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Daemen's Master of Social Work program earns national accreditation

STAFF REPORTS

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Daemen College's Master of Social Work Program, which is the only MSW degree offered at a private institution in the Buffalo Niagara region, has earned accreditation from the prestigious Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting agency in the field of social work.
                
The initial accreditation follows a rigorous three-year self-evaluation process required for a new MSW program to ensure it is appropriately preparing students for professional social work practice. Daemen is one of only 260 colleges and universities nationwide with an accredited MSW program.

Launched in 2014, Daemen's MSW degree evolved out of the college's well-established undergraduate program that has existed for four decades. The MSW program is designed for students who are looking to begin their education in the field or for individuals seeking training to advance their professional skills.

"This national accreditation is a milestone for our master of social work program and affirms that our degree upholds the highest standards of excellence and academic rigor," said Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "I commend our talented faculty for their commitment to providing our students a rich educational experience and opportunities to build advanced skills needed as social work professionals."

CSWE accredited programs must demonstrate their curriculum meets core social work competencies related to ethical and professional behavior, research, and policy advocacy. Program graduates are expected to have the skills and abilities to effectively interact with members of diverse populations and to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate their work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

"Our faculty are skilled scholar-practitioners who bring considerable real-world experience into the classroom, which enriches the learning opportunities for our students and helps them to connect to professional networks and other resources that give them an advantage as they engage in the community," said Dr. Diane Bessel, MSW program director and assistant professor, who noted Daemen's program is rather unique among small colleges.
                
Daemen's program places a special emphasis on advanced clinical practice in the high-demand practice area of children and families, including a full year of instruction related to the dynamics and skills needed to work with families, and training in assessment, clinical diagnosis, and intervention with children, adolescents, and adults. The college's program also prepares students for leadership roles in the social work profession through training on child and family policy and administrative functions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016-26, much faster than the average for all averages.

CSWE represents social work education across the United States, with 800 accredited bachelor's and master's degree social work programs offered at colleges and universities nationwide. CSWE's Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the U.S.