STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES PLAN. Undergraduate and Graduate Programs DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK

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1 STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES PLAN Undergraduate and Graduate Programs DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK

2 Introduction Our Student Outcomes Plan begins with our department s mission which is linked to the university s mission, (please see Chart I). Our program s goals are derived from our mission and shape our programs student learning objectives (see Chart II). These student learning objectives are manifest in our course objectives for both our undergraduate and our graduate curriculums (see Charts III, IV and V below). Our program learning objectives are measured as student outcomes (also referred to as student competencies) with student self assessment scales and assessment scales completed by our students internship instructors. These assessments occur near the end of the students programs. The findings from our scales are compiled by the department s Outcomes Committee and the program director. The findings are then forwarded to the appropriate departmental committee(s) and modification of the curriculum or related systems are carried out. A summary outcomes report is provided to the college dean. Please see Chart VI for an overview of our Student Outcomes Plan and Procedures and the narrative below for the details of our plan. CHART I CONNECTION AMONG MISSION GOALS AND OBJECTIVES University Mission Department Mission BASW Program Goals MSW Program Goals BASW & Foundation Objectives BASW Curriculum Foundation Curriculum Concentration Objectives

3 Curriculum Concentration The University of Northern Iowa Mission The University of Northern Iowa is a comprehensive institution committed to providing a diverse, dynamic learning environment, founded on a strong liberal arts curriculum and characterized by excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The university focuses on both undergraduate education that emphasizes a personalized learning environment and on selected masters, doctoral and other graduate programs that provide students with specialized educational experiences. UNI programs incorporate scholarship and service to individuals, communities and organizations throughout the state, the nation, and the world. Department of Social Work Mission The mission of the Department of Social Work, in keeping with the broader mission of the University and the purposes of professional social work education, is to prepare students for competent, effective, and ethical beginning and advanced professional practice and leadership; to conduct scholarship that advances knowledge; and to provide service to local, state, national, and international communities. Using multidimensional theory, knowledge and skills, students and faculty are committed to enhancing human potential and growth in diverse human systems. This commitment is supported by the promotion of multi cultural sensitivity, human rights, and social and economic justice within a framework of social work values and ethics. The links of the department and university missions begin the linking of missions, program goals, program objectives, and curriculum course objectives, please see Chart I. Links of University and Department Missions Linking the mission of the University and the mission of the Department begins with the University s offerings of.. undergraduate education and selected masters... programs with specialized educational experiences. This mission fits our Department s offering both baccalaureate and masters level programs preparing students for professional, generalist and advanced practice at each respective level. The University s mission statement identifies service twice, including service to individuals as well as organizations and communities and expands its domain of service to the state, nation and world. This non secular and twice stated university commitment to service is much in keeping with the social work tradition and history of service with sensitivity to multicultural systems, human rights, and social and economic justice. The comfortable links between our mission and the University s is underlined by the fact that our undergraduate major is the largest social work major in the State

4 and one of the largest majors in the University, and our MSW program, while small compared to others in the profession, is one of the largest masters programs in the University. The University mission statement stipulates that offering both undergraduate and graduate programs are part of its mission and the Department s statement indicates our preparation of professionals at the beginning (generalist) and advanced (advanced micro practice and social administration) levels which are differentiated by conception and design, content, program objectives and depth, breadth, and specificity of knowledge and skills. Our programs goals are linked to our mission statement and the purposes of social work education. They guide the objectives of our program and in turn the objectives of courses in our curriculum. The BASW program goals and the MSW foundation goals are of course similar but the latter provides for the greater breadth, depth, and specificity in the masters curriculum. Our generalist practice definition for the BASW program and the masters foundation flows from our goals and objectives and will be detailed as required. BASW Program Goals I. Provide an integrated curriculum that builds on a liberal arts foundation and addresses knowledge and skills essential for beginning generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. II. Infuse social work values and ethics throughout students educational experience to serve as guides for practice in field placements and future professional social work practice settings; III. Promote student understanding of diversity through curriculum that identifies the experiences and needs of vulnerable and oppressed groups while emphasizing resilience and strengths; IV. Increase students understanding of the types and processes of discrimination and oppression and enhance their ability to promote social and economic justice through advocacy and social reform; V. Prepare students to critically assess and apply empirically based knowledge, evaluate their own practice effectiveness, and participate in the evaluation of programs and policies; MSW Program Goals: Foundation and Concentration

