The curriculum includes a liberal arts base, with foundation requirements in the behavioral sciences, and sequences in social policy and services, practice methods and in field education. A major emphasis is the preparation of the student for beginning social work practice with rural and Alaska Native populations.
As part of their senior year coursework students are given the opportunity to work with individuals, groups and communities in a social service agency and complete a 400-hour practicum. Students work under the direct supervision of an agency social worker who teaches, guides and monitors the direct practice aspect of their educational experience.
Graduates in social work qualify for beginning practice positions in child welfare, mental health, services for the aged, family service agencies, youth programs, health services, Native corporations and other social agencies. Social work applies knowledge in the behavioral sciences to work with the emotional and social problems of individuals, families and communities.
Distance Delivery Education
In addition to the campus-based delivery method, the department offers a distance delivery option that enables students from across Alaska to earn their B.A. in social work from their home communities.
The statewide distance delivered courses maintain the same curriculum content, structure, and accreditation standards as the campus based program. Courses vary only in the means of delivery, and in some cases slight changes in assignments are tailored to meet the village communities’ unique needs. Classes are conducted primarily through audio-conferences.
The use of the audio conference model for teaching replicates the reality of practice in bush Alaska. Client assessments, team meetings, and family sessions are routinely conducted through audio conference.
Cohort Model - Another component of our Distance Delivery Education
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Social Work Cohort is a distance delivery model specific to rural Alaska students, who are either working in or have experience with the social service field. The students come to Fairbanks for a week at the beginning of each semester and three days at the end of the semester to receive intensive classroom instruction. The rest of the course is completed through audio conferences. This model allows rural students to form a bond and build an educational support network with fellow classmates, while receiving course instruction not only from the university instructor, but an Alaska Native Elder as well. This method of instruction has been highly successful as it incorporates both western and traditional approaches to learning. The overall mission of this model of delivery is “growing our own” practitioners--meaning instead of having a revolving door of well-intentioned practitioners in and out of rural Alaska in a year or less, we are “growing our own” practitioners from the rural communities themselves, who know the community intimately and are committed to staying.
Minimum Requirements for Degree: B.A.: 123 credits
The UAF baccalaureate social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.