The MSW program at SAU is a competency-based learning program. As such, students in our MSW program are encouraged to remediate as needed to meet the required competencies. Issues of importance in the extension policy are outlined as follows:
MSW students who advocate/petition for additional remediation opportunity to master challenging competencies and practice behaviors will be allowed to extend their study until that same class time the next year.
Extended study can be arranged by providing a written request with details of the remediation plan prior to the last day of class. Any extended course will be given a grade of In Process (IP) with no additional tuition costs to the student.
The student will be given opportunity to master remediation content during a second time attending class and/or addressing challenging components as per the previously arranged written plan with the instructor. All course expectations must be met.
Working with the Field Directors, practicum can also be extended to allow students to pace their field learning experience to their life commitments.
No foundation year field extensions can be granted beyond the beginning of their advanced year. Students who have not completed their 400 hours will be asked to complete those hours and hold their studies for an additional year.
Portfolio defenses can also be extended as students need to complete their work.
All IP’d work must be completed within one year of the extension and/or as outlined in the petition. Any uncompleted IP’s by the end of this time period will automatically default to the last existing grade for that course. All extension plans must be in writing. This request will be evaluated and the student will receive signed permission from the instructor and approved by the graduate program director or dean of the School of Social Work.
We have researched this question for both Georgia and Tennessee, as we have students who are coming from both States.
For Georgia the educational piece of the requirement states:
1.) Licensure Process-(Please refer to the section entitled "Definitions" for
clarification of terms).
2.)Education. An applicant for licensure as a Master's Social Worker must have
earned a master's degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on
Social Work Education. Candidacy, conditional or accreditation status must have
been in effect at the school when the degree was awarded.
You can find the above information as well as information regarding the LCSW process by going to:
The only condition to remember for the State of Georgia is that if becoming licensed while your school is still in candidacy, if for some reason the school does not meet full accreditation, your license will be revoked.
Here is a link to the licensing website where you will find more FAQ’s as well as the LMSW/LCSW application: http://www.sos.ga.gov/plb/counselors/
For Tennessee the educational piece of the requirement states:
1365-1-.04 QUALIFICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE. Prior to submitting an application each of the following qualifications must be met by a candidate for certification or licensure.
1.) Temporarily Licensed Master Social Worker (formerly CMSW) – Must be a graduate with a master’s or doctorate degree in social work, as provided in T.C.A. § 63-23-102, granted after April, 2005 by a university, college, or school of social work that at the time of graduation has applied for, but has not yet received, accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education.
2.) Licensed Master Social Worker - Must be a graduate with a master’s or doctorate degree in social work, as provided in T.C.A. § 63-23-102, granted by a university, college, or school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
3.) Licensed Clinical Social Worker by Examination:
a. Must be currently registered with the board as a certified master social worker.
b. Must have had two (2) years of supervised post-masters' clinical experience accrued after receipt of L.M.S.W., which was supervised by an L.C.S.W. The supervised post-masters' clinical experience accrued as a temporarily L.M.S.W. shall be applicable towards meeting this requirement.
You can find the above information by going to this link: http://www.tn.gov/sos/rules/1365/1365-01.pdf
Southern Adventist University (SAU) is a four-year coeducational institution established by the Seventh-day Adventist church primarily to service its constituents in the southeastern part of the United States. Its purpose is to provide Biblical, liberal arts, professional, pre-professional, vocational, adult studies, and special programs in a Christian setting.
Southern Adventist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Seventh-day Adventist Board of Regents. It is also a member of the Association of American Colleges, the American Council on Education, and the Tennessee College Association. Many of the departments of the university are also accredited by various organizations.
The academic program consists of over 50 baccalaureate degree majors. Students may pursue programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degrees. Southern also offers the associate degree in more than 20 majors, and a one-year certificate program. At the graduate level, Southern offers 7 masters degrees.
The student body consists of about 3000 students, more than 60 percent of whom live in campus housing. The ratio of male students to female students is about 45 to 55, and although students come from a variety of religious backgrounds and denominations, the majority are Seventh-day Adventist.
Click here for more information about Southern Adventist University.
