What is accreditation?
All professional disciplines are subject to review by independent entities which are designed to ensure that institutions and programs which are responsible for preparing students for professional practice meet specific standards.
In their quest to secure accreditation, programs must demonstrate to the accrediting body that they meet specified standards of excellence. These standards are related to issues such as curriculum content, quality of instruction, admissions criteria, faculty credentials, facilities and financial resources.
What entity accredits social work programs?
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for all social work programs. The CSWE, which was founded in 1952, is a national association with more than 800 accredited BSW and MSW programs at universities and colleges throughout the nation.
One of CSWE’s distinguishing characteristics is their Commission on Accreditation (COA) which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the only agency that can accredit social work education programs in the United States.
What is CSWE Accreditation?
The CSWE Commission on Accreditation (COA) is the entity which ensures that CSWE accredited programs meet the standards established to ensure that graduates of these programs have the knowledge, skills and abilities to engage in competent social work practice.
Why is CSWE Accreditation so important?
The CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation is the administrative entity which ensures that CSWE accredited programs complete the multi-step accreditation process of site visits, self-studies and Commission on Accreditation (COA) reviews.
In Alabama and in most states, there is a mandate that applicants for social work licensure have earned a degree from a CSWE accredited program. This means that in order to qualify to take the licensure exam, applicants must submit evidence that they have earned their BSW or MSW from a CSWE accredited program.
What is the accreditation status of social work programs at AAMU?
Both the BSW Program and the MSW Program are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE). The BSW Program was accredited by CSWE in 1979; a status that it has maintained since its initial accreditation.
The MSW Program was accredited by CSWE in 1998 retroactive to 1996, making it the second oldest MSW Program in the state. The MSW Program has maintained its accreditation status since its initial accreditation.
There are only 2 HBCUs in the state of Alabama with an MSW Program; Alabama A & M has the oldest program while Alabama State’s Program was awarded initial accreditation for its MSW Program in July 2018.
What does the accreditation process involve?
Every 8 years, CSWE requires that all accredited programs complete a rigorous and comprehensive assessment, to include a submission of self-study documents. CSWE also requires that accredited programs post their most recent assessment data on their website. Our most recent assessment data appears below.
The evaluation of accredited programs every 8 years helps to ensure that each program continues to be compliant with current educational standards and policies established by CSWE. This self-study process is done to achieve the status of reaffirmation of accreditation.
The AAMU BSW and MSW Programs are fully accredited and our accreditation status demonstrates to our students, other educational institutions and the public that we are accountable to our accrediting body and committed to the continual process of program review and improvement.
When you earn a BSW and or MSW from AAMU, you would have graduated from a nationally accredited program and your degree(s) will be fully recognized by social work licensure boards and your future employers.