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 2022 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) Joint Committee was formed with members from each commission.
Below 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)
- CSWE staff: Tanya Smith Brice, vice president of education; Megan Fujita, executive director of accreditation; Marilyn Gentner, accreditation specialist
2022 EPAS Revision and Release
COEP and COA released the second draft of the 2022 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) in October 2021, and solicited feedback from a variety of constituents until December 17, 2021. This was the last public comment period for the 2022 EPAS. The feedback for the second draft is currently under review, and the final draft is planned for a summer 2022 release. Please see the 2022 EPAS Revision Timeline for further details.
CSWE is committed to a comprehensive and thorough review process to develop a 2022 EPAS that reflects the excellence of social work education programs. 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.
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.
2022 EPAS Documents
- 2022 EPAS Revision Timeline
- Draft 2 of the 2022 EPAS
- Draft 1 to Draft 2 Crosswalk
- Draft 1 Feedback Summary
2022 EPAS Implementation Timeline - Updated February 2022
Below is the current implementation timeline for programs, which was updated and approved by the COA at its February 2022 meeting. Please note that information related to the 2022 EPAS implementation timeline is subject to change pending approval of the final 2022 EPAS. Additionally, the 2022 EPAS is still in draft form, and 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.
- Before August 1, 2024: Programs submitting self-studies before August 1, 2024, will have the option to use the 2015 or the 2022 EPAS.
- On/After August 1, 2024: Programs submitting self-studies on or after August 1, 2024 (June 2025 agenda for reaffirmation) will use the 2022 EPAS.
- As of July 1, 2025: All accredited programs are expected to operate under the 2022 EPAS by July 1, 2025. Important Note: Programs granted initial accreditation or reaffirmed under the 2015 EPAS after July 1, 2024, will have 1 year from their initial accreditation/reaffirmation date to transition to the 2022 EPAS.
- On/before December 31, 2022: All programs that have submitted Draft Benchmark 1 documents on or before December 31, 2022, will operate under the 2015 EPAS for the duration of the candidacy process.
- On/After January 1, 2023: Programs submitting Draft Benchmark 1 documents on or after January 1, 2023, will use the 2022 EPAS for the duration of the candidacy process.
- After July 1, 2024: Programs granted initial accreditation under the 2015 EPAS after July 1, 2024, will have 1 year from their initial accreditation date to transition to the 2022 EPAS.
Substantive Change Proposals
- Before August 1, 2024: Programs submitting substantive changes proposals before August 1, 2024, will have an option to use the 2015 or the 2022 EPAS.
- On/After August 1, 2024: Programs submitting substantive change proposals on or after August 1, 2024, will use the 2022 EPAS.
2022 EPAS Training and Resources
Additional information, resources, training opportunities, and the 2022 EPAS will be made available and shared directly with programs following the approval of the 2022 EPAS.