There are numerous definitions of social work explaining its fundamental mission. One of these definitions is adopted by the NASW Board of Directors: "Social work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and to create societal conditions favorable to their goals." (Morales and Sheafor, 1995, p.39). This definition clearly identifies the profession's dual focus on person and environment. For more information visit the NASW website at: www.naswdc.org
The BSW social work program has been in existence at Southern Adventist University since the 1980s. During the fall semester of 2009, the Department of Social Work and Family Studies became the School of Social Work as the faculty worked to develop a new MSW program. The first MSW classes began in August, 2010 with an enrollment of 51 students.
The School of Social Work is designed to advance inclusive and innovative education that impacts not only Tennessee but our world today and for eternity. The MSW program prepares practitioners in a Christian learning environment for excellence and leadership across systems, and in advanced autonomous social work practice.You can find the School of Social Work at SAU at the top of the beautiful campus in Collegedale TN in Daniells Hall.
The Commission on Accreditation (COA) from the Council on Social Work Education has granted full accreditation to Southern Adventist University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Southern Adventist University maintains compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges of the (SACS-COC) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) policies through the appropriate and timely reporting on areas of substantive change.
More on Graduate Studies at Southern Adventist University.
If you're considering pursuing your MSW in the Chattanooga area, we want you to know that Southern is a great place to be for graduate school. Our campus is nestled in a beautiful region of the American South near the Smoky Mountains. The green hills and warm climate of southeast Tennessee make Southern Adventist University a great place to live and learn.
Southern offers university apartments for graduate students. Click here to view the housing options for graduate students on-campus.
There are also many apartments available near campus as well as all over Chattanooga and nearby Cleveland. However, you should know that the closer you live to campus, the more expensive the apartments or houses tend to be. For more information about available hoursing in the area, contact Cindi Young at email@example.com.
Also, if you would like to have a place to stay overnight twice a month when the classes meet, the campus has discount rates at local hotels and there are some small fee guest rooms in the town around campus where you could also stay. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about these one-night room options.
Punctuality and attendance are key external indicators of true professionalism and as such are critical for demonstrating achievement of this competency. As you are aware, the hybrid MSW program holds a measured balance of online and face-to-face (F2F) interactions that comprise “class time.” Unlike traditional courses taught in a fully F2F model, our hybrid program intentionally limits F2F interactions. However, this design also intentionally incorporates F2F class time into the program because it is a significant element for successful learning. Student success is a driving force for the faculty of the School of Social Work; therefore, we have developed the following guidelines to maximize student success in the program:
The F2F class days/times are scheduled one year in advance. It is the student’s responsibility to plan to attend classes on those dates.
A sign-in sheet is available as students enter class. The sign-in sheet requires the student's name and the time of the student’s arrival in class. It is the student’s responsibility to sign in. Students may sign in only for themselves. Signing in for another student would be considered an ethical violation which may lead to dismissal from the program.
For all absences, either excused or unexcused, students may miss only two F2F classes. Excessive tardiness or missing more than 30 minutes of class are also considered an absence under this policy (see details below).
Upon the occasion of the third F2F class absence, the student will be notified of dismissal from the class. The grade for the class will be held as IP (In Progress). The student will be required to repeat the class the following year at no additional charge to the student.
There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused. An absence is considered “excused” under very limited circumstances which include: a death in the immediate family, or documented illness of self or a dependent child. All other absences are considered unexcused.
For students who experience a situation leading to an excused absence, no additional penalty to the course grade will be imposed. However, students may lose any points that are given for work done during that missed class period. It is also the responsibility of the student to ask co-learners to record or take notes to cover all class content presented, and to make up any simulations missed during in-class skills training.
Students who accrue an unexcused absence will experience the following: (1) for each absence the grade for that course will be reduced by 5%; and (2) no points will be available for in-class activities.
The sign-in sheet will document late arrivals or early departures. Three times of being late or leaving early accrues to one absence. Please note: if a student misses over 30 minutes of class it is considered an absence for that class period.
Requests by students for a variation from this attendance policy must be submitted in writing to the faculty of the School of Social Work for review. Students will be notified in writing as to the faculty decision. Further appeals may be made to the Graduate Dean’s office.
We do not require the GRE test for admission into the MSW program.
