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2022 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards

CSWE’s Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) is charged with preparing, at periodic intervals not to exceed 7 years, a statement of social work curriculum policy to encourage excellence in educational programs and to be used by the Commission on Accreditation (COA) in formulating and revising accreditation standards. The educational policy and the accreditation standards are conceptually linked to each other, so a joint Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) 2022 Committee was formed with members from each commission.

These are the current Joint Committee members:

  • COEP representatives: Shirley Gatenio-Gabel, chair (Fordham University); Antoinette Farmer (Rutgers University); Brian Anderson (Jackson State University); Cynthia Franklin (University of Texas at Austin) Melissa Reitmeier, chair, Council on Field Education (University of South Carolina)
  • COA representatives: Deana Morrow, chair (West Virginia University); Michele Hanna (University of Denver); Shelly Wiechelt (University of Maryland Baltimore) Thomas Walsh (Boston College); Francis Origanti (Sacred Heart University)
  • Commission on Research representative (advisory): Shari Miller (State University of New York at Stony Brook)
  • CSWE staff: Tanya Smith Brice, vice president of education; Megan Fujita, executive director of accreditation; Marilyn Gentner, accreditation specialist

Second Draft of the 2022 EPAS 

Draft-2-thumbnail.jpgCOEP and COA are pleased to announce the second draft of the 2022 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). CSWE now invites feedback to inform the final draft. The last public comment period for the 2022 EPAS ends December 17, 2021.

The first draft was released in spring 2021. In addition to the feedback survey, COEP and COA presented on the draft and solicited feedback in several virtual forums. Of those who responded to this survey and attended the feedback session, there is overwhelming support for the proposed changes in this first draft.  Results of the feedback on the first draft are available here

In addition to feedback solicited from CSWE constituents, the Joint Committee reviewed educational policies and accreditation standards from other programmatic accreditors, as well as Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognition standards, to inform Draft 2. CSWE’s COA is currently recognized by CHEA to accredit baccalaureate and master’s social work degree programs in the United States and its territories.

Providing feedback at this stage is imperative to inform the final draft of the 2022 EPAS. The Joint Committee will solicit feedback from a variety of constituents. CSWE is committed to a comprehensive and thorough review process to develop a 2022 EPAS that reflects the excellence of social work education programs. Interested parties can submit feedback on the second draft of the 2022 EPAS online by December 17, 2021. 

2022 EPAS Documents

2022 EPAS Implementation Timeline and Information

Programs on the June 2025 agenda for reaffirmation (self-study submission August 1, 2024) or later will use the 2022 EPAS to prepare their self-studies. Programs submitting self-studies prior to this date will have an option to use the 2015 or the 2022 EPAS. Programs submitting substantive change reports August 1, 2022, or later will use the 2022 EPAS. Programs applying for candidacy July 1, 2022, or later will use the 2022 EPAS for their benchmark documents.

All programs are expected to operate under the 2022 EPAS by July 1, 2025. Programs granted initial accreditation or reaffirmed under the 2015 EPAS after July 1, 2024, will have 1 year from their initial accreditation date or reaffirmation date to transition to the 2022 EPAS.

Please note, information related to the 2022 EPAS implementation timeline is subject to change, pending approval of the final 2022 EPAS. 

The 2022 EPAS is still in draft form. Programs are encouraged to wait until the final version of the 2022 EPAS is published before making major changes to align with any draft standards, which are subject to change.

Additional information, resources, training opportunities, and the 2022 EPAS will be made available and shared directly with programs once the 2022 EPAS is approved.