Executive Director of Accreditation

  • Full-time

Company Description

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a national association of social work education programs and individuals that ensures and enhances the quality of social work education for a professional practice that promotes individual, family, and community well-being, and social and economic justice. CSWE pursues this mission by setting and maintaining national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work, by promoting faculty development, and by advocating for social work education and research.

Job Description


The Executive Director of Accreditation provides leadership on accreditation matters in partnership with the Commission on Accreditation (COA) and Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).   The Executive Director is the official designee, representing the COA, to the CSWE membership and other various stakeholders interested in accreditation.  CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation for social work practice and ensuring that social work programs meet them. In accordance with the requirements of CSWE’s recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Accreditation department administers a multistep accreditation process that involves program self-studies and benchmarks from social work programs, site visits, and COA reviews of social work programs.  The Executive Director of Accreditation supports the Commission on Accreditation and manages the daily accreditation operations of CSWE which includes the processing of accreditation reviews, candidacy applications and the implementation of COA policies and procedures.  The Executive Director must be able to transcend the technical aspects of accreditation to provide the leadership required to position CSWE and the COA as a quality organization.  The Executive Director will work not only closely with their department but must be highly effective in working across the social work education profession providing leadership or participating in cross-functional teams. 



  • Supervise and directs the activities of the CSWE accreditation services
  • Provide leadership and managerial oversight to the Commission on Accreditation and committees associated with the COA
  • Provide leadership and managerial oversight of accreditation staff to ensure transactions and interactions with social work programs and faculty are highly accurate, timely, responsive, efficient, customer friendly and cost effective
  • Responsible for fostering innovation in efforts to continuously improve the accreditation process
  • Oversee and manages all accreditation workshops and trainings
  • Oversee the development of accreditation materials, policies and procedures of the Commission on Accreditation and CSWE
  • Continually evaluate key operational processes to facilitate accreditation-related workflow, improve productivity and maintain high standards of quality control in collaboration with the CSWE research office
  • Execute accreditation projects and activities within CSWE’s strategic plan, on time and within budget
  • Respond to accreditation-related inquiries and manage the formal CSWE complaint process
  • Monitor the accreditation budget, and participate in annual budget development processes
  • Monitor accreditation trends and develop or implement solutions, as appropriate
  •  Administer multistep accreditation process in accordance with CSWE’s recognition body, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
  • Provide communications to CSWE membership including COA announcements, preparing reports for committees, CSWE Board and the CEO as requested. Handle inquiries from the committees, Board and CEO as related to job responsibilities.
  • Oversee selection, training, and evaluation of site visitors
  • Maintain effective communications with other CSWE staff
  • Serve as a member of the Executive Leadership Team to inform CSWE policies and procedures
  • Be an ambassador for CSWE



  • Interact with other organizations that impact accreditation activities (e.g., USDE, CHEA, ASPA)
  • Conduct special projects (e.g., research and written reports) in collaboration with the COA and staff
  • Promote COA accreditation through publications and presentations as requested
  • Assume other assignments at direction of President & CEO


General Requirements

  • Master’s in social work is required
  • Doctoral degree is required
  • Knowledge of and/or competence with social work accreditation
  • Requires demonstrated ability to think strategically and solve problems
  • Must be proficient in use of MS Office Suite applications
  • High-level organizational skills with attention to detail and accuracy in work
  • Self-directed multitasker with demonstrated ability to take initiative and meet deadlines.
  • Requires influential and effective writing and speaking skills.  Must be able to effectively communicate information to many different types of audiences using a variety of formats
  • Operational and technical savvy
  • A flair for innovation and creativity
  • Positive attitude, openness to change and sense of humor a must


Preferred Qualifications

  • Technological competence in on-line accreditation management and learning management systems preferred
  • Experience with assessment of student learning outcomes


Accreditation and Higher Education experience

  • Faculty or administrative experience in an institution of higher education, system, or other accrediting agency in higher education; particularly with social work programs and curriculums
  • Demonstrated understanding of social work accreditation standards, procedures, education programs, assessment practices and processes
  • Ability to maintain integrity and impartiality in the accreditation process


Supervision & Internal Management

  • Evidence of increasingly responsible, substantive experience as a manager of people, processes, and budgets in a complex organization
  • Ability to synthesize diverse information and multiple points of view
  • Ability to interpret and apply rules, regulations, policies and procedures, in order to make effective decisions and use legal counsel accordingly
  • Excellent employee relations skills; ability to lead cooperative and productive teams
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including conflict management competency
  • Experience in mentoring and supporting individuals’ professional development


External Relationships

  • Demonstrated skills and experience in building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, particularly with CSWE accredited programs and faculty and external organizations including other accrediting organizations, professional associations and government entities.

Additional Information


This position is based in CSWE’s Alexandria, VA, office and residency in or relocation to the DC Metropolitan area is required.  However, all CSWE positions will work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice. 

The position is primarily sedentary and is performed in an office setting.  Position requires ability to communicate effectively, and the ability to use computers, telephones and other office equipment. Periodic out-of-town travel is also required.  To be qualified, you must have the requisite skills, experience and education for the job and must also be able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.  The Council on Social Work Education provides reasonable accommodations to applicants upon request. Ability to travel within the United States and internationally



Must submit your resume, cover letter and desired salary range.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required.  Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as necessary.  In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.