ASSESSMENT REPORT: SOCIAL WORK DEGREE PROGRAM

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1 ASSESSMENT REPORT: SOCIAL WORK DEGREE PROGRAM PROGRAM INFORMATION Academic Program: Social Work Degree: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). Department or Program: Social Work Academic Year(s) covered by this report: 2011/2012 CONTACT PERSON Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D., MSW Professor, Chair, and Director of Social Work Program PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT The Department of Social Work prepares BSW graduates with the knowledge, Values and Skills to become effective generalist social work practitioners and/or to be successful in graduate study. In order to accomplish this mission, the curriculum is developed in a manner that explores, critiques and provides opportunities for students to apply and demonstrate ten core competencies that serve as the foundation for the social work profession. These competencies are incorporated into the Learning Outcomes.

2 STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES The BSW Program at Park University is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) through the year The CSWE assesses social work programs around how successful students have been in learning and applying the ten core competencies of social work practice (CSWE, 2008). The ten core competencies are: 1. To identify with the social work profession and conduct oneself in a respectful, collegial and accountable manner. 2. To practice in a manner that reflects social work s code of ethics. 3. To exhibit skills in critical thinking. 4. To appreciate diversity and difference. 5. To consider issues of social and economic justice in all aspects of their work. 6. To recognize how social work practice is influenced by social contexts. 7. To become a practitioner/researcher and a researcher/practitioner. 8. To understand and apply multiple theories of Human Behavior in the Social environment. 9. To understand the impact of social welfare policy and to become engaged as a policy practitioner. 10. To demonstrate skills in A) Engagement; B) Assessment; C) Intervention; and D) Evaluation. The substantive, conceptual knowledge that is learned in each social work course is assessed by the instructor through multiple methods such as class interaction and participation, student presentations, achievement on written or oral examinations and writing assignments such as reflection papers and formal term papers. Ultimately, however, each student who graduates must demonstrate attainment of the ten core competencies that they have learned across the curriculum. It is this overall assessment that is reported to the CSWE regarding every graduate s attainment of the ten core competencies. The Social Work Program gathers and analyzes data in order to assess student attainment of the competencies. These data are gathered in three ways.

3 MEANS OF ASSESSMENT Data Collection All BSW graduates must demonstrate that they understand and are able to communicate this knowledge and apply this knowledge through their skills as a generalist social worker. There are three sources of data that the Program uses to assess this learning: 1. The Field Practicum Instructor Assessment of Student Competencies in the Agency. (Forms available upon request). 2. The Assessment of the BSW Program Director/Department Chair and Faculty of the Organizational Transformation Project (OTP). Students present the formative and summative evaluation of their project in a formal presentation as well as in a final journal style paper that is submitted two weeks before graduation. The OTP is the core assessment in SW 410: Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities. This class, taken in the final semester of the senior year, is designed to integrate knowledge values and skills that have been learned in all prior social work courses. (Rubric available upon request) 3. Graduating students assessment of the degree to which the BSW program has prepared them to understand and apply the ten core competencies of social work practice. (Form available upon request). Scoring As noted above, an assessment tool has been developed for Field Practicum Instructors to rate the extent to which the student has demonstrated each of the ten competencies in their work as a student social worker at the agency, school, etc. The Practicum instructor assigns a final assessment as to whether the student has not met met or exceeded each competency. The rating scale is a Likert-Type 7 point scale. A rating of 6 or 7 means that the student has exceeded the expectations in this competency. A rating of 3-5 means that the student has met the competency. A rating of 1-2 means that the student has not met expectations in the competency. The Practicum Instructors and students meet for a day long orientation at Park in August where the competencies are reviewed and rubrics for assessment are shared. As noted above, the rubric for assessing the extent to which competencies have been integrated into the OTP has been developed and is utilized to assign a grade. The final Field Instructor assessment of BSW student competencies is illustrated in table 1.

4 Table 1: Final Field Instructor Assessment of Student application of The Ten Core Social Work Competencies. * 2011/2012 Field Instructor Ratings of Student Attainment of Ten Competencies Student Prof. Ethics Critical Diversity Hum. Research Hum. Policy Practice EAIE MEAN Id. Thinking Rights Behav. Context mean

5 *Student names truncated to protect confidentiality. 1 B 11 H 2 B 12 J 3 B 13 M 4 b/m 14 M 5 C 15 N 6 C 16 S 7 D 17 S 8 D 18 W 9 E 19 W 10 F The analysis of the data presented on table I suggests that the BSW program is doing a very good job in promoting students knowledge and skills in the ten core competencies of generalist practice. As an aggregate, the students exceeded the expectations in 9 out of 10 of the core competencies. Students met the expectations (mean 5.7) in the research competency. As will be discussed later in the implications section of this report, the program will make it a point of emphasis to improve the outcomes for students in this important competency in Students are assessed by the social work faculty regarding how well they are able to convey the core competencies in a formal presentation as well as by writing a formal journal style paper. The presentations are reviewed by all faculty and social work professionals at the agency as well as at the spring colloquium. The papers are assessed by Dr. Kisthardt, who teaches the SW 410 class where this final capstone assignment takes place. He also meets with all senior students individually to mentor them in the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of their OTP. Table 2 below illustrates the students attainment of the core competencies through the written and verbal modes of dissemination.

