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. Competency-based education is an outcome performance approach to curriculum design. Assessment is an integral part of competency-based education. Our system of assessment is implemented annually.
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, Inc. 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.
This past May, St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas 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, alumnae/i, 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 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 (learn more about this process).
We will provide updates once the exact timeline is known and will create and update our individual program accreditation FAQ as details are known.