King University’s fully-online Master of Social Work (MSW) program is designed to accommodate working adults. Building on the strong foundation of our long-standing, highly successful, and nationally recognized (CSWE-accredited) Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, King University is proud to share with you the current status of this proposed MSW program.
Inspiration and Mission
The inspiration behind the planning and development of our MSW program is found within King University’s mission:
“We prepare students in our Christian academic community to excel as thoughtful, resourceful, and responsible citizens with a passion for serving God, the Church, and the world. We accomplish this through excellent teaching, high expectations, worthwhile example, and fidelity to our Presbyterian heritage.”
King University and the Social Work programs are committed to meeting the needs of our students as well as the clients and communities of the Appalachian Highland region and beyond. The mission of our new MSW program aligns both with the King University mission as well as the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics:
“We prepare thoughtful, resourceful, and responsible advanced level social work practitioners for far-reaching service and leadership. This mission is achieved through a commitment to the values and ethics of the Social Work profession, and a focus on service and justice for vulnerable and oppressed populations in the context of a Christian academic community.”
In the 2019-20 Academic Supply and Occupational Demand in Tennessee Annual Report, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) listed Master’s prepared social workers as one of the “top 25 high demand occupations with the greatest number of annual openings.” The report noted that the “occupational demand” for social workers in the state is far greater than the current “academic supply.” These THEC employment projection findings mirror the national and regional (Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky) data.
The MSW degree will be offered in two enrollment options:
- Advanced Standing
- For candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than social work.
- Full-time students may be able to graduate in as little as 22 months.
- For candidates with an undergraduate social work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program.
- An alum of the King University BSW program is eligible for this option.
- Full-time students can to graduate in as little as 12 months.
Licensure and accreditation-related matters dictate the timing of Foundational and Advanced Standing student enrollment. Our current plan is to enroll the Advanced Standing students in summer 2022.
The MSW program’s founding coordinator is Dr. Clifford Rosenbohm. Dr. Rosenbohm is well-respected in the Social Work academic community and has served significant leadership roles in the discipline including as Director of Field Instruction, Department Chair, MSW Program Director, and Director of a School of Social Work. He has also worked extensively on the accreditation side of social work education and currently serves as a Commissioner on the executive committee of the Commission on Accreditation, CSWE. Additionally, he serves on Social Work Professional Accreditation Council of the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
Dr. Rosenbohm is leading King’s national search to bring well-qualified, Christ-centered, and student-focused faculty to the program for both leadership and teaching roles.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body governing social work education in the United States. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require that a social worker sitting for a licensing exam be a graduate of a CSWE-accredited program.
Achieving CSWE involves a 3.5-year incremental candidacy process that concludes with an Initial Accreditation (full accreditation) decision. A dedicated team of King University faculty and staff began laying the groundwork for this significant undertaking in 2018.
Students admitted to the social work program during the academic year in which the program is granted Candidacy will be recognized as having graduated from an accredited program, once the program attains Initial Accreditation. King expects to achieve Candidacy status during the 2021-2022 academic year.
Social Work Licensure
Licensing of social work practitioners is under the authority of the Board of Health Professions in each individual state. All 50-states and the District of Columbia require that social workers sitting for licensing exams are graduates of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program. Because King University’s Master of Social Work program is going through the accreditation process with CSWE, students can feel confident that they are well-prepared for professional social work practice.
While the CSWE establishes and maintains national standards for all social work programs, each state reserves the right to establish its own standards for licensure to practice within its state borders. King University cannot confirm whether our Social Work program meets the requirements for professional licensure in the student’s state. It is the students’ responsibility to research and understand the proper licensing requirements for their respective states. Review THE LIST OF SOCIAL WORK REGULATORY BOARDS OF EACH STATE.
Practicum Responsibilities for Online Students
King University operates under NC-SARA GUIDELINES for determining physical presence in regards to supervised field experiences for online students (Section 5.3). If a student does not intend to sit for the licensing exam then she or he may participate in a practicum in any state or U.S. Territory except CNMI.* However, if a student intends to sit for the licensing exam and is participating in a practicum as part of the licensing requirements in that state, there may be additional requirements from the agency responsible for licensure. It is the student’s responsibility to research and understand any additional requirements that may be in effect.
*Any student participating in a practicum in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) may need to meet additional requirements set by CNMI and it is the student’s responsibility to research and understand any additional requirements that may be in effect.