6 Table 2. Student Attainment of Core Competencies in the OTP Paper/Presentation Stud. Prof. I.D. Ethics Cr. Think Div Soc. Jus. Research Hum. Beh. Policy Contexts EAIE Mean Mean The data reflected in table 2 indicates that BSW graduates met or exceeded expectations across all ten core competencies. Twelve students (63.2%) achieved a mean score of at least 4.0 across all competencies. Seven students (36.8%) achieved a mean score of at least 6.0 across all competencies. The data also indicates the mean score for all students within each of the core competencies. This provides very useful information regarding areas in the curriculum that require attention and improvement. In 8 of the competencies students as an aggregate reflected a mean score of at least 5.0. This indicates that 80% of the competencies were reflected by the group in their OTP paper and presentation in a manner that met program expectations. Two of the competencies (20%) were reflected by the group in a manner that exceeded program expectations. The lowest aggregate scores are found in the Identify as a Professional Social Worker competency. It will be important for the program to integrate attention to this competency across the curriculum next year. This rating may reflect students lack of confidence as they graduate and move ahead with graduate study or professional practice.

7 Professional behavior will be a point of emphasis next year. All faculty will discuss the expectations with the students in all classes in the fall. Listening more attentively when their peers and instructor is sharing; not doing other work or texting, checking Facebook, etc.; treating each other with respect; conveying skills in affirming others comments or position and sharing a different perspective in a manner that reflects civility and collegiality, etc. Students also did not rate as high in the Research competency (x=5.5). This may be due in part to the teaching style of the instructor. Many students commented on their ratings that they did not learn well when other students were expected to review the material and present it to the class. There was also confusion and some dissention during the class research project. The data suggests that we need to restructure the Research class. Dr. Kisthardt will be meeting with Ms. Tucker, the new full time faculty member to develop the syllabus and create assignments that will be designed to enhance the learning experience. We will also integrate the core assessment with the students Organizational Transformation Project. In this manner students will have the opportunity to be attending to their OTP the entire year. Many students commented that they would like to be able to develop and have their OTP approved earlier in the senior year. STUDENT ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAM All graduates of the BSW program at Park University are expected to assess the extent to which they believe that the program was helpful in teaching and modeling the ten core competencies of generalist practice. Fourteen of the 19 graduates completed the assessment tool. Fourteen respondents (100%) rated the program as being either helpful or very helpful on four of the competencies. These competencies were Professional Identity, Ethics, Human Behavior/Theory, and Engage, Assess, Intervene, and Evaluate. Two students (14.3%) reported that the program was not helpful in the competencies Critical Thinking, Diversity and Difference in Practice, Human Rights and Social Justice, and Policy Practice. Twelve students (86%) reported that the program was helpful or very helpful in teaching these competencies. Three students (21.5%) reported that the program was not helpful in promoting the Research competency. Eleven students (78.5%) reported that the program was helpful or very helpful in these competencies One student (7%) reported that the program did not help in becoming aware of and responding to contexts that shape practice. Thirteen students (93%) reported that the program was helpful or very helpful in promoting this competency. Student comments shed greater light on the processes that influenced their ratings. There were several themes that will assist our program in becoming even more effective in the future. These themes include:

8 1. Instructors need to always listen to students views and create an atmosphere where dissenting and diverse views are recognized and respected. 2. Instructors need to model the competencies that they are striving to teach students. 3. Instructors need to respond in a timely manner with feedback on assignments. 4. Instructors need to balance stories practice examples with discussion on concepts and be sure to clarify context and learning points of a particular example. SUMMARY AND IMPLICATIONS Overall, the data suggests that the BSW program did a very good job in promoting student attainment of the ten core competencies. Assessment data from Field Instructors, Faculty, and Students affirms this conclusion from multiple perspectives. As noted in the report the data suggests three points of emphasis for the coming year: 1. Attention to specifics of professional identity and behavior in all classes. 2. Faculty modeling the core competencies in all interactions with students and with each other. 3. Restructuring the Research class. We are delighted and also fortunate to be welcoming Ms. Tamara Tucker as a full time faculty member in August. Her commitment to students and to the profession will be a valuable addition to the program. Ms. Tucker, in addition to her teaching assignments, will be advising students and assisting Mr. Bachman with issues relating to Field Practicum. We look forward to another successful year in Respectfully Submitted, Walter E. Kisthardt Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D., MSW Professor and BSW Program Director

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