During a recent CSWE site visit, the site visitor had to say this about Southern's Social Work Program in regards to diversity: "The program works hard to be a leader in the area of diversity, contributing greatly to the campus context related to diversity, in hiring practices, teaching methods, student recruitment and campus activities that often get their start through members of the program’s suggestions in committees etc. Experiences that will enhance experience with diversity of all types are carefully chosen for the students and student interests related to diversity are creatively encouraged."
Yes, disability services are offered to accepted students of Southern Adventist University. Any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations must call Disability Support Services at 423-236-2574 or stop by Lynn Wood Hall, room 137 to arrange a confidential appointment with the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) before or during the first week of classes. For more details, visit the Disability Support Services Website.
For general inquiries or questions about the MSW program, contact us at email@example.com. You can also find the contact information for each individual faculty and staff member on our Contact Us page.
The main office of the School of Social Work can be reached by telephone at 423.236.2768 or by fax at 423.236.1768. Our office is open from 8-12 M-F and 1-5 M-TH.Individual faculty members and staff will have varying office hours. Please contact them directly to set up an appointment.
The unique mission of Southern Adventist University School of Social Work is to advance inclusive and innovative education that impacts our world today and for eternity. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program aims to prepare practitioners in a Christian learning environment for excellence and leadership in advanced autonomous social work practice.
The goals of the MSW program are directly related to the mission statement of SAU as both entities declare and practice commitment to Christ, intellectual and personal development, professional development and commitment, and service to the church and the community.
The School of Social Work offers an Advanced Generalist concentration with specialization emphases in the following:
*Specialization choices availability dependent on number of students interested in specialization.
The Commission on Accreditation (COA) from the Council on Social Work Education at its February 2013 meeting voted to grant full accreditation to Southern Adventist University's Master of Social Work Program (MSW). Accreditation is granted from 2010-2017. Please see CSWE website: http://www.cswe.org/default.aspx?id=1749/.
Additionally, SAU maintains compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges of the (SACS-COC). For more information about SAU’s accreditation see the following link: https://www.southern.edu/about/Pages/accreditation.aspx
Students receive the link to the frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) during the MSW orientation. These FAQ’s outline the student policies and procedures. Students are responsible for the information contained in this web site. The FAQ’s enumerate the rights and responsibilities of the social work student. Other materials pertaining to the general rights and responsibilities of students are outlined in the Student Handbook (online at https://www.southern.edu/PublishingImages/campuslife/student_handbook.pdf) and can be obtained from the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The MSW Program provides two program levels: Foundation Two-year Placement and Advanced Placement. Students who are accepted into Two-year Placement will meet a full-time requirement of four semesters over two years, or part-time over three or four years (59 credits). Students who are accepted into Advanced Placement complete three semesters over 12 months for the full-time program or 24 months for part-time attendance (31 credits). Applicants seeking regular admission to the MSW Program must meet the basic requirements for a master's degree found in the SAU Graduate Catalog and the additional requirements stipulated by the School of Social Work as follows below:
Foundation Two-Year MSW Placement
Applicants to the MSW Regular Placement Program must:
In addition to the requirements for admission into Regular Placement, students seeking admission into Advanced Placement standing must meet the following criteria:
Inquiries about the MSW program may go to the office of Graduate Studies, to the School of Social Work website at under MSW Inquiry, or directly through the MSW admissions coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. From either office or on-line, the applicant receives an admissions packet specifically designed for the MSW applicant.
Students must be approved by both SAU Graduate Studies and the Student Services faculty team in the School of Social Work. Graduate Studies collects the application materials, verifies the transcripts, and sends the materials on to the School of Social Work. After receiving the application materials, the School of Social Work faculty team makes a determination of the type and level of acceptance and notifies Graduate Studies of their recommendations.
The MSW admissions procedures were designed to interface with existing SAU graduate admissions protocols. When Graduate Studies and/or the School of Social Work receives the applicant's package, they:
• Determine whether required admission documentation is complete;
• Establish whether the applicant meets the requirements for advanced, two-year program, and/or provisional admission; and
• Attach the application content analysis cover sheet.
