Event Title

BSW Voices: Exploration of Student Experience

Poster Number

097

Faculty Mentor

Jessica Yang, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Social Work

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

Program evaluation is a complex research process that aims to identify the aspects of a program that are effective in meeting stated goals, those that are not, and ways to improve service delivery overall. As a research methodology, program evaluation is often focused on understanding the performance of businesses and non-profits; however, it can provide invaluable insight into the functioning of higher education, as well. One key aspect of program evaluation is understanding the perspective of service users with regard to the agency and the services provided. Therefore, this study used focus groups and a semi-structured protocol to understand the perspectives and experiences of current students in the Bachelor of Social Work program at Winthrop University. All declared majors were eligible to participate in the study to share their unique lived experiences. Data collection is still underway; however, current trends indicate that, overall, participants are satisfied with the program, but they would like to make certain changes. Such changes include having opportunities for hands-on experience (through field placement or simulation labs) earlier in the program, increased variety of class times and elective options, increased screening of new faculty with a focus on hiring professors who are invested in students overall wellbeing, and social work specific scholarships. Once data collection is complete, findings will be shared with key stakeholders along with an action plan to uphold the key values of social work (such as advocacy and social justice) and the best practice principles for robust program evaluations.

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Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

BSW Voices: Exploration of Student Experience

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Program evaluation is a complex research process that aims to identify the aspects of a program that are effective in meeting stated goals, those that are not, and ways to improve service delivery overall. As a research methodology, program evaluation is often focused on understanding the performance of businesses and non-profits; however, it can provide invaluable insight into the functioning of higher education, as well. One key aspect of program evaluation is understanding the perspective of service users with regard to the agency and the services provided. Therefore, this study used focus groups and a semi-structured protocol to understand the perspectives and experiences of current students in the Bachelor of Social Work program at Winthrop University. All declared majors were eligible to participate in the study to share their unique lived experiences. Data collection is still underway; however, current trends indicate that, overall, participants are satisfied with the program, but they would like to make certain changes. Such changes include having opportunities for hands-on experience (through field placement or simulation labs) earlier in the program, increased variety of class times and elective options, increased screening of new faculty with a focus on hiring professors who are invested in students overall wellbeing, and social work specific scholarships. Once data collection is complete, findings will be shared with key stakeholders along with an action plan to uphold the key values of social work (such as advocacy and social justice) and the best practice principles for robust program evaluations.