NEIU’s Master of Social Work has achieved full accreditation in its program


Luísa Soares

Social work mural located in front of 3077 in Lech Walesa Hall |

Luísa Soares, Writer

The Council on Accreditation and the Council on Social Work Education granted initial accreditation to Northeastern Illinois University’s (NEIU) Master of Social Work (MSW) program on March 11. The program, which started in fall of 2016, has had 32 students graduate in its first class last May and is expected to have 50 more graduate in the same period of this year.

Achieving this means that graduates in the MSW program are eligible to obtain licensure from the State of Illinois once the program meets the standards proposed by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. During the four years that NEIU was preparing to award it, six faculty members were hired, and the curriculum, syllabus and field components, were designed and updated.

“We have been working on that for the last years, so it’s a great moment for us because we just got our initial accreditation, which means that we are recognized for four years, so we are very excited,” the Director of the MSW program and associate professor Troy Harden said.

According to the Department of Social Work Chair, Jade Stanley, the social work area is growing and it is necessary to study it. Stanley recalled that when she first came to NEIU in 1993 there were about 43 undergraduates. Today, the program has almost 420 students and the MSW has achieved about 100 during its first three years. “Most of them were going to graduate schools after that, so we decided that we should find a way to operate this Master here, which we did,” Stanley said.

She also stated that, in the beginning, students were a little nervous about applying for the program because it wasn’t accredited and the faculty couldn’t guarantee that it would be. “Today, we are very thankful for them, who were willing to take a chance and had confidence that everything was going to work out. I believe that now, with our new achievement, we will attract even more interests because people are assured that they are getting the most updated knowledge, skills, and techniques,” Stanley said.

In order to celebrate the initial accreditation and the work that everybody has done, MSW department is celebrating with “food, fun and games” on May 10th at LaBagh Woods, from 3 – 7 p.m. and is open to the NEIU community.

The MSW may be completed full or part-time, prepares social work practitioners to serve vulnerable populations and contribute to the functioning and well-being of underserved communities. This degree can lead to careers in areas such as mental health and substance abuse, medical and public health, child, family, and school social work and social work with rural and aging populations. If you are interested in the program or have any questions, contact the social work department at (773) 442-4760.