By its nature, the profession of social work involves building relationships, both professional and personal. We believe the ability to network is among the most important skills a social worker will need. Much work is done in classes and practicum to enhance these skills. Also, many students benefit from mutual support. Finally, developing a quality resume is important to any professional. With these concerns in mind, we developed the Graduate Social Work Organization (GSWO) as well as an honor society for graduating students.

MSW students are also represented in campus organizations, and are members of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). MSW faculty assist students in networking in the MSW program, Human Services Department, College of Education & Human Services, Valdosta State University, and professional social work communities.

The Graduate Social Work Organization (GSWO)

Graduate Social Work Organization LogoThe Graduate Social Work Organization (GSWO) was formed in 1999 as an organization for students in the MSW program at Valdosta State University. Its purpose is to promote camaraderie and foster community between students at all levels in the MSW program. There is no fee for membership. The GSWO consists of an Executive Committee with elected officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations, and Cohort representatives. The GSWO officers and representatives participate in VSU MSW program governance by attending MSW program faculty meetings, serving on departmental and university committees, surveying the students through online surveys to gather data for formulating and modifying MSW program policies and programs. With consultation from the GSWO advisers and MSW faculty, the GSWO members, officers and representatives decide which service, community and fundraising projects the organization will do. GSWO activities have included participating in the Valdosta Christmas parade and VSU homecoming, organizing the MSW ceremony at graduation, collecting food, toys and clothing for needy families in South Georgia, organizing Continuing Education presentations and luncheons for students and community social workers, presenting at local, state, and national conferences, and engaging the community via social media.

Graduating MSW students who have served on the GSWO Executive Committee anytime during their MSW Program of Study are acknowledged at the MSW Graduation Celebration.