Tuition Assistance For Master's

Program Overview

The DCS Master of Social Work (MSW) / Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) Tuition Assistance Program provides financial support to DCS staff who have made a commitment to completing a master's-level graduate program in social work and strengthening DCS with the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired over the course of their education.

The program provides part-time or full-time tuition and related fee payments as well as an expense allowance to assist with textbook, travel, and living expenses for up to two academic years, which is defined as up to eight semesters. In return, participants must work for DCS an additional 6 months per semester of aid received.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for financial assistance through the DCS MSW/MSSW Tuition Assistance Program, a DCS employee must: 

  • be a full-time DCS employee. Priority consideration is given to case manager 3, team leaders, team coordinators, deputy regional administrators, regional administrators.
  • have been employed by DCS for at least two consecutive years.
  • be in good-standing with the Department
  • not on probation at the time of application.
  • no current or pending disciplinary action.
  • no history of disciplinary action within the past three  years with any state agency. (Disciplinary action includes: written warnings, suspensions, demotions and terminations.)
  • have received a Performance Evaluation within the past 12 months with a score of at least "valued."
  • have been unconditionally accepted into an accredited or in-candidacy MSW/MSSW program (see participating universities below).

Program Guidelines

To remain in good standing and receive aid for a given semester, program participants must:

  • remain in good-standing at their university.
  • complete the necessary university requirements for their graduate social work degree within eight semesters.
  • take at least two courses totaling at least 4.0 credit hours each semester; students attending private universities can take 4.0 credit hours even if only taking one course (taking less will not disqualify you from the program, but you will be ineligible for aid)
  •  submit the Public Higher Education Fee Waiver to their university's Bursar each term to pay for one course (public universities only).
  • personally pay for 3.0 hours of tuition/related fees each semester (private universities only)
  • observe all important dates and deadlines (see below).
  • submit to DCS all requested information and documentation (e.g., class schedules, grades, and status updates).

Forms and Information

• How to apply for the DCS MSW/MSSW Tuition Assistance Program. 

• Approval of Participation – MSW/MSSW ​DCS Tuition Assistance Program
Solicits approval of and authorization for employee’s participation in the program (to be submitted by April 1 each year)

• Deferral Request
For current program participants requesting a break in participation from a DCS Tuition program (reviewed and granted only in extenuating circumstances)

• Incident Report
For current program participants to report an incident that has or could affect his or her time frame for completion or ability to successfully complete a DCS program

• Public Higher Education Fee Waiver Form
For current program participants attending a public university to submit to their university Bursar when they register for courses each semester 

Participating Universities

Austin Peay State University
East Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University
Southern Adventist University
Tennessee State University
Union University
University of Memphis
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

University Business Offices

Austin Peay State University 
Business Office/Accounting Services
Attention:  Amy Tanner
Browning Building, Room 301
P.O. Box 4635
Clarksville TN 37044
Office:  931-221-7480 
Fax:  931-221-6171
tannera@apsu.edu

East Tennessee State University
Bursar’s Office
Attention:  Beverly Bennett
Burgin Dossett Hall, Room 202
P.O. Box 70732
Johnson City, TN  37614
Office:  423-439-4212
Fax:  423-439-4650
bennettb@etsu.edu

Middle Tennessee State University
Business Office
Attention:  Sherri Justice
103 Cope Administration Building
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN  37132
Office:  615-898-2167
Fax:  615-904-8169
sjustice@mtsu.edu

Tennessee State University
Bursar’s Office
Attention:  Harriet Callier
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
P.O. Box 9621
Nashville, TN  37209
Office:  615-963-7634
Fax:  (615) 963-7632
hcallier@tnstate.edu

University of Memphis
Bursar's Office
Attention:  Sonya Chamberlin
115 Wilder Tower
P.O. Box 1000, Department 313
Memphis, TN  38152
Office:  901-678-3898
Fax:  901-678-0288
slchmbrl@memphis.edu
 
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Bursar’s Office
Attention:  Mary Lynn Wooldridge 
211 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN  37996
Office:  865-974-1392
Fax:  865-974-1945
Email:  mbruner1@utk.edu

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Bursar’s Office
Attention:  Deadra Dixson
​Office: 423-425-4877
deadra-dixson@utc.edu

Important Dates for Current Participants

To ensure good standing in the program and timely payment of tuition/related fees and expense payments, program participants should carefully observe the following deadlines. Failure to complete the following activities by these dates could result in disqualification from the program, administrative obstacles, and/or delayed payments:

April 1: All participants - submit approval of participation form for upcoming school year.

Contact Information

Department of Children’s Services
Tuition Assistance Program
UBS Tower, 7th Floor
315 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
email: IV-E_Tuition.EI-DCS@tn.gov