Committed to Diversity
At UConn, our commitment to diversity is reflected in our staff, faculty, student body, associated field agencies, our involvement in community service, and the curriculum itself. The School has an outstanding record of racial-ethnic diversity, with over one-third of faculty, staff and students being members of groups that are underrepresented in the university and in higher education. Diversity includes a wide range of human differences. Here at the School of Social Work, particular attention is given to differences that, historically, have been used to target social groups and their members for marginalization, exclusion and discrimination.
Welcoming and Inclusive
We advance diversity through a welcoming and inclusive environment where all members of the School community have equal opportunities to thrive. Promoting cultural competence among members of the School community supports these aspirations.
The global and diverse context of social work education and practice requires that cultural competence be integrated throughout the School’s teaching, research and public engagement activities. Faculty and staff are well prepared to work effectively and inclusively with an increasingly diverse student body. Many opportunities are available for faculty and staff to engage in professional development to increase their cultural competence.
Committed to Cultural Competence
The Student Convocation on Cultural Competence is a means to emphasize the School’s commitment to the profession’s Standards for Cultural Competence. This experience helps incoming students understand the definition of cultural competence, how to work effectively with a wide range of human diversity including culture, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, and age.
The Annual Cultural Competence/Field Advising Seminar focuses on a specific cultural competence related topic that is integrated into students’ field seminar discussion focusing on self reflection, critical thinking, and informed practice.
There are also co-curricular activities that allow students the opportunity to engage in meaningful experiences. The Student Organization offers social, cultural and education events, as well as networking opportunities. Its sub-organizations include the Committee for Multicultural Awareness and Social Justice, Latin American Student Organization, Jewish Social Work Alliance, Organization of Black Social Work Students, PRIDE, and the Women’s Caucus.
Our Specialized Institutes, Centers, and Projects address a range of contemporary issues and professional challenges. The Center for International Social Work Studies, Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction, Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work, and the Puerto Rican & Latino Studies Project all host open conferences, workshops, and other educational opportunities throughout the year.
Students also have an opportunity to complement their method concentration with a Focused Area of Study. To do this, students can organize their nine elective credits on a special population or social problem. These courses broaden knowledge and skills to work in the context of diversity. A Focused Area of Study can be completed in one of these seven areas:
- Black Studies for Social Work Practice
- International Issues in Social Work
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Social Work Practice
- Puerto Rican/Latino/a Studies in Social Work
- Social Work Practice with Older Adults
- Social Work with Women and Children in Families
- Urban Issues in Social Work
We encourage you to think about your commitment to the values and ethics of the profession and its commitment to cultural competence as you make the decision whether the mission of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work is compatible with your own values and goals. We encourage you to join us as you pursue your journey to make a difference.