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Source: Janice Dinkel, 785-532-4980, dinkel@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415, bbohn@k-state.edu

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

K-STATE'S SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM RECEIVES CONTINUING ACCREDITATION FROM COUNCIL ON SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION

MANHATTAN -- A key accrediting agency for social work education in the U.S. has approved continuing accreditation for Kansas State University's social work program.

The accreditation is from the Council on Social Work Education. K-State's program in social work, offered through the department of sociology, anthropology and social work, has been continuously accredited by the council since 1974.

"We've always known that we have a great program and that we send highly qualified social workers out into communities all across Kansas, but it is also good to have this acknowledged from the people who look at hundreds of programs each year," said Janice Dinkel, K-State associate professor and social work program coordinator. "Also noteworthy is that we are reaccredited until February 2018 without having to write an interim report, which, in the past, has almost been standard."

The Council on Social Work Education is a nonprofit national association representing more than 3,000 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, the organization is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the U.S.

"Our accreditation represents an enormous amount of work on the part of the faculty and our Community Advisory Committee. We have spent the last three years preparing the documents and getting ready for the site visit, which occurred in September 2009," Dinkel said. "It is wonderful to have this behind us with the recognition from our accrediting body that we continue to do an excellent job providing social work education at K-State."

Dinkel credits the excellence of K-State social work students and faculty in helping the program retain its accreditation.

"According to figures from K-State's career and employment services, our graduates have the highest employment rate of all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences with 10 or more recent graduates reporting their job status," she said. "From 2004 to 2008, social work students in the Introduction to Social Work course volunteered at community agencies for a total of 632 hours and an estimated economic impact of $318,255; in that same period, social work students in their field practicums completed 73,030 hours in social work agencies across the state for an estimated economic impact of $1,395,740."

K-State social work faculty also practice what they teach, Dinkel said.

"Our faculty members include two Kansas state social workers of the year, and the 2009 K-State Inspire by Example award went to a K-State social work faculty member for his work with our social work students' community projects and with the American Red Cross," she said.

Dinkel said social workers help people deal with their relationships with others; their personal, family and community problems; and with growing and developing by learning to cope with or shape the social and environmental forces affecting daily lives.