SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

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1 ASSESSMENT SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

2 PROGRAM GOALS AND OBJECTIVES In conformance with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards, the Social Work Department conducts an annual assessment of its program and curriculum. This is the fourteenth year of the assessment. The assessment also meets the UAF requirement that programs must determine outcomes. The goals of the social work program, revised October 24, 2005, are: 1. To provide student-centered evidence-based generalist baccalaureate education that emphasizes transferable social work skills and ethical practice across the lifespan. 2. To conduct and publish research and scholarship applicable to the Alaskan context that contributes to individual and community well-being. 3. To partake in service based on a partnership with community members and agencies in Fairbanks and throughout the state using the skills, knowledge and experience of faculty and staff. 4. To promote the social work profession throughout the state through community presentations, training, and publications and through involvement in professional social work organizations on the local, state, and national levels. In addition, the Council on Social Work Education has devised 12 outcome statements or objectives, listed in its EPAS - Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (2001), by which baccalaureate programs in social work are evaluated. These outcomes represent knowledge, values, skills, and multicultural sensitivities that undergraduate social work students are expected to acquire. These objectives also serve as dimensions or indicators of the broader goals of the program indicated above. These EPAS objectives are as follows: 1. Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice. 2. Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly. 3. Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. 4. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice Social Work Program A ssessment 2

3 5. Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues. 6. Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes. 7. Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities. 8. Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies. 9. Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions. 10. Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities. 11. Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice. 12. Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change. EVALUATION MEASURES In the academic year , we adopted a new set of evaluation measures developed by the Baccalaureate Director s Association called collectively the Baccalaureate Educational Assessment Project (BEAP). The BEAP comprises an entrance survey for new students in the major; a pre- and post-test values inventory, an exit survey, an alumni survey, and an employer/supervisor survey, in which alumni-employees are evaluated in their work. In addition to the BEAP instruments, we administer the Social Work Areas Concentration Test (ACAT), which has been given annually to senior students in Fairbanks since 1993 and to students in the distance-education program since The evaluation instruments are described below. ACAT The ACAT (see Appendix A) is an exit exam given to senior students in the last semester of the senior year. The test, which is produced by PACAT inc/nomesys in Clarksville, Tennessee, assesses knowledge and skills in the four areas that constitute the undergraduate social work curriculum: social policy, human behavior and the social environment, social work practice, and research and statistics. Data are presented as raw scores and percentiles for each Social Work Program A ssessment 3

4 of the curriculum segments as well as overall scores. Results are reported for Fairbanks and distance-education students separately. Percentiles are based on a national comparison group, which this year comprised 6,120 undergraduate social work students nationwide. BEAP Instruments Entrance survey. The survey is given to students entering the program in the introductory social work course (SWK 103). The survey provides a demographic profile of incoming students and gathers student information about financial resources, employment status, and paid and volunteer work in the human services Social work values inventory. The inventory, which is given concurrently with the entrance survey and again just prior to graduation, is based on three ethical concepts contained in the Social Work Code of Ethics: confidentiality, self-determination, and social justice. The inventory provides feedback regarding the effectiveness of the program in teaching about values. The data represent a longitudinal trend study, in which two different groups entering students and those prior to graduation are measured and compared. Exit survey. The survey is administered to students late in the spring semester of the senior year. The instrument generates feedback from students about their academic experiences while in the program. A major section asks students to evaluate how well they feel the program had prepared them in a number of knowledge, skills, and value items. The survey also collects data about plans for employment and graduate education. Alumni survey. The survey is sent early in the spring semester to alumni only once--two years after graduation. Thus this year survey forms were sent to the 2004 graduates. Alumni are asked to evaluate the extent to which they feel that the social work program had prepared them for various aspects of practice. Responses supplement data from the exit survey indicating preparedness for the field. Thus we can see what content needs to be strengthened or added to the social work curriculum. The survey also gathers information about graduates employment, whether in social work or not; professional development activities; and plans for further education. Employer/Supervisory survey. The purpose of this survey is to evaluate alumni performance from an employer s or supervisor s perspective. The graduate-employee is evaluated on several dimensions of work in the agency. The questionnaire form is sent to graduates along with the alumni survey. Alumni-employees are asked to personally deliver the surveys to their employers or supervisors. Alumni then send the completed survey forms along with the alumni surveys back to the Social Work Department in Fairbanks. Employers return their surveys forms separately. Results provide additional feedback about the effectiveness of the program in preparing students for actual social work practice Social Work Program A ssessment 4

