Why is Accreditation Important?
In many states, including the State of Minnesota, applicants for social work licensure must have obtained a bachelor or graduate degree in social work from an academic program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) promotes academic excellence in baccalaureate and master’s social work education. The EPAS specifies the curricular content and educational context to prepare students for professional social work practice.
Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) 2015, Council on Social Work Education. All rights reserved.
The joint social work program at St. Catherine’s and St. Thomas received its first accreditation in 1975 from the Council on Social Work Education. Since that time, the School of Social Work successfully obtained reaffirmation of accreditation through 2020 for both the BSW and MSW Programs.
In May of 2018, the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University announced the end of their formal collaboration on their joint social work programs. This change is planned to take effect August 23, 2019.
Both St. Thomas and St. Kate’s are pursuing independent accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which accredits both the BSW and MSW programs individually. Both are following an abbreviated one-year candidacy process that CSWE has customized for independent programs following the closure of a joint program relationship. The University of St. Thomas BSW and MSW programs have been accepted for a February 2020 candidacy review date.
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CSWE CANDIDACY STATEMENT
The University of St. Thomas School of Social Work has achieved Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.
Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process [Note: St. Thomas is following an abbreviated one-year candidacy process that CSWE has customized for independent programs following the closure of a joint program relationship] and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
For more information about social work accreditation, you may contact CSWE Accreditation (Staff Directory)»
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) promotes academic excellence in baccalaureate and master’s social work education. EPAS describe four features of an integrated curriculum design:
Competency-based education is an outcome performance approach to curriculum design. Competencies are measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. The goal of the outcome approach is to demonstrate the integration and application of the competencies in practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Outcome Study Reports
Assessment is an integral part of competency-based education. As an accredited program, we evaluate whether our students meet the core competencies (BSW) and the core and advanced competencies (MSW). Our system of assessment is implemented annually. The data from our assessments are used to continuously inform and improve in our classroom and field curricula and our learning environment.
Listed below are links for the bi-annual Outcome Study Reports for the joint St. Kate's - St. Thomas programs:
|BSW - REPORTS||MSW - REPORTS|