions.

Diversity, inclusion, civility and individual uniqueness are respected. The School recognizes the strengths that these factors bring to the learning environment.

Collaborative relationships within and beyond the campus are valued in order to realize the mission of the School.


Statement of Core Competencies

The curriculum for the School of Social Work is guided by nine competencies, which are defined by the Council on Social Work Education and are reflective of our mission and goals. Each competency describes the knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes that comprise the competency at the generalist level of practice. The operational definition of each competency area is demonstrated through practice behaviors which integrate these components, i.e., specific knowledge, values, and skills needed for generalist practice (BASW) graduates or applied in advanced practice with additional specialized knowledge and skills (MSW). For the School of Social Work, these nine competencies constitute the major student learning objectives for the program. The core competencies for the BASW and MSW Programs are outlined below:

Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice

Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities