Unit: Social Work
Program: Social Work (BSW)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Wed Oct 13, 2010 - 11:28:26 am

1) Below are the program student learning outcomes submitted last year. Please add/delete/modify as needed.

BSW Program Goals and Objectives

Note: Student learning outcomes in each course are tied to the BSW program goals and objectives, which flow from the UH and UHM missions, the School of Social Work mission, and the BSW program mission.

The primary goal of the BSW program is to prepare students for beginning level generalist practice. A secondary goal is to provide a solid foundation for students who plan to pursue an advanced social work education. The program objectives are as follows:
1. Values and Ethics
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students will be able to:
Understand, articulate, and integrate the principles, values, and ethics of the social work profession into their practice.
■ Identify and discuss the core values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the social work profession as codified in the NASW Code of Ethics
■ Practice in a manner consistent with the mission of social work and its core values
■ Determine when an ethical issue is present and identify the key values and principles involved
2. Professional Use of Self
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students will be able to:
Demonstrate achievement of professional use of self in practice.
■ Distinguish professional and personal roles, with awareness of the need to elevate service to others above self-interest

■ Use self purposefully and with awareness of own personal strengths and limitations in carrying out professional
■ Demonstrate flexibility in assuming various social work roles and coping with change, and is able to utilize
supervision effectively
3. Critical Thinking
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students will be able to:
Apply critical thinking skills in professional contexts.
■ Understand the differences between verifiable facts and value claims, and the need to weigh knowledge claims
against the evidence for them
■ Critically examine arguments and evidence and show openness in the evaluation of their own practice
■ Utilize research to inform and evaluate their practice
4. Applying Theory to Practice
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students will be able to:
Analyze and apply knowledge to assessment and intervention in social work practice of biopsychosocial variables and theoretical frameworks that explain individual and social systems development.

■ Understand and apply at multiple system levels a broad range of knowledge regarding individual and social
development and behavior
■ Display a community-based approach to generalist practice
■ Apply theory-grounded assessment tools and interventions appropriate to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
5. Advocacy
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students will be able to:
Advocate effectively for social and economic justice.
■ Integrate knowledge of the mission, history, and philosophy of social work and social welfare
■ Use their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of communities and the individuals in them
■ Analyze the impact of social policies on client systems, workers, and agencies
6. Diversity
At the completion of classroom and field education, graduating BSW students will be able to:
Achieve competency in working with diverse populations.
■ Demonstrate personal and professional awareness of their own cultural values and biases and how these impact their abilities to work with others

■ Demonstrate skills for ongoing knowledge development of diversity with a focus on Native Hawaiians, other Pacific
Islanders, Asian Americans and other oppressed groups and diverse populations

■ Develop skills in engaging persons from diverse cultures and groups
7. Communication
At the completion of classroom and field education, BSW students will be able to:
Demonstrate the oral, written and attending skills that will enable them to communicate effectively and appropriately in relation to their setting and audience.
■ Demonstrate knowledge of the basic requirements of record keeping in social work; and use information technologies appropriate to communicating effectively with clients and colleagues
■ Work continuously to improve their capacity to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients
■ Demonstrate skill in interviewing and in communicating orally and in writing in their academic and field work

2) As of last year, your program's SLOs were published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: www.hawaii.edu/sswork
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: NA
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA
Other: School of Social Work Bulletin - hard copy and online
Other: Student Handbook - hard copies

3) Below is the link to your program's curriculum map (if submitted in 2009). If it has changed or if we do not have your program's curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

No map submitted.

4) The percentage of courses in 2009 that had course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is indicated below. Please update as needed.


5) State the assessment question(s) and/or goals of the assessment activity. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

The BSW program’s assessment efforts are under the purview of the Assessment Committee of the School of Social Work. The committee officially consists of program and sequence chairs, the Dean or designee, and the Director of Research, whose staff provides data entry and other support, but is open to any faculty or staff member. The committee meets on a monthly basis during the school year. Their main charge is to design, re-evaluate, and update comprehensive evaluation and assessment plans for the BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. programs. In addition, the committee keeps up to date on accreditation standards at the School and University level, to make sure they are being met. They oversee the confidential collection, data entry, and analysis of information. Finally, they report to stakeholders, including the faculty and staff, the Dean, the University system, practicum instructors, internal and external School committees, and others.

In accordance with the School of Social Work’s exploration of the indigenization of its curriculum, data have been collected from students, practicum instructors, and other stakeholders. These data include feedback from our summer 2007 conference on indigenous voices in social work, practicum instructors, and graduating students.

All assessment reports are shared with faculty and staff in multiple venues, including special meetings and retreats. The reports are scheduled to be updated twice a year at the end of the fall and spring semesters and are available to all faculty and staff at all times through the use of a shared online resource. These reports are utilized by the BSW curriculum committee, as well as program and sequence committees.

The current BSW assessment plans include direct and indirect measures from a variety of data sources. These include instructors, current and past students, practicum instructors, employers, and members of the community. Most information is collected each semester or on an annual basis.