5 I A. Provide a foundation curriculum rooted within a generalist perspective that addresses knowledge and skills necessary for effective and ethical practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; I B. Provide a concentration curriculum built on the professional foundation that prepares students to practice autonomously as advanced level professionals in either advanced micro or administrative practice within a wide range of client systems and practice settings; II. Infuse social work values and ethics throughout students educational experience to serve as guides for practice in field placements and future professional social work practice; III. Promote student understanding of diversity through curriculum that identifies the experiences and needs of vulnerable and oppressed groups while emphasizing resilience and strengths; IV. Increase students understanding of the types and processes of discrimination and oppression and enhance their ability to promote social and economic justice through advocacy and social reform; V. Prepare students to critically assess and apply empirically based knowledge, evaluate their own practice effectiveness, and participate in the evaluation of programs and policies. Linkage of Goals to Mission Our mission statement provides a general statement of our direction and purpose. The goals set forth above are linked to key ideas in our mission statement and provide more specificity. The linkage of our goals with key ideas in the mission statement are briefly stipulated here. Several masters foundation and baccalaureate foundation goals are similar relating to the same key ideas and are addressed together. Goal I derives from preparation of students for beginning professional practice. Goal II relates to both preparing ethical practitioners and the framework of social work values and ethics. Goal III speaks to the enhancement of diverse human systems and human potential and growth. Goal IV asserts our missions promotion of human rights, social and economic justice specifying advocacy and social reform. Goal V begins the process of research and assessment of practice hence knowledge building. Goals IA and IB are specific to the masters program with IA laying the foundation for practice and IB specifying the concentrations that prepare students for advanced practice.

6 Program Student Learning Objectives Following the statement of our programs objectives, we will also provide charts indicating the program goals each objective is linked to and carries out. Statement of Program Objectives: BASW and MSW Foundation Objectives 1. Apply critical thinking skills 2. Practice social work values and ethics 3. Practice without discrimination, with respect to a variety of differences 4. Understand mechanisms of oppression and discrimination 5. Apply strategies of advocacy and social change to advance social justice 6. Interpret history and current issues of the profession B7. Apply knowledge and skills of generalist practice with systems of all sizes M7. Apply knowledge and skills of generalist perspective to practice with systems of all sizes 8. Apply evidenced based theoretical frameworks to understanding individual development and behavior across the life span, between individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities 9. Analyze, formulate, influence social policies 10. Evaluate and apply research studies to practice 11. Evaluate own practice 12. Communicate differentially 13. Use supervision and consultation 14. Function with organization and delivery systems 15. Seek necessary organizational change Statement of Program Objectives: MSW Concentration Objectives These Objectives are linked to and carry out Program Goal I B. Advanced Micro Practice (AMP) Objectives Graduates of the Advanced Micro Practice Concentration will be able to:

7 AMP 1. Use theories and empirical knowledge in formulating bio psycho socialspiritual assessments for intervention with individuals, families, and groups with sensitivity to ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and cultural and economic factors. AMP 2. Intervene as autonomous, self reflective, advanced level practitioners with individuals, families, and groups in diverse settings and differentially apply practice approaches and models to enhance strengths and optimize human potential. AMP 3. Critically analyze the impact of both supports and constraints of social policies on the delivery of advanced micro practice services with particular attention to diversity, human rights and the promotion of social and economic justice. AMP 4. Demonstrate skill in differential use of self in professional relationships, including capacity to work in multi disciplinary teams and diverse host settings. AMP 5. Use research in practice with individuals, families, and groups and evaluate one s own practice effectiveness. AMP 6. Apply social work values and ethics in increasingly complex advanced micro practice settings. Social Administration Practice (SAP) Objectives Graduates of the Social Administration Practice concentration will be able too: SAP 1. Use theories and empirical knowledge in analyzing and addressing organizational, community and policy issues with sensitivity to ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and cultural and economic factors. SAP 2. Provide autonomous self reflective, administrative leadership in planning and developing effective social service delivery in diverse organizational and community settings. SAP 3. Acquire and manage resources, including long term fund raising strategies, with particular attention to diversity, human rights, and the promotion of social and economic justice. SAP 4. Support and develop social service staff strengths through professional training and professional development activities. SAP 5. Use research findings to guide practice with organizations and communities needs, and evaluate the implementation and outcomes of human service programs and policies.

8 SAP 6. Apply social work values and ethics in increasingly complex organizational and community settings. Program Objectives and Goals First, after linking program objectives with the program goals from which they are derived and carried out, we will illustrate the links between program objectives and goals in Chart II. The program objectives carry out the goals when they are implemented in course content and assignments. Second, after a thorough analysis of courses and syllabi by the faculty, the components of the curriculum supporting each program objective are identified by course objectives on Chart III, under Operationalizing Program Objectives, below. By illustration, Objective #1 Apply critical thinking skills is linked to goals # s 1, 3, and 5 in both programs and is listed as such below as well as on Chart II. The implementation of the objective is then illustrated in Chart III as course objectives and learning experiences carrying out the program objectives. Linkage of Goals and Program Objectives (See Chart II) BASW Program Goals and Objectives I. Provide an integrated curriculum that builds on a liberal arts foundation and addresses knowledge and skills essential for beginning generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; [#1 (apply critical thinking skills); #B7 (apply knowledge & skills of social work generalist practice with systems of all sizes); #8 (apply evidenced based theoretical frameworks to understanding individual development and behavior across the life span, between individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities); #12 (communicate differentially); #13 (use supervision and consultation); #14 (function within organizations and delivery systems)] II. Infuse social work values and ethics throughout students educational experience to serve as guides for practice in field placements and future professional social work practice settings; [#2 (practice social work values & ethics); #3 (practice without discrimination, with respect to a variety of differences); #13 (use supervision and consultation); #14 (function within organizations and delivery systems)] III. Promote student understanding of diversity through curriculum that identifies the experiences and needs of vulnerable and oppressed groups while emphasizing resilience and strengths; [#1 (apply critical thinking skills); #3 (practice without discrimination, with respect to a variety of differences); #8 (apply evidenced based theoretical frameworks to

9 understanding individual development and behavior across the life span, between individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities)] IV. Increase students understanding of the types and processes of discrimination and oppression and enhance their ability to promote social and economic justice through advocacy and social reform; [#4 (understand mechanisms of oppression and discrimination); #5 (Apply strategies of advocacy and social change to advance social justice); #6 (interpret history and current issues of the profession); #9 (analyze, formulate, & influence social policies); #15 (seek organizational change)] V. Prepare students to critically assess and apply empirically based knowledge, evaluate their own practice effectiveness, and participate in the evaluation of programs and policies; [#1 (apply critical thinking skills); #9 (analyze, formulate, influence social policies); #10 (evaluate and apply research studies to practice); #11 (evaluate own practice)] MSW Program Goals and Objectives: Foundation I A. Provide a foundation curriculum rooted within a generalist perspective that addresses knowledge and skills necessary for effective and ethical practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; [#1 (apply critical thinking skills); #M7 (apply knowledge & skills of social work generalist practice with systems of all sizes); #8 (apply evidenced based theoretical frameworks to understanding individual development and behavior across the life span, between individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities); #12 (communicate differentially); #13 (use supervision and consultation); #14 (function within organizations and delivery systems)] I B. Provide a concentration curriculum built on the professional foundation that prepares students to practice autonomously as advanced level professionals in either advanced micro or administrative practice within a wide range of client systems and practice settings; [AMP # s 1 6 and SAP # s 1 6] II. Infuse social work values and ethics throughout students educational experience to serve as guides for practice in field placements and future professional social work practice; [#2 (practice social work values & ethics); #3 (practice without discrimination, with respect to a variety of differences); #13 (use supervision and consultation); #14 (function within organizations and delivery systems)] III. Promote student understanding of diversity through curriculum that identifies the experiences and needs of vulnerable and oppressed groups while emphasizing resilience and strengths; [#1 (apply critical thinking skills); #3 (practice without discrimination, with respect to a

