Strategic Plan

From Vision to Action: 2019-2023


During the 2018-2019 academic year, the ASU School of Social Work embarked on a strategic planning process aimed at defining what it means to lead and serve on the cutting edge of community efforts to address our most complex social issues. Engaging over 800 students, staff, faculty, administrators and community members, the planning process created a roadmap to link the School of Social Work’s efforts with the University’s vision for a comprehensive and inclusive enterprise that advances research and discovery of public value.

With purpose and priorities now clearly defined, this Strategic Plan will guide our short- and long-term decision-making, alignment to the Watts College and University’s strategic plans, and management of the School’s people and financial resources. Below are highlights of our planned work in each of our four strategic priority areas. We hope you will follow our progress. In the meantime, please contact me directly with your questions and feedback.

James Herbert Williams
Director and Arizona Centennial Professor of Social Welfare Services
ASU School of Social Work

Strategic Plan Progress Updates

Connecting community, curriculum and research

Align academic program and research enterprise to respond to community needs while leveraging community strengths

Leader: David Becerra, Associate Director for Academic Affairs

  • Engage the community in a curriculum review process to identify new models and tools for preparing students for practice
  • Convene multi-stakeholder team to review research portfolio and establish new pathways for student-led or supported research
  • Implement hiring plan to promote the recruitment of faculty aligned with curriculum changes
  • Developed a process for involving community stakeholders in curriculum review
  • Matrixed all faculty to list their teaching, research and community involvement
  • Begin conducting curriculum review, including support from SSW community advisory board
  • Implement a curriculum communications plan to ensure the School community and larger community understand and are aware of curriculum revisions and the rationale

Faculty: Liz Athens, Lecturer; Tahnee Baker, Lecturer; Kristin Ferguson, Professor; Tina Jiwatram-Negron, Assistant Professor; Stephanie Lechuga-Peña, Assistant Professor; Jill Messing, Professor; Brett Peterson, Lecturer; Melanie Reyes, Lecturer; Tamara Rounds, Clinical Associate Professor; Michael Shafer, Professor; Chris Sharp, Clinical Assistant Professor; Lela Williams, Associate Professor

Staff: Lisa Cavazos-Barrett, Field Specialist; Turquoise Devereaux, Office of American Indian Projects; Maria Aguilar-Amaya, SIRC

Students: Cornelia Best, Fabiola Cervantes, Alicia Conte

Community: Duvia Lozano, Chicanos Por La Causa

Building organizational culture

Cultivate a strong and healthy organization characterized by consistency, communication, transparency and continuous learning

Leader: Chandra Crudup, Associate Director for Student Services and Programs

  • Engage the community in a curriculum review process to identify new models and tools for preparing students for practice
  • Convene multi-stakeholder team to review research portfolio and establish new pathways for student-led or supported research
  • Implement hiring plan to promote the recruitment of faculty aligned with curriculum changes
  • Examined data collected through the strategic plan process to identify strategies for improving Schoolwide communication and employee engagement
  • Provided input on employee recognition for Social Work Month Awards
  • Begun developing staff onboarding content, including broadening information regarding the School, its history and mission
  • Developed a community calendar and programming via Zoom to support faculty and staff in remaining connected during the pandemic
  • Develop and launch employee recognition committee
  • Create measurement tool to assess organizational culture and the social work values and behaviors embedded within it

Faculty: Liz Athens, Lecturer; Cora Bruno, Senior Lecturer; Stacey Gandy, Instructor; Karin Wachter, Assistant Professor

Staff: Marquita Goode, Office Specialist; Dana Krals, Field Specialist; Abby Henderson, Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy

Students: Andrea Camacho, Candice Garcia, Meghan McDermott

Defining and achieving program quality

Promote high standards of the profession by ensuring students embody social work values, possess knowledge and skills to serve diverse populations and challenge systems that oppress

Leader: Kellie MacDonald-Evoy, MSW Admissions Coordinator

  • Design mechanisms to improve supports for students with performance concerns
  • Enhance staff support to strengthen the admissions process
  • Launch employer survey to understand the preparedness of graduates for the profession
  • Implement enhanced teaching supports and training for non-tenured faculty
  • Collected and analyzed trend information on referrals to the Standards Committee
  • Met with College leadership to discuss expectations for how the School should be engaging/intervening with students’ non-academic integrity concerns
  • Piloted employer engagement strategy in partnership with Career and Professional Development Services, including a town hall to better connect employers and students and series of "coffee chats" designed to connect faculty and employers
  • Conduct a review of policies to ensure explicit expectations exist for admissions and progression through all School programs
  • Develop measures of “quality” for programs and processes (e.g., admissions, field education, etc.) that affect student/graduate quality

Faculty: Sarah Kurker, Instructor; Kellie MacDonald-Evoy, Clinical Assistant Professor; Ijeoma Ogbonnaya, Assistant Professor; Michael Shafer, Professor; Miguel Vieyra, Clinical Associate Professor

Staff: Elizabeth Hayward, Field Specialist; Diana Jimenez-Young, Field Education Coordinator-Tucson; Jenna Panas, Center for Child Well-Being; Lilly Perez-Freerks, Quality Assurance Manager; Tonia Stott, Child Welfare Education Program; Linh Trang Tran, Online Program Coordinator

Students: Cornelia Best

Community: Kelly Jaress, Arizona Department of Child Safety

Living out our Code of Ethics

Ensure actions, activites, policies and practices of the School are aligned with the NASW Code of Ethics

Leader: Cynthia Peters, Field Education Manager

  • Create a Code of Ethics acknowledgement statement for students to review prior to enrollment
  • Incorporate social work ethical standards and values into staff training and orientation
  • Revise course evaluations and field performance evaluations to capture information about how the Code of Ethics is taught, modeled and practiced
  • Explore ways to ensure the profession’s Code of Ethics is used in assessing student performance
  • Passed out Code of Ethics booklets to all faculty, staff and students
  • Developed Code of Ethics acknowledgement statement for new students to sign when enrolling
  • Developed new ethics statement for course syllabi, approved by the curriculum committee
  • Added a module in Preparation for Practice regarding the Code of Ethics
  • Collaborate with NASW to develop new content on the Code of Ethics for field instructor training module for CEU credit
  • Design and install signage regarding Code of Ethics to display in building

Faculty: Irene Burnton, Professor of Practice; Elisa Kawam, Lecturer; Claire McLoone, Lecturer; Felicia Mitchell, Assistant Professor; Lauren Reed, Assistant Professor

Staff: Destinee Brittingham, SIRC; Megan Ferral, Field Specialist; Jade Sun, Field Specialist; Leah Tyler, Online Programs Support Specialist

Students: Candice Garcia, Karlie Walker

Community: Brandie Reiner, NASW Arizona