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
  • Conducted curriculum review, including seeking feedback from SSW community advisory board
  • Completed course inclusiveness survey
  • Began sharing results of curriculum review with program committees (will continue in Year 3) and discussing strengths and opportunities for improvement
  • Explored and identified platforms and other opportunities to disseminate research findings, particularly from faculty of color
  • Review course inclusiveness survey findings and strategize with curriculum leaders about implementing them
  • Complete and share results of curricula review with community advisory board
  • Establish ongoing procedure for curricula review including strategies for engaging students in the process
  • Identify strategies for disseminating research accomplishments to community

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

  • Develop an employee recognition program
  • Launch a new orientation program for students and all School faculty and staff
  • Implement a new communication plan and enhance the School’s website to share information on program performance
  • Examined data collected through the strategic plan process to identify strategies for improving Schoolwide communication and employee engagement
  • Led efforts to foster employee and community recognition as part of Social Work Month awards. Later, received approval to institutionalize these efforts as part of a new standing committee, Awards and Scholarship Committee.
  • Developed a community calendar and programming via Zoom to support faculty and staff in remaining connected during the pandemic.
  • Collected and analyzed data from a survey on employee onboarding experience.
  • Began development of an information hub for onboarding staff and faculty
  • Launch information hub for SSW faculty and staff
  • Develop an activities and events calendar and explore integration with Sun Devil Rewards
  • Complete review of SWK policy manual to identify opportunities to revisit policies that impact organizational culture

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
  • Completed inventory of all the tools used to measure quality standards and synthesized it to find gaps or to identify tools that can be used to measure program quality
  • Developing quality measures for the student experience in field education, admissions and research
  • Revising graduation survey and strategizing about best ways to market it to boost participation.
  • Examining criteria used to evaluate applicants, including essay questions
  • Drafted a new admissions score rater with feedback from the admissions sub committee
  • Publish established student policies so they are clearly documented and easily accessible to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Cross train all staff on where and how to access policies, as well as FAQ’s they’re likely to encounter with students
  • Revise Field Instructor Feedback Survey in collaboration with the Field Education Office
  • Finalize new admission criteria and updates to admission policies
  • Determine ways to measure and implement quality measures developed for all student experience in admissions, field education and research

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
  • Created and added Code of Ethics Values Graphic to Canvas shells and will post to website
  • Continued development of ethics training for staff and field instructors
  • Developing a video series about the Code of Ethics featuring practitioners and alumni ill invite community and faculty to film a short video on Ethics
  • Continued development of ethics training for staff and field instructors
  • Development of articles for bimonthly Field Newsletter
  • Verify with Committees that Code of Ethics are included in the courses
  • Develop and post Code of Ethics graphic/statement in lobby and on website

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