Learning Goals


The Social Work Program at Luther College is grounded in the history, purposes, and philosophy – as well as  the knowledge, values, and skills – of the social work profession. It operates within the context of a small church affiliated liberal arts college in rural town in the American upper Midwest. The core values of the social work profession that shape the Luther Social Work Program are: service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry. 

The program assists students in developing their professional core competencies including the knowledge, values, skills, and professional identity they need to practice as entry level generalist professional social workers promoting human and community well-being in a diverse, complex, and global world. Graduates are prepared to be culturally competent life-long learners, active citizens, and advocates for social and economic justice who value the dignity and worth of the person and the importance of human relationships. Graduates are prepared to be competent social workers who practice with integrity through critical thinking, use of research based interventions, scientific inquiry, sound ethical decision making, and a respect for human diversity. The program prepares students to serve as leaders in strengthening the social service delivery system, as they strive to empower people in their environments and working to eliminate poverty, racism and other conditions that limit human rights. The program also contributes to knowledge in the field, provides leadership and expertise to strengthen the social service system, and works for the common good in an ever-changing society.


Goal 1: Prepare students for competent and effective entry-level generalist professional social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities through mastery of the knowledge, values, and skills that inform the nine core competencies.

Goal 2: Prepare students to think critically, using the values, codes of ethics, and research base of the profession.

Goal 3: Prepare students to use prevention and intervention methods to work effectively in changing contexts with diverse populations, drawing on people’s strengths and resilience.