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From its inception, CSWE has worked with a wide variety of social work organizations, federal government agencies, nongovernmental bodies, and other entities that have sought to improve social work education.

Initially, an agreement between the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and CSWE placed NASW representatives on CSWE's governance entities and involved regular dues payments to CSWE. Although NASW elected to sever its formal relationship with CSWE in 1971, its ties to CSWE were strong enough for CSWE to seriously consider a move to NASW's new building in Washington, DC, in 1990 (Beless, 1989). CSWE and NASW continue to work together on issues of mutual interest such as reducing the burden of educational debt on those who earn social work degrees.

In the years since the founding of CSWE, a number of associations focused on social work education have emerged. The National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD) as well as the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work have made important contributions to CSWE initiatives. The Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) was established in 1975 to provide a more intense focus on baccalaureate-level social work education that its founders felt was insufficiently addressed by CSWE (Stuart, Leighninger, & Donahoe, 1993). NADD and BPD now have staff members located in the CSWE office and partner with CSWE on social work initatives. BPD also works with CSWE to produce its scholarly Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.