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Goal Statement Guidelines

The purpose of the goal statement is to determine if what you want to learn is a "match" with what the field site has to offer. The goal statement document is an opportunity for you to demonstrate professional writing. It should allow potential field instructors to view a "snapshot" of your interests, why you chose social work as a career, and the impact you want to make.

As you write your goal statement, remember that professional graduate school is preparing you to become a provider of service. You should think about and refer to:

The goal statement must:

  • Be written in a narrative format--it functions as a writing sample.
  • Provide behaviorally specific examples.
  • This is a public document and is shared electronically with your field instructor and your potential colleagues, so please be cautious when sharing private information.
  • Be no longer than 2 pages, double spaced, and no smaller than 12 pt. font
  • Include all of the following information:
    • Header
      • Full name & pronouns
      • Pathway
      • Curriculum schedule (16-month, 20-month, advanced standing, micromasters, part-time, global, national or PhD Candidate)
      • Special Scholar Program (if applicable)
    • Content
      • Please describe what impact you want to make as a social worker and service provider (identify one of the Grand Challenges of Social Work when answering this question). 
      • As you transition to becoming a service provider, select two skill categories from the field application that you hope to develop. Tell us how these skills might be transferable to multiple social work settings.
      • Tell us how you will utilize supervision and how you will respond to critical feedback.
      • Most professional social work jobs require a blend of work in micro, mezzo, and macro areas. How do you envision this blend for your field placement?
      • Identify two of your current strengths, and share your aspirations for your first job as a professional social worker.

Reminder: You have the opportunity to have the U-M SSW Career Center review your goal statement prior to submitting your field application to the Office of Field Education. Please contact them directly for assistance at: ssw-cso@umich.edu or (734) 763-6259

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