Unit: Social Work
Program: Social Work (MSW)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Oct 09, 2015 - 5:45:26 pm

1) Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs) and Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.

Since our last report, the student learning outcomes (SLOs) for the MSW Program remain the same.  Currently, SLOs (based on core competences) are addressed in all MSW foundation and concentration year courses and are corporated into master syllabi. Each course within the MSW curriculum addresses core competencies within the context of its substantive content. This provides a strong internal cohesiveness to the curriculum and is consistent with guidelines from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS, 2008).

The Ten (10) Core Competencies as outlined in the CSWE EPAS are:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform & communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.


2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/sswork/msw-assessment.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.hawaii.edu/sswork/Students/MSW_Handbook.pdf
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: http://www.hawaii.edu/sswork/bulletin.html
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA
Other: New Student Orientation Materials

3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2015:

4) For your program, the percentage of courses that have course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is as follows. Please update as needed.


5) Did your program engage in any program learning assessment activities between June 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015?

No (skip to question 16)

6) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period June 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015? (Check all that apply.)

Create/modify/discuss program learning assessment procedures (e.g., SLOs, curriculum map, mechanism to collect student work, rubric, survey)
Collect/evaluate student work/performance to determine SLO achievement
Collect/analyze student self-reports of SLO achievement via surveys, interviews, or focus groups
Use assessment results to make programmatic decisions (e.g., change course content or pedagogy, design new course, hiring)
Investigate curriculum coherence. This includes investigating how well courses address the SLOs, course sequencing and adequacy, the effect of pre-requisites on learning achievement.
Investigate other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 7)

7) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place in the last 18 months.

Our assessment goal continues to evalute the degree to which our ten Student Learning Outcomes have been met throughout the curriculum over the course of the academic year.  Data collected are from both direct evidence (instructor evaluation of student products such as reports, presentation, and classroom acitives as measured by the Instructor Evaluation Sheet- IES) and indirect evidence (students' self assement as measured by the Student Self Assessment Survey Instrument -SSASI).  Our 10 Program SLOs  are: 1. Identify as professional social workers and conduct themselves accordingly. 2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice. 3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments. 4. Engage diversity and difference in practice. 5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice. 6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. 7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment. 8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services. 9. Respond to contexts that shape practice. 10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Our standing assessment commitee evaluates data collected through the IES and SSASI (as well as assessment of student services), results are presented to the MSW Program Chair for review and further analysis.  Results are then shared with the  MSW curriculum committee for curriculum discussion, review, and recommended action.

For the last two years the BSW and MSW Programs have held “teachering” sessions to address curriculum questions and common classroom issues.  Topics have included curriculum rollout, vertical and horizontal sequencing, assignment design and implementation as well as classroom management.  Also covered are SLOs, Student Learning Objectives (SLObs) and course assignment alignment.  It is critical the both instructors and adjunct faculty recognize the need to connect assignments to stated outcomes and objects to measure competence.  Because of this, the teachering sessions serve as both training site and site for program culture development that is competency based.  Additionally, in the spring of 2015 the assessment committee met with field office faculty and together created a 360o assessment tool through which the student assesses both the field instructor/site and field office; the field office assesses both the student and the field instructor/site; and the field instructor in turn assesses the student and the field office.  This process will also contribute to a obtaining additional relevant information to make critical programmatic and pedagogical changes.

Feedback from the UH Manoa Assessment Office was also taken into consideration with regard to how the data is reported.  Thus, results of our 2014-2015 School Year reflects the recommendation.  Additionally, in 2015 the Chairs of the BSW, MSW, and MBTSSW Assessment committee presented our poster board entitled "(un)Common Core Competencies" at the UH Manoa Assessment Office Curricular Improvement Poster Presentation event articulating our assessment structure that incorporates  our BSW and MSW curriculum SLOs (Core Competencies), student learning objectives, practice behaviors, and class assignments.

8) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 6? (Check all that apply.)

Direct evidence of student learning (student work products)

Artistic exhibition/performance
Assignment/exam/paper completed as part of regular coursework and used for program-level assessment
Capstone work product (e.g., written project or non-thesis paper)
Exam created by an external organization (e.g., professional association for licensure)
Exit exam created by the program
IRB approval of research
Oral performance (oral defense, oral presentation, conference presentation)
Portfolio of student work
Publication or grant proposal
Qualifying exam or comprehensive exam for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation (graduate level only)
Supervisor or employer evaluation of student performance outside the classroom (internship, clinical, practicum)
Thesis or dissertation used for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation
Other 1:
Other 2:

Indirect evidence of student learning

Alumni survey that contains self-reports of SLO achievement
Employer meetings/discussions/survey/interview of student SLO achievement
Interviews or focus groups that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Student reflective writing assignment (essay, journal entry, self-assessment) on their SLO achievement.
Student surveys that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Other 1:
Other 2:

Program evidence related to learning and assessment
(more applicable when the program focused on the use of results or assessment procedure/tools in this reporting period instead of data collection)

Assessment-related such as assessment plan, SLOs, curriculum map, etc.
Program or course materials (syllabi, assignments, requirements, etc.)
Other 1:
Other 2:

9) State the number of students (or persons) who submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

The MSW program consist of full and part time students.  Only students who've completed the foundation year course by May 2015 were given the SSASI (Students Self-Assessment Survey Instrument) to gauge their progress towards consistently demonstrating the Core Competencies (SLOs) before entering the Specialization year.  Data on SLOs measured by the SSAI for the Specialization year (2nd year), was collected for only the students who were scheduled to complete their MSW by May 2015.  Courses were designated to complete the SSASI and methods for distribution were identified during the school year.  

The self assessment which is considered indirect evidence resulted in  65 of 90 (72%) of completed SSASI for foundation year students, and 79 of 81 (98%) of the specialization/ concentration year students.

Direct evidence: Instructor's teaching the specialization year coures were asked to completed evaluation of each student in their respective courses rating student's demonstration of the SLOs/ competencies.


10) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)

Course instructor(s)
Faculty committee
Ad hoc faculty group
Department chairperson
Persons or organization outside the university
Faculty advisor
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)
Other: Assessment Committee Chair

11) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)

Used a rubric or scoring guide
Scored exams/tests/quizzes
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)

12) Summarize the results of the assessment activities checked in question 6. For example, report the percent of students who achieved each SLO.

Results of our assessment of all 10 SLOs for our Advance year showed three of the four Specialization Areas ( Child and family, Gerontology, and Health) to have met the benchmark of all 10 Core Competencies (SLOs).  The benchmark for these competencies was for 75% or more students reaching level 4 or higher which indicates  consistent demonstration of Advance Practice Behaviors or indicators of their respective Core competency.  The Mental Health specialization had 6 core competencies that fell below the benchmark.  Engaged in Research informed Practice and Practice Informed Research (CC 6) had the lowest percentage (59.3%) of students who reached the level of 4 or higher.  Other SLOs that fell short of the benchmark were CC 2 (74%), CC 5 (67%) , CC 7 (69%), CC 8 (67%), CC 10 (69).  

13) What best describes how the program used the results? (Check all that apply.)

Assessment procedure changes (SLOs, curriculum map, rubrics, evidence collected, sampling, communications with faculty, etc.)
Course changes (course content, pedagogy, courses offered, new course, pre-requisites, requirements)
Personnel or resource allocation changes
Program policy changes (e.g., admissions requirements, student probation policies, common course evaluation form)
Students' out-of-course experience changes (advising, co-curricular experiences, program website, program handbook, brown-bag lunches, workshops)
Celebration of student success!
Results indicated no action needed because students met expectations
Use is pending (typical reasons: insufficient number of students in population, evidence not evaluated or interpreted yet, faculty discussions continue)

14) Please briefly describe how the program used the results.

Current and future plans

Results will be used to examine specializations areas that have not met the benchmark for each SLO. 

Discussion will be held in the curriculum committee meetings to examine triggers of success and shortcomings based on the SLOs.  The intent is to enhance classroom content and clarity of assignments and activities relevant to SLOs/ competencies.  In addition, results will also assist the program in identifying areas for training and support for instructors to increase consistence in delivery of course content to meet SLOs/ competencies.  

This past summer the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) released the 2015 EPAS. To better prepare for the school's reaffirmation in 2018, we have transitioned to the revised SLOs that are aligned with the 2015 Core Competencies for social work education.  This school year (2015-2016) we've initiated the use of the new SLOs/SW competencies in all our courses. Our Assesment report for 2016 will report the findings based on those new SLOs. Given the transition to new SLOs, both our BSW and MSW programs have worked on assuring that all of the 2015 Social Work Core Competencies (SLOs) have been incorporated into all required courses to assure that data will be available to assess the implementation and results of meeting our new SLOs.  This will also help identify the course(s) that needs further examination when an SLO that is measured by the course does not meet the benchmark.   The current process and the use of assessment data  to inform our curriculum will continue.


15) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, and great achievements regarding program assessment in this reporting period.

The most critical to our assessment process is the setting of standards for our rubric and determining the nature of the scale we utilize.  At this point it seems that our faculty are working from two philosophical positions when it comes to students performance assessment.  Some treat the scales as fixed while others treat them as fluid.  For those who see the scales as fixed, a first year student can only rarely score well on a particular SLO because he or she does not yet have the requisite knowledge to perform well.  Thus on a scale from 1-5, most first year students will likely be scored in the 2-3 range.  For other faculty, the scale is fluid, so a student is not measured against an overall standard but rather where they should be as a first year student.  This faculty will often ask; “how is this student performing relative to a particular SLO considering he/she is at the beginning phase of the degree program?”  This of course leads to radically different scores.  The program is currently in the process of standardizing the rubric for ease of use and consistency in scoring.

16) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.