10 variety of differences); #8 (apply evidenced based theoretical frameworks to understanding individual development and behavior across the life span, between individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities)] IV. Increase students understanding of the types and processes of discrimination and oppression and enhance their ability to promote social and economic justice through advocacy and social reform; [#4 (understand mechanisms of oppression and discrimination); #5 (apply strategies of advocacy and social change to advance social justice ); #6 (interpret history and current issues of the profession); #9 (analyze, formulate, & influence social policies); #15 (seek organizational change)] V. Prepare students to critically assess and apply empirically based knowledge, evaluate their own practice effectiveness, and participate in the evaluation of programs and policies. [#1 (apply critical thinking skills); #9 (analyze, formulate, influence social policies); #10 (evaluate and apply research studies to practice); #11 (evaluate own practice)] Operationalizing Program Objectives Our program goals are carried out through the operationalization of our program objectives. This is the provision of the curriculum. Each objective is supported by the curriculum. The course objectives, found on each course syllabus and supporting each program objective are presented on Charts III, IV, and V. Chart III addresses the BASW program objectives and course objectives. Chart IV addresses the MSW Foundation objectives, and Chart V addresses the MSW concentration objectives by course objectives. Course content and assignments supporting course objectives are part of each course syllabus. Course syllabi are found in Volume II. Each program objective is addressed by more than one course objective. Overview of Assessment Plan The outcome assessment plan and procedures are the product of careful development in both programs. The plan has become both more explicit in measuring each and every program student learning objective rather than global indicators such as license examination scores and simpler to administer and understand. Our outcome assessment plan and procedures guide a process that is conducted on an ongoing basis, but which is rendered into a full report annually. The current plan and procedures will be overviewed here. This will be followed by a review of the current results, and ways the results affirm and suggest modifications in the curriculum which were then implemented. The program objectives outcomes assessment plan is best understood with a schematic presentation (Please see Chart VI, next page). The derivation of our program objectives from our

11 mission and goals and how and where they are addressed in the curriculum are described above. The overview above illustrates the derivation of our program goals from our mission and our program objectives from the goals of our two programs. After being addressed in the curriculum, each program objective ( BASW 15, MSW Foundation 15, MSW Advanced Micro Practice 6, and Social Administration Practice 6) is independently assessed in two important ways. First, each student evaluates their own mastery of each objective (also referred to as competency ) and, second, each student is evaluated by an outside evaluator, their field instructor (this is independent of the field instruction evaluation). In this way, the meeting of program objectives is both subjectively and objectively assessed. The evaluation procedure is carried out by means of scales that address each program objective specifically, thus providing feedback that is useful in program affirmation of modification. The scales are five point Likert constructions with each program objective (competency) expressed as an outcome and evaluated in terms of adequacy. So, for example, the objective, Applies social work values and ethics, is rated on a scale from Unsatisfactory, to Less than adequate, to Adequate, to More than adequate, to Excellent, (Please see the eight program objectives evaluation scales in the Appendix). The construction of the Scales enables the programs to set benchmarks for each specific objective and thus can be used to gauge improvements or deterioration in our outcomes for each objective. The student self evaluation scales are administered late in the term of the students field internship. They are anonymous. The scales filled out by the student s field instructors are also anonymous neither the instructor nor the student are identified. This scale is given to the field instructor by the faculty field liaison late in the student s term with a request that it be completed and mailed to the department in a stamped self addressed envelope. The results of our outcome measures are reviewed by our Outcomes Committee and the program directors. Appropriate modifications are then discussed and carried out as appropriate with one or more of the following: Curriculum Committee, the Field Instruction Committee, the faculty as a whole and the Advisory Board. The results also become the substance of our Annual Outcomes Report submitted to our College Dean as part of the University s program outcomes requirements. We wish to note here briefly some global formative and summative measures that supplement our outcomes plan. Several are endemic to traditional university educational processes. Some are carry over measures from previous outcome plans replaced by our current plan. Note on Traditional Resource and Formative Measures

