Social Work Accreditation

Program Accreditation Information

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.

Partnership Update

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.

Council on Social Work Education

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. It permits programs to use traditional and emerging models of curriculum design by balancing requirements that promote comparability across programs with a level of flexibility that encourages programs to differentiate. EPAS describe four features of an integrated curriculum design: (1) program mission and goals; (2) explicit curriculum; (3) implicit curriculum; and (4) 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

View available Outcome Study Reports for our Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs from 2006–2018.

MSW Student Learning Outcomes 

BSW Outcome Study Reports

MSW Outcome Study Reports

View available Assessment of Student Learning Summaries for our Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs from 2012–2018.

BSW Student Learning Summaries

MSW Student Learning Summaries

Social Work at St. Kate's

Principles

  • Social work places emphasis on the inherent dignity of the human person, the value of human life and human potential.
  • Social work provides services to promote the highest functioning of individuals, family units, groups and communities.
  • Social work provides opportunities for growth for both clients and social workers, through the worker/client relationship.
  • Social work is based on and enriched by liberal arts knowledge, values, perspectives and intellectual skills.
  • Social work utilizes knowledge from the social sciences in meeting the needs of individuals and groups.
  • Social work recognizes the universality of social problems and the interdependence of society.
  • Social work collaborates with other disciplines to provide individualized and continuous care for persons.
  • Social work is responsible for promoting continued learning and the utilization of research for the benefit of its members, the profession and the community.
  • Social work continuously adapts best practices in response to changing social needs and conditions.
  • Social work acts in solidarity with those who suffer from social and economic injustices.
  • Social work advocates for universal access to resources required to meet basic human needs