Erikson’s M.S.W. program must be approved and/or accredited by three organizations:
- The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), which must approve all academic programs offered by Illinois institutions; Completed
- The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools (HLC), Erikson’s regional accrediting body; Completed
- The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States; 2nd Year Candidacy status granted. Accreditation in process.
Graduation from a CSWE-accredited M.S.W. program is a requirement for licensure as a clinical social worker (LCSW). We have received approval by IBHE (August 2012) and HLC (May 2013), and have also been granted initial and 2nd year candidacy status by CSWE (February 2014 and February 2015, respectively).
CSWE accreditation is a standard three-year process. Erikson is seeking accreditation on the February 2016 Agenda. During each of the three years, Erikson submits a substantial “Benchmark” report and hosts a visit by a CSWE Commissioner. During the fall of 2013, we hosted the first visit (Benchmark I). The Benchmark I report included a comprehensive description of the program, including mission, learning goals, curriculum, complete syllabi, field instruction manual, student handbook, and assessment plan. Based on the campus visit and review of the report, CSWE awarded Candidacy Status to Erikson’s MSW as of February 2014, the first major step toward accreditation.
Our Benchmark II report was submitted in August 2014 and was followed by the second Commissioner visit in October 2014. The visit focused on more detailed review of the M.S.W. curriculum, admission and student services functions, field instruction, assessment activities, and institutional capacity. As was the case with the first Commissioner visit, the feedback from the CSWE Commissioner was quite positive. Based on this visit and report, Erikson received 2nd Year Candidacy Status in February 2015.
We will submit our Benchmark III report in August 2015 and at the conclusion of the third Commissioner visit will receive Initial Accreditation. We are optimistic that Erikson will continue to proceed toward accreditation by our target date of February 2016.
What does this all mean?
The important thing for you to know is that it is a standard practice for students to enter an M.S.W. program while it is undergoing CSWE accreditation. Students who pursue an M.S.W. degree while it is in candidacy status will be considered graduates of a CSWE-accredited program once the program achieves Initial Accreditation. Pending CSWE approval, students entering Erikson’s program and graduating in May 2016 or later will be graduating from an accredited program.
Return to this page for updates on our progress.