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.

Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) 2008, 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 has successfully obtained reaffirmation of accreditation through 2020 for both the BSW and MSW Programs.


PARTNERSHIP UPDATE

This past May, the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University announced the end of their formal collaboration on their joint social work programs. We are planning for this change to take effect August 23, 2019. The St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work will continue to operate as a collaborative through the 2018-2019 academic year, and the two universities are working closely together toward a smooth and supportive transition for all of our students, faculty, alumni, and community partners.

Immediately after the collaboration dissolves, the joint social work programs will transition from being accredited as a collaborative program to pursuing individual program accreditation. Both St. Thomas and St. Kate’s will pursue accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which accredits both the BSW and MSW programs individually. We will follow an abbreviated one-year candidacy process that CSWE has customized for independent programs following the closure of a joint program relationship (an overview of this process can be downloaded HERE). We will provide updates once the exact timeline is known and will create and update FAQs as details are known.


‌CSWE Accreditation

 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:‌

  • Program Mission and Goals

  • Explicit Curriculum

  • Implicit Curriculum

  • Assessment

 

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.

Assessment 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 Outcome Study Reports for 2006-2016.  

 

BSW - REPORTS MSW - REPORTS
2006 2006
2007 2007
2008 2008
2009 2009
2010 2010
2011 2011
2012 2012
2013 2013
2014 2014
 2015  NA
NA 2016
2017  NA