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November 7, 2011   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | CSWE awards School of Social Work full accreditation
Magnify Maurice Daniels-4-13-2009
Maurice Daniels Photo by Peter Frey

CSWE awards School of Social Work full accreditation

Emily Williams

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By Emily Williams | November 7, 2011
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The School of Social Work has been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the sole accrediting body of schools of social work in the country. UGA is one of the first schools of social work in the nation to earn accreditation under new standards set by the CSWE, requiring compliance with 10 core competencies identified as common to all social work practice.

“There was a core group of faculty, staff, alumni and friends who rolled up their sleeves and did the work that contributed to our highly successful accreditation process,” said Maurice C. Daniels, dean of the School of Social Work. “It is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of these colleagues that we were able to go through this process without any questions or concerns about our compliance with standards.”

The school embarked on the accreditation process in 2007, beginning with a rigorous self-study of the B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs. In March, a site visit team met with various School of Social Work constituencies as well as Provost Jere Morehead and reported 10 strengths of the school with no concerns or questions regarding the programs.

“There appears to be a spirit of unity among the faculty of the school and the practice community with each reinforcing the other in efforts to provide the next generation of professional social workers,” the site visit report noted. “The themes of diversity and social justice permeate syllabi, special events and student organizations. Additionally, participation by students and faculty with other units of the university and the non-academic community in activities that promote social justice and enhance awareness about the value of diversity provides a platform for ongoing learning and social action.”

After a final review by the Commission on Accreditation, the CSWE determined UGA was in compliance with the its Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The commission voted to reaffirm the baccalaureate and master’s level social work programs for the next eight years.

The school was one of the first to go through new accreditation standards set by the CSWE, according to Brian Bride, an associate professor who directs the school’s Ph.D. program.

“It’s an even more remarkable achievement that we had no concerns coming out of this process, given that we were really feeling our way through it,” Bride said. “A large part of our success really had to do with Dean Daniels’ leadership, vision and persistence in ushering us through that process.”

June Gary Hopps, Parham Professor of Family and Children Studies, echoed Bride’s sentiment.

“Good things don’t happen overnight,” she said. “It comes from outstanding leadership, good vision and good foresight; someone with a steady hand to guide us through. Dean Daniels had to carefully move us through many stages. He did it with grace.”

“In order to be effective in the recruitment of talented and diverse social work students and faculty, accreditation is crucial,” Daniels said. “We have a strong school because we have an outstanding faculty and staff, a very talented and diverse student body, and we have great support from our alumni and Board of Visitors.”

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