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Master of Social Work

Department of Social Work


A commitment to serving a diverse population, to improving the social, economic, environmental, and health conditions of people, especially in Northeast Tennessee, through partnerships and collaboration, and to promoting the education and growth of professional practitioners are threads that run through the university statement and faculty used these threads to develop our mission statement as follows:

The East Tennessee State University Department of Social Work seeks to provide students with an educational experience that prepares them to address and meet the need for optimal social, economic, health, and environmental conditions, especially in Northeast Tennessee and surrounding areas.


The Master of Social Work program, curriculum, goals, and course of study are designed to prepare students for advanced clinical professional practice consistent with the goals, course of study, and curriculum prescribed by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) for the master's level of social work education. The MSW program goals are as follows:

Goal 1: To prepare students with the knowledge, values, and skills of clinical practice.

Foundation Year Objective 1
Students will demonstrate the ability to critically analyze a broad range of theories that explain human behavior and interactions among social systems of all sizes.

Foundation Year Objective 2
Students will demonstrate the ability to select from a broad range of relevant theories to explain human behavior and interactions among client systems and environments.

Foundation Year Objective 3
Students will demonstrate the ability to practice with sensitivity to diversity and an understanding of mechanisms of oppression with all client systems.

Concentration Year Objective 1
The ability to develop a theory-based clinical practice framework for their own practice.

Concentration Year Objective 2
The ability to synthesize and utilize theory integration in developing their practice base.

Concentration Year Objective 3
The ability to synthesize and integrate the theories of supervision and management in the provision of services to staff and clients.


Goal 2: To prepare students to engage in competent and responsible clinical practice within public and private agencies

Foundation Year Objective 4
Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate, select, and utilize an array of effective clinical interventions, which are based on social work values and ethics, with client systems of all types and sizes.

Foundation Year Objective 5
Students will demonstrate the ability to critically analyze the impact of social and agency policies and procedures on service delivery.

Foundation Year Objective 6
Students will demonstrate the ability to address problems in service delivery through modification and development of agency policies and procedures.

Concentration Year Objective 4
The ability to evaluate, select, and use organizational theories and skills in the improvement and change of service delivery systems.

Concentration Year Objective 5
The ability to recognize and resolve ethical dilemmas, and practice according to professional social work values and ethics.

Concentration Year Objective 6
The ability to incorporate cultural sensitivity into their own practices.

Concentration Year Objective 7
The ability to integrate the generalist perspective into clinical social work practice.

Goal 3: To prepare students to develop and use ethical research in the advancement and enhancement of social work practice.

Foundation Year Objective 7
Students will demonstrate an ability to critically review published research to inform their practice with client systems.

Foundation Year Objective 8
Students will demonstrate an ability to conduct evaluations of practice and program effectiveness.

Concentration Year Objective 8
The ability to complete research studies for the purposes of practice and program evaluation and knowledge building.

Goal 4: To provide service at the university, local, state, regional, national, and global levels.

Program Objective 1
The department will establish partnerships with human service providers, groups, and organizations for the mutual benefit of the community, clients, students, and faculty.

Program Objective 2
The department will identify, develop, and provide opportunities for continuing education for regional professionals.

Program Objective 3
The department will engage in research and scholarly activities and share the knowledge gained.

Program Objective 4
The department will seek opportunities to provide leadership within the academic and professional communities.

Goal 5: To increase the availability of skilled advanced practice social work professionals in this region.

Program Objective 5
The department will graduate students skilled in autonomous clinical practice.

Program Objective 6
The department will prepare graduates with the academic foundation for obtaining state licensure.

Program Objective 7
The department will prepare students with leadership skills.

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