DSW Student Learning Objectives

Transformative and analytical thinkers and doers who are futurist and still pragmatic in their approaches – visionaries of what is possible in the human services.

  • Synthesize knowledge from DSW courses toward development of the Grand Challenges Project in an effort to bring about both individual and societal change.
  • Emphasize the necessity of considering context, diversity and difference when proposing changes, and respecting the rights and welfare of human subjects when conducting research.
  • Collaborate with mentors, peers, and advisors to produce a completed, fundable grant proposal that meets the requirements of a good-fit funding source.
  • Demonstrate advanced written and verbal communication skills via the final Grand Challenges proposal and presentation.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and evaluation skills through the review of students’ written proposals and oral presentations.

Knowledgeable about how to initiate, lead, and manage change and innovation in practice, policy and management.

  • Possess a comprehensive understanding of the skills required in the development and design of large scale programs.
  • Possess an understanding of the factors that influence the development, implementation, and evaluation of large-scale programs.
  • Possess an understanding of the impact of major branches of governments, corporations, and non-governmental agencies on the development of large-scale programs.
  • Possess an understanding of the political process as it is practiced in a democratic society relative to large-scale program design & development.
  • Be familiar with the organizational constraints affecting the delivery of services in a large-scale program.

Committed to using the results of research to improve community outcomes in ways that can be measured.

  • Understanding of research process and how to utilize research and databases to support student work. Understanding evaluation methodologies and how to use them to assess students projects.
  • Understanding how to harness technology to provide data on how effective students' projects can be.
  • Understanding how to access and begin to analyze large sets of data.
  • Students will begin to turn the knowledge acquired in the courses into their capstone projects, demonstrating that they are fluent in and able to utilize the research.

Able to view the effects of social policy and social programs on the whole community or the whole life of a person and their thriving not just the target “problem.”


Entrepreneurial, exploratory and data-driven in their approaches and attitudes to problem solving and decision-making to improve lives, organizations and communities.

  • Students will learn basic components of financial management and social entrepreneurship.
  • Students will learn how to turn knowledge into value for stakeholders.

Effective communicators and presenters.

  • Develop a public discourse framework for the application of personal, interpersonal, team, followership, and organizational leadership skills grounded in behavioral science theory and research.
  • Develop effective advocating and influencing using public discourse across a spectrum of social work practice arenas to achieve social and economic justice for society.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills related to public discourse, power and influence, ethics, values, diversity, and multiculturalism when leading followers, client, and diverse populations as social work change agents in organizations and communities.
  • Develop leadership skills in public discourse to motivate, communicate, change, and support healthy functioning in groups, teams, organizations, and community settings; and to respond to the needs of diverse and multicultural populations.
  • Create innovative strength-based leadership skills in public discourse and develop a plan to employ public discourse as a means to effect change.