Ashland University Social Work Program Receives Reaccreditation
The Social Work Program at Ashland University has received reaccreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation. The Commission granted the full eight-year accreditation, giving the program accredited status through June 2018.
Nancy Udolph, chair and associate professor of social work at Ashland University, said the social work department faculty assembled a self-study over the course of two years and submitted it to the CSWE in August 2009.
A site-visit was conducted in February by the dean of another accredited social work program and the site visitor met with students, faculty, and administrators while also inspecting the program’s resources and facilities. The Commission on Accreditation then reviewed the site visit report and the self-study at its June meeting and found the Ashland University social work program to be in full compliance with all eight standards.
The site visitor pointed to a number of areas of strength displayed by the Ashland University Social Work Program. Among those areas highlighted are that students have numerous opportunities for field experience and that “students and faculty demonstrate a strong commitment toward broadening their knowledge and understanding of persons of difference. Both faculty and students participate in urban experiences that differ from their rural academic environment and participate in opportunities to attend guest lectures, convocations, international teaching and travel, and intercultural activities.”
In addition, the University’s strong institutional support for the program, the strong reciprocal relationships established between the program and outside agencies, the strong practicum component of the program and the camaraderie expressed by the program’s students were additional strengths cited as well as an excellent pass rate on the Ohio licensure examination.
Udolph agreed with the site visit assessment saying, “We have strong relationships with outside agencies. Graduates of our program and other social workers in the local area serve on our advisory board. Our students get well-supervised social work practice experience by doing full-time internships in area agencies. Many of our graduates still live and work in North Central Ohio.”
“Also, our students are all very familiar with the Social Work Code of Ethics,” Udolph said. “The Code basically says that social workers treat all people with dignity and respect. We believe people are capable of positive change, and we believe people have the right to make their own decisions to the greatest extent possible.”
Currently, approximately 45 students are enrolled as social work majors at Ashland University. The usual cohort going through the program and graduating together is 10-12 students.
Udolph said that outcome assessment is an important part of maintaining an accredited program. “We survey all of our graduates and their employers two years after they graduate,” she said. “Recent outcome data reports that social work graduates are well-prepared for their jobs and for career advancement.”
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.