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CSWE Program Director Academy

The application cycle for the 2019–2020 Program Director Academy program is closed. The next application call for the Program Director Academy will be in March 2021 for the Cohort 4 for 2021-2022 cycle.

The CSWE Program Director Academy is a leadership certificate program for current baccalaureate and master’s program directors who have been in their positions fewer than 3 years that focuses on topics related to program management competency domains and job functions.

New and recent program directors are typically transitioning from faculty to administrative roles, often without prior training or experience in management and leadership inside or outside of the social work academy. In this transition, they must acquire and build management skills to attain the competencies needed for this core leadership position.

The application cycle for the 2019-2020 cohort is closed. Please check back for updates about the next recruiting cycle.

Participant Requirements and Program Details

The program is for current baccalaureate and master’s program directors who have been in their positions fewer than 3 years. CSWE individual membership is required at the time of application.

The program requires a 1-year commitment (July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020) and includes participation in the following:

  • A Summer Leadership Institute at CSWE in Alexandria, VA, on July 25–27, 2019 (with a networking dinner reception on July 25).
    • This face-to-face workshop with cohort participants is designed to build and strengthen administrative and leadership capacity with a focus on management competencies and leadership development for the director role.
    • National leaders will speak on the following topics:  strategic management, skills of supervision, communication, effective meetings, leadership self-assessment, and resource development as it relates to job function.
  • A Lunch Panel Presentation on Diversity and Leadership and a Leadership Development Institute held at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting (APM) on October 23, 2019, in Denver, CO
    • Cohort participants will also be invited to and introduced at several APM events including the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work Reception, the CSWE President’s Reception, and the Leadership Networking Reception.
  • An online webinar series presented through the CSWE Learning Academy in spring 2020
  • Optional mentorship opportunities with graduates from the Harvard Institutes of Higher Education and the Higher Education Resource Services scholarship programs

Application Process
Applicants must submit a completed application and corresponding materials through the online application system before Friday, April 19, 2019, at 11:59 pm (ET). Applicants must have an active CSWE individual membership by April 19, 2019, at 11:59 pm ET to be considered. Required application materials include

  • a completed application form,
  • a letter of support from dean, and
  • a current CV/résumé.

Applications will be reviewed by CSWE and the CSWE Council on Leadership Development. A limited number of applicants will be accepted, and decisions will be issued by May 8, 2019.

Program Fees and Expenses

The fee for the 2019–2020 Program Director Academy is $1,200, payable on acceptance into the program. This fee covers expenses related to speakers, course materials, event space, and some meals. Participants are responsible for any additional fees related to travel to attend the in-person summer and APM meetings and APM registration. CSWE will provide travel information for these events.

If you have questions about the CSWE Program Director Academy, please send an e-mail to