5 See Appendix B for BEAP forms Social Work Program A ssessment 5

6 DATA COLLECTION Fairbanks students take the ACAT exam and BEAP entrance, values, and exit surveys during class periods and are proctored by faculty. Alumni and employer/supervisor survey forms are sent by mail to home addresses of alumni. For distance-education students, the ACAT tests are administered by proctors in regional centers throughout the state, and BEAP instruments are either sent by mail to home addresses. Cover letters explaining the importance and purpose of the surveys along with self-addressed, stamped envelopes (to Fairbanks) are included with the mailed material. Timeline for the Administration of Assessment Instruments Fairbanks students. Entrance Survey and Values Pre-Test Inventory Values Post-Test Inventory Exit Survey ACAT Alumni and Employer Surveys Second week of semester first year, given in SWK 103 class session by instructor. Eighth week of spring semester of senior year, given in SWK 463 class session by instructor Tenth week of spring semester of senior year, given in SWK 463 class session by instructor Twelfth week of spring semester of senior year, given during SWK 463 and practicum seminar times by instructor. Sent by post the first week of the spring semester to the Fairbanks and distanceeducation graduates from 2 years past. Alumni give the employer survey to their employers or supervisors to complete. Both completed surveys are sent back by alumni to Fairbanks. Beginning next year, supervisors will be asked to send back their own completed survey forms Social Work Program A ssessment 6

7 Distance education students: Entrance Survey and Pre-Test Values Inventory Values Post-Test Inventory and Exit Survey Alumni and Employer Surveys ACAT Surveys are sent by post the first two weeks of the new semester to individual students along with self-addressed, stamped envelope for returning the survey. Completed surveys are sent back by students to Fairbanks. Sent by mail fourth week of the spring semester of the senior year by the administrative assistant to home addresses of senior students. Completed surveys are sent back by studentrespondents to Fairbanks. See Fairbanks alumni above (groups are not separated). Regional proctors are identified the beginning of the spring semester. Test booklets, instruction manuals, and scantron answer sheets are sent to proctors the ninth week of the spring semester. Proctors administer the ACAT test to graduating seniors in their regions and send the completed materials to Fairbanks. * It should be noted that, while we do consider ACAT scores for distance and Fairbanks students separately, we have encounterer a small number of students in recent years who complete their coursework through a combination of distance and campus based classes. While we see this as an overall benefit to the program, and further confirmantion that distance and campus based coursework are comparable, we have yet to clarify how these student s ACAT scores will be incorporated into our assessment report Social Work Program A ssessment 7

8 Social Work Program A ssessment 8

9 RESULTS Results are shown separately for Fairbanks and distance education students. ACAT Fairbanks Students Sixteen senior students in Fairbanks took the ACAT exam this year (2006). Table 1 presents means of the raw scores (number of items answered correctly) and percentile rankings according to year and curriculum area. Table 1 Mean of the Raw Scores and Percentiles on the ACAT Exam, According to Year and Curriculum Area (Fairbanks) Area Tota l N Score Ave. Policy raw score percen tile Practice raw score percen tile HBSE raw score percen tile Research raw score percen tile Overall raw score percen tile Social Work Program A ssessment 9

