Reaffirmation of Accreditation of the MSSA program

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a process social work programs undergo every eight years to reaffirm that they meet the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards established by the Council on Social Work Education, the body authorized by the Department of Education to accredit social work programs. Most professions have an accreditation process to insure that graduates of their programs are adequately prepared for professional practice. This is true for law, medicine, business, education, nursing, engineering, and dentistry among others.

How does accreditation occur?

The reaffirmation process requires the program to write a self-study in which it documents its compliance with the educational policy and accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Commission, a national panel of social work educators, then reviews the self-study and schedules a site visit to explore any identified issues and to supplement the written report. The initial self-study, together with the report of the site visit and the program’s response to the site visit report, are considered by the Commission on Accreditation in deciding whether to reaffirm the accreditation of the program.

The accreditation of the MSSA program of the Mandel School was last reaffirmed in 2009 for the full eight years plus a one-year extension – until October 2018. The next self-study is scheduled to be submitted December 1, 2017, and the site visit to take place sometime in March through May 2018. The Commission will decide on reaffirmation at its October, 2018 meeting.

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation is important for several reasons. First, the accreditation process insures that the MSSA program meets the quality standards set by the profession, and provides the educational experiences necessary to prepare graduates for professional practice. Second, the self-study process requires faculty to engage in an intensive review and assessment of the program to identify what the program is doing well, and what needs to be strengthened. Finally, to be licensed as a social worker requires a degree from an accredited social work program.

Sharon Milligan – Self-Study Coordinator/ Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

The 2009-2016 MSSA Self-Study Documents

The Mandel School submitted an alternative self-study for the 2009-2017 reaffirmation cycle — in place of the traditional self-study. The alternative process consisted of an abbreviated self-study, called a Reaffirmation Compliance Audit, and a special project to study an aspect of the program that will lead to improvements in the program and contribute to general knowledge about social work education. See all documents below submitted to CSWE for the current 2009-2017 reaffirmation cycle.

Reaffirmation Compliance Audit – the self-study document itself

Special Project Proposal – part of the alternative reaffirmation process

Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards – CSWE standards followed in the accreditation process

Reaffirmation Compliance Audit Review Brief – CSWE requirements for the self-study (called Compliance Audit)

Faculty Summary – an attachment to the Compliance Audit

Field Education Manual 2008-2009

Student Handbook 2008-2009

Instructor’s Manual 2008-2009

Eight Ability Statements

Harris Library Report