Master of Social Work Mission and Goals

MSW Program Mission Statement

Guided by an overarching framework of human rights, and grounded in human relationships and scientific inquiry, the mission of the MSW Program at Appalachian State University is to promote the health and well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities; prevent oppression, discrimination, social and economic injustice; and provide assistance to those in need. The MSW Program, informed by and engaged with regional, state, national and global community contexts, aspires to provide exemplary educational opportunities. 

The foundation curriculum for the Program is designed to prepare students for generalist social work practice within the distinct Appalachian culture of the region, as well as across national and international contexts.  Building on the foundation, students select from one of two distinct concentration curricula:  the Individuals and Families concentration or the Community and Organizational Practice concentration.  The Individuals and Families concentration curriculum provides students with specialized knowledge and skills to effectively practice with adults, children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings.  The Community and Organizational Practice concentration curriculum provides students with specialized knowledge and skills to effectively practice with communities and organizations in different locales.  Appalachian’s MSW Program also seeks to enhance students’ knowledge and skills through a unique crossover design.  The crossover design provides students specializing in one concentration vital exposure to content from the other concentration.   Graduates of Appalachian’s MSW Program demonstrate firm generalist practice knowledge and skills as well as specialized practice knowledge and skills to successfully serve individuals, families, groups, communities or organizations. 

MSW Program Goals

  • Provide graduate students with social work education that is grounded in the profession's history, purposes, and philosophy, and based on a body of knowledge, values, and skills.
  • Provide graduate students with an integrated professional social work foundation curriculum that is based in the liberal arts, and an advanced curriculum that is built from the professional foundation.
  • Prepare graduates who can function with a high degree of autonomy and effectiveness within diverse social work settings.
  • Prepare graduates who contribute to the quality of services in their organizations and communities with an emphasis on the service region.
  • Prepare graduates to fill leadership roles in the agencies and communities they serve with emphasis on the service region.
  • Prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and methods of innovative advanced social work practice with individuals and families with emphasis on the service region.
  • Prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and methods of innovative advanced practice to work with communities and organizations, with emphasis on the service region.
  • Respond to the legislative intent and to community leadership in nearby jurisdictions to extend the MSW to students unable to attend ASU.