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BPD Update Online, Spring 2001
BPD Response to EPAS II (Continued)

From the BPD-PACD (Program Administration and Curriculum Development) Subcommittee

To: Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors
BPD Executive Committee

Re: CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards
Response to draft Two Revision (January 16, 2001)

Date: March 21, 2001

From: BPD-PACD (Program Administration and Curriculum Development) Subcommittee
Esther Langston, Chair
EPAS Review Project
Paul Dovyak, University of Rio Grande, (Ohio)
Roy Rodenhiser, Rochester Institute of Technology (New York)


On January 16, 2001, draft two of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards became available for public comment. On the preceding December 4, 2000, BPD forwarded to CSWE a significant summary document, representing the solicited responses from various BSW constituents. The content of that document, which serves as a foundation for the recommend-ations forwarded by the BPD leadership, remains a valid resource for a consecutive review of each revision draft.

In the interim between Draft One and Draft Two Revision, the BPD-EPAS Review Project continued to study the revisions and survey program members. Based on previous stated concerns and recognizing revisions to the draft, the following review suggests that concerns for baccalaureate programs may have become more focused. This analysis will then review progress and /or concern about the returning themes: prescriptive issues around resources and credentials, substantive issues around broad and specific curriculum development and content, and the general revision process.

Prescriptive Issues

Revision relative to resources appears to have yielded:

1. Will the word "usually" be adequate in restoring minimum 25% release time for both program director and field coordinator? Although "usually" does restore an expectation of "sufficient assigned time", it remains argumentative to suggest that a program could rationalize less than 25% release time to adequately provide educational and administrative leadership to the program.

2. Will the word "usually" be adequate in defining a student:faculty ratio of 25:1? Self-study/Site visitor experience may have discovered that the attention afforded an entering first year student may be very different than that afforded a student entering the professional sequence. Programs benefit from having a published standard but will now also have to rationalize any variance from the standard.

3. Will the word "sufficient" be adequate in describing support staff, physical space and technology support requirements? The first survey was nearly unanimous in agreeing that being specific about some minimum requirements protects program resources. Even if a majority think they can rationalize to their university administration why they need certain support without the specificity, it does not seem prudent to require a rationale for what has emerged as a standard from the review of programs, particularly small programs.

Much remains unspoken about the issues of credentials.

1. If a premise of a faculty doctoral ratio was described as "preferred" or "desirable" - AND - it was agreed that advanced education was an outcome deserving of "specific and continuous effort"- THEN-could we agree in the spirit of -MINIMUM-requirements that the MSW would be satisfactory preparation for baccalaureate programs? It remains unclear why, at this point in time, other strategies for encouraging doctoral education is not "SUFFICIENT". The marketplace and past practice of evaluating the administration of programs has not elevated the point that doctoral preparation is necessary for the program administration. Baccalaureate programs should not be put in the position of devaluing doctoral education in order to make the case that an MSW is "sufficient".

2. The doctorate requirement for the BSW director was deleted, but this standard issue was shifted to a total faculty ratio (save for grandparenting). Accreditation standards should return to recognizing the accomplishment of 450 accredited baccalaureate programs under current staffing requirements. If an agenda of research production or scholarly activity is competing with practice and community service, then a debate about this continuum should be restored as an outcome expectation rather than an
instrumental objective.

3. Post MSW practice experience was generally restored but remains unnecessary for graduate "advanced" practice coursework. This revision apparently acknowledges the role of practice experience in supporting a curriculum that has a significant field component and practice methodology in a professional endeavor. BSW faculty appear to challenge the notion that this requirement should only apply to generalist preparation. Faculty who teach "advanced" practice coursework and have postMSW practice experience will reflect the integrity of a continuum of social work practice.

Substantive Issues

Relative to curriculum issues:

1. Culture was adopted as preferred to anthropology. It remains unclear how or why anthropology was elevated as a "primary" discipline, but nonetheless, its removal is noted.

2. 12 student outcomes were adopted as program objectives. However the 36 knowledge and skill outcomes remain and were simply "infused" in content areas. It remains unclear if the specificity of 36 outcomes was meant to reflect a refinement of the outcome in curriculum content areas, perhaps for the purposes of evaluation of student competencies in sub-areas, but programs now have a less restrictive listing of "KSAV" outcomes.

