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Social Work Program earns reaccreditation

ISSUED: 2 June 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Social Work Program accreditation has been reaffirmed for eight years by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

CSWE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States. Dr. Craig Cline, Social Work Program director, said CSWE’s decision to reaffirm accreditation for eight years means that the program has met or surpassed all educational and accreditation policy, and no follow-up or progress reports need to be filed.

“I’m very excited about the social work program’s reaffirmation,” Cline said. “CSWE holds social work programs to extremely high standards.”

Cline said CSWE looks at four major areas when making reaccreditation decisions—the program’s mission and goals; curriculum, with an emphasis on examining field education; efforts toward diversity; and assessment of student learning outcomes. As part of the reaffirmation process, CSWE sent a site visitor to Shepherd to meet with administrators, faculty, staff, and students.

“The site visitor was very impressed with the social work students at Shepherd,” Cline said. “She reported that more students were in attendance to meet with her than at any previous site visit she had conducted at other universities. Additionally, in her exit interview with social work faculty, the site visitor noted the mutual respect between social work faculty and social work students in her exit interview with faculty.”

Cline said the reaccreditation demonstrates the social work program’s commitment to preparing students to be ready to enter the professional workforce and practice competently and ethically with individuals, families, and communities.

“From a practical standpoint, for our students, reaccreditation is vital to their professional success,” Cline said. “After graduation, many students seek social work licensure. State regulatory boards require that social work degrees be obtained through programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, so obtaining a social work degree from this accredited program allows our students to be eligible to sit for social work licensing exams immediately after graduation.”

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