March 26, 2013

College Social Work Department re-accredited

PLATTSBURGH — The SUNY Plattsburgh Social Work Department has received high marks in its reaffirmation of accreditation process through the Council on Social Work Education.

Department Chair Lynne Soine and others had been working on the re-accreditation for two years through a self study with more than 360 pages of documentation.

The program, which serves around 100 students annually, was established in 1994. This is the third time it has gone through the process with the council.

Soine said the standards recently changed to a competency-based curriculum, which means the focus should be hands-on experience.

The program meets the criteria by giving students internship opportunities in the community at agencies such as Behavioral Health Services North, Champlain Valley Family Center, CVPH’s Skilled Nursing Unit and other regional agencies. The accrediting body found this to be one of the strengths in the curriculum.

With the new changes to accreditation, the criteria became more of a challenge to meet, according to Soine. However, the department passed with flying colors because it was able to make beneficial changes to the curriculum, diversity, assessment and planning.

The council found no concerns through its assessment.

“It is not typical for accreditation to go as smoothly as ours did,” Soine said.

The next review is not for another eight years.

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