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Social Work Department Receives Re-Accreditation

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The Social Work Program at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh has received re-accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting body for all social work programs in the United States.

This accreditation has been granted for an eight-year period that began last month and will continue until February 2013. The program was first accredited in 2001.

Dr. Lynne Soine, associate professor and chair of the social work department, along with the entire faculty and staff of the department worked on the re-accreditation process.

The involvement and support of the executives and staff of the regional human service agencies were also instrumental in the re-accreditation.

Soine is optimistic about the opportunities that the re-accreditation will provide for current students in the social work program.

"This re-accreditation proves that our program provides high quality preparation for our students," said Soine. "Unlike those from unaccredited schools, our students will be able to get their master's in social work in one year instead of two."

Another benefit of the program's re-accreditation is that its students are offered membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

This is the largest and most recognized membership organization of professional social workers in the world.

The NASW seeks to promote, protect and develop the practice of social work and social workers.

According to Soine, the accrediting body is requiring changes in the curriculum of social work programs throughout the country to emphasize more international content.

"In that aspect, we were already ahead of the game," she said. "Our program has always encompassed international coursework and comparative social policy."

Soine believes the re-accreditation will affect more than just the students and faculty in the program.

"When our students serve during internships, their supervisors are guaranteed that our students are competent in their field," she said.

Dr. Robert Golden, SUNY Plattsburgh provost and vice president for academic affairs, congratulated the social work department.

"The re-accreditation without conditions of the social work program is a tribute to the strength of the faculty and the quality of the department's leadership," said Golden.  "I want to thank the department for the hard work they put into being reaccredited. Social work is another example of the high quality education Plattsburgh offers to students."

The social work program has been part of the SUNY Plattsburgh curriculum since 1994. Since then, 221 students have graduated with an undergraduate degree in social work.
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