10 As seen in the table, the Fairbanks graduating class of 2006 obtained a mean of the overall raw scores, (covering the four areas of the ACAT), of 68% items answered correctly, which placed the group in the 78 th percentile. The senior class, thus, did better than 78% of 6,120 students nationwide who took the test. It should also be noted that one of the 16 students scored extremely low on the ACAT (8 th percentile) which skewed the overall scores. If this student s test was dropped the overall percentage for Fairbanks students would be much higher. Policy, practice, and HBSE show similar or equal raw scores to those of last year. Percentiles, however, differ. Compared to last year's scores, Practice shows a substantial increase, whereas HBSE has declined. Research shows a substantial increase in both the raw score and percentile. Overall, both raw score and percentile show a considerable increase. The standard deviations overall and for the curriculum segments deviates from 8-13 units. The pattern of mean raw scores and percentile rankings for students in Fairbanks in the years 1993 to 2006 are shown graphically in Figures 1 and 2. FIGURE 1. Mean of the Raw Scores on the ACAT, According to Year (Fairbanks Students) Policy Practice HBSE Research Overall (N=10) (N=18) (N=20) (N=16) (N=21) (N=19) (N=21) (N=14) (N=15) (N=13) (N=12) (N=11) (N=10) (N=16) Social Work Program A ssessment 10

11 FIGURE 2. Percentile Scores on the ACAT, According to Year (Fairbanks Students) Policy Practice HBSE Research Overall (N=10) (N=18) (N=20) (N=16) (N=21) (N=19) (N=21) (N=14) (N=15) (N=13) (N=12) (N=11) (N=10) (N=16) Figure 1, which diagrams the progression of raw score means overall and for the curriculm segments have not varied much over the 14-year period. The overall mean has varied by only thirteen points--56 to 68. The research area, however, shows a less consistent pattern during these years. Nonetheless, performance in this area improved substantially over this past year. The pattern of percentile rankings during this period for the curriculum segments and overall (Figure 2) reveals somewhat of a curvilinear pattern--high scores obtained in the initial years, dropping steadily to a low point in 1998 and 1999, reversing direction the following year, and subsequently climbing. It is of significance to note that, since 2001, scores have been consistantly high (with only a slight dip in 2005). This may be a reflection of the substantial curriculum changes implemented in recent years; an additional policy course (SWK 305, Social Welfare History), an additional Human Behavior in the Social Environment Course (SWK 342), and a new research course (SWK 375, Social Work Research Methods) Social Work Program A ssessment 11

12 ACAT Distance-Education Students Ten distance-education students took the ACAT this year. Results are shown in Table 2. TABLE 2. Mean of Raw Score & Percentile, Dist. Ed. Score Area Policy raw score percentile Practice raw score percentile HBSE raw score percentile Research raw score percentile Overall raw score Percentile While the number of students increased from (N=6) in 2005 to (N=10) in 2006, the raw score as well as the percentile ranking show a noticeable decline. Percentile ranks for the four curriculum areas ranged from 52 nd to 87 th and mean of the raw scores from 49% to 74%. It should be noted that unlike a classroom examination, the ACAT and its content areas are calibrated so that the average students will achieve a raw score between 49% and 64%. Distance-education students exceed these expectations in all areas with the exception of Research Social Work Program A ssessment 12

13 Comparison of Fairbanks and Distance-Education Students on the ACAT Table 3 and Figure 3 compare the two student components on overall means of raw scores and percentile rankings from 1997 to the present. It is important to not that, prior to 2004, the low number of distance students taking the ACAT does not allow for any meaningful performance comparisons between Fairbanks and Distance students. In 2004 and subsequent years, there are sufficient numbers for comparison, and it is significant to note that during these years Fairbanks and Distances scores are quite comparable. Also, as stated previously, there is a growing phenomenon of students taking both Distances and Fairbanks courses to complete their degree. UAF views this as a positive development, and a reflection of course comparability between delivery methods, however, it also means that ACAT scores reflect one or two students each year who do not neatly fit into one category or the other. While these students may have taken courses from both delivery methods, their scores are incorporated into every data set their ACAT test was submitted in (for example, a distance student that took her test on campus would be counted in the Fairbanks scores, and a campus based student who took her test with an individual proctor would be counted as in the Distance scores). Further departmental discussion is needed to decide how to best reflect these hybrid student scores. TABLE 3. Comparison of Overall Means of Raw Scores and Percentiles on the ACAT, for Fairbanks and Distance-Education Students, According to Year Number of Students Mean Raw Score (% Correct) Percentile Year Dist-Ed Fairbanks Dist-Ed Fairbanks Dist-Ed Fairbanks Social Work Program A ssessment 13

