Anyone planning to pursue an education in social work needs to understand the importance of CSWE accreditation in social work degree programs. All fields have accrediting bodies that are in charge of overseeing not just curricula development, but also the quality of instruction within institutions.
Since social work is a field where professionals must be licensed and will have a direct impact on the population they work with, accreditation is more than just a benefit, it's a must. Here are just some of the reasons why CSWE accreditation is such an important aspect when pursuing your college degree.
Get What You Pay For
It is important to set standards for programs to meet or exceed. When students are spending thousands of dollars every semester to attain knowledge and earn an education, it is important to go to a school that is earning the money they are collection by delivering quality course content from well-educated professors.
When students choose a bachelor's or master's program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, they know that the school has voluntarily applied for and passed the accreditation process. Within the process, the council will review curriculum, student ratios, and more to ensure that the curriculum meets social work competencies and that educational policies within the institution are ethical.
Programs Must Include Field Experience
One thing that all soon-to-be licensed social workers will need is field experience. While the professional licensing requirements vary from state to state, all licensing boards will require applicants to have some level of field experience. Non-accredited programs aren't required to offer their students field experience within the curriculum. Any program that is accredited by CSWE is required to include field experience that will connect theory taught.
Prospective social workers should always be informed of licensure requirements and changes in the licensing process while they are attending school. In most states, attending school and earning credits from a program that is CSWE accredited is a mandated requirement. Any credits that are not earned from an accredited program will not be recognized by the state.
If the state does not explicitly state that the program has to be CWSE-accredited, attending a school that has met this stringent set of standards can still be extremely beneficial. In fact, it guarantees that a candidate meets state standards, which can be lengthy for students who chose to go a different route with their education.
Advancing Your Degree
Earning a bachelor's is enough to get some students started in their fields, but eventually, it's the goal to earn a master's. When completing credits at an accredited facility, students will know that their credits will count when applying to a master's program. Credits earned elsewhere may not be recognized, which means the candidate may have to return to undergraduate study before being eligible for graduate study.
Related Resource: Top 25 MSW Online Programs 2018
There are so many difference reasons that attending the right school and then choosing the right degree program are important factors. Students should never jump into a program with haste. It should be a well-thought-out process that includes a lot of research. Consider all of these factors and do not overlook the importance of CSWE accreditation in social work degree programs as you are narrowing down your options.