AU School of Social Work Garners Full Reaccreditation

A tradition dating back more than 40 years has been renewed with word that the Andrews University Bachelor and Master of Social Work programs (BSW and MSW), offered by the School of Social Work, have successfully been reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting organization for all social work programs in the United States.

According to the School of Social Work, both the BSW and MSW degrees integrate concepts of:

  • Professional ethics and values
  • Critical thinking
  • Research
  • Sensitivity to diversity, oppression, social and economic justice
  • Populations-at-risk

Field education is an integral component of both degrees.

Curtis VanderWaal is Chair of the School of Social Work. He says, “Our BSW degree has been accredited since 1976 and our MSW has been accredited since 1995, and we are pleased to continue offering high quality social work degrees at Andrews University.”

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The accreditation process typically takes several years to complete and involves assessing all areas of the curriculum and program in general. Faculty must show how students master the knowledge, values and skills of the profession across each required class. The programs must justify everything from budgets to faculty teaching loads to community impact.

In the most recent reaccreditation process, there were no concerns noted by the Commission on Accreditation and no remediation plans were required.

VanderWaal says, “We are delighted to have achieved full BSW and MSW accreditation for the maximum eight years. The entire reaccreditation process was truly a team effort where all our faculty played an important role.”

This reaccreditation is significant because graduation from an accredited program is almost always required for employment in the field of social work and is absolutely required for all levels of social work licensure in all states.

VanderWaal points out, “Our students were the stars of the accreditation site visit,” adding, “One of the reviewers said that in his 30 years of conducting accreditation visits, he had never encountered a more enthusiastic group of students.”

The School of Social Work will continue to grow its programs. In fact, it is adding a trauma-infused curriculum with a newly developed minor in trauma and disaster response to be offered in 2020 in collaboration with the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences. In addition, they recently established the International Center for Trauma Education & Care and will also be launching a new dual degree with the Master of Public Health program in 2020.

Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 200 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.