14 FIGURE 3. Comparison of Overall Means of Raw Scores and Percentiles for Fairbanks and Distance Students, According to Year Raw Score - Dist-Ed Raw Score - Fbks Percentile - Dist-Ed Percentile - Fbks With the exception of 1997 and 2005, note the comparability of scores throughout these years for both student groups. Compared to last year s results, distance student scores decreased, whereas Fairbanks students slightly increased their score level. In both cases, however, performance whether raw scores or percentile rankings remain relatively high Social Work Program A ssessment 14

15 BEA P Results Fairbanks and Distance-Education Students Entrance survey. The survey was given in the introductory classes (SWK 103), fall and spring semesters. Beginning Fairbanks and distance-education students are compared. Totals differ due to missing data. TABLE 4. Comparison of Fairbanks, Distance-Education and Cohort Students on BEAP Entrance Survey (frequencies, unless otherwise indicated) Fairbanks (N=14) Dist-Ed (N=6) 1. Gender Female 8 3 Male Year level Freshman 14 4 Sophomore 0 1 Junior 0 0 Senior U.S. citzenship Yes 13 6 No Plan to be employed during education Yes 14 6 No Financial aid sources (frequencies do not total 36, as 'all that apply' are selected Federal funds (work, loans, or grants) 12 7 State funds (work, loans or grants) 7 2 University funds (work, loans or grants) 9 7 Private organization funds (loans or grants) 11 3 Parents or family funds (work or grants) 2 2 Self funded (work or savings) Social Work Program A ssessment 15

16 Fairbanks Dist-Ed (N=14) (N=6) 6. Language fluency, other than English ('all that apply' are selected) Alaska Native 3 1 American Sign Language Expected year of graduation Racial heritage Native North American 3 3 African American 1 1 Mexican/Chicano 0 1 Caucasian 8 2 Other Impairments (hearing, learning, medical, or other) ('all that apply' are selected) Mean of the current grade point average 11. Mean months of paid social work experience Mean months of social work volunteer experience Mean hours per week plan to be employed during education Mean age Students tend to be female, freshman or sophomores, U.S. citizens, and plan to work during their education, especially those at the distance sites. Federal and state funds constitute a substantial source of financial assistance, with private organizations a close second. Social Work Values Inventory. The inventory measures an awareness of social work values in three basic areas: confidentiality, self-determination, and social justice. The inventory is given upon entrance to the program and again prior to graduation. We administered the entrance values inventory to incoming students and the exit values inventory to senior students. Thus the Social Work Program A ssessment 16

17 data in Table 5 represent a longitudinal trend study, in which two different groups--entering students and students prior to graduation--are tested. TABLE 5. Mean Scores on Entrance and Exit Values Inventory Items Fairbanks Students Entrance (N=14) Exit (N=15) Confidentiality (17 items) Self-Determination (17 items) Social Justice (16 items) Distance-Education Students Entrance (N=6) Exit (N=6) Confidentiality (17 items) Self-Determination (17 items) Social Justice (16 items) Cohort Students* Entrance (N=2) Confidentiality (17 items) 78.5 Self-Determination (17 items) 71.5 Social Justice (16 items) 80.0 *first year of reporting Both the Fairbanks and Distance-education senior student groups show higher scores than do beginning students in identifying concerns on each of the value sets. It is interesting to note that while students reflected only a moderate increase in there already high scores on confidentially and social justice values, a significant increase in scores can be noted in the value students place on a person s right to self determination (From 53.8 to 74.2 for Fairbanks students, and from 58 to 68.3 in Distance students). Thus, it would appear that the program has helped students grapple with value issues. These scores are similar to last year s results Social Work Program A ssessment 17

