The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has announced that its Master of Social Work (MSW) Program has been granted full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Board on Accreditation.
Following a rigorous five-year exercise of stakeholder analysis to determine the focus of the program, hiring of faculty, outcomes assessment, internal and external review, the program has met or exceeded the standards established by the accrediting agency.
“We are immensely gratified to have received accreditation from CSWE as this reaffirms the high standards and quality of education offered by our Master of Social Work Program,” expressed UVI President, Dr. David Hall. “So many individuals, including members of the VI Legislature, and our incredibly gifted and committed faculty and administrators, were instrumental in conceiving the program, formalizing the program, implementing the program, and ensuring its success. Our collective success acknowledges that we have created a dynamic learning environment that prepares future social workers to make a positive impact on individuals and families across our diverse communities,” President Hall said.
“This significant milestone reflects the commitment not only of the MSW program, but also the University, to excellence, innovative curriculum, and dedication to preparing socially conscious practitioners who are eminently qualified and expertly equipped to address the unique needs of communities, particularly within the Caribbean region,” said Dr. Kimarie Engerman, Dean of UVI’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Dean Engerman recognized former U.S. Virgin Islands Senator Kurt Vialet for his vision, and thanked UVI President Dr. David Hall and University Provost Dr. Camille McKayle for ensuring the program had the appropriate resources and funding to thrive. She also recognized many of the UVI faculty members, staff and partners who contributed to the success of the program including, Dr. Elizabeth Jaeger, Dr. Aracelis Francis, Dr. Needha Boutte-Queen, Dr. Tanya Smith Brice, Dr. Paula Tracey, Dr. Anna Clarke, Dr. Arlene Garcia, Dr. Andre Stevenson, Dr. Gail-Ann Guy, Dr. Enchanté Franklin, Dr. Yvonne Woods, Dr. Carolyn Allen, Migdalia Roach and Debbie Joseph.
The MSW Program at UVI is designed to nurture Advanced Generalist social work practitioners with a comprehensive understanding of trauma-informed practices from a Caribbean cultural perspective. Emphasizing a deep-rooted commitment to serving populations affected by intergenerational trauma and adverse childhood experiences resulting from natural disasters in the region, the program equips students with the knowledge and skills to effect meaningful change.
By focusing on social institutions, including child welfare, and catering to the unique needs of the Caribbean diaspora, UVI’s MSW Program offers students a specialized path to work with children, youth, and families in various social service settings. The program encourages students to build problem-solving skills and gain practical experience through immersive fieldwork opportunities.
While the MSW Program does not directly lead to licensing, it seeks to equip graduates with the academic foundation required for licensure throughout the United States and abroad. Most states mandate a Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program for social work licensure.
UVI offers its MSW program on both the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and the Orville E. Kean Campus on St. Thomas, utilizing a blend of video conferencing and face-to-face learning. This flexible approach ensures accessibility and convenience for students pursuing the degree. The program has already graduated seven students, and one Class of 2022 graduate, Lashonette Schang, recently passed the ASWB Advanced Generalist Exam for licensure in the VI territory.
The mission of CSWE is to advance excellence and innovation in social work education and research by providing leadership, ensuring quality in teaching and learning, and strengthening the capacity of our member institutions.
CSWE’s Board of Accreditation is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation to confer accreditation status to baccalaureate and master’s social work degree programs in the United States and its territories.
For more information about the MSW program, visit https://www.uvi.edu/academics/lib-arts-and-sciences/programs/master-of-social-work/
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