2010 - 2020 CSWE Strategic Plan

2010–2020 CSWE Strategic Plan

Vision 2020: Strengthening the Profession
Through Research, Education, and Career Advancement


CSWE is a national association of social work education programs and individuals that ensures and enhances the quality of social work education for a professional practice that promotes individual, family, and community well-being and social and economic justice. CSWE pursues this mission in higher education by setting and maintaining national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master's degree programs in social work, promoting faculty development, engaging in international collaborations, and advocating for social work education and research.

Visioning the Future

The strength of social work education is the strength of the profession. The complex interconnections of an increasingly global sociopolitical and economic context place social work at the center of daunting challenges and enormous opportunities. Both elements of context suggest a future of dramatic success or failure in fulfilling the promise of the profession. The creative minds and innovative actions of social work educators will help fulfill the promise of the social work profession and ensure the achievement of its future vision and aspirations.

The vision for CSWE is to be the premier social work organization in defining and promoting quality in social work education. This goal includes the elements of accreditation, scholarship, faculty development, research to guide policy decisions in the educational context, and government relations in advocacy for the entirety of social work education. Within a 10 year framework, CSWE will develop its capacity to accurately detect and respond in substantive ways to emerging societal needs requiring the knowledge, values, and the practice skills of professionally educated social workers.

Strategic Goals

CSWE is the sole agent for national quality assurance in social work education. To carry out this mission-driven imperative, it has identified six strategic goals unique to its vision for the coming 10 years. These strategic goals speak to the diversity of the profession and its degree granting institutions, the historic challenges to the profession within both the academy and the social services sector, and the scientific discoveries that affect individuals, the communities of which they are part, and the sustainability of the planet.

  1. Strengthen the position of social work within higher education, the national political environment, and in the perception of the general public.
  2. Strengthen social work through identification and dissemination of emerging technology and innovative models, pedagogies, and practices.
  3. Ensure the quality and sustainability of social work education through accreditation of baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, research, and responsive faculty development.
  4. Develop partnerships with organizations, agencies, corporations, and foundations both within and external to social work to enhance collaboration on issues critical to social work education.
  5. Promote the preparation of social work graduates who can practice effectively in an increasingly diverse and global practice environment.
  6. Develop and maintain a healthy, viable organization by ensuring effective management; strong leadership; diversity of the staff; and open communication among the staff, Board of Directors, commissions, councils, and other governance and programmatic entities.

The 2010-2020 Strategic Plan was approved by the CSWE Board of Directors in October 2010 after input from CSWE members.