Brescia University’s Social Work Program received reaffirmation of accreditation for another eight years.
This good news was a process in the making as preparations began three year ago when Susan Howard, Social Work Program Director, attended a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Reaffirmation Workshop in Virginia.
CSWE instituted new accreditation standards in 2008. They now mandate that all social work graduates obtain 10 specific competencies and demonstrate competence through 41 different practice behaviors. In an effort to comply with the new standards, Brescia’s Social Work Program revitalized the program’s mission, reviewed all textbooks, revised syllabi and assignments, and created assessment tools. In 2010 the program implemented these changes.
Marilyn Conley, Director of Field Education, adapted the field curriculum to the new standards, while also creating a new Field Supervisor’s training program. She then made the training accessible for online field supervisors by utilizing i-tunes. Conley also adapted a new assessment tool for field education.
Howard then completed a self-study containing three volumes of data and submitted it to the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation on August 1, 2011. In October, the Commission on Accreditation reviewed the documents and followed up with a required site visit in February 2012. The Commission had no further requests for reports and the site visit was deemed a success.
The Commission on Accreditation met in early June 2012 and notified the program on June 12 that it was reaccredited for eight years. This accreditation includes both the on campus and online formats.
Howard summed up the experience saying, “It was a very lengthy and time consuming process, but it was worth the effort.”
Brescia’s CSWE Accredited BSW Degree Completion program is the only one in the nation fully online. Students are not required to be on campus at any time during the process.
“This is a huge advantage to those who work full-time and desire to obtain a BSW degree”, says Howard. “It also is a great asset to military personnel and family members who may frequently move or experience deployment in the middle of their college career. They remain a part of the Social Work program and the Brescia family through the internet and online classes.”