Work on the assessment plans is continuous. The committee is discussing ways to add more direct measures of program goals and objectives, taking into account resources available. They seek to find methods for increasing response rates from all data sources and to make up-to-date data available to faculty at all times. As we transition to the 2008 EPAS and continue our exploration of indigenization, the committee must focus on translating goals and objectives into measurable competencies that are developed by the faculty, along with setting benchmarks for the measures.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered.

Final cumulative GPAs of graduating students

Scores and grades from senior practicum learning agreements

Exit surveys of graduating students

Means on national exam of social work knowledge, skills, and values

Alumni surveys

Employer surveys

Feedback from BSW Advisory Committee

Course and Faculty Evaluations

7) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected?

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)

8) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence?

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)

9) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated.
If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

Our efforts were to capture the entire population, so sampling was not utilized.

Final cumulative GPAs of graduating students - 100% (all 23 of 2009 graduates)

Scores and grades from senior practicum learning agreements - approximately 95%

Exit surveys of graduating students - 39% response rate

Means on national exam of social work knowledge, skills, and values - 98% response rate

Alumni surveys - not yet calculated

Employer surveys - 5% response rate

Feedback from BSW Advisory Committee - all committee members provided feedback

Course and Faculty Evaluations - required for all classes. Response rates for individual classes ranged from 70-90%.

10) Summarize the actual results.

BSW CAC Feedback

In addition to the benchmarks noted above, qualitative information was obtained from the BSW CAC. Meetings were held with members of the BSW CAC, which consists of individuals who have had BSW students in practicum and/or have hired BSW program graduates. During meetings in 2003 – 2004, the Committee participated in an exercise to determine if what members felt were important at a minimum level for BSW graduates to know was the same as what the academics in the group felt. Based on their observations of and interactions with current and past BSW students from the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, Committee members and academics met independently to develop lists of pertinent knowledge, skills, and values. Each group then rated items as to high, medium, or low priority. The BSW CAC members provided ideas as to what they felt should be included in the basic undergraduate education and what items or aspects needed more emphasis.

The lists produced by Committee members and academics and their ratings were quite similar. It became clear that the Committee members felt student personal and professional development needed strengthening. In addition, they were concerned with the level of maturity displayed by some students during practicum and after graduation. The two lists were integrated to provide an outline for the content of a new introductory practice class.

Data on Program Objectives

1. Values and ethics. Feedback from current and graduating students, employers, and practicum instructors finds that students are meeting or exceeding benchmarks in terms of values and ethics. A noted above, the BSW CAC, however, felt that this was one area that could be strengthened. They suggested more content on knowing one’s personal values and value systems, having personal and professional integrity, conducting ethical practice, having knowledge of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, and application of ethical decision-making. Although students are doing well with regard to values and ethics, there is room for improvement.

            2. Professional use of self. Similar to values and ethics, most data sources suggest that BSW students are for the most part meeting or exceeding the benchmarks set for this objective. For example, over the years, practicum instructors in general found interns did particularly well at establishing professional relationships with others and in participating in a variety of social work roles. Nearly all questions on the exit survey about professional use of self yielded some of the highest means (some mid- to high-4s on a 5 point scale).

However, the BSW CAC and results of the current employer survey find that, while acceptable as is, professional use of self can be strengthened even further. Their qualitative feedback includes suggesting more stringent admissions criteria and monitoring students more closely during the first semester in the program. In addition, the item “Use supervision effectively” on the exit survey of graduating students was rated below 4.00 for two years. In 2005, it had a mean of 3.71 and in 2009 in had a mean of 3.78.  During other years, it was rated more highly, with a mean ranging from 4.40 to 4. 83.

            3. Critical thinking. The results on meeting or exceeding benchmarks for critical thinking were good. Graduating students rated critical thinking items in the low- to mid-4s on a 5 point scale. Employers rated BSW graduates fairly highly on critical thinking, especially in terms of being able to distinguish between verifiable facts and value claims, and using research to inform practice. For the most part, practicum instructors find that students are performing at an excellent or good level. The one area for concern has to do with what appears to be a small but growing number of practicum instructors who state that applying relevant research to practice situations in not applicable. Sometimes up to a quarter of practicum instructors mark that this application of research to practice is not applicable to what the student is doing at their agency.

            4. Applying theory to practice. While many benchmarks were met or exceeded for this objective, some were not. Employers, CAFÉ results, and exit survey data suggest that for the most part, students are able to apply theory to practice. The picture is different based on feedback from the BSW CAC and practicum evaluations. The BSW CAC felt this was another area that could be strengthened. They emphasized the need to know and understand key systems and models, such as systems theory and the ecological perspective, generalist practice, and person-in-environment. Graduates also needed to be able to apply micro, meso, and macro level interventions.

            The practicum evaluations revealed another issue with regard to applying theory to practice. While practicum instructors rate students as meeting the benchmarks for working with individuals, large numbers of them marked “not applicable” when asked about student work with families, groups, organizations, and communities. The range of “not applicable” in these areas is from approximately 30%-70%, varying by semester and year. Based on these data, it is difficult to know if students are meeting the benchmarks since they are not being given the opportunity to perform in these areas. The first concern, however, is that students are not able to participate in activities related to work with these different groups.

