The Valdosta State University MSW program is the result of the collective efforts of area social workers, concerned citizens, social work faculty and numerous others from the University and the region. It is in many ways a good example of locality development in action.

In the mid-70s, many of the social work positions in South Georgia were ‘downgraded’ from social work positions to human service positions because of the scarcity of social workers in the South Georgia region. Thanks to the efforts of a group of dedicated social workers and other professionals in the region, the Board of Regents gave approval for a program in 1994. During the next year a director and 5 faculty members were hired and students were first admitted in the fall of 1995. Three years later the Division of Social Work achieved initial accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education. The Commission of Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education voted in 2002 to reaccredit the master's social work degree program for a full eight-year cycle ending June, 2010.

Since the beginning, the Department of Social Work at Valdosta State University has served South Georgia by providing qualified graduates to work in our communities. To date, over 500 students have graduated from the MSW Program, and alumni surveys indicate that approximately 80% of these Master of Social Work graduates reside in South Georgia. The community, University administration, faculty, and alumni are proud of the accomplishments of the program and for what it has come to mean in the region.