Northern Michigan University's master of social work (MSW) program is now fully accredited through the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Accreditation, after three years of candidacy. NMU's bachelor's degree in social work (BSW), which has been continuously accredited since 1974, was reaffirmed for another eight years.
“These milestones represent a huge success for the Social Work Department,” said Department Head Abigail Wyche. “The primary criteria for gaining licensure in the field is to earn a degree from an accredited institution. It is vital that we obtain and maintain accreditation from the CSWE Commission because it is the only national accrediting body.
“These positive outcomes are the result of a lot of hard work on the part of the entire faculty, particularly Sarah Carlson of our MSW program and Ann Crandell-Williams of our BSW program. Both deserve tremendous credit for their work on the process.”
Wyche said the MSW program was established in 2019 and has graduated two classes. It spent three years as an accreditation candidate, which is equal to being fully accredited until the status is formalized, as it was recently.
NMU and other institutions are evaluated on how well they support the core social work competencies identified in the CSWE accreditation standards. These include: demonstrate ethical and professional behavior; advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice; and engage with, assess, intervene and evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
The remaining competencies are to engage in the following: diversity and difference in practice; practice-informed research and research-informed practice; and policy practice.
“Accreditation is extremely important and valuable to students who seek careers in the social work field, so it's important for recruitment purposes as well,” Wyche added.
For more information on NMU's social work academic programs, visit nmu.edu/socialwork.