The concept of a national social work honor society came from a group of undergraduate social work students at Michigan State University in 1960. Investigation revealed that local chapters existed at three schools. Those three schools
along with a few other schools formed a National Honor Society Committee in November of 1960. For more than a year, this committee worked on the constitution and other administrative matters. The name Phi Alpha was adopted from the
local chapter existing at Florida State University.
The constitution and formal organization were completed in 1962, and six chapters qualified to become “charter chapters.” The charter chapters were Florida State University, Michigan State University, Ohio North
University, Central State College, University of Dayton, and the University of Tennessee. Over 450 chapters are now in existence, and the addition of new chapters is continuing.
Phi Alpha offers membership to social work students, faculty and practitioners. Each chapter is free to develop a program to meet local needs. The National Council of Phi Alpha, the organization’s policy making
body, meets once a year at the Council of Social Work Education’s (CSWE’s) annual program meeting conference. Each chapter has one voting representative on The National Council.
Phi Alpha Vendors
Paul Baggett, PhD, LCSW
Jane Maas-Brady, LCSW
Chapter Service Award Coordinator
Donna J. Cherry, PhD, LMSW
Chief Operating Officer