The School of Social Work’s Admissions Coordinator completes an Admissions evaluation form using the quantitative and qualitative information such as the transcripts, the GPA, and scoring of the professional statements among other admissions eligibility resources. The Admissions Coordinator creates a program applicant file and circulates the qualitative materials for evaluation by two faculty members from the Admissions Faculty Team. (These materials include the applicant's transcript(s), a professional statement, the résumé and the required recommendations.) These files are then returned to the Admissions Coordinator who then schedules a full applicant review with the Admissions Committee, where an admission decision is made. Finally, the MSW Program Director and Graduate Dean send a joint letter informing the applicant of his/her acceptance or rejection. An applicant denied admission to the MSW program may reapply or may appeal the denial decision in person and/or in writing to the Admission Committee. If the outcome of this process is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may continue with the university’s academic grievance procedure described in the SAU Catalog.
If you are seeking financial aid to attend SAU, you will need to complete a Financial Aid Application on the Graduate Studies website. We believe that you will find that this program is worth the investment whether you pay full tuition price or a portion of it. You are investing in your future as an advanced practitioner. You may also email email@example.com for information.
No. We recommend that you apply now and include an official transcript from your university/college. We will render a conditional admission decision. Please send us a second official transcript that indicates your final grades and your conferred degree as soon as it becomes available.
Yes. We look at the quality of the entire application in addition to your GPA. If your GPA is 3.0, we encourage you to write about your undergraduate academic circumstances in your personal statement. Also, keep in mind that there may be other parts in your application that compensate for a weak GPA. Lastly, you might also consider taking courses as a non-matriculated (non-degree) student to display readiness for graduate work. Years of practice also can positively impact your application if your GPA is below the requirement. You may have to enter the program on probationary status, but you should still apply.
You may be considered for admission without social work experience, but we strongly suggest that you begin a volunteer experience before or during the application process. Since this is a professional school and degree, we want all of our students to be cognizant of the field
Students are notified of their acceptance status within three to four weeks of the School of Social Work receiving their completed application materials. The student will be notified by email. The official letter will be an attachment
The time limit for completing the program is four years.
In the event an applicant is not granted admission to the program, he or she may reapply the following academic year.
The MSW program will use a rolling admission process until a cohort of up to 25 graduate students in each admission level has been selected. The sooner the better!
Students/applicants wishing to transfer to the SAU MSW program from another accredited college or university must follow the same application procedure for program acceptance as other students. Transfer graduate students must complete 75% of their degree at SAU. Any exceptions must be petitioned to the graduate council. Transfer grades must be “B” or higher. SAU does not transfer “P” grades.
If the student would like to transfer credit for a core social work course it must be from a CSWE accredited program to be considered. There may be instances when transfer students may be required to extend their program because some social work courses are taken in sequence, following a prescribed timeline.
Academic advising provides individual academic advising conferences to students that ensures successful completion of degree requirements, and promotes student development through discussion of abilities and appropriate personal and occupational choices. The academic cohort advisor is viewed as the student’s resource person available to explore personal and professional goals, as well as aiding in academic planning and course selection related to the major. Students are assigned a full-time faculty cohort advisor upon admission into the MSW program and the Office of the Records and Advisement maintains a record of that assignment. While the cohort advisor is a guide and resource person, final responsibility for meeting the academic requirements to complete a major and degree program rests with the student and can be peer supported in your cohort team.
We encourage you to discuss your schedule and possibly changing programs with your academic adviser. If you both agree that part-time study is appropriate, you will want to e-mail the Admissions Office stating that you wish to change your academic program.
The university's acdemic standards for retention must be met and sustained. However, even if a student's academic performance is satisfactory, it may become necessary, due to unsatisfactory professional performance, to advise a student to reconsider his/her goodness-of-fit to social work, and this may result in termination from the MSW program. General procedures regarding MSW program progression and retention are as follows:
1. Students in the MSW program are responsibilit for taking full ownership of meeting all academic and non-academic retention requirements.
2. University academic standards for retention must be met and sustained, as follows:
a. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, earning a grade below B- in no more than two courses.
b. Courses with an earned grade of C- or below will not be counted for credit toward the master's degree.
