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Prospective Students - Southern Alberta Region

Submitted by 21232f297a57a5a... on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 5:12pm

We are delighted that you have found the Faculty of Social Work, Southern Alberta Region, where we offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. 


BSW Program: Lethbridge | Medicine Hat

You can obtain your Bachelor of Social Work in both Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. BSW is a credential that allows you to register with the Alberta College of Social Workers or similar regulatory bodies across Canada and the US

MSW Program

We are also the place where you can take the next steps to advance your career by obtaining a Master of Social Works degree.

Learn more

Submitted by 21232f297a57a5a... on Wed, 11/06/2013 - 3:49pm

Welcome from the Associate Dean and Department Head

Welcome from the Associate Dean and Department Head

I would like to offer you a warm welcome to the Southern Alberta Region (SAR) Faculty of Social Work website. The Southern Alberta Region is one of three regions which make up the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary.

We offer our fully accredited BSW degree program in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. We also offer a fully accredited two year MSW degree program. All of our BSW and MSW graduates receive degrees from the University of Calgary. The Lethbridge-based BSW is a full-time two-year program designed for students who have already completed two years of transferable university courses. In Medicine Hat, we offer our innovative BSW Learning Circles curriculum, which includes in-class meetings on alternating weekends, supplementary online study, and local practica. Our MSW degree program is designed for the working social work professional and combines online delivery with several short residency periods in Lethbridge.

Our faculty members and staff are located on the University of Lethbridge campus in sunny Lethbridge Alberta. The faculty members in the SAR bring a great deal of diversity and experience to the classroom. Class sizes are relatively small (approximately 25-30 students) providing students with extensive face-to-face relationships with their instructors and fellow students. Our student services staff have in-depth knowledge of university policy and procedures and are available to support your academic journey from providing information about admission requirements through to graduation. Please explore our website which contains specific details about each of our programs.

We hope that you will consider applying for one of our degree programs. Thank you for your interest in the Faculty of Social Work in the Southern Alberta Region.

William Pelech, PhD, RSW
Associate Dean and Professor

What is Social Work?

Social work is a profession concerned with helping and advocating for individuals, families,groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems. Social work is concerned with individual and personal problems but also with broader social justice issues such as poverty, unemployment and domestic violence.

Where Can Social Workers Work?

Social workers work in a variety of settings: private and non-profit social service agencies such as family services, child welfare, and international aid; general and psychiatric hospitals, school boards, correctional institutions, welfare administration agencies; federal and provincial government. An increasing number of social workers work in private practice. Social workers provide services as members of a multidisciplinary team or on a one-to-one basis with the client. The duties performed by social workers vary depending on the settings in which they work.

What Do Social Workers Do?

Social work is a dynamic profession and it continuously evolves to respond to the needs of the changing world; thus, social workers require knowledge and experience in human development, cultural systems as well as social and economic policies. Concisely, social work is committed to improving not only society itself, but also individuals within the society, particularly oppressed or marginalized people.

Professional social work practice may intervene to:

  • Enhance the developmental, problem-solving and coping capacities of people and systems;
  • Promote effective and humane operation of systems that provide resources and services to people;
  • Link people to systems that provide them with resources, services and opportunities; and
  • Contribute to the development and improvement of social policy.

Is Social Work Right for Me?

There are no predefined qualities required to become a good social worker; however, like most jobs, you should be committed and passionate about your choice of career. Some of the most popular qualities of a good social worker include:

  • Empathetic - To be empathetic is to have the ability to understand another person's feelings.
  • Non-judgmental - It is important that social workers communicate a non-judgmental attitude towards other people; acceptance of others, despite individual differences; and a belief in the importance of equality and dignity of every human being. However, keep in mind that you are not expected to agree with all the values, beliefs and behaviours of other people.
  • Ability to keep matters confidential - Often, in social work, you deal with sensitive issues and information that must be kept private and confidential.
  • Analytical - This means that you are able to separate issues and other factors to study or examine them, draw conclusions, or solve problems.
  • Communication and listening skills - Interpersonal skills are necessary in the social work profession and it is a good start in developing other skills social work specific skills such as; confrontation, support, limit setting, self-disclosure and others to your interviewing skills.
  • Team player - In social work, there are many opportunities for you to work with other professionals in various disiplines to develop and implement the best possible solution or plan to address an issue or a situation. Besides, collaboration is key to the advancement of the social profession and the practices and services we provide.
  • Committed - Social work is a profession committed to making a difference and bettering peoples' lives and the society in which they live. Therefore, it is important that you are committed to social justice and have a strong desire to make a difference.
  • Knowledgeable - As a social worker you need to be knowledgeable about various society, community and individual issues as well as the theories and application of these theories to make a difference. Your knowledge should also extend outside of just social work's realm. It is important and useful when developing programs or policies that you are aware of other disiplines efforts and practices.

Mission and Values

At the Faculty of Social Work, our vision is "Creating social well-being and just societies." Our approach to achieving this vision is to keep the learner at the centre of our efforts, contribute to excellence in professional social work, emphasize research in our curriculum, and work in cooperation with social service agencies in the communities where we teach. This approach is reflected in our Mission Statement:

  • Dedicated to promoting societies that respect human dignity, and worth, meet basic human needs, are anti-oppressive, inclusive, and based on principles of social justice.
  • Committed to learners by providing and building a knowledge base and set of skills in environments designed to stimulate and support a spirit of critical inquiry
  • Focused on servicing as a catalyst for positive community impact through the creation and dissemination of knowledge and innovation

Important Dates: FSW South

Date & Time:
June 8, 2017 | 12:00 pm

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