Form AS 4 (B) 

University of New England Bachelor of Social Work program assessment of student learning outcomes



Download Form AS 4 (B) (PDF)

A. Assessment Procedure

The B.S.W. program assessment procedure takes place at the end of the spring semester every academic year. It begins prior to fall semester with the identification of course assignments from teaching faculty that are designed to measure each of the nine EPAS competencies, associated behaviors, and four learning dimensions. Two assignments are selected for each behavior, one from the classroom and the other from the field that is based on demonstration of the competency in real or simulated practice situations. A five-point rubric (see below) is used to measure and determine the competency score. A score of four or higher is needed to achieve the respective benchmark. Grades on assignments are converted to a one-to-five point scale so that they can be used to aggregate scores.

Table 4.0.1A: B.S.W. Competency Behaviors Assessment Rubric

1. Unmet level of competence Student performance did not meet a level of competence in the practice of the skills, knowledge, values, and/or cognitive/affective processes for this competency behavior at a beginning level.
2. Inconsistent competence Student performance demonstrates beginning but inconsistent competence in the practice of skills, knowledge, values, and/or cognitive/affective processes for this competency behavior.
3. Emerging competence Student performance demonstrates emerging competence in the practice of skills, knowledge, values, and/or cognitive/affective processes for this competency behavior.
4. Competence Student performance demonstrates consistent competence in the practice of skills, knowledge, values, and/or cognitive/affective processes for this competency behavior.
5. Proficiency/mastered competence Student performance demonstrates exceptional competence in the practice of skills, knowledge, values, and/or cognitive/affective processes for this competency behavior.

The UNE B.S.W. program is rigorous with a desire for students to graduate with proficiency in social work competencies as outlined by CSWE and commensurate with its mission, values, and goals. That said, the 80% competency benchmark was selected to assure that the majority of graduates fulfill competency requirements. When student competency falls below 80%, it is an indicator that steps need to be taken to address programmatic efficacy and excellence. Additionally, the B.S.W. program assessment team reviewed other social work programs’ competency benchmarks and found significant agreement on the appropriateness of assigning an 80% benchmark. As such, we believe this provides alignment between our benchmark assessments and other B.S.W. programs in national schools of social work.

The assessment procedure is as follows:

  1. Scores are gathered from faculty who have scored/graded assignments.
  2. The assessment committee made up of three faculty members (academic and field faculty represented), aggregates the data at the end of each grading period, and determines the percentage of students who attained the benchmark of 80% for each outcome measure.
  3. Scores are then averaged to obtain the percentage of the B.S.W. cohort demonstrating competence for each measure.
  4. It is then determined if aggregated percentages met the competency benchmarks.

B. Two measures are used to assess each competency. One of the assessment measures is based on demonstration of competency in real or simulated practice situations

At the end of every spring semester, course assignment information is collected from the faculty who develop and teach the generalist practice curriculum. Required generalist practice courses are:

  • SSW 200 Introduction to Social Work
  • SSW 300 Human Behavior and Social Work Theory I
  • SSW 320 Human Behavior and Social Work Theory II
  • SSW 310 Social Welfare Policy and Advocacy I
  • SSW 330 Social Welfare Policy and Advocacy II
  • SSW 340 Research Methods for Evidence
  • SSW 350 Ethics in Social Work Practice
  • SSW 400 Social Work Methods I
  • SSW 430 Social Work Methods II
  • SSW 410 Field Practicum & Seminar I
  • SSW 440 Field Practicum & Seminar I
  • SSW 460 Social Work with Groups and Communities

Two course assignments/activities are selected for each of the nine social work competencies, as measures of each competency. (The B.S.W. program has not identified any additional competencies beyond these nine.) Selected course assignments/activities are those that the faculty identified as the best measures of each competency. In addition, assessment measures ensure that all four competency dimensions are addressed by the two selected assignments/activities when considered together.

Once two course assignments/activities (measures) per competency are identified, the School collects data on student performance for each measure. Faculty discuss common measurement strategies and then provide their assessment tools and performance data for each selected assignment/activity. Measurement strategies reveal how well students performed on each measure and for each competency in areas of generalist practice.

As required, one of the measures chosen per competency is based on demonstration of the competency in real or simulated practice situations (e. g. simulations, case-based learning), and from the evaluations of students’ performance in the Field Practicum/Seminar courses. The second measure chosen for each competency is a course-embedded measure; a course assignment or activity identified by faculty as being a strong measure of the competency. When considered together, both measures address all four learning dimensions for the associated competencies.

C. How the assessment plan measures multiple dimensions of each competency, as described in EP 4.0.1:

The measures (course assignments/activities) chosen for each competency will be linked to one or more of the competency dimensions (knowledge, skills, values, cognitive/affective processes) by the School’s faculty. When choosing the two measures for each competency, the faculty ensure that all four dimensions of the competency are addressed by the measures (when considered together). In this way, the School’s assessment plan measures all four dimensions of each competency, benchmarks for each competency, a rationale for each benchmark, and a description of how it is determined that students’ performances meets the benchmark.

The method for determining that students’ performance meets the competency benchmark involves the assessment of student performance on the two measures, which is conducted by the faculty responsible for administering those measures (which are course assignments or real or simulated practice). Faculty use assessment tools, such as rubrics, quizzes, and grading explanations, to assess student performance on measures and then 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.

D. How the program determines the percentage of students achieving the benchmark:

 The method for determining the percentage of students attaining each competency’s benchmark involves calculating the percentage of students that attained the benchmarks for each of the competency’s measures. Then the student data for both measures is united and the overall percentage of students who attained both measures’ benchmarks is calculated. If this percentage is 80% or above, the competency benchmark has been met.

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