12 For both undergraduate and graduate programs, resource measures include our faculty, each with Master of Social Work degrees, doctorates, publications and practice experience. Our library resources, course syllabi, assignments and readings are additional resources. These resources constitute indirect measures of the likelihood of our meeting our program goals through our educational objectives. Formative measures are more direct and include the course examinations, midterm assessments of students in field practicum, case analyses in practice courses, and feedback on video tapes of individual and group interviews. Class assessments are conducted for each tenure track faculty member each year and each tenured faculty member at least every three years. These assessments include student response to a standard class instruction assessment form and an assessment of the class by the department head and a senior faculty member. These assessments give us indications about the teaching process and instructional strategies utilized to accomplish our program objectives. Panel Evaluation of Research Papers (MSW program only) At the end of the student s second year research course, the research papers completed by each student are read by the instructor and at least one other faculty member. An assessment is made by this faculty panel as to what extent the body of papers indicates the students have produced a professional product in publishable format that evidences critical thinking. Tabulation of Faculty Publications and Service Activities In May of each year the department staff tabulates the number of refereed publications, scholarly presentations and community service activities as indicated on each faculty member s activity report. The sum of each of these indicators is then shared with the director and Outcomes Committee for inclusion in the annual outcome study. Three Year Survey of Alumni This measure includes employment status in social work, involvement in professional organizations and a variety of other indicators of the accomplishments of our graduates. This survey is administered to alumni who have been graduated at least one year on a triennial basis to allow graduates sufficient time to settle into permanent employment. This year the MSW program was scheduled for the survey and the results are reported below. Assessment Plan and Procedures Students enrolled in field placements were asked to assess themselves on a list of relevant program objectives, depending on their status as a BASW student, MSW Foundation student or MSW Concentration student. Four versions of the Program Objectives Self Report Assessment Scales were developed for this purpose. Corresponding rating scales were distributed to agency field instructors, who were asked to rate students on their demonstration of program objective competencies using one of four versions of the Program Objectives Evaluation Scales. The response format for all scales was as follows: 1 = unsatisfactory ; 2 = less than adequate ; 3 = adequate ; 4 = more than adequate ; and 5 = excellent. A rating of 3, or adequate, was set as the benchmark for all ratings. (For a full understanding of our method, please see copies of our eight rating scales in the Appendix)

13 Sample Item: 1. Thinks critically and reflectively about practice. 1 Unsatisfactory 2 Less than adequate 3 Adequate 4 More than adequate 5 Excellent 0 Not Observed In keeping with our revised plan, all data are collected during the spring semester. Scales are administered to students during their Field Seminars and are distributed to field instructors during their mid term agency visits with field liaisons. It should be noted that students are asked to provide an overall assessment of their competencies relative to the targeted program objectives, not just as they related to their performance in field placement. In addition to assessment efforts of current students, the UNI Department of Social Work distributed a three year supplemental survey to its MSW graduates. This year the survey was expanded to include the rating scales for the MSW Concentration Program Objectives. These were the same Program Objective Self Report Assessment Scales distributed to the current Advanced Micro Practice and Social Administration Practice students. These data were useful in both getting a sense of how students view their competencies as practicing social workers and as a comparison point between graduates and students currently enrolled in the program.

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