Social Work at VSU
Ten Reasons to Learn More . . .
Social work is a profession in which practitioners work to enhance the functioning of individuals, families, groups, and communities as well as work for positive change in societal conditions. Social workers are employed in all levels of government as well as community/private organizations and individual therapeutic agencies. Social Workers are the largest providers of mental health services in the country.
2. The Social Work Master’s Program at VSU:
The Division of Social Work at Valdosta State University has a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) program that focuses on multi-level, advanced generalist practice. Students learn about both clinical and community practice and are able to develop the requisite skills to practice in many settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health, residential treatment, child welfare, forensic, geriatric, hospice, and many others.
The program is 60 credit hours completed in two years (full-time) or 3-4 years (part-time). Students with a BSW degree from an accredited school can apply for Advanced Standing Status and complete the MSW program in one academic year. We offer an optional concentration in School Social Work.
3. Accreditation and State Licensure:
The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national social work accrediting body. Accreditation by CSWE ensures students that they will be a part of a high quality instructional environment, and also enables students to fulfill the educational requirements that prepare them for eligibility to take state licensure exams (Licensed Master Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Social Worker).
4. Web-Based and On-Campus Cohorts:
The MSW program offers both a traditional on-campus cohort and an innovative web-based program. The on-campus cohort attends classes after 5:00 pm during the week. The web-based cohort meets face-to-face for 5 weekends per semester (Friday night and all day Saturday) and completes the remainder of coursework online using WebCT/Vista.
5. Field Practicum:
MSW students complete 2 separate year-long practicum placements while enrolled in the program. The Division of Social Work Field Office has contractual agreements with 125-150 human service agencies in the southern two thirds of Georgia. Eighty to ninety students are placed in these agencies and supervised by the Field Office each academic year. The most common placements are in Mental Health, School Social Work, Hospice, Inpatient Psychiatry, VA Hospitals, and Department of Children and Family Services.
6. MSW Student Body:
There are 115 total MSW students. Admissions applications and student enrollment have almost doubled in the last 8 years. Students come from a variety of educational and career backgrounds. Some students enroll directly after finishing an undergraduate degree and others have extensive experience in a human service field. The following is data on current enrollees: Average Age: 31; Percentage Female: 92%; Percentage Minority: 42%; Completing a 2nd master’s degree: 15%; On-Campus: 47%; Web-Based: 53%
7. Doctor of Social Work Plans:
We are currently examining the feasibility of offering a doctoral program in Social Work. This program is still in its initial planning stage, but if you have an interest in participating on an email list of MSW practitioners with an interest in exploring the feasibility of doctoral education, please call (229) 249-4864.
8. Social Work Faculty & Staff:
The Division of Social Work includes 23 people including 8 tenure track faculty, a Director (Dr. Martha M. Giddings), and a Director of Field Education (Ms. Allison Curington). The faculty members are quite productive in terms of their scholarship, and publish approximately 15-18 juried articles per year. Additionally, they are active in all levels of campus, community, regional, state, national, and international service activities, and make numerous professional presentations each year. All faculty members are licensed to practice social work and place a high value on providing individual attention and mentoring to students.
9. Grant Support & Community Service:
The Division received $752,000 in external funding in 2005-2006. Twenty-five MSW students are currently receiving funding on the Department of Family and Children Services Title IV-E Grant which pays for its employees’ educational expenses in an effort to professionalize the state child welfare workforce. The Division of Social Work operates My Friend’s House, an Alzheimer’s Day Care Program funded by the state. My Friend’s House serves approximately 12 Alzheimer’s patients each day while their caretakers work.
10. Contacting Us:
If you are interested in applying to the program, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to communicate with you by email, phone or in person. We can also arrange campus visits and the opportunity to meet with the admissions director, social work faculty and/or the program director. We organize Visiting Days in the fall and spring to give prospective students a chance to learn more about the program. Prospective students can contact the MSW Admissions Director (email or 229-259-5080).
Updated: August 26, 2008