18 On the entrance inventory, distance-education students display slightly higher scores than do the Fairbanks and cohort students in both confidentiality as well as social justice, however the cohort group scored higher in self-determination. Both groups tested on exiting the program show the highest scores in awareness of "social justice. Exit survey. The survey, given to senior students in the spring semester, collects data on the undergraduate experience, employment and professional activities while in school, post graduate educational plans, evaluation of the program in preparing for practice, and demographic information. Comparisons shown in Table 6 must be approached judiciously due to the small number of respondents. Also, totals differ due to missing data. TABLE 6. Comparison of Fairbanks and Distance-Education Students on the BEAP Exit Survey (frequencies, unless otherwise indicated) Fairbanks (N=15) Dist-Ed (N=8) A1.2. Mean grade point average Overall Courses in the major A3. Number of students working during education 11 7 A4. If working, average (mean) hours per week A5. Number received financial aid 10 4 A6. Type of financial aid (all that apply are selected) Federal funds (grants, loans, or work) 5 3 State funds (grants, loans or work) 3 1 College or university funds (work) 0 3 Private organization funds (grants or loans) 2 2 Parents or family funds (grants) 2 1 Self-funded (work, savings) Social Work Program A ssessment 18

19 Fairbanks (N=15) Dist-Ed (N=8) A7. Quality of advising (mean rating on scale 0-10, with 10, superb and 0, very poor) Course selection and planning Career planning Professional advising Section B. Current Employment B1. Current Employment Full-time social work 5 4 Full-time, not in social work 2 1 Not currently employed 3 2 B2. Average hours per week currently employed B3. Currently seeking employment B4. If yes, seeking employment in social work 3 1 Remainder of the items in this section of the survey refers to students currently engaged in social work jobs. Five students in Fairbanks and four distance-ed. students report such employment (B-1). Section C. Post-Graduate Education Plans C1. Plans for further education 5 3 C2. If yes, degree program (all that apply are selected) MSW 4 2 Other masters degree 1 0 C3. Applied to MSW program Social Work Program A ssessment 19

20 C4. If applied, plan to attend full-time 2 3 C5. If accepted, accepted in advanced standing 4 2 C6. How well-prepared by the program for additional education in social work (mean rating scale, 0-10) Section D. Mean Ratings of Preparedness (scale 0-10) Knowledge of: Fairbanks Dist-Ed (N=15) (N=8) D1. Diversity D2. Oppression and discrimination D3. Social and economic justice D4. History of social work D5. Social work professional associations D6. Current issues in the social work profession D7. Bio-psycho-social development D8. Family development D9. Group development D10. Organizational development D11. Community development D12. Interaction among social systems Skills in: D13. Culturally competent interventions D14. Professional use of self D15. Generalist interventions D16. Applying bio-psycho-social knowledge D17. Analyzing the effects of social policy D18. Influence of organizational policies D19. Evaluating research studies D20. Applying finding of research D21. Evaluating ones practice with supervision D22. Communication in diverse situations Social Work Program A ssessment 20

21 D23. Using supervision in practice Fairbanks Dist-Ed (N=15) (N=8) D24. Functioning within organizational structures D25. Seeking necessary organizational change Values or Ethics in: D26. Respecting dignity of clients D27. Upholding client confidentiality D28. Respecting client self-determination D29. Non-judgmental manner D30. Respecting cultural and social diversity D31. Ensuring primary responsibility to clients D32. Working with colleagues in social work D33. Working with colleagues in other fields D34. Maintaining professional relationships with clients D35. Promoting social and economic justice Summation of Section D Responses: Mean of the means of knowledge items (12) Mean of the means of the skills items (13) Mean of the means of the values items (10) Overall mean of the means of all items (35) D36. Mean number of times evaluated client progress in field placement using research methods D37. Mean number of professional workshops attended during education D38. Mean number of conferences attended during education D39. Mean number of professional workshops attended during education Social Work Program A ssessment 21

