Accreditation & Assessment

The JMU BSW curriculum is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The JMU undergraduate social work program received initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of the CSWE on February 1, 1979, retroactive to the beginning of the 1977-78 academic year. CSWE requires that each program undergo review every eight years and JMU has maintain its fully accredited status at each juncture. The last Self-Study for Reaccreditation was completed and submitted in summer 2015 to the CSWE Commission on Accreditation. At its June 2016 meeting, the Commission reviewed the report and reaccreditation was awarded for the full eight-year cycle ending in June 2023 with no interim reports required.

Accreditation is important to students as it may be a factor in licensing at the state level as well as for plans for graduate study in social work. Students who would seek Advanced Standing in accredited MSW programs must have graduated from an accredited BSW program. It also facilitates the transfer between universities to ensure that students receive similar content across the nation and thus are able to more easily transfer credits to other accredited programs.

Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards

View the CSWE document

Purpose: Social Work Practice, Education, and Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards
The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work's purpose is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons.

Social work educators serve the profession through their teaching, scholarship, and service. Social work education—at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels—shapes the profession's future through the education of competent professionals, the generation of knowledge, and the exercise of leadership within the professional community.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) uses the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) to accredit baccalaureate- and master's-level social work programs. EPAS supports academic excellence by establishing thresholds for professional competence. It permits programs to use traditional and emerging models of curriculum design by balancing requirements that promote comparability across programs with a level of flexibility that encourages programs to differentiate.

Summary of the Program’s Assessment Plan | Generalist Practice

All students are assessed using a combination of three measures on their mastery of the nine competencies that comprise the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education.

Assessment Measure #1: Written Comprehensive Exam
Dimension(s) assessed: (knowledge, values, skills and cognitive and affective processes) All (wholistic measure)
When/where students are assessed: Beginning of final semester in program
Who assessed student competence: Exam is developed and administered faculty
Outcome Measure Benchmark (minimum score indicative of achievement) for Competencies 1-9: More than 50% of items correct for each competency assessed
Competency Benchmark (percent of students the program expects to have achieved the minimum scores, inclusive of all measures) for Competencies 1-9: 85% (or more) of students achieve 50% of items per competency
Assessment Measure #2: Oral Comprehensive Exam
Dimension(s) assessed: (knowledge, values, skills and cognitive and affective processes) All (wholistic measure)
When/where students are assessed: End of final semester in program
Who assessed student competence: Minimum of two faculty members OR one faculty member and one community member
Outcome Measure Benchmark (minimum score indicative of achievement) for Competencies 1-9: 2 out of 5 for each item mapped to competencies
Competency Benchmark (percent of students the program expects to have achieved the minimum scores, inclusive of all measures) for Competencies 1-9: 85% (or more) of students achieve a score of 2 or better on each item mapped to competency
Assessment Measure #3: Final Field Evaluation
Dimension(s) assessed: (knowledge, values, skills and cognitive and affective processes) All (wholistic measure)
When/where students are assessed: End of final semester in program
Who assessed student competence: Agency-based field instructor in consultation with faculty field instructor
Outcome Measure Benchmark (minimum score indicative of achievement) for Competencies 1-9: 3 out of 5 for each item mapped to competencies
Competency Benchmark (percent of students the program expects to have achieved the minimum scores, inclusive of all measures) for Competencies 1-9: 85% of students achieve a score of 3 or more

Assessment Data Collected during the Academic Year (2020-2021)

Competency Competency Benchmark (%) Percentage of Students Achieving Benchmark (n=61)
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 87%
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 82%
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 70%
Competency 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 88%
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 75%
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 93%
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 92%
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 79%
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 85% of students will demonstrate competence inclusive of 2 or more measures 91%