Program Accreditation Information
St. Kate's master's and bachelor of social work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation.
Accreditation of a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’ Commission on Accreditation indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited program has sufficient resources to meet its mission and goals and the Commission on Accreditation has verified that it demonstrates compliance with all sections of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards.
Accreditation applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
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.
The Bachelor and Master's of Social Work programs at St. Catherine University received their first accreditation in 1975 within the School of Social Work in partnership with the University of St. Thomas and was successfully reaffirmed through 2019. In 2019 the partnership with St. Thomas ended and the Bachelor and Master's of Social Work programs at St. Catherine University received accreditation as independent programs under the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health.
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. 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.
Programs determine a percentage-based benchmark for each competency and determine an outcome-measure benchmark (minimum score) for each measure. The competency benchmark (which can differ for each competency) represents the minimum percent of students the program expects to have achieved the outcome measure benchmarks in both/all measures for each of the nine competencies. The program then determines the If the program has more than one program option, the program must report data for each program option, and also an aggregate of all program options combined to determine an overall percentage of students across all program options achieving the competency benchmark.
Student Learning Outcomes
All programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation (COA) are required to measure and report student learning outcomes. All students are assessed using a minimum of two measures on their mastery of the nine competencies that comprise the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) and any additional competencies programs may choose to add. These holistic competencies reflect the dimensions (knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive & affective processes) of social work practice that all social workers are expected to master during their professional training.
Below you will find the most recent Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes for both the BSW and MSW programs at St. Catherine University.
Baccalaureate Social Work Program Summary of Assessment Plan and Student Learning Outcomes (Form AS 4(B)):
Master's of Social Work Program Summary of Assessment Plan (Form AS 4(M) Generalist and Specialist)
Master's of Social Work Student Learning Outcomes (Form AS 4(M)):