            5. Advocacy. Advocacy is one of the most highly rated of all the Seven Abilities by all data sources. With the exception of the 2004-2005 practicum evaluations, all items related to advocacy met or exceeded the benchmarks. Employers rated this as the highest of all objectives for program graduates.

            6. Diversity. Diversity is also rated highly by most data sources. Students met the benchmarks for this program objective every semester since data collection began in 2003. The members of the BSW CAC felt BSW students performed well in this area, and CAFÉ and exit surveys of graduating students backed this up. The only source that felt this was somewhat of any issue was employers. They stated there was room for improvement in this area, especially in terms of knowledge of diverse cultures and how to engage persons from other cultures.

            7. Communication. For the most part, results found that BSW student meet the set benchmarks in terms of communication. This was the case based on feedback from the BSW CAC, practicum evaluations from 2003-2009, and CAFÉ. Employers rated some aspects of communication to be good, while stating that recordkeeping skills could be stronger. In 2005 on the exit survey, students rated using information technologies appropriately and effectively with clients and colleagues as 3.86 on a 5.00 scale. Ratings on this item were higher for the remaining years, ranging from 4.25 to 4.67. As a result, it does meet the benchmark.

Global Assessments of Program Objectives

            FCAI. The Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work utilizes several global assessments of program objectives. These include the BEAP FCAI, final cumulative GPAs of graduating students, and BSW senior practicum grades. Data from all 3 measures finds that BSW students met established benchmarks during the years since our last reaccreditation. Entering and exiting BSW students had means on the FCAI that were not statistically significantly different or were statistically significantly higher than mean scores for entering and exiting students nationally. To better allow us to determine if we are meeting stated program objectives, we have requested that in the future FCAI scores be broken down by objective, rather than just providing a global mean.

Final cumulative GPAs. Each course contains objectives that are based on the Seven Abilities. Successful completion of these courses suggests students are achieving these goals. Final cumulative GPAs of graduating students averaged to just above a B+ (note that this is for all classes taken during the course of earning the degree, not just social work classes). This also suggests that gatekeeping and remedial plans, when necessary, are appropriately admitting and weeding out students.

Practicum grades. Nearly all of practicum students (97% in fall and 99% in spring semesters) received a grade of B or better in the fall and spring semesters. There were more A (A+, A, A-) grades in the spring than in the fall, which also suggests that students progressed over time in terms of meeting program objectives.

11) How did your program use the results? --or-- Explain planned use of results.
Please be specific.

Overall, the results of data collection affirm that the BSW Program is meeting its established objectives. There are some caveats that must be considered when interpreting these data. Some measures yielded low response rates. These include employer surveys and exit surveys of graduating students. Assessment Committee members have already begun to discuss ways in which response rates can be increased. However, even with small sample sizes on exit surveys, the fact is that the same results appear year after year. In addition, these results are triangulated by data collected from other sources, such as employers and practicum instructors. Patterns appeared across results from different data sources. Detailed below are the program objectives that require attention and what has or is being done to address the issues.

Values and ethics and professional use of self.  The first area that can be strengthened has to do with the program objectives of Values and Ethics and Professional Use of Self. To address concerns by the BSW CAC and employers about these areas, the BSW Program is revamping the practice sequence. The current practice sequence consists of 4 classes (SW 302, SW 303, SW 402, and SW 403). The MSW foundation curriculum contains 3 classes. SW 303, SW 402, and SW 403 will be reformulated, along with the corresponding MSW foundation classes, to more closely resemble one another. They will cover generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. The first class in the BSW sequence (SW 302), will continue to emphasize some of the basics, such as intake and assessment, but will have a new focus on personal and professional development, including professional attitude and bearing, interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and good mental health. It will thus also serve a gatekeeping function.

            Professional use of self. “Use supervision effectively,” an aspect of the objective Professional Use of Self, was rated below a 4.00 on a 5.00 scale for two years by graduating students. However, during other years, it was rated much more highly. The variability suggests that this item needs to be monitored closely during the next year or two. If low means continue in the future, this concern needs to be brought to the BSW Curriculum Committee and members of the Practicum Office for discussion and action. Actions could include reviewing all syllabi to see where this content is being taught and examining how it is being taught.

            Critical thinking. There are two trends that appeared in the practicum evaluations. One appears to be emerging as it appears more and more practicum instructors are marking “Applying relevant research findings to practice situation” as not applicable. It is an aspect of program objective Critical Thinking. This is a trend that should be monitored. If this pattern continues in the next year or two, it requires the attention of the Research Sequence Committee, Practicum Office members, and BSW Curriculum Committee. Additional training in this area for practicum instructors may be needed.

            The second trend has been evident over time. Large percentages of practicum instructors have been marking “not applicable” in terms of applying basic social work process skills and practicing or applying in practice interventions with families, groups, organizations, and communities. Opportunities for work with individuals are being regularly provