New Generalist Curriculum

CHAI = CHange Agent Intensive
  • First two weeks of the semester
  • Tuesday/Wednesday/ Thursday
  • Interactive and Connection-Building
Levels of Practice Coursework
  • Individual
  • Family
  • Group
  • Organization
  • Community
Other Generalist Coursework
  • Human Development and Diversity
  • Evidence-Informed Practice
  • Social Welfare Policy and Service Delivery
Our degree programs
Collage of different students holding "change agent" stickers

In Fall 2020, the Mandel School launched a new innovative generalist/foundation curriculum based on extensive benchmarking and marketplace analysis that involved students, faculty, alumni, local and national agencies and professional organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Social Work Education.

The Mandel School learning experience emphasizes two hallmark themes: leadership and social justice. These themes were carried throughout our curriculum.

The curriculum launches with a two-week CHange Agent Intensive (CHAI) transformational immersion into the field of social work, exploring the profession’s identity, history, values and philosophy, ultimately laying the foundation for both direct and community practice concentrations.

The redesigned and innovative generalist curriculum is designed to consolidate the application and integration of knowledge and skills, pulling course content through the levels of social work practice—individual, family, group, organization and community—grounded in formative pedagogy from social welfare policy, evidence-informed research, and human development and diversity. Dynamic live session classes, anchored by flipped classroom and active learning strategies, accelerate and deepen the overall student learning experience.

This more comprehensive, yet consolidated first semester generalist experience, better prepares students to take an integrated micro (direct practice) & macro (community practice) approach to their careers.

The new curriculum creates more room for electives and specialized learning opportunities, including 1-credit hour courses, certificates (e.g., trauma, data science), study abroad experiences and interprofessional education

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The new generalist curriculum is based on evidence of competency-attainment by our students. As the first social work school to create a competency-based educational program, we did outcome-assessment in each of our courses to determine the success of our students. The curriculum is very well-integrated both vertically and horizontally, meaning that as students move from one course to another, they will see how the theory and practice they are learning in their courses are tightly-woven across the curriculum. Our students emerge from the generalist curriculum with a very strong skill set and theory foundation for the remainder of their studies in social work. 

Dean Gilmore headshot lo-res

Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
Dean Emeritus in Applied Social Sciences