Just five years after its establishment at Mary Baldwin College, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program has reached another important milestone: earning accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The CSWE is a nonprofit, national association representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education.
The accreditation approval comes on the heels of, among other required benchmarks, a series of annual site visits by the accrediting board, the establishment of a social work club, the development of values and missions that govern the program, and the creation of a field manual for training outside of the classroom.
“It’s great that it’s happened and I’m pleased for our program and for our students,” said Assistant Professor of Social Work and Department Chair Mary Clay Thomas, who added a special thanks to MBC administration for its support of the BSW.
In recent years, the BSW program has launched a successful international social work field placement in El Progreso, Honduras; established a chapter of the Alphi Phi social work honor society; and expanded its adult degree offerings around the state.
Accreditation allows students who want to earn a graduate degree to apply in “advance standing status,” Thomas said, meaning that they can enroll for three semesters instead of two full years. “Graduates of the program are grandfathered in, so that’s a great [cost-saving] benefit.”