MSW program at Louisiana College receives accreditation

By Dr. Elizabeth Clarke

Pineville, LA (LC News) – Louisiana College’s Master of Social Work program has received accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

LC’s MSW program, one of the newer degrees at the college has been working through the three to four-year process of accreditation, which includes writing reports, site visits, monitoring and building the program to ensure compliance with standards set by the CSWE, said Sheri Duffy, MSW program director. The first MSW cohort of students began in January 2018.

“This is tremendous for our program, school, and community,” Duffy said. “It allows us to continue to train students who will complete the master’s degree in social work and will go on to be licensed professionals serving in our community, region, state and beyond.”

The MSW program, like other new programs, faced challenges during COVID-19, but it is growing and filling a unique need in the community, Duffy said.

“The purpose of the College’s MSW program from its inception has been to apply the Heart of Christ to the Hurt of Humanity,” said President Rick Brewer. “I am excited that the program has already been recognized with accreditation for its level of academic rigor and achieving best practice standards.”

Brewer said this accreditation also confirms the distinctively unique Healthcare Certificate component embedded in LC’s MSW program.

“Receiving accreditation from CSWE strengthens our goal to ensure that our graduates are prepared to make a positive difference in the lives of the people and communities in which they serve,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Cheryl Clark. “I am extremely proud of the faculty, staff and students who made this moment possible, and they are to be commended for this outstanding accomplishment.”

The program was the grateful recipient of a Healthcare Occupations Program Grant from the Rapides Foundation.

“Access to quality healthcare services is important to reduce health disparities and improve health status,” said Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. “Because availability of qualified healthcare professionals is often cited as one of the main barriers limiting care, the Foundation developed its Healthcare Occupations Program Grant to address the supply and demand gap in the healthcare workforce by building the capacity of regional postsecondary institutions to meet healthcare workforce needs. The Foundation’s grant to Louisiana College to develop its new Master of Social Work degree will create a pipeline of behavioral health professionals, which is a great need in all the communities we serve.”