SWEAP is committed to providing the highest quality assessment instruments designed to aid undergraduate and graduate social work programs in evaluation necessary for program development and improvement.
SWEAP instruments are specifically designed to be responsive to the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), related to both initial accreditation and reaffirmation.
At the 1986 BPD Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, four social work educators, Marshall Smith, John Rogers, JoAnn Ray, and Grafton Hull discussed creating an outcomes instrument that social work programs could use as part of their assessment process. The sole focus of this instrument was to solicit alumni opinions about the programs from which they graduated. The team sought input from multiple BSW programs and created what became known as the BPD Outcomes Instrument. The instrument was designed to allow individual schools to compare their findings with those of other schools. The instrument was available throughout the last part of the 1980s and into the 1990s. Along the way, the instrument was modified to allow answers to be entered into a data base on a standard Opscan sheet and to address evolving CSWE accreditation standards.
In 1995 two researchers, Roy Rodenhiser and Vicky Buchan joined with the original team, bringing with them an existing assessment model that included a program monitoring approach to outcome assessment that Vicky developed at Colorado State University. This outcome assessment model included an entrance, exit, and alumni instruments and was published in 1991. After the two groups joined to form the BEAP team, the Entrance, Exit, Alumni and Employer Instruments were developed using Vicky’s model as examples. Around the same time Cathy Pike, joined the group, bringing with her, the Social Work Values Inventory Instrument. From 1997 to 1999 the team developed and piloted the Entrance and Exit Surveys, Alumni/ae Survey, and Employer Instruments. Each instrument used a customized Opscan sheet. The BEAP Team began to offer the complete package of five instruments to schools in 2000. In 2001, Marshall Smith recruited Phil Ng, then an undergraduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, to oversee and apply updated technology to the processing of BEAP data, the accurate accumulation of the BEAP database, and the timely generation of BEAP reports to participating programs. In 2009 the Field Practicum Placement Assessment Instrument (FPPAI) was added to the package of six assessment instruments.
As the use of the BEAP grew, additional faculty joined the BEAP Team to replace retiring or departing members. Each brought a unique set of skills that continue to improve the quality of instruments as well as helping to develop new ones.
BEAP changed to SWEAP in 2013, reflecting the applicability of our instruments to graduate, as well as, undergraduate social work programs. SWEAP continues to lead the way in social work education assessment through development of instruments responsive to accreditation standards and program needs.