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August 25, 2015

Students studyingThe University of Northern Iowa's counseling and social work programs have been reaccredited by separate councils for eight years, which is the maximum amount of time awarded to nationally accredited programs.

Counseling Programs
Two graduate counseling programs in the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS) - school counseling and clinical mental health counseling - were recently reaccredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Both programs have been accredited by CACREP since 1990, and the clinical mental health counseling program was the first accredited program in the nation.

"Being a CACREP program signifies national quality and credibility in the eyes of national, regional and state licensure and certification boards," said Roberto Swazo, associate professor, division chair and CACREP liaison.

The school's self-study process took two years. The council looked at more than 300 standards that needed to be addressed. These standards, which included a newly adopted focus on assessing and documenting student learning outcomes, will help UNI counseling students understand not only what they are learning, but also why.

Social Work Programs
SAHS undergraduate and graduate social work programs – the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Master of Social Work - were reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Reaccreditation comes after the completion of a lengthy self-study by program faculty and a site visit by members of the commission's accrediting team. The undergraduate program was accredited in 1975, and the graduate program was accredited in 2002.

"Aside from completing the self-studies, this accreditation required fundamental changes to our programs as we moved from content-driven to outcome-based curricula," said Cindy Juby, department head and associate professor of social work.

UNI's Department of Social Work offers a student-centered learning community where students should expect to be challenged and stimulated as they develop the knowledge needed to become an effective agent for social change. Curriculum is centered around a trauma-informed perspective. Recognizing and understanding the significant roles that psychological trauma and human rights violations play in a range of issues provides students with a unique advantage as they assist individuals and work to improve service delivery systems.

For more information about these programs, visit the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences website.