It’s taken a lot of work, reports, research, and follow-up,
but the new accreditation process for Marian University’s social work programs
is finally a much-welcomed reality. The Council on Social Work Education has
recognized Marian’s baccalaureate social work programs exceptional as the
Commission on Accreditation voted to grant accreditation through 2030.
The new recognition now positions Marian to contribute to
meeting the growing need for social workers in our communities. Marian’s social
work program also compliment’s Marian’s Franciscan sponsorship values and
mission to help others, as well as the new strategic plan.
That’s exciting news for Gracie Halfmann ’25 who comes from a
family of social workers. “This endorsement is very impressive because I know a
lot of great things will come from this,” she said. “I think the accreditation
standing will help me and others not only heading into grad school and
obtaining a career, but it shows that Marian has an excellent program for
training new social workers.”
say Bachelors in Social Work, (BSW) Program Director Michelle Meer, MSW ’81 is
ecstatic is an understatement. Meer’s career included working at two other
academic institutions: Indiana University’s School of Social Work and the
University of Indianapolis before returning to Marian after she says she heard
the call to return “home.” She credits
fellow faculty members including Sabrina Straub, BSW field director, and Bessie
Rigalos, who originally developed the proposal to add a BSW program back in
means so much because after originally encouraging Marian to start a social
work program years ago and with a three-year accreditation process, I’m beyond
thrilled to see this process come to reality,” she said. Meer, also an
Associate for the Sister of St. Francis, Oldenburg, IN, adds this means
students will have more opportunities. Currently, there are 41 BSW majors.
Students say they believe now there will be more as they credit their
determined instructors to make the accreditation program possible.
like Emily Taylor ’23 says she’s learning a lot in Marian’s social work
program and looking forward to one day becoming a social worker in a
much-needed profession. “This amazing news means Marian can get more funding
and access to resources to make our program even better while also appealing to
more students,” Taylor added. “I believe Marian will now be known as an
exceptional school for social work with top-notched accreditation which will
ultimately serve the community well,” she noted.
also means more jobs for graduates and internships which teach life skills,”
said Aurora Carlos ’23. Carlos says Marian social work students already have
opportunities to work with under-served junior and senior high school students
in Indianapolis Public Schools alongside social work professionals. She
believes now there will be more. “There are so many great reasons for students
to choose Marian for social work, even more so now with the accreditation and
the excellent teaching we receive,” she added.
next students and Meer believe the future looks more promising for Marian
University’s social work program which could also mean a master’s program in
really enthusiastic about what the future holds,” Meer said. “All of the instructors
and I will continue working hard to make sure Marian’s program is well known
and one of the best, not only for nursing, medicine, and education but for
social work programs as well.” And from
their determination, there’s no doubt that can happen.