Director’s Welcome

Social Work - Director's Welcome

As Director of the School of Social Work, I am excited to welcome you to the heart of Eastern North Carolina and the East Carolina University School of Social Work. We have been educating social workers who have advanced individual and community well-being for over 50 years. Our alumni, over 5000 and growing, reach from the mountains of Appalachia to the sands of the Outer Banks and beyond. You will find #PirateSocialWorkers in state government, county Departments of Social Services, hospitals, healthcare and rehabilitation centers, local schools, private practice, and in so many other places. Our alumni work across the lifespan to ensure individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities have the capacity to achieve and promote human and community well-being in a highly functional society.

The ECU School of Social Work offers an exciting and forward-thinking educational program that engages students to build important knowledge, skills, values, and cognitive and affective processes to be successful and competent social work practitioners. Our graduates are “ready on day one” to co-construct solutions to pressing social issues that threaten individual and community well-being. #PirateSocialWorkers facilitate transformation to ensure that all people have fundamental human rights and equal access to opportunities to lead healthy, productive lives.

We offer educational opportunities that meet the demand of today’s students. Whether you are a traditional student, a military veteran, or a second career professional, the ECU School of Social Work has a program that works for you. Our BSW program offers a robust on-campus experience and the MSW program offers both on-campus and online program options. We will work with you to ensure your success.

The ECU School of Social Work faculty and staff are committed to the advancement of social justice, recognizing the dignity and worth of the person rests in their access to basic human rights that promote health and well-being. We do this through educating a diverse workforce for Eastern North Carolina and beyond, and advancing social, economic, environmental, and racial justice through faculty scholarship. We support persons with a broad range of identities including but not limited to age, caste, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, generational status, immigration status, legal status, marital status, political ideology, race, nationality, religion and spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status (CSWE EPAS, 2022).  And we encourage open, honest, and respectful discourse about the most pressing issues in society today.

The ECU School of Social Work is a leader in social work education. From scholarship that changes the way we think about and address social issues to education that equips graduates for transformative practice, we are future focused and innovation driven.


Kirk A. Foster, PhD, MSW, MDiv
Professor & Director
Carolyn Freeze Baynes Distinguished Scholar