ASU Forensic Science, Social Work programs earn accreditation
Albany State University's bachelor Forensic Science program, the only one of its kind in the Southeastern United States, has been accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences for five years. Also, the College of Arts and Humanities has announced that the Baccalaureate Program in Social Work has been granted reaccreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The council’s Commission on Accreditation gave the program an eight-year approval rating, the highest that can be awarded.
President Everette J. Freeman described the news of the accreditations as part of ASU’s demonstrated ability to meet broadly accepted higher education standards of quality. “This fosters public confidence in our institution’s ability to fulfill its stated mission and goals, and enhances our institution’s credibility with its peers,” he said.
The Dean of the College of Sciences and Health Professions, Dr. Joyce Johnson, responding to the affirmation letter for from the Forensic Education Program Accreditation Commission, said, “It just validates the work that our faculty in the Forensic Science program are doing.”
The program is one of 12 across the nation to be granted full accreditation. “The thing that makes this especially heartening and gratifying is the fact that our program was accredited on its first application,” said Dr. Charles Ochie, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science. “We have forensic science resources like no other institution in the state. I am proud to say that we are a national leader in forensic education.”
Dr. Leroy Bynum, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said he was very excited about the re-affirmation of the Social Works program, pointing to the program’s “outstanding” curriculum with goals linked to practical objectives, excellent use of the community as a learning laboratory, high quality faculty and staff and the students’ respect for diversity. “We could not be happier after being granted a full eight-year accreditation cycle,” he said.
The program was initially granted accreditation by the CSWE in February 2003, retroactive to the graduating class of 1999, according to Dr. Spearman, Director of the Social Work program. She said the reaffirmation is very meaningful because “it is the only accredited undergraduate social work program” in Southwest Georgia.
She said the program, with an enrollment of more than 150, has graduated an increasing number of students since its initial accreditation. Many of the BSW students from ASU go on to graduate school, usually for a Master’s in Social Work. She said that those students who seek employment with only the baccalaureate degree in social work are very successful in obtaining work in the field of human services.
“The BSW program at ASU provides a ‘hands-on’ education that prepares students for graduate school or immediate employment with diverse populations encountering a variety of social problems and challenges,” Dr. Spearman said. “The program works with the Department of Family and Children Services and other organizations through internships to help graduates more easily make the transition to the professional world.”
“The support from President Freeman, Dr. Ellis Sykes, Dr. Leroy Bynum, Dr. Laverne McLaughlin, the community partnerships and the faculty was indeed paramount during this reaffirmation process,” said Dr. Joshua Murfree, Jr., Chair of the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work. “Now we will work towards establishing a Master’s of Social Work program in Rural Clinical Social Work by Fall 2008.”