Social work program continues to rise in national rankings

Colorado State University’s School of Social Work has risen to No. 51 among social work programs, according to the newest ranking released March 12 by U.S. News & World Report. CSU’s social work program has earned higher rankings each year in a steady increase since 2012.

This latest ranking of social work master’s programs places CSU’s School of Social Work in the top 15 percent nationally among public universities accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

“This recognition from our peers is a reflection of the expertise of many individuals in our school, and their dedication to innovation and excellence in social work education,” said Audrey Shillington, director of the School of Social Work and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Health and Human Sciences. “I am extremely proud of the service and leadership I consistently see exemplified by our faculty, staff, students and alumni.”

U.S. News logo“For the past several years we have advanced in the rankings,” Shillington said. “We continue to move forward by evolving our educational programs to enable new social workers to meet society’s needs, and by dramatically growing our school’s cutting-edge research to address society’s challenges.

“We have an outstanding cadre of highly dedicated and talented instructors, including an excellent field education team, that prepare our students to face contemporary social problems as professionals,” she added. “Our faculty members are highly productive scholars who impact policy and practice locally and nationally. These nationally recognized researchers are leaders in the field, building and translating knowledge to impact significant societal problems related to health and mental health disparities, addictions, child well-being, interpersonal violence and healthy aging.”

Preparing social work leaders

CSU’s graduate social work program focuses on advanced generalist social work, with opportunities to specialize in practice areas of interest. The full-time, part-time, and online hybrid distance M.S.W. program options are designed to provide education based upon scientific inquiry and experiential education, with responsiveness to the evolving needs of local and global communities.

In 2018, the School of Social Work launched a new curriculum focused more definitively on economic, environmental, and social justice for professional and ethical generalist social work practice. The revitalized program introduced the option of taking up to nine elective credits.

“The elective credits allow students to customize their learning within our advanced generalist program structure, and if desired, to also earn a graduate certificate in tandem with their degree,” said Amy Martonis, director of the social work master’s program. “We offer five different graduate certificates that address practice areas such as conflict resolution, mental health, nonprofit administration and school social work.”

“A key feature of our new curriculum was driven by feedback from former students: a desire for elective credits, and we heard them,” Martonis said. “Now, our two-year students take nine elective credits, which enables customized learning within our advanced generalist program, as well as an opportunity to earn a graduate certificate in a specialized practice area if desired.”

U.S. News & World Report bases social work program rankings on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans and faculty at accredited social work degree schools or programs. Only fully accredited social work programs in good standing during the survey period are ranked.

About the School of Social Work

Since the first baccalaureate social work major was first offered in 1968, Colorado State University’s School of Social Work has made a continuous effort to develop and maintain a program that is responsive to the standards of the social work profession, to the needs of human services agencies and clients in the state, and to the land-grant mission and goals of CSU. Our mission is to provide exemplary education, applied research, and transformative outreach to advance social, environmental, and economic justice; promote equity and equality; alleviate oppression; and enhance human health and well-being across local and global community systems.