If you are thinking about pursuing a bachelor of social work, there are a few important things you should know, about program accreditation and its impact on professional licensing.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) awards accreditation only to programs that meet specific standards. As of June 2015, the CSWE has accredited 506 baccalaureate social work programs, including the Social Work Program at Limestone College, which has been accredited by the CSWE since 1999.
Graduating with a bachelor of social work from an accredited institution can have significant implications on practicing social work. For example, certain memberships offered by the National Association of Social Workers including the associate level membership, are only available to graduates of accredited programs. More importantly, social work licensing laws in most states, including South Carolina, require graduation from a CSWE-accredited program.
In South Carolina, there are four types of social work licenses, which are awarded based on level of education and experience. Only the students who have completed a bachelor degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program are eligible for the Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW). As most social worker positions require licensure, not being licensed can greatly reduce the chances of being hired. It is thus critical for students to consider program accreditation when choosing a school.
Additional information on social work licensing requirements for South Carolina can be found here.