3. The revision retreats from specificity about populations-at-risk, and nondiscrimination. Language continues to be contradictory for our profession that aims to "alleviate oppression and other forms of social injustice" while we "practice without discrimination". If legal opinion suggests that our values our indefensible in the context of our curriculum, how do we know where can we challenge injustice with confidence. Retreating to a strategy of persuasion alone is particularly limiting and avoids the validity of academics as political.

Revision Process

Hard work remains to produce this symphony. The profession of social work is challenged by its own mission, "promoting human well-being by strengthening opportunities, resources and capacities of people in their environments and by creating policies and services to correct conditions that limit human rights and the quality of life". In this revision process and the search for the language of our mission we have revealed issues that go beyond accreditation standards.

1. Our language reveals that the continuum is stagnant. In the market share of helping professions, what can we do to increase the total number of practicing social workers?

2. We are losing the moral high ground of nondiscrimination. Beyond our program/university environments can we demonstrate intolerance for injustice? Have we accepted a glass ceiling for racism and sexism and a sand floor for sexual orientation? Perhaps a new Brown v. Board of Education should appear as a CSWE v. State College.

3. There are schisms within our collegial effort. If the current standards and statements of interpretive guidelines have been found to be too restrictive, the current revisions reflect the need to pursue consensus through conviction rather than mediation. When all commentary is not available, members who are participating in this grand endeavor of revision are absent the collective wisdom of accreditation implementation. The profession can tolerate the tension of public "dialogue" rather than fearing the "debate".


1. September, 2000 - EPAS draft available for public comment
2. BPD-PACD list serve yields 50+ emails.
3. BPD in Destin, FL - October 17-22, 2000 yields 10 focused sessions.
4. October 25, 2000 - BPD President Mit Joyner calls for membership comment
5. November 16, 2000 - BPD EPAS Survey 01 mailed to 465 BSW programs
6. December 4, 2000 - BPD initial summary response to CSWE.
7. Nov. 22-Dec. 27, 2000 - BPD members respond to Survey 01.
8. March 7-11, 2001 - BPD attends CSWE-APM, Dallas
March 9 - COEP/COA joint session - 16 focus groups (data pending)
March 10 - CSWE Membership Meeting - EPAS report
-BPD EPAS Summary Presentation (85 in attendance
9. Feb. 28-March 15, 2001 - BPD members respond to Survey 02
10. March 25, 2001 - BPD Second Summary Response to CSWE

BPD Response Recommendations: December 1, 2000 vs EPAS Draft Two Revision

1. BPD strongly recommends a dialog to avoid a schism between graduate and baccalaureate programs. Current standards have strengthened baccalaureate education and should not be tampered with, but built upon.
-Communication remains telegraphic. BSW and MSW faculty are on both the COA and COEP, but the process of advocacy vs. mediation is unclear.
-The second draft did respond significantly to comment in some areas.
-The document remains absent in providing rationale for any changes or lack of change.
-A new "St. Louis Group" of Research I Schools has found some accredited baccalaureate social work programs "an embarrassment to social work education".

2. CSWE should conduct a study to determine the feasibility and the practicality of requiring program directors to have a doctorate.

-There is no feasibility study pending or promised.
-The BSW director doctorate was REJECTED.

3. Minimum 25% release time for program directors and field coordinators, and summer coverage should be restored.

-25% release time is RESTORED as "usually"
-There is no mention of summer compensation.

4. Populations as risk should be reinstated.

-No response.
-There is a proposal to replace "mandatory nondiscrimination policy" with "specific, continuous nondiscrimination efforts".

5. The strength's perspective must be included.

-No mention of strength's perspective
-BUT a solution focus seems evident.

6. Generalist should be recognized as the foundation for social work education. Graduate programs must maintain advanced standing for eligible baccalaureate graduates.

-BSW is generalist foundation. MSW has foundation but it is not specified as generalist.
-Reviewed by avoidance. "Programs that do not grant advanced standing must describe how redundancy is eliminated and curricular coherence is achieved."

7. Class ratio should be set at 25-1 student/faculty.

-RESTORED as "usually" 1:25 ratio for BSW and 1:12 ratio for MSW.
-Continues however part-time and adjunct faculty citation.

