The mission of the Graduate College of Social Work is to educate professionals for social work practice, research, and leadership. We advocate for innovative, collaborative, inclusive, and humane policies and solutions that promote social, economic, and political justice. Our College generates new knowledge through critical thinking that links rigorous scientific inquiry, ethical social work practice, and community engagement. The GCSW has a long-standing commitment of providing professional support to the Greater Houston, state, and national communities.
Giving to GCSW empowers us to educate more MSW and PhD social workers to accomplish this mission. Your gift to one of our funding priorities has a far reaching impact on our students, faculty and communities.
The GCSW conducts an annual survey of graduating students to gain a fuller understanding of their costs related to graduate education. In 2006, the GCSW conducted its first survey on student debt. At that time, the average debt was approximately $20,000 for MSW studies and an additional $21,000 in debt for undergraduate studies; the 2009 study found the average debt was $28,907 with an additional $28,170 for undergraduate studies. The most recent survey shows the following:
Survey of GCSW Graduating Students – May 2011
- $25,775 average MSW student debt + $21,453 average baccalaureate debt continuing at time of MSW graduation
- 71% of students at the time application to the GCSW anticipated accumulating some debt
reported accumulating debt
- 81% reported their debt was higher than anticipated
- The 2010 average salary ($41,922) was down from the reported 2009 salary of $45,430
- A 10 year loan repayment on the average MSW and undergraduate debt at 6.8% interest is $544 or 16% of the gross monthly MSW starting salary
- This is 6% above the recommended debt load of no more than 10% of gross monthly starting salary
- The 2011 MSW debt is $5,575 higher (29%) compared to 2006
We ask you to make a gift to MSW scholarships today! Together we can reach our goal of $100,000 in MSW Scholarships for Academic Year 2011-2012 which will allow GCSW to support our students and relieve our MSW students help ease their debt burden as they graduate and move on to serve our families and communities.
The Graduate College of Social Work purposes to prepare individuals for competent ethical social work practice and leadership in social work. The multicultural character of Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, is an ideal setting for educating master and doctoral-level social workers.
(Houston is a rapidly changing city. With that change comes the challenges of readjustment, growth and conflicting interests with their accompanying pressures on individuals, families, and neighborhoods. Social workers in Houston serve in a rich array of public and private human service agencies responding to human social service needs, thus the need to increase the number of bilingual scholarships offered by GCSW.
The incoming class for AY 2011-2012 consists of the following:
Total incoming new students - 177
Languages spoken - 20 different languages are spoken by incoming GCSW MSW and PhD students including Spanish, American Sign Language, Assyrian, Cantonese, Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Igbo, Italian, Japanese, Malayalam, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Urdu, Vietnamese, and English.
We ask you to make a gift to bilingual MSW scholarships today! GCSW proposes to raise $100,000 in additional funding for bilingual scholarships to augment existing scholarships, expand language preferences and increase the number of student awards. You can help change our world by supporting bilingual MSW scholarships!
In January 2011, the University of Houston joined the ranks of the top research universities in the nation with the announcement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that placed UH in its top category of research universities. This designation makes the University of Houston one of only three public Carnegie-designated Tier One research universities in Texas, along with the University of Texas and Texas A&M. Only three public universities in Texas have earned this affirmation of research excellence from a respected national organization.
The Graduate College of Social Work continues to be actively involved in the transformation of the University of Houston into an urban-focused, Tier 1 university with research as a top priority. Research at the University of Houston is becoming increasingly multi-disciplinary, translational and transformative in line with the policies of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
GCSW students have the opportunity to work closely with GCSW faculty conducting research that affects community advancement and health in Houston, a large, ethnically-diverse metropolitan area renowned for its leadership in cutting-edge bio-medical/ health, technology and energy research,. GCSW students are afforded opportunities to gain first-hand experience and training in research. An exciting research environment is growing rapidly at the GCSW and we are looking for highly motivated students to join with our faculty to stimulate change through research. Examples of research excellence are:
Center for Drug and Social Policy Research
As a multidisciplinary university research center, the overall objective of the Center for Drug and Social Policy Research (CDSPR) is the development of new knowledge in substance abuse and related social problems.
Child and Family Center for Innovative Research
The Child and Family Center for Innovative Research (CFCIR) hosts experts from behavioral science, social work, public health, medicine, history, psychology, computer science, and virtual reality technology to solve problems related to social functioning of children and their families through the use of innovative devices and approaches.
Core Research Facility: Virtual Reality Clinical Research Laboratory
The Virtual Reality Clinical Research Laboratory (VRCRL) was originally established in 2002 under the direction of Dr. Patrick Bordnick to serve as a testing ground for the development of Virtual Reality applications for addictions and mental health disorders.
A gift of $1,000,000 to establish the first endowed chair for research in the UH Graduate College of Social Work would provide much deserved support for key, leading faculty members who are engaged in life-improving research for families and provide career altering opportunities for our MSW and PhD students.
The GCSW PhD program provides education for the next generation of leaders in Social Work. The Graduate College of Social Work initiated the Ph.D. program in 1993; and in 1998, the GCSW began a combined MSW/PhD dual degree option designed for students pursuing the MSW degree while working on their doctorate.
The goal of the GCSW Doctoral Program is to prepare social work researchers, scholars, and educators to advance the knowledge base of the profession. The Doctoral Program offers students opportunities to:
- develop a multidisciplinary understanding of complex issues and problems;
- focus on innovative methodologies in knowledge building;
- conduct translational research from problem-solving to real life solutions; and
- foster individual connections and collaborative mentorship.
The funding goal for 2012 of $50,000 for our doctoral students would allow GCSW to provide stipends for PhD students. Allowing them to accelerate their research and accomplish their goals with less debt. Studies show the following regarding debt incurred by PhD students:
- 67.5% borrow in order to pursue their PhD in Social Work
- $69,754 – the amount of cumulative debt for PhD students in Social Work
Please make a gift today to support our GCSW PhD students! Your gift will provide incentive for students to become the social work leaders of today and tomorrow.
The David M. Underwood Chapter
Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics)
Funding Goal: $2,000,000
The mission of the David M. Underwood Chapter Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (DMUNLA, formerly American Humanics) is to prepare and certify nonprofit leaders. Since 1993, the NLA/American Humanics Program in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston has certified over 240 individuals, most of whom are actively working in nonprofits locally and around the country. Thousands of other NLA/AH students have been certified over the 62 years since the national organization was founded.
The founding donor of the UH NLA program, David M. Underwood, calls the outcome of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance "the multiplier effect." By investing in a few dedicated individuals, preparing them for effective and efficient management of our nonprofits, the organizations they work for are, in turn, better equipped to serve more clients.
More than 60 nonprofit organizations in Houston and the surrounding area have made a formal commitment to offer quality nonprofit management internships for Nonprofit Leadership Alliance students. These nonprofit partners know that this commitment will not only benefit their organization and its clients, but will also serve to professionalize the nonprofit sector as a whole.
The goal of creating an endowed fund of $2,000,000 was set by the NLA Leadership and Advisory Circles of the DMUNLA. Leaders include individuals devoted to achieving this goal; and it is also the goal of GCSW to participate in the strategy to achieve this $2,000,000 endowed fund goal. Once established, this endowment will provide annual operating funds and ensure the permanence of the David M. Underwood Chapter of Nonprofit Leadership Alliance certificate program and its mission to provide essential leadership to serve the nonprofit corporate sector. We ask you to make a gift to accomplish the endowment goal of $2,000,000 to support the David M. Underwood Chapter Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at GCSW.
The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. These six women, representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, decided to bring together their extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. The Vision of the Nobel Women's Initiative is a world transformed, a nonviolent world of security, equality and well-being for all.
Professor Jody Williams served as the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) until February 1998. Beginning in early 1992, with two non-governmental organizations and a staff of one, Williams oversaw ICBL’s growth to over 1,300 organizations in 95 countries working to eliminate antipersonnel landmines. In an unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, she served as chief strategist and spokesperson for the ICBL during a diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. During this conference, the ICBL dramatically achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines.
Three weeks later, she and the ICBL were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At that time, Williams became the tenth woman – and third American woman – to receive this honor,in the almost 100-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since February 1998, she has served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL, speaking on its behalf all over the world.
Along with sister Laureate, Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Professor Williams took the lead in establishing the “Nobel Women’s Initiative,” which launched in January 2006. Bringing them together with sister Laureates Wangari Maathai of Kenya, Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatemala and Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, the mission of the Nobel Women’s Initiative is to use the prestige and access afforded by the Nobel Peace Prize to spotlight and promote efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality for women. By helping to advance the cause of women, the Nobel Women’s Initiative advances all of humanity. The Nobel Women’s Initiative has an office at the Graduate College of Social Work and in Ottawa, Canada.
Since 2003 to the present, Professor Jody Williams has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Justice in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. In 2007, she was appointed the “Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professor in Peace and Social Justice.”
The vision of NWI at GCSW is to provide opportunities for our students to:
- Develop initiatives congruent with NWI mission and vision
- Participate in international opportunities to implement student developed initiatives.
We ask you to make a gift to support the fulfillment of the vision of the Nobel Women’s Initiative at GCSW.