22 Demographic Data Fairbanks (N=15) Dist-Ed (N=8) E1. Gender Female 14 8 Male 1 1 E2. U.S citizen 15 8 E3. Language fluency (all that apply are selected) English 15 6 Native-American 1 2 German 0 0 Spanish 1 0 French 1 0 Other 2 1 E4. Disabilities 4 2 E5. Mean age at time of graduation Section A provides information about the undergraduate educational experience. Compared with last year s data, GPAs are similar. Most students in both student groups have worked during their education, although the average of hours of work per week are the same--about 25 hours, which is considerable. Distance-education students rate the quality of advising more highly in general than do Fairbanks students. Indeed the latter group reports low satisfaction for advisement regarding career and professional planning. Students report receiving some form of financial aid, mainly from federal and state, but most of all from their own savings and work. Section B refers to students who are employed, whether in social work or not. As the data show, five of fifteen Fairbanks students are currently working in social work positions, and four of the eight distance-education students report social work employment. Of those currently employed in social work jobs, most list their primary functions in administration or generalist practice. Roles in practice vary: case management, counselor/clinician, family services, coordinator, advocate, consultant, outreach, and broker Social Work Program A ssessment 22

23 (respondents were asked to select all that apply). Fields of practice also range widely; no one field dominates. Fairbanks working students are more apt to work in private nonprofit agencies, whereas distance-education students work in public state organizations. Fairbanks students report working mostly with individual and families. Distance education students also work with individual and families, but also with groups and communities. When asked the age category of their clients, all but one student worker report a mix of ages. More distance-education students than those in Fairbanks say that they work with clients at the poverty level. Section C elicits information about postgraduate educational plans. Five students indicate plans for further education, most anticipating postgraduate study in social work. Half say that they have applied to an MSW program, and all who have applied report preference for advanced standing. The last question in this section asks, on a scale 0 to 10 (10 meaning superb), how well do you think your BA in social work has prepared you for additional education? More distance-education students attest to their preparedness than do Fairbanks students, which is opposite from last year s findings. Section D on the BEAP exit survey lists 35 items reflecting knowledge, skills, and values. Students were asked how well they think the program prepared them on these items. Respondents rated each item on a scale from 0 to 10 (very poor to superb). The mean of the means for each category was calculated, as well as a mean for all 35 items (see Summation of Section D Responses, Table 6). Overall, results indicate a relatively high level of preparedness, ranging from good to very good. Students in Fairbanks and at the distance sites show almost identical results. Scores, however, this year are slightly lower than those of last year. Similar to past year s group, the highest ratings of preparedness obtain for values. Section E shows personal demographic data. The two student groups are similar; most students are female, U.S. citizens, and English as the primary language. The only difference is that more disability is found among the Fairbanks group. The mean age of students is higher among the distance-education group. Alumni Survey. Survey forms were sent to the 15 alumni of the class of 2003; i.e., two years after graduation. Eight alumni completed and returned survey forms (54%). Results for Fairbanks and distance-education alumni are combined. TABLE 7. Results of Alumni Survey (N=8) (frequencies unless otherwise indicated)* Section A. Current Employment Currently employed Yes, full-time in social work 3 Yes, full-time not in social work Social Work Program A ssessment 23

24 Yes, part-time not in social work 1 If not working in social work, why not? (respondents recorded all that apply) Employed in another field 2 Further education 2 Not able to find SW employment 2 Other 2 Why won't seek SW employment again? (all that apply) Making career away from SW 1 Pay and benefits too low 1 Disillusioned with SW 1 Dislike what clients expect of me 1 Other State of Employment Alaska 6 Minnesota 1 Type of area employed Urban 5 Rural 1 Current income from all employment (median) $29,000 Section B. Current Primary Social Work Position Current income from social work employment (median) $29,200 Months after BSW before first employed (mean) 1.8 Educational requirements for current social work job BA or BS, not in social work 1 BSW or BA in social work Social Work Program A ssessment 24

