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Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Smith Advantage! For 90 years, the Smith College School for Social Work has been a leader in academic and clinical excellence. The clinical tradition in social work at Smith College has evolved over years of concern for those suffering from trauma as a result of wars, abuse, poverty and injustice. We are committed to educating students to provide clinical social work services for all populations, particularly for the oppressed, disadvantaged, and at-risk members of society. Through the years, our curriculum and field placements have been responsive to the changing needs and the challenges facing our society.

A decision to participate in the Smith Advantage involves a serious commitment to a rigorous course of study. The design of the Block Plan alternates intensive classroom instruction on campus with extensive full-time field work training in agencies across the country. The program is designed to challenge you, to make you stretch and to help you join the ranks of some of the finest clinical social workers nationally and internationally. Throughout the program, our extensive network of expert resident faculty, adjunct faculty, field advisers and supervisors are there to provide you with the support and mentorship you need to reach this goal.

The Smith Advantage will educate you to meet the needs of diverse and vulnerable populations. Our theories are placed in a sociocultural, political context where we recognize the influences of biases, values, culture and life experiences. And our commitment to anti-racism work means that issues of race and ethnicity are priorities in discussing clinical, community and systemic interventions.

We look forward to having you join the Smith community as we address the current and future mental health needs of society. Together we will continue developing the knowledge and skills essential for social work practice in the 21st century.

Carolyn Jacobs, Ph.D.
Dean Emerita