Program Assessment

The School of Social Work’s assessment procedure is conducted every academic year and begins with the collection of course assignment information from the online and campus faculty who develop and teach the generalist practice curriculum and the specialized practice curriculum, Clinical Practice and Organization, Community Practice and Integrated Practice. The required generalist practice courses in both the online and campus program options are:

  1. SSW 501 Human Behavior & the Social Environment I 
  2. SSW 502 Human Behavior & the Social Environment II
  3. SSW 503 Social Work Research I
  4. SSW 504 Social Work Research II
  5. SSW 505 Social Welfare Policy and Programs I 
  6. SSW 506 Social Welfare Policy and Programs II 
  7. SSW 510 Social Work Practice I
  8. SSW 511 Social Work Practice II
  9. SSW 520 Field Practicum I/Seminar
  10. SSW 522 Field Practicum II/Seminar

The required Clinical Practice courses in both the online and campus program options are:

  1. SSW 552 Contemporary Theories of Social Work Practice: Individuals and Families
  2. SSW 553 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families
  3. SSW 597 Advanced Psychosocial Assessment
  4. SSW 565 Administration and Supervision
  5. SSW 580 Field Practicum III/Seminar
  6. SSW 582 Field Practicum IV/Seminar

The required Community Practice courses are:

  1. SSW 564 Program Development and Community Practice
  2. SSW 565 Administration and Supervision
  3. SSW 685 Community Organizing and Social Inclusion
  4. SSW 580 Field Practicum III/Seminar
  5. SSW 582 Field Practicum IV/Seminar

The required Integrated courses are:

  1. SSW 552 Contemporary Theories of Social Work Practice: Individuals and Families
  2. SSW 553 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families
  3. SSW 597 Advanced Psychosocial Assessment
  4. SSW 552, SSW 564 Program Development and Community Practice
  5. SSW 565 Administration and Supervision
  6. SSW 685 Community Organizing and Social Inclusion
  7. SSW 580 Field Practicum III/Seminar
  8. SSW 582 Field Practicum IV/Seminar

The assessment procedures consisted of first collecting the following information from all of the online and campus faculty who teach the courses listed above: 

  • Assignments and activities in their course(s)
  • Field competency assessments in 522 and 582
  • Competency(ies) that each assignment/activity covers
  • Dimensions addressed by each assignment/activity
  • Student performance on each assignment/activity during the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 academic years

Once this information was collected for all the required courses, one course assignment/activity and one field competency was selected for each of the nine social work competencies, as measures of each competency. In selecting course assignments/activities for each competency, the School sought to ensure that all competency’s dimensions were considered together. 

Course assignments/activities and a field competency was assigned to each of the specializations, generalist, clinical, community, and integrated. A matrix describing the course assignment/activity as well as the field competency is described 4.0.2. Data presented includes data from AY 2015–2016, which aligns with the self study document, as well as AY 2016–2017 which was requested by our CSWE accreditation specialist.

(B) At least two measures assess each competency. One of the assessment measures is based on demonstration of the competency in real or simulated practice situations.

Two measures, course assignments/activities and a field competency were chosen to assess each of the nine social work competencies, for all three areas of practice, generalist, Clinical, and Organization and Community. For AY 2016–2017 four areas of specialization were assessed which include generalist, Clinical, and Organization, Community and Integrated The data protocol was developed in AY 2015–2016 and used in AY 2016–2017. The purpose of this multiyear assessment was to accomplish two tasks. First to assess the quality of our program and student outcomes and, secondly to assess the data quality and data collection protocols. Additionally, the program used the same field evaluation data collection tool, which is the same tool field instructors complete with students in their final semester of SSW 522 and SSW 582 was used. While the data collection was standardized in the tool, the specific activity which the student engaged in may be different depending on field placement activities and the learning contract. As an example, field competency, (3.b) “Student applies knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, and the multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of ongoing assessment of information with clients, organizations and communities” is used in both 522 and 582. Student specific activity for 522 students may focus on understanding the importance of human behavior and the social environment in agency work and client interaction. For 582 students, specific student activity may focus on applying multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in assessment and working directly with clients and systems. A review of 42 random field contracts which back up the field evaluation forms suggest student level activities for generalist and advanced specializations are clearly linked to the progression of courses from generalist to advanced learning materials. That is, specific activities for for advanced year students represented different assignments which build upon the generalist work completed during the first year. 

(C) An explanation of how the assessment plan measures multiple dimensions of each competency, as described in EP 4.0. 

The measures (course assignments/activities) chosen for each competency were linked to one or more of the competency dimensions by the School’s faculty. When choosing the two measures for each competency, the School ensured that all four dimensions of the competency were being addressed by the measures (when considered together). In this way, the School’s assessment plan measures all four dimensions of each competency. 

(D) Benchmarks for each competency, a rationale for each benchmark, and a description of how it is determined that students’ performance meets the benchmark. 

The School’s faculty determined that the benchmark for each competency would be 80%, meaning that 80% of students must attain both competency measures' benchmarks. This 80% competency benchmark was chosen because 80% is a passing grade on assignments and field level activity. Additionally, the School reviewed the competency benchmarks of other social work programs and found significant agreement on the appropriateness of assigning an 80% benchmark. As such, it provides alignment between the UNE School of Social Work benchmarks and those used by other social work programs. 

The method for determining whether students’ performance meets the competency benchmark involves the assessment of student performance on the two competency measures, which is conducted by the faculty responsible for administering those measures (which are course assignments or activities). Faculty use assessment tools, such as rubrics and grading explanations, to assess student performance on the measures, and attribute grades to their performance. Using this student performance data provided by the faculty, it is then determined what percentage of students attained the benchmark (the necessary grade) set for each measure. Students’ attainment of the measures’ benchmarks informs whether they’ve attained the overall competency, as described in the preceding section (E). For the field competency benchmarks, students were determined to have met the competency if they achieved a score of 4 or better on a scale of 1 through 4. To earn a rating for 4 students needed to “apply the competency with only a few gaps.” As such, this was selected as aligning with the 80% standard. 

(E) An explanation of how the program determines the percentage of students achieving the benchmark. 

Data from all identified student assignments and field competency was analyzed. From the total number of students in the population, the number of students who received an 80% or higher on the course assignment or activity AND also scored a 4 or better on the field competency were determined to have met the benchmark. From there the number who met the benchmark was then divided by the total number of students included in the analysis and the percentage was observed. The percentage was then recorded as those within the population who met the benchmark.