Southeast Missouri State University’s social work program has been reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The CSWE voted to continue accreditation of the program for eight years through February 2027. The reaccreditation completes a process that began in August 2018 and included a site visit in Feb. 26, 2020.
During the reaccreditation process, Southeast’s social work program was evaluated on implicit and explicit curriculum, student assessment, and the field education component of the social work curriculum with specific emphasis on the nine core competencies of professional social work practice as outlined by CSWE in its 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The program has been accredited at Southeast since 1990.
The Council on Social Work Accreditation is one of the most rigorous and comprehensive accreditation processes in the nation,” said Dr. Christopher Bradley, chair of Southeast’s Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Sociology. “The fact that our social work program was able to earn its reaccreditation for a fifth time in a row is a testament to the professionalism and dedication of the social work faculty and the excellence of our social work students.”
Established in 1976, Southeast’s social work program is the only program in southeast Missouri and classes are offered at the University’s main campus in Cape Girardeau and regional campuses in Sikeston, Kennett and delivery site Poplar Bluff.
Students are given the chance to do hands-on field work prior to graduation with their degree and the program relies heavily on experiential learning and actively promotes student-centered learning.
When students graduate from the program, they are well-prepared for entry-level professional social work practice in a variety of settings including mental health, child welfare, marriage and family, community organization, employee assistance, criminal justice/corrections, developmental disabilities, gerontology, health care, hospice, school social work, substance abuse and public welfare.
“Our primary goal is to train our students to enter the workforce as professional social work practitioners whose skills will bring value to the agencies that hire our graduates,” Bradley said. “Reaccreditation lets employers know that our students are ready to significantly contribute to the region and beyond by helping individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.”
The program and faculty are committed to excellent student learning opportunities rooted in up to date research and guidelines for competent, evidence-based practice of the many skills associated with generalist social work practice, said Kathie Miller, social work program director.
The program’s curriculum emphasizes person-in-environment by considering various aspects of an individual’s environment (social, political, familial, temporal, spiritual, economic and physical); focuses on strengths; a steadfast commitment to social justice in the service of empowering individuals, families and communities to meet their needs.
“Our students become highly respected as professional service providers for vulnerable, oppressed populations,” Miller said. “With a specific focus on the provision of rural social work services, our program and students also provide a significant contribution to the region.”
About the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE):
Founded in 1952, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the national association representing social work education in the United States. Its members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing quality social work education. Through its many initiatives, activities, and centers, CSWE supports quality social work education and provides opportunities for leadership and professional development, so that social workers play a central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social and economic justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States and its territories. As of the February 2021, there are 536 accredited baccalaureate programs in United States. Southeast is one of 17 accredited baccalaureate programs in Missouri.