Social work students advocate at the Statehouse in Trenton for student loan relief.
The Seton Hall Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program recently launched a unique and innovative Social Work Policy and Justice (SWPJ) Certificate Program. No other undergraduate social work program in the country has an offering like it. Open to students from all disciplines, it incorporates an experiential learning component and invites macro-level social justice analysis, reflection, and action to promote social change.
SWPJ Certificate Program participants build knowledge of classical and contemporary theories of justice; develop an understanding of the economic, political, and social systems conducive, or not, to cultivating a just community; gain insight into policy and social justice issues that drive human actions and responses to global challenges; and understand principles of social justice as they relate to topics such inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.
Senior Social Work major Lori Zerrusen shares, "In pursuing the Social Work Policy and Justice Certificate, I have been able to see how policy is shaped by, and helps shape, our understanding of social problems in society. Social policies affect every individual. Policy should not be taken lightly or for granted. It is by learning and understanding how social policy is created and implemented that we can become more engaged and effective in finding practical means to solve issues and make the world a more just place."
Seton Hall Social BSW Program Director, Dr. Dawn Apgar emphasizes, "The Council on Social Work Education requires social work programs to ensure competency in advancing human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. Our Social Work Policy and Justice Certificate program helps students develop this competency, educating scholar practitioners and practitioner scholars at the intersection of social justice and policy practice."
Senior Social Work major Renee Wint adds, "Obtaining this Certificate not only has allowed me to become more educated about social justice, but also has expanded my professional networks as well as my knowledge about the intersection of research and policy. I have always been interested in the power of the law to affect change. Getting this certificate, I found myself in different policy settings pushing for social change, trying to modify laws and policies, and advocating for marginalized communities."
Dr. Anthony Nicotera, Assistant Social Work Professor and lead instructor in the SWPJ Certificate Program declares, "Social justice is a core social work value. This program helps students explore both the pedagogy and practice of justice. It is consistent with social work's core commitment to addressing not only the immediate needs of persons-in-environments, but also the systemic, institutional, and structural injustices that create, contribute to, and perpetuate these needs."