Economic Modeling in SocialWork Education

  • Barry R. Cournoyer
  • Gerald Powers
  • James Johnson
  • Robert Bennett
Keywords: Economic, modeling, social work, education, administration, management, accounting


Economic modeling provides academic administrators with a logical framework for analyzing costs associated with the processes involved in the delivery of social work education. The specific costs associated with activities such as teaching, research, and service may be determined for a school of social work as a whole or for specific responsibility centers (e.g., programs and services within the school). Economic modeling utilizes modern spreadsheet software that can be configured in relation to the idiosyncratic needs and budgeting strategies that exist in virtually all colleges and universities. As a versatile planning tool, it enables managers to identify specific “cost-drivers” that cause the occurrence of real costs in relation to designated programmatic initiatives. In addition, economic modeling provides academic planners and decision-makers a useful vehicle for considering the economic impact of various projected (“what if”) scenarios.