Social Work Program Re-Accredited

Jennifer Erb and Katie Chaffinch shop for a Christmas service project EMU social work students Jennifer Erb (l.) and Katie Chaffinch shop for clothing and toys for a Christmas service project. Students raised more than $1,000 to buy gifts for local children through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Department of Social Services.
Photo by Megan Yoder

The social work program at Eastern Mennonite University has received full re-accreditation for the maximum eight years from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Elroy J. Miller, sociology/social work department chair, said the approval “means that EMU’s social work program meets or surpasses the national accrediting agency’s professional standards in preparing undergraduate students for entry-level social service positions.”

Accreditation “also qualifies students to take the licensure exams in various states and grants advance status for qualified graduates to go on to earn a master’s degree in social work in one year,” Miller added.

In the site visitor summary report, the accrediting agency noted EMU’s particular program strengths.

“Diversity content is very strong within the university’s liberal arts base, with a cross-cultural immersion experience required of all students,” the visitors stated. “Students are well prepared to understand the social systems and social policies that affect the delivery of health and human services and to serve populations-at-risk.

“The social work program has a strong interface with the community . . . students are engaged in community-based research and are involved in social action community projects such as ‘Take Back the Night,'” the report noted.

Among other strengths cited: “Well-credentialed, highly-competent full-time faculty members and part-time faculty who bring rich practice experience and unique expertise to the program . . . Program faculty help students to become aware of their personal values and look at potential value conflicts that may arise in practice . . . They (faculty) are deeply committed to promoting respect for human diversity in the curriculum and learning context.”

EMU’s social work program has had continued CSWE accreditation since 1975. Currently, EMU has 40 social work majors.