The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently announced that Ball State University’s master of social work (MSW) program has achieved candidacy status after successfully completing a self-study, site visit, and full review with the Commission on Accreditation.

An accredited program in candidacy is an important benchmark for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. (See a directory of accredited programs.)

“We are pleased that our program has cleared this hurdle,” said Glenn Stone, chair of the Department of Social Work. “We look forward to continued progress toward our goal of achieving full CSWE accreditation in 2022.”

“Students who graduate from an MSW program in candidacy are license-eligible in Indiana, although licensing laws vary by state. All students who graduate from our MSW program can also work toward the licensed clinical addictions counselor (LCAC) credential after completing the required practicum in an addictions setting.”

Candidacy is typically a three-year process, and students who enter programs that attain candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin the program will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program completes the process and attains initial accreditation.

Ball State’s College of Health admitted the first class of 55 MSW students in August 2019 and will welcome another class in the Fall. Applications are currently being accepted through July 1.

Stone points out that a unique aspect of the program is the opportunity for students to learn both clinical addictions and nonprofit management within a rural context. The biggest areas of job growth in the U.S. are in addictions, gerontology, and health. Ball State’s MSW curriculum focuses on all three within the context of rural communities, he said.

Situated in the College of Health, the program is housed in a new $62 million Health Professions Building with simulation labs and multiple community-based clinics. Stone said Ball State’s beautiful campus has top-notch technology resources and is highly accessible for people with special needs.

MSW director Greta Slater said that the program offers flexible, full-time and part-time study options for students using an innovative hybrid approach.

“All our classes are scheduled on Tuesday evenings — even for full-time students — to accommodate busy work and family lives,” she said. “A bachelor of social work (BSW) is not required, but full-time and part-time advanced standing is available for those who have earned a BSW—no matter how long ago the degree was earned. This makes our program unique.”

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