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The Social Work Department seeks to improve its curriculum and instruction through regular student assessment. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has developed accreditation standards that require baccalaureate social work curriculum to prepare graduates for generalist practice through matery of a set of ten core competencies. These core competenices are measurable practice behaviors comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. These competencies serve as a link between what may be observed or demonstrated in student knowledge, value and skill performance, and the Department's curriculum expectations.

Assessment Findings

The ten core national accreditation competencies and 41 practice behaviors are:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  • Practice Behaviors
    • Advocate for client access to the services of social work
    • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development
    • Attend to professional roles and boundaries
    • Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication
    • Engage in career-long learning
    • Use supervision and consultation

    2.  Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

  • Practice Behaviors
    • Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice
    • Make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles
    • Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts
    • Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions

     3.  Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

  • Practical Behaviors
    • Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom
    • Analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation
    • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and colleagues.

     4.  Engage diversity and difference in practice.

  • Practical Behaviors:
    • Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power
    • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups
    • Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences
    • View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

     5.  Advance human rights and social and economic justice.

  • Practical Behaviors:
    • Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination
    • Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice
    • Engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

     6.  Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

  • Practical Behaviors:
    • Use practical experience to inform scientific inquiry
    • Use research evidence to inform practice

     7.  Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

  • Practical Behaviors:
    • Utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation
    • Critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment

     8.  Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

  • Practical Behaviors:
    • Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being
    • Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action

     9.  Respond to contexts that shape practice.

  • Practical Behaviors:
    • Continuously discover, appraise and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services
    • Provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services

     10.  Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  • Practical Behaviors:
      • Substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
      • Use empathy and other interpersonal skills
      • Develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes2.1.10(b)
      • Collect, organize, and interpret client data
      • Assess client strengths and limitations
      • Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives
      • Select appropriate intervention strategies
      • Initiate actions to achieve organizational goal
      • Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities
      • Help clients resolve problem
      • Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients
      • Facilitate transitions and endings
      • Critically analyze, monitor and evaluate interventions

Assessment Plan

The Department of Social Work has an Assessment Plan that measures student progress in these 10 Competencies and 41 Practice Behaviors. This includes evaluation tools that measure knowledge and/or skills upon acceptance into the social work major, while taking social work classes, and then at the completion of the degree program – the 480 hour internship. The department utilizes the following eight tools in the mixed methodology assessment plan to evaluate student progress in the 10 competencies and 41 practice behaviors:

1.      Multiple-choice Admissions Survey of students that complete the Department of Social Work Admissions Application and Interview

2.      Field Experience survey, 60-hour volunteer, site supervisor likert scale evaluation

3.      Individual counseling videotape, faculty assessment utilizing a likert scale evaluation tool

4.      Group counseling co-facilitation, faculty assessment utilizing a likert scale evaluation tool.

5.      Macro practice capstone project, faculty assessment utilizing a likert scale evaluation tool

6.      Research capstone project, faculty assessment utilizing a likert scale evaluation tool

7.      Internship, 480-hour volunteer, site supervisor likert scale evaluation

8.      Graduates survey, SurveyMonkey 5-point likert scale evaluation