8. The doctorate requirement should be eliminated in the proposed draft.

-Continues 50% BSW doctorate staffing, even with two person staff.
-MSW program faculty who teach "advanced practice" are EXEMPT from MSWplus2years practice requirement.
-Significantly restores MSW as a teaching credential, but 50% doctorate standard remains an arbitrary threat. Graduate/joint programs are already likely to be in compliance (45%MSW vs 52%PhD faculty average) while BSW programs are ripe to be found deficient (58%MSW vs 38%PhD faculty average).

9. Resources specificity should be retained.

-NO SPECIFICITY; "sufficient" continues.
-ADDS professional advising by faculty, staff or both.

10. A social work curriculum with 12 outcomes, requiring human biology and deleting anthropology be established.

-Restates student outcomes as program objectives.
-Infuses nearly all 36 outcomes in content areas.
-Human biology remains NOT specified.
-Anthropology was DELETED, apparently replaced by CULTURE.

BPD-EPAS Survey 01-November2000-SUMMARY-12Feb01
*210 responses received 22Nov-27Dec2000 representing 157 programs from 39 states

1. 97% agree that standards should require a minimum specific release time for the director.
2. 76% agree the requirement of a doctorate for the BSW director is unnecessary.
3. 96% agree that faculty student ratios are helpful.
4. 77% disagree that the first revision strengthens the BSW/MSW continuum.
5. 96% agree that being "specific" about some minimum requirements protect program resources.
6. 80% disagree that the revised standards strengthen the "generalist" perspective in social work.
7. A mixed response found the combination of CPS and ES produced a better document.
8. 79% disagree that the rationale for changes in the EPAS is adequate
9. 68% agree that they will have adequate time to review/comment on EPAS before the June board vote.
10. 84% disagree that the revised EPAS clarifies the relationship between BSW and MSW education.
11. 83% agree that the first year of MSW education should be "foundation" and "generalist".
12. A mixed response found the doctorate in social work equivalent to a doctorate in a related field.
13. 93% disagree that faculty without practice experience can adequately teach practice or coordinate fieldwork.
14. 98% agree that BSW programs should offer a generalist curriculum.
15. 63% disagree that standards should encourage field concentrations beyond generalist preparation in BSW programs.
16. 61% agree that current advanced standing practices are adequate in reducing redundancy for BSW graduates pursuing the MSW.
17. 63% agree that standards should mandate specific content on oppressed groups.
18. 85% disagree that the revised standards will avoid the creation of interpretive guidelines.
19. 69% disagree that the previous standards needed a major revision.
20. 91% agree that all revisions should be presented with a public rationale.

BPD-EPAS Survey 02-February, 2001- SUMMARY-20Mar01
*68 responses received 28Feb-15Mar 2001 representing 59 programs from 24 states.

1. 64% agree that the second draft revision responded to concerns and/or feedback.
2. 82% agree that they have a good understanding of the changes in accreditation standards.
3. 79% agree that the definitions of social work in the preamble reflect greater clarity.
4. 67% agree the revised standards provide more flexibility.
5. 80% disagree that requiring a majority of FTE faculty with doctorates is a practical standard.
6. A mixed response to the revised standards clearly embrace and further support the "generalist" perspective.
7. 94% agree again that it is important to keep post-MSW practice experience as a requirement for teaching in the field or practice sequences.
8. 74% agree that collaboration between graduate school and baccalaureate school faculty is good.
9. 67% would not support the standards in their current second revision.
10. 66% disagree again that the second revision further clarifies the relationship between BSW and MSW education.
11. A mixed response to whether ES 2.0.1 means that BSW foundation and MSW foundation are equivalent.
12. 61% disagree that the new standards will increase BSW enrollment in advanced standing programs.
13. 81% agree again that a majority FTE faculty doctoral requirement is disproportionately high cost to small programs.
14. 75% agree that the proposed revision does not advance the BSW/MSW continuum.
15. 88% agree again that revisions should have a published rationale.
16. 62% disagree that their program can achieve a majority FTE doctoral faculty
17. 91% agree that all programs should provide content on gay and lesbian persons.
18. 79% agree with extending the comment period after APM-Dallas.
19. 87% agree the BPD leadership has adequately lobbied for BSW issues in EPAS revision.
20. 69% agree there is poor linkage between BSW and MSW education.

Continued on the next page...

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