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Strategic Vision Results

A College on the Rise: FY 2022-2023 Strategic Goals Progress Report

In 2022 the UT College of Social Work launched a new strategic vision for our future. Our commitments included enhancing the workforce, expanding our impact, engaging stakeholders, ensuring equity, and empowering sustainability. Read below to learn more about our progress in each of these areas.

Enhancing the Workforce

Preparing ethical, effective, highly skilled social workers for Tennessee and beyond.

In June 2008, the UT College of Social Work launched one of the first online MSSW programs in the country. These humble beginnings have grown into one of the largest online programs at the University of Tennessee and one of the most successful programs in the country. Consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top online graduate social work programs, our online MSSW program provides affordability, quality, and an individualized approach to all our students.

  • MSSW Online Program Enrollment by the Numbers:
    • FY ’22: 109
    • FY ’23: 98 (-10% Year-Over-Year)
    • FY ’24: 119 (+21% Year-Over-Year)

The UT College of Social Work has one of the highest retention rates of any college on campus. This has been accomplished through a comprehensive approach that addresses various factors influencing student persistence including, but not limited to, flexible degree program options, personalized advising and support, financial aid and scholarships, as well as student engagement and involvement. By implementing these strategies, we’ve created a supportive and engaging environment that promotes student success and increases program retention rates.

  • Combined Retention Rates for BSSW and MSSW Programs:
    • FY ‘22: 92%
    • FY ‘23: 94%

Having an LMSW allows social workers to pursue job opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them. In many jurisdictions, having an LMSW not only helps career advancement and professional credibility, but it is also a legal requirement. Setting our students up for success is a top priority for the college, and equipping our students with the knowledge and skills needed to pass the LMSW exam helps ensure they are well prepared for their career in social work.

  • Licensure Passage Rates:
    • FY ‘22: 85%
    • FY ‘23: 92%
Online MSSW student working from a coffee shop
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Retention Rate

FY ’23 BSSW & MSSW Combined

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Nathan First and Deidre Ford look over SWORPS research data on a laptop.

Expanding Our Impact

Continuing to develop and support research that makes a difference.

The UTCSW supports three research centers: CVSW, SWORPS, and CBHR. Externally funded grants are crucial to our research as they provide financial support, independence, recognition, collaboration opportunities, and sustainability. These grants play a vital role in advancing knowledge, addressing societal challenges, and driving innovation in various fields of social work research.

  • Amount of New External Grant Funding:
    • FY ‘22: $9.9M
    • FY ‘23: $20.6M

Bringing together leadership, expertise, funding, collaboration, and ethical oversight is essential for the successful execution of high-quality research. Here at the UTCSW, we are committed to doing engaged research and scholarship that supports our state, our region, and beyond.

  • Percentage of Tenure Track & Research Faculty Submitting Proposals as PI:
    • FY ‘22: 53%
    • FY ‘23: 71%

Increasing research publications is crucial to establishing the UTCSW as a center of academic and research excellence. By increasing our number of publications, we can make significant contributions to the field of social work and enhance the college’s impact and relevance in addressing real-world problems.

  • Research Publications:
    • CY ’22: 68
    • CY ’23 to date: 78
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New external grants funded

FY ’23

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Engaging Stakeholders

Maintaining vibrant, mutually beneficial connections to alumni and community partners.

The UTCSW has a rich and dynamic history of active and engaged alumni. In 2021, the college formed an Alumni Council to engage with alumni across the country. Today, we are actively engaged with over 6000 alumni in the state of Tennessee alone.

  • Increase the Number of Active Alumni at Events:
    • FY ‘22: 1030
    • FY ‘23 to date: 1100+

Community partnerships provide opportunities for research collaborations and the development of evidence-based practices. By partnering with our community organizations, the UTCSW can conduct research that addresses community needs, evaluates program effectiveness, and contributes to the well-being of our communities.

  • Increase External University Collaborative Proposals (CSW & CBHR Only):
    • FY ‘22: 8
    • FY ‘23: 12

The UTCSW maintains a vibrant, mutually beneficial connection to our community partners through education, networking, and outreach. Our community partners play a vital role in the success of our college through field placement partnerships, continuing education programs, and research opportunities to name a few. As we continue to explore new community partnerships, our focus will be on underserved communities.

  • Establish Partnerships with Six New Community Agencies Annually:
    • FY ‘22: 6
    • FY ‘23 to date: 16
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Active Alumni At Events

FY ’23

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Mary Gitau mentoring two male students in her office

Ensuring Equity

Being a destination workplace where all people are respected, supported, mentored, engaged, and can thrive.

By raising our doctoral GRA stipends, the UTCSW can attract and retain top talent, foster diversity and inclusion, support research and innovation, better compete with our peers, and enhance the overall well-being of our graduate students.

  • Increase the Dollar Amount of GRA Doctoral Stipends:
    • FY ‘22: $18K
    • FY ‘23; $20K

Employee engagement is imperative for the overall health and well-being of an organization. Creating a motivated, productive, and successful workforce is key to overall performance. Here at the UTCSW, we believe in maintaining a positive culture that embodies our core values of innovation, respect, empathy, collaboration, inclusion, integrity, and accountability.

  • Employee Engagement Score based on McLean Survey Data October of each FY.
    • FY ‘21: 76%
    • FY ‘22: 83%

Since 2018, the UTCSW has raised funds to support the SJII. The purpose of this initiative is to develop projects that address social justice needs in our local communities. Over the last six years, the college has funded over 20 projects focused on social justice issues including racism, sexism, and intersectionality.

  • Maintain Funding to Support SJII:
    • FY ‘22: $20K
    • FY ‘23: $20K
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Employee Engagement Score

McLean Survey FY ’22

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Empowering Sustainability

Expanding and diversifying revenue sources and strengthening business services.

Continuing education is a required and critical component of a social worker’s career. The UTCSW strives to offer first-class programs that satisfy the state of Tennessee’s CE requirements. In addition to our in-person seminars and webinars, we also host a free conference each year where participants can earn credits. The college also currently offers five specialized graduate certificates and two postgraduate certificates for those seeking to expand their knowledge in certain areas.

  • Increase Revenue from Continuing Education Offerings:
    • FY ‘22: $1923
    • FY ‘23: $20,336

Efficient and effective business practices are crucial for achieving operational excellence and driving long-term success. Efficient business practices help reduce costs, improve productivity, innovation and growth, and lead to higher employee morale. Continual review of business practices will ensure we are being good stewards of the college’s budget and being proactive in assessing our current limitations and future needs.

  • Review Two Processes Quarterly Across the College Business Office Team:
    • FY ‘22: 8
    • FY ‘23 to date: 9

are a vital part of a college’s financial success. Scholarships promote access to education, foster diversity and inclusivity, engage alumni, and contribute to social impact and community development. By investing in scholarships, we can create a more equitable and thriving educational environment for our students. The UTCSW currently offers more than 40 different scholarship opportunities that benefit both undergraduate and graduate students. The college recently received an endowed scholarship from The McNabb Center, the largest provider of mental health services in East Tennessee. This is a prime example of a mutually beneficial community partnership contributing to each other’s long-term success

  • Increased Endowment:
    • CY ‘20: $4.2M
    • CY ‘23: $9.2M
social work student playing with HABIT therapy dog on couch.
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Increase in Endowment

CY 2020-2023

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