By Sharla Hooper
Programmatic accreditation highlights quality and stature of online baccalaureate social work program
The University of Phoenix online baccalaureate social work program, in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has been granted Initial Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA). The CSWE COA granted the accreditation based on the social work program’s application. The accreditation period is through October 2029 and requires a progress report to be reviewed by the CSWE COA.
Social work has become a more visible field with diverse training and in-demand skills during the course of the pandemic and its impact on mental health and vulnerable populations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an expected growth in social work jobs of 12 percent by 2030, making social work one of the fastest growing professions in the United States.
The University’s accredited baccalaureate social work program (BSSW), in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, prepares students for the delivery of quality and compassionate care for a wide range of populations. The College met CSWE competency-based education policy and accreditation standards (EPAS), which consist of nine interrelated expected social work competencies and component behaviors. The University's BSSW program includes substantive content, holistic pedagogical approach, and educational activities that provide learning opportunities for students to demonstrate and apply social work knowledge, values, and skills.
The Initial Accreditation status requires the program to submit a progress report that provides summary data and outcomes for the assessment of each of the identified competencies for students.
“Receiving CSWE accreditation for our Bachelor of Science in Social Work program is a wonderful accomplishment and it shows the quality of our program to all current and prospective students, our academic colleagues, and community partners,” states Christina Neider, Ed.D., dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Our mission is to provide access to higher education to more individuals and this programmatic accreditation provides us the opportunity to serve even more communities. I am so proud of the entire team who worked so hard to achieve this goal.”
CSWE's COA is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards. In accordance with the requirements of CSWE's recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies, site visits, and COA reviews. There are, as of February 2022, 542 baccalaureate programs accredited by CSWE’s COA.
“This is an exciting time for social work and the University of Phoenix,” states Samantha Dutton, PhD, LCSW, associate dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “It makes sense to offer an online program in social work. We need social workers, and we need them in communities that do not have access to other forms of social work education. This program offers the opportunity for people to become social workers while living and working in their own communities. This is a real game changer for communities that do not have academically trained or licensed social workers, as individuals can now get their education and work for social justice and diversity.”
University of Phoenix’s Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program is offered online, with an inperson internship component, and does not require a residency. The program operates five week courses, and every course is taught by an MSW degreed faculty.
The University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers students access to faculty that possess an average of 27.3 years of professional experience. Current faculty includes 23 executive directors, 30 clinical directors, and 47 social workers.
Click here to learn more about University of Phoenix College of Social and Behavioral Sciences degrees.
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