Professional Licensure for Social Work
Accreditation and Licensing Notifications
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 668.43(c) requires us to notify you about our accreditation status and licensure requirements that pertain to the UCCS MSW program. Specifically, we are required to inform you if the education we are providing will meet the educational requirements for licensure in the state where you are located and to assist you in finding where to get more information.
The BSW and MSW programs at UCCS are currently in the accreditation process through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the sole accrediting body for social work programs in the United States. CSWE accreditation begins with a request for candidacy and is then followed by a three-benchmark process, creating a process through which it typically takes three years to earn initial accreditation.
The UCCS social work programs have achieved candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation. Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. A program that has attained Candidacy has demonstrated a commitment to meeting the compliance standards set by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, but has not yet demonstrated full compliance.
Students who enter programs that attain Candidacy in or before the academic year in which they begin their program of study will be retroactively recognized as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program once the program attains Initial Accreditation. Candidacy is typically a three-year process and attaining Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will eventually attain Initial Accreditation. Candidacy applies to all program sites and program delivery methods of an accredited program. Accreditation provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.
Given that social work licensure is typically required to practice as social worker, particularly at the MSW level, it is important that students know the licensing requirements in the state or location in which they intend to practice. The requirements for licensure are determined by the social work board of the state in question, and they vary by state. Because of variability in state regulations, and due to the fact that we have not yet completed CSWE’s accreditation process, UCCS cannot guarantee that our BSW and MSW programs will fulfill licensure requirements in students’ desired locations of practice. This webpage is dedicated to ensuring that current and potential BSW and MSW students can easily access information about licensure requirements in various locations.
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is the association of boards that regulates social work and serves as an additional resource for students who have questions about licensing. The ASWB features an excellent website where you can compare Social Work Licensure Requirement for all of the jurisdictions in the United States, the US protectorates, and in Canada.
Licensure in Colorado
At the current time, students who graduate from the UCCS MSW program prior to its achieving accreditation status will not be eligible for social work licensure in Colorado. However, should the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA) grant accreditation in February 2023, graduates of the UCCS MSW program will receive full benefits of graduating from a CSWE accredited social work program at that time.
There is no Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)-level licensing in the state of Colorado. A BSW from a CSWE-accredited program qualifies social workers to practice in some settings without a license. The UCCS BSW program is not yet accredited but is moving toward accreditation, as disclosed and described above.
Please review the licensure requirements on the Colorado State Board of Social Work Examiners’ webpage. The Colorado National Association of Social Workers also has excellent information on their webpage. You may contact the Colorado State Board of Social Work Examiners with questions directly at (303) 894-7800 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licensure Outside of Colorado
Most state boards list graduation from a CSWE-accredited program as a requirement for licensing. For this reason, in many states, as in Colorado, students who graduate from the UCCS BSW or MSW programs prior to the programs’ achievement of accreditation status are likely to be ineligible for social work licensure until and unless the respective programs become accredited. To learn about the specific licensure requirements in your desired state or location of practice, please review the webpage of the appropriate regulatory body (linked below), and contact the appropriate board by telephone or email with specific questions (contact information provided below). BSW and MSW students alike are advised to inquire about policies in their state of interest regarding licensure for graduates of programs that are in the CSWE accreditation process, but have not yet been accredited. BSW students in states that do not license at the BSW level are advised to inquire about the state’s requirements for non-licensed practicing social workers.