Learning Goals


The Social Work Program at Luther College is grounded in the history, purposes, and philosophy of the social work profession including the concept of person-in-environment. It operates within the context of a small church-affiliated liberal arts college in a vibrant small town in the American upper Midwest. The program aims to assist students in developing ten professional core competencies including the knowledge, values, skills, and professional identity they need to practice as competent professional entry level generalist social workers promoting: human and community well-being in a diverse, complex, and changing global context; the elimination of poverty; social and economic justice; and quality of life for all.

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.

Graduates are prepared to be culturally competent life long learners, active citizens, and advocates for social and economic justice who can think critically, use scientific research-based interventions, make sound ethical judgments, respect human diversity, and serve as leaders in strengthening the service delivery system, as they strive to empower people in their environments. The program and its faculty also contribute to knowledge in the field, provide leadership and expertise to strengthen the social service system, and work 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 ten 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.