MSW Degree Program
The Mid-Tennessee Collaborative Master of Social Work Program brings together three institutions of higher education in Tennessee who collaboratively offer the MSW degree. The universities are: Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Tennessee State University. This is one program that has three locations. The program is designed for the working professional with on-campus courses offered in the evening and the remaining classes offered online.
The Master of Social Work Program began in Fall 2009 with the admission of students to the full 60 hour program. Admission for advanced standing students started in Fall 2010. Eligible for advanced standing are those students who have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited program and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
As there are three locations, the student must first determine their home campus. The home campus is where students apply for admission, take their on-campus courses, enroll each semester, and pay tuition. Although the students have a home campus, they also have classmates on the other two campuses. When students are enrolled in online courses, they will be interacting with students from all three locations. Registration for MSW courses requires permission of the department.
The mission of the Mid-Tennessee Collaborative MSW Program is dedicated to the enhancement of human well-being, diversity, and social justice through developing and improving systems of public social services, especially for children and families, by offering graduate training in Social Work with a hybrid model of delivery. The mission of the program reflects the dominant values of the social work profession and is dedicated to serving the needs of the region, preparing social workers with an Advanced Generalist practice orientation suited to the social context, and reflecting the values and skills of the profession.
The Freshmen Seminar degree requirement completed by most students is APSU 1000. The course is delivered in a small-class setting with like-minded students led by a faculty member and a peer leader. The interdisciplinary course is intended to support first-semester students and provide them with a foundation for university success. Emphasis is placed on student engagement, university learning success strategies, support services, library literacy, financial literacy, and academic and career planning.
The concentration curriculum (30 credit hours) of the Mid-Tennessee Collaborative MSW Program prepares students for Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice. The advanced generalist concentration curriculum builds on the knowledge, values, skills, and roles mastered at the foundation level. The concentration requires that students have greater theoretical and methodological sophistication. It requires them to be able to work in a wider selection of practitioner roles. It requires the ability to integrate research into advanced practice, add greater depth to the provision of services, and provide the skills to function as administrators, supervisors, policy analysts, and social planners. The concentration curriculum encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, public-private partnerships, and enhances the student's skill to address issues of economic and social justice with oppressed populations.
A frequently asked question is: How does the concentration of Advanced Generalist impact the jobs for which I am eligible? The concentration provides a specialty area for the student. A clinical or direct practice concentration prepares students for clinical or direct service work with clients. An administrative concentration prepares students to provide indirect services. The advanced generalist concentration prepares students to work with both direct and indirect services. However, some students may wish to use their electives to provide needed background for their preferred employment. For those students who expect to be employed in clinical work, we recommend that clinical electives be selected by the student. For those students who expect to be employed in administrative work, we recommend that administrative electives be selected by the students. In addition, the final internship should be in the area in which the student expects to work.
The Foundation internship is 400 hours and can be completed in a Spring semester block or can be spread over both the Spring and Summer semesters. This first practicum experience provides experiential learning of generalist social work practice in selected human service agencies.
The Concentration internship is 500 hours and can be completed in a Spring semester block or can be spread over both the Spring and Summer semesters. This practicum experience provides the student with an individualized, educationally focused experience in advanced generalist social work practice.
Employment based internships for those students already employed in a social work setting are encouraged, as long as a new learning experience can be provided to the student. Guidelines for employment based internships can be found in the Field Education Manual.
Internships area a joint decision by the student and the MSW field director at the home campus. Students need to discuss their preferences with the field director. Final agency placement is authorized by the field director.