MU Social Work Program has perfect score on reaccreditation

Manchester University’s distinctive Social Work Program, which launches graduates into service-oriented careers in the region and throughout the world, has been reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education for an additional eight years, through 2023.

The council granted the undergraduate program perfect reaccreditation, with no requirements for further follow-up reports. Nationally, such a score is rare.
Barb Burdge

“Reaccreditation means that every aspect of our program – from course assignments to field placements, from professors to learning outcomes, from our inclusive atmosphere to our co-curricular offerings – has met or exceeded the national standards of quality established by the council,” said Barb Burdge, Social Work Program director and field instruction coordinator at the University.

The council’s report said MU social work faculty “actively seeks to model affirmation, respect, and understanding of diversity and difference and to create a learning environment in which diversity is valued and nurtured.” It cited offerings, such as half-day workshops celebrating diversity, an off-campus anti-racism retreat, a six-hour workshop on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender awareness, and participation in a three-day seminar in Chicago on racism, human diversity and urban social work.

The report especially noted that the themes of respecting the infinite worth of every individual and striving to improve the human condition do not just apply to the Social Work Program Mission Statement, but are written into the Mission Statement of Manchester University.

Brad YoderLast year, Brad Yoder, a professor of sociology and social work at Manchester, was named Indiana Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers-Indiana Chapter.

Graduates of a CSWE-accredited bachelor’s degree program like Manchester’s can apply for “advanced standing” in many master of social work programs. Advanced standing is a fast-track option in which students skip the first several MSW classes, saving both time and money. They can also pursue professional licensure at the bachelor’s level. In Indiana, this license is a licensed social worker. To get the LSW, someone must first have the CSWE-accredited bachelor’s degree, do two years of full-time professional social work experience and then pass a licensing exam.

The reaccreditation process included an on-campus site review in February. During the visit, the council’s site visitor met with faculty, students and field practicum instructors, as well as University administration. The program has been continuously accredited since 1979, retroactive to 1977.

“MU social work graduates have the professional knowledge, values and skills to help make life better for people who are vulnerable or disenfranchised,” Burdge said. “They are able to empower individuals and families as well as contribute meaningfully toward a more just society through community and political endeavors.”

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.

August 25, 2015

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