On behalf of the Department of Social Work, welcome! Students entering the Master of Social Work (MSW) program in UTSA’s College of Public Policy are joining a dedicated community of social work professionals and supporters transforming lives in San Antonio and across the country.
Our accredited program is committed to culturally competent transformative social work. Our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community supporters are what make our social work community unique. Their commitment to the profession of social work and their collaborative spirits are making a difference in the San Antonio area and beyond. Our innovative, holistic curriculum prepares students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The curriculum spans the micro-macro continuum and provides comprehensive knowledge and skills for intervention at multiple service levels. We invite students to dive in and fully engage in all this program offers.
It’s an honor to serve as chair of the department, working with our program vision in the forefront of my mind: to serve as catalysts for transformative culturally competent social work. I can’t think of any work I would rather be doing, given critical issues individuals, families, and communities confront on a daily basis. Social workers seek to advance values of integrity, service, competence, social justice, human relationships, and the dignity and worth of each person. We are fortunate that our MSW program is embedded in the UTSA context, with the university endorsing core values of dialogue, discovery, integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration, and innovation. Learning and transformation often involve challenge. These values guide faculty, staff, and students as we learn and act together. We welcome your interest in this special community.
The UTSA Department of Social Work was founded by Dr. Dennis Haynes. It has grown significantly since its inaugural cohort of 17 students entered in January 2005. Initially, the program focused on meeting the needs of working professionals interested in attending school part-time, and all classes were offered in the evening. The program was fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in February, 2008, with reaffirmation in June 2012, making it a CSWE accredited program through 2020. Graduates work in professional positions serving diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. They demonstrate commitment to social responsibility, cultural competence, and community collaboration within an inter-professional and global context.
The program has grown rapidly, with a current enrollment of over 200 students, and increased numbers of full-time students. A small number of day classes are now offered. This website introduces our faculty and their areas of research expertise, as well as our staff, including members of the Department of Field Education. Through the Title IV-E (SWEPT) program, we have also been able to offer the program to cohorts in Corpus Christi. The UTSA social work student body is diverse, with both non-traditional and traditional students representing a range of ages, ethnic groups, work and educational experiences, ideas, and interests. We strive to create a community of learners, incorporating a transformative education paradigm throughout all course work. Emphasis is placed on facilitating the transformation of students’ perspectives, so they in turn can facilitate the transformation of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Jesús Ortega graduated with his master's degree in social work from UTSA in 2012 and worked in the department as an adjunct professor, teaching students the value of cultural competence in the field. His experiences with working with diverse groups of people in Brazil and focusing on issues affecting underrepresented and marginalized communities taught him how culture can serve as a transformative vehicle for addressing social inequalities. His training and teaching has brought him to where he is today, directing the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dell Medical School at UT Austin. He currently creates new guidelines for hiring diverse staff and faculty and develops initiatives to foster a climate of inclusivity and engagement. In addition, he is collaborating to create the first health social work department within the medical school.Read Story ›