3. The MSW Leadership Team will evaluate students' grades and GPA at the end of each semester. If a student's academic performance does not meet the university's standards, the student will be notified by email that the MSW Leadership Team will be doing a review of his/her status in order to determine whether extenuating circumstances are present, and decisions about student retention in such instances will be made by the MSW Leadership Team on a case-by-case basis. A student may be asked to withdraw from the MSW program for any of the following non-academic reasons:
a. Academic honesty breaches
b. Failing the field practicum
c. If a student's coursework reflects personal problems that significantly and consistently prevent him/her from functioning effectively in a professional social work education program
e. If a students fails to abide by professional social work ethics, as outlined by the NASW Code of Ethics
4. When there is evidence that a student is not meeting the professionalism standards outlined in program policy, the student will be notified by email that the MSW Leadership Team will be doing a review of his/her status in order to determine whether the student may be retained in the program. Decisions about student retention in such instances will be made by the MSW Leadership Team on a case-by-case basis.
In order to graduate you must:
Generalist Foundation – 1st Year Total 28 hours
*For a full description of each of these classes, visit the Graduate Studies Catalog for the School of Social Work and click on the individual classes.
Advanced Integrative Practice - Total 31 hours
You will need access to a computer with Microsoft Office and high-speed internet in order to access and complete course materials on-line in Blackboard and teamwork with MS SharePoint. Additionally, courses may require other equipment, such as web cameras, DVD/video recorders, specific computer programs, etc. that should be factored into your costs for education.
Yes. If you are interested in getting a GA position you may fill out the online application. If a student obtains a graduate assistantship in the School of Social Work, the student will work 16-20 hours per week. More specific details regarding this program may be obtained upon completion of the application. There are a limited number of GA positions available and not all applicants are guaranteed acceptance. Students will be informed before the school year about their applications.
Other work study opportunities may also exist on campus so you may want to check with the Human Resources office.
Graduate students organize and implement a student organization that affords students both social and professional support during their studies. The graduate student organization also appoints student representatives to the faculty work teams, ensuring that students have voice and are actively engaged in program design, evaluation and development.
The School of Social Work requires that all writing assignments (research papers, book reports, article summaries, etc.) adhere to the APA style as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed). For more help, reference the McKee Library website at http://library.southern.edu/cms/research/articles/sws?code=66
Social work students experiencing writing difficulties are advised to seek assistance at the Writing Center http://writingcenter.southern.edu. The Writing Center can be reached at 423.236.2384.
In addition, all papers will be submitted to Turn-It-In, a plagiarism prevention site which instantly identifies papers containing unoriginal material. See the Student Handbook and course syllabus for details relative to consequences of plagiarism.
It is the policy of the School of Social Work to grant a grade of “incomplete” only on a case-by-case basis. In the majority of cases, the student will receive the grade they earned in the class and then it is at the discretion of the instructor to develop a contract with the individual student to change the grade within a given timeframe. The grade "incomplete" may be granted to a student only if it can be demonstrated that it would be unfair to hold the student to the normal time limits of the course. Illness or exceptional circumstances are the usual basis for consideration. To receive an incomplete, a student must complete the Request for an Incomplete Form, available in the Records Office. Incomplete grades which are not removed within that time period remain on the record and are counted as F's in calculation of the grade point average on the student's transcript.
The School of Social Work is dedicated to scholastic integrity. Students are expected to maintain high professional, ethical, and Christian levels of academic honesty. Students are required to cite sources using the American Psychological Association (APA) form of citation for all coursework. It is the student’s responsibility to learn the proper procedures for acknowledging borrowed wording, information, or ideas. Please note that “not knowing” is not an acceptable justification for work that is identified as plagiarized.
When a student engages in academic dishonesty, the following process is followed:
1. A private meeting is called between the professor and the student to discuss the incident. This meeting may result in:
a. Redoing the assignment
b. Failing the assignment without opportunity to make up points
c. Failing the course
2. If the incident is not resolved in the student/teacher meeting, the issue will go to the Admissions and Progressions Committee. In this case, the Admissions and Progressions Committee may determine the result with the options above or with dismissal from the program.
In the event that a second infraction occurs, the Admissions and Progressions Committee will review the incident and will respond accordingly. After a decision has been made, the student has the right to appeal the decision through the established appeal procedures spelled out in the “Academic Grievance Procedure” section of the university’s undergraduate or graduate catalog (see links below).
Students are kept informed of current MSW issues in the following ways:
You may have questions that we did not address. If so, please contact the MSW program director, Mioara Diaconu. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOCIAL WORK PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
POLICY ANALYSIS SITES