25 Primary function in social work job Administration 1 Generalist practice 1 Direct practice (individual, family, or groups) 1 Teaching 1 Major roles in social work position (respondents recorded all that apply) Enabler/facilitator 1 Advocate/activist 1 Coordinator 1 Counselor/Clinician 1 Language used in practice English 4 Native American 1 Sign language 1 Fields of practice in social work position (all that apply) Mental or behavioral health 2 Crisis intervention 1 Education/Training 3 Child welfare/child protection 2 Family service 2 Alcohol, drug, or substance abuse 1 Grief/Bereavement 1 Public assistance 1 Violence/Victim Services 1 Mental retardation/developmental Disability 2 Community Planning 1 School System 1 Type of organization currently employed Private, nonprofit, nonreligious 2 Client systems work with in social work position (all that apply) Individuals Social Work Program A ssessment 25

26 Groups 2 Families 2 Organizations 1 How well prepared by program for entry level position in social work (mean, 0-10) 9 Age group served in current job Preschool Elementary school age 1 Middle-aged adults 1 No typical age (mixed) 1 Young adult 1 Typical income level of clients served Poverty or below 3 Above poverty and below middle income 0 No typical income 1 Section C. Evaluation of Social Work Preparation (mean score, 0-9/10, N=8) Knowledge learned in program Theories of diversity 7.6 Oppression and discrimination 8.5 Social and economic justice 8.0 History of social work 7.9 Professional associations 7.4 Current issues in social work profession 8.6 Bio-psycho-social development 8.0 Family development 7.9 Group development 8.0 Organizational development 8.0 Community development 7.6 Interactions among systems 7.8 Skills learned in program Social Work Program A ssessment 26

27 Culturally competent interventions 8.0 Professional use of self 8.0 Generalist interventions 8.0 Applying bio-psycho-social knowledge 8.0 Impact of social policies 8.0 Influence organizational policies 9.0 Evaluating research studies 8.5 Applying findings of research 8.4 Evaluating own practice with supervision 8.8 Communicate based on diversity and ability 8.3 Use supervision in practice 8.3 Function within organization structures and policies 8.5 Seek organizational change with supervision 8.0 Values and ethics gained in program Respect dignity of clients 9.5 Uphold client confidentiality 9.5 Respect client self-determination 9.0 Non-judgmental manner 9.5 Respect cultural and social diversity 9.5 Ensure primary responsibility to clients 8.9 Work with colleagues in social work 8.1 Work with colleagues in other fields 8.0 Maintain professional relationship 8.6 Promote social and economic justice 8.8 Summation of Section C Responses Mean of the means of knowledge items (12) 8.0 Mean of the means of the skills items (13) 8.3 Mean of the means of the value items (10) 8.9 Overall mean of items of evaluation (35) 8.4 Section D. Educational Activities Applied to MSW program Yes Social Work Program A ssessment 27

28 No 4 Status of application Full-time 4 Not applied 0 Accepted into advanced program Yes 3 No 1 Currently enrolled in an MSW program 1 Currently enrolled in another master s level program 2 How well did the BSW program prepare you for further education (mean, 0-10) 9.2 Professional activities since graduation (all that apply) Community service, projects, boards, etc. 4 NASW membership 1 Presented talk to a community group 3 Conducted a workshop 2 Enrolled in graduate/for-credit course 1 Enrolled in continuing ed/non-credit course 2 Participated in writing proposal for grants 3 Other SW association membership 1 Membership in professional assn. outside of SW 1 Number of times in past year evaluated client progress (mean) 13.5 Number of times in past year used program evaluation methodology 1.8 Number of times in past year used other research techniques (mean) Social Work Program A ssessment 28

29 Number of professional conferences attended last year (mean) 2.0 Number of professional workshops or seminars attended last year (mean) 3.3 Section F. Demographic Profile Location of current residence Alaska 7 Minnesota 1 Gender Female 6 Male 1 Age (mean) 39.5 *Eight of 15 completed survey forms were returned. Five of the fifteen alumni who responded report working full-time. Of those working, six are in Alaska, five in urban areas (Section A). The average time in acquiring work after graduation was just under two years. The median income reported is $29,000 (N=5), which is 50% higher than that reported by last year s alumni s. This may not accurately reflect incomes in the field with such a small group of students reporting. Section B reports specifically on social work employment. Only one report says that a degree in social work was required for their current job, and the primary functions reported are administration, generalist and direct practice. Major roles and fields of practice in social work positions vary, as do age of clients. Most alumni report working with either individuals or groups. A mean score of 9.0 was obtained for measure of preparedness by the program for practice. Section C asks alumni to evaluate the knowledge, skills, and values gained from the social work program. The mean rating is based on a range from 0 to 10, the latter the highest. Summation scores show a fairly high level of preparedness for practice. These scores are higher than those reported by senior students on the exit survey (see Table 5) Social Work Program A ssessment 29

30 Section D and E of the survey solicits information about educational and professional activities. Four respondents have applied to an MSW program and three have been accepted. One other is currently enrolled in an MSW program. A mean of 9.2 (of 10) is obtained for preparedness by the program for graduate study. Alumni appear to be active in professional activities, such as community service, NASW, presentations, professional conferences and seminars. Alumni report participation in evaluation studies and other research in their work. Demographic items are provided in Section F. Seven of eight alumni respondents are female, all but two are working in Alaska, and the mean age of the alumni reporting is Employer Survey. Only three employers (of 15 sent) returned surveys, thus the data are not presented. The employers or supervisors were asked how well the employee (whom they are supervising) demonstrates an ability in nineteen areas, using a rating scale from 0 (very poor) to 10 (superb) (see survey in Appendix for the nineteen items). Supervisors rated their alumniworkers either very good or superb on all items. The poor response rate for employers or supervisors is no doubt due to the manner in which the surveys were distributed. The forms were attached with the alumni survey, and alumni were asked to deliver the surveys to their supervisors, collect them, and then send them back along with their own surveys. In the future, alumni and employer surveys will each have separate return, stamped-envelopes and be sent back separately. SUMMARY This is the third year we used the complete BEAP package of evaluation instruments, as well as continuing to administer the ACAT exam. Return rates continue to be a concern for those surveys sent by mail to distance education students and alumni, however this year s return rate showed an increase over past years. The return rate for the entrance survey for distanceeducation students was 46%--an increase over last year (36%). Eight of the 15 alumni (class of 2004) surveys were returned, however, only three employer/supervisor surveys were received. The return rate for the exit survey for distance-education students was good 67%. In order to increase the return rate for the mailed surveys, we must be more assertive vis-à-vis follow-up measures. We will also continue to update our alumni bank which is kept in the department office. Also, alumni and employer/supervisor surveys will be returned separately. It should be noted that the Department has added a new position, Assessment Coordinator, to continue to address these issues and to hopefully continue to see increased return rates on BEAP surveys. We are pleased that our senior students both in Fairbanks and at distant sites continue to do well with ACAT scores. Both groups report that the program prepared them properly for practice. Parity between the Fairbanks and distance-education students is affirmed by the comparative data. The knowledge gained from these findings will be used for the betterment of the program; to continue helping meet the goals of the program in preparing students for generalist social work Social Work Program A ssessment 30

31 practice and/or graduate education, as well as enriching student s knowledge of social welfare needs in Alaska and contributing to the well-being of the community and to the rural regions of the state. Visible improvements achieved on the part of our students reinforces the confidence in our abilities. While there remain areas in need of attention we willingly accept that challenge and look forward to another successful academic year. This report is distributed to social work faculty, the social work advisory council, as well as to university administrators. As these groups review these findings, we hope that ideas generated will help us in our continued efforts to improve the social work program at UAF Social Work Program A ssessment 31

32 APPENDICES A. ACAT Score Reports (Fairbanks and Distance-Education Students) B. BEAP Surveys 1. Entrance Survey 2. Social Work Values Inventory 3. Social Work Exit Survey 4. Alumni/ae Survey 5. Employer/Supervisor Survey Social Work Program A ssessment 32

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