Strategic Plan


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

Please visit this page for updates on our progress starting in Fall 2019.

Connecting community, curriculum and research

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

Key activities:

  • 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

Building organizational culture

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

Key activities:

  • Develop employee recognition program
  • Launch a new orientation program for students and all School employees
  • Implement a new communication plan and enhance the School’s website to share information about program performance

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

Key activities:

  • 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

Living out our Code of Ethics

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

Key activities:

  • 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