Strategic Priority 2

MSW Graduates getting lined up for recognition ceremony at the Lied Center

Innovation and Quality Education

We will inspire social justice advocates around the world to seek out the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare as their educational partner. We will provide a unique and memorable student learning experience that will attract undergraduate and graduate students to a social work education as the degree choice for those wanting to be change agents and to help society’s most vulnerable. Throughout their experience, students will receive comprehensive support, be challenged to explore their passions while building relationships and learning to practice with integrity, use critical inquiry to analyze and challenge existing structures and systems, discover the intersection of micro/macro social work practice and build collaboration across systems and disciplines to create multi-level change. 

Goal 1:

Increase student enrollment in the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs each year with focus on recruiting, supporting and retaining under-represented students​


  • Dedicate prospective student recruiter and Edwards Campus Success Coach who assist in all recruitment activities (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Release annual recruitment strategic plan and acquire software/systems to implement and track plan activities​ (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Focus diversity recruitment efforts as part of the recruitment strategic plan​ (IN PROGRESS)

    • Review recruitment plan activities with the Associate Dean for DEI and the Liaison to Native Communities and find ways to collaborate​

    • Develop relationships with colleges, universities, high schools and organizations that serve under-represented prospective students

    • Increase recruitment staff availability at and support of events organized by and for under-represented populations

    • Increase virtual opportunities to meet with prospective students​

    • Create additional collateral materials to display content and images pertinent to diverse populations​

    • Promote Vision of Justice at all levels of enrollment funnel and incorporate Vision of Justice language into promotional materials​

    • Engage in ongoing training to educate student success team on recruitment and support for under-represented students​

    • Work closely with Haskell social work program and student groups and organizations that serve under-represented students to provide personalized assistance with the application process​

    • Ensure admission requirements are inclusive: eliminated the GRE requirement, availability of fee waivers​

    • Support and assist international and immigrant students with navigating policies and application requirements

  • Develop an advancement strategic plan and coordinate with Endowment Development Director to increase funding to support students  (IN PROGRESS)

    • Review scholarship funds to ensure usage and support for students of color​

    • Examine scholarship award criteria and adjust when possible to provide support for students with highest need​

  • Apply for additional sources of funding such as Graduate Studies diversity recruitment funds (NOT STARTED)

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Goal 2:

Challenge norms and embrace the changing world of higher education by providing a learning environment with high impact opportunities (research, field education) that is flexible, supportive, and safe, and promotes a culture of continually assessing, questioning and improving practices, policies and systems by adopting throughout the curricula unconditional regard for critical inquiry


  • Add value to the program through curriculum innovations such as specializations, interdisciplinary programming, community partnerships and/or offering program options that are flexible and diverse (IN PROGRESS)

    • Form Curriculum Innovations Committee​

    • Add Child Welfare Certificate and evaluate other certificate options​

    • Collaborate with KU departments and community organizations​

    • Establish new PhD Curriculum

    • Launch a DSW program​

    • Add simulations and interactive courses

    • Explore online BSW and MSW programs

    • Launch online MSW macro certificate​

    • Provide opportunities to assist in curriculum development that will include interdisciplinary and community collaboration

    • Explore integration of research into Curriculum Innovation Committee’s final product​

  • Engage faculty in the Center for Teaching Excellence ​(COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Collaborative interprofessional learning opportunities with 35 partners through the Integrated Health Scholars Program ​(COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Redesign all classes to be delivered in a highly dynamic and engaging online format during pandemic ​(COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Increase flexibility and convenience through numerous class formats, days and times of class offerings and locations​ ​(COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Expand Partnership Sites: Garden City, Salina, Pittsburg ​(COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Create Field Office strategic plan (IN PROGRESS)

    • Expand relationships with practicum placements sites to provide real world experience through the required practicum

  • Provide three faculty led study abroad locations focusing on global social work​ (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Increase research opportunities for students at all levels (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Develop research opportunities handout for BSW and MSW students

    • Form a School Research Council to help incorporate research opportunities into curriculum​

    • Activate MSW Research Scholars Program​

    • Compile research products/resources which might have use in coursework​

    • Place macro MSW students in research office and Center for Community Engagement and Collaboration​

  • Provide support through advising, mentoring and funding for a successful journey​ (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Require orientations each year for all programs and field education​

    • Offer 1:1 PhD mentoring and three years guaranteed funding

    • Establish a student emergency fund

    • Require academic advising for undergrads each semester

    • Provide all students with the consistent opportunity for professional and faculty advising​

    • Support students with Individualized field practicum assistance at the rate of 32,575 hours/year

    • Increase communications with students during pandemic to keep students up-to-date, clarify conflicting or confusing messages, ease anxiety, and promote a “Needs and Concerns” form, which provides an accessible way to request needed resources to continue their education

    • Dedicate student success advisors and Edwards Campus Success Coach who act as a one person contact for the student from recruitment to graduation​

    • Allow freshman to be admitted directly into the program, which allows students to attend orientation and utilize internal advisors

    • Organize a Living Learning Community housing option that provides additional resources and mentorship opportunities​

    • Create the Pathways to the Profession, a professional development series for current students to provide additional opportunities that support students with career development

    • Mentor and provide scholarships through three scholars programs​

  • Provide students with resources to improve the student experience and aid in the successful completion of the program and beyond (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Develop GRA orientation materials​

    • Improve content and availability of new student resources (handbook, website, policies, etc.)​

    • Update MSW Student Standards and Advancement Policy​

    • Offer licensure prep classes​

    • Revise Grievance Policy with specific attention paid to DEI​

  • Provide comfortable multi-use spaces in Twente Hall to draw students into the building (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Hold regular Student Success Team meetings (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

Goal 3:

Produce high quality graduates prepared to practice across system levels, ready to make their own mark on society and move the world towards a more just place


  • Engage community partners to assess the preparedness of our graduates to meet the changing social work profession (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Ask for input from alumni, adjunct instructors and field education representatives through surveys and focus groups

    • Plan Dean visits with community partners, alumni and donors​

    • Design Associate Director of Field Education position to provide agency focus

    • Urge high alumni engagement through field education and adjunct instructors​

    • Urge collaboration and mentorship between faculty/adjunct instructor in regards to syllabus development

    • Utilize Integrated Health Scholars Program to increase community partnerships

    • Attend coalition meetings across the state

    • Collaborate with Haskell Indian Nations University​

    • Coordinate with partnership sites to offer a mutually beneficial program for both programs and students

  • Gain valuable input from student (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Provide opportunities for student input through informal events such as Cookies and Conversation with Carney

    • Offer students opportunities to assist administration through six student advisory committees

    • Ensure student representation on faculty and staff committees

    • Conduct numerous surveys - school DEI climate survey, PhD survey, implicit curriculum survey for bachelor’s and master’s students, teaching evaluations

    • Survey students to gain their perspective and desires around class formats during pandemic

  • Evaluate educational outcomes through the accreditation process with the Council on Social Work Education​ (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Review of 13 interrelated competencies and component behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, skills and cognitive and affective processes annually (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Promote PCE offerings to current students as well as alums, in furtherance of a culture of lifelong learning (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

Goal 4:

Celebrate and acknowledge student successes and diversity


  • Provide opportunities to acknowledge, support and honor diversity​ (IN PROGRESS)

    • Offer Ethnic/Racial stoles for graduates to wear the stoles throughout graduation weekend

    • Highlight alumni and students of color in School materials and sharing their success stories on website/social media

    • Design art and history panels that outline School and University history as it relates to DEI and publicly display in Conference Room 208

  • Advertise successes through events and communications and promote by utilizing email communications, social media, website highlights, etc. (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Promote awards and students successes such as Margo Award, Integrated Health Scholars and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholars presentations, art collectives

  • Hold virtual graduation that honors each individual graduate with personalized slide highlighting accomplishments​ when in-person event is unable to take place as scheduled due to unfortunate circumstances such as the COVID pandemic (COMPLETE)

  • Celebrate graduates by giving each graduate a graduation gift and share words of encouragement from notable alumni (COMPLETE)

  • Include student award opportunities through the Awards Committee (NOT STARTED)

Goal 5:

Enhance training, support and recognition for all instructional faculty​


  • Engage faculty in the Center for Teaching Excellence (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Designate a consulting team (composed of a CTE Faculty Consultant, a CODL Consultant, and an IT Consultant) to support instructors in the School of Social Welfare with course preparation for summer and fall 2020 (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Share teaching resources from various sources regarding: online learning formats, using technology in teaching, developing learning objectives for syllabi. brief overview of the benefits of asynchronous and synchronous teaching, live proctoring of exams (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Coordinate and distribute training opportunities for improved teaching including online teaching formats and technology, how to build community in online world (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Develop work groups to research, analyze best practices and deliver feedback around topics designed to improve teaching methods and student experiences that lie outside the scope of the Curriculum Innovations Committee (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

    • Research different course delivery methods

    • Explore new approaches to grading

    • Engage in curricular transformation process

  • Offer overload payments for fall and spring course transitioning (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Develop coronavirus webpage with easy to access to resources for online teaching (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Survey for instructor preference when moving to remote formats​ (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Hold regular faculty meetings (COMPLETE & ONGOING)

  • Increase training for adjunct instructors to ensure support for and consistency among all instructional faculty (COMPLETE & ONGOING)



Holding ourselves accountable

  • Increased number of prospects/applications​
  • Increased enrollment and retention
  • Increased students involvement in research
  • More diverse student body
  • Maintain high licensure pass rates​ & post graduation employment rates  
  • Increased innovative program opportunities for all audiences​
  • Continual curriculum assessment and development​
  • Maintain high performance ratings in all CSWE competency areas

Reach out

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