NWACC Child Advocacy Studies Program Receives Accreditation for Another Five Years | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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NWACC Child Advocacy Studies Program Receives Accreditation for Another Five Years

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NWACC's Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) program recently received a comprehensive audit through Zero Abuse Project and achieved “approved” status - equivalent to national accreditation - for another five years, demonstrating the program's commitment to excellence and best practices in child advocacy education. This is the program’s second time receiving accreditation; each lasts five years.

“The NWACC CAST program continues to be a blueprint for not only community college CAST best practices, but endeavors to be what may well be one of the greatest, most well instructed, and managed CAST programs in the US,” said Zero Abuse Project CAST Director Tyler Counsil. “There is no doubt that NWACC will be a leading champion of this curriculum and could provide a model for both two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions.”

CAST approved status is achieved through a detailed credentialing process by the Zero Abuse Project CAST team, where an institution demonstrates their high-standard curricular offerings in child maltreatment education and learner preparation for post-graduation workforce deployment. After a thorough examination of NWACC’s curriculum, faculty qualifications and program structure, the Zero Abuse Project CAST team granted formal accreditation to NWACC's CAST program for another five years.

"We are honored to receive accreditation from the Zero Abuse Project," said NWACC CAST Faculty Member Stephanie Morris. “This achievement reflects our ongoing dedication to providing a comprehensive and high-quality education in child maltreatment prevention, intervention and advocacy. We are committed to preparing our students to make a positive impact in the lives of children and families, and this accreditation underscores our commitment to excellence in this critical field."

In addition to NWACC’s CAST certificate and degree programs, the college offers community members child advocacy training at its Melba Shewmaker National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC). Training includes simulations, mandated reporter training, trauma informed practices and community building for professionals such as social workers, firemen, law enforcement, health care workers and others.

The center includes a two-story mock house, courtrooms, forensic interview rooms, a medical exam training room, interrogation room, webinar center and many other training spaces. Since its opening in 2014, the center has served over 10,000 community members.

To learn more about NWACC’s CAST program and training center, visit www.nwacc.edu/CAST.