Macro Social Work

Macro social work promotes human development and social justice through work with communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad range of knowledge and skills that enable practitioners to lead and contribute to highly performing public and private sector organizations that address critical social issues with diverse populations.

At SSW, macro social work education emphasizes service and action to advance core values including:

  • social and economic justice
  • participatory democracy
  • human dignity, equality, and freedom
  • respect for diversity
  • community empowerment
  • asset-oriented practice

Through coursework, field education, and supplementary programs, students learn theory and develop cross-cutting skills in community organizing, human services management, and planning and program development. Students and faculty focus together on understanding and working to overcome racism and intersecting oppressions based on gender, class, sexual orientation, identity, ability, and other social factors.

Specific learning opportunities include: systems thinking, community needs and asset assessment, outreach and recruitment, power analysis, community development, direct action, supervision, budgeting, financial management, strategic planning, nonprofit administration, leadership development, meeting facilitation, community-based participatory research, evaluation, proposal writing, advocacy, lobbying, coalition building, bargaining and negotiating, conflict resolution, public speaking, social marketing, media relations, and other topics.

The foundation course is required for all students in a first-year field placement:

  • SSW MP 759 Communities and Organizations: Analysis and Intervention

Following this course, macro concentrators are required to take the following courses:

  • SSW MP 773 Human Services Management
  • SSW MP 744 Seminar: Community Planning
  • SSW MP 781 Community Organizing
  • SSW MP 783 Planning and Program Development

Additional advanced macro electives are offered including:

  • SSW MP 775 Strategic Management
  • SSW MP 776 Financial Management in Human Service Organizations
  • SSW MP 785 Program Evaluation
  • SSW MP 794 Macro Field Seminar
  • SSW HB 750 Organizational Behavior and Culture

Students concentrating in macro practice can also complete specializations in the following practice fields: Children, Youth, and Families; Behavioral Health; Aging; Trauma and Violence; and Leadership in Group Work and Human Service Management (L-GWHSM). In addition, dual degrees with the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, School of Public Health, and School of Theology enable students to enrich their knowledge and skills in specialized areas of clinical practice.