September 24, 2018

School of Social Work 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.

Both institutions are committed to offering social work programs and will establish independent offerings. St. Catherine University will continue to offer both the bachelor of social work (BSW) and master of social work (MSW) in formats that meet the needs of working adults. St. Thomas will offer the doctorate of social work (DSW), in addition to the BSW and MSW, in both its weekend/evening and hybrid formats.

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. Kate's and St. Thomas will pursue accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which accredits both 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. We will provide updates once the exact timeline is known. (Note: CSWE does not currently accredit doctoral programs, so the DSW program is unaffected by this change and will transition to the St. Thomas DSW starting in summer 2019.)

Restrictions put in place by CSWE will require all continuing students to enroll into either the St. Kate’s or St. Thomas independent programs for the 2019–2020 academic year. Details on this process will be provided as they are finalized. We are in the process of developing FAQs that will provide the most current information available regarding accreditation and other considerations for our students, partners, and all other stakeholders and will provide the link here once it is available. We will continue to update these FAQs as details are known.

We recognize there are still many unknowns as the partnership and accreditation processes are ongoing. We are committed to keeping our community informed and to provide information as we know it.
Please know that I am always available to answer questions.

Sincerely,
Dr. Corrine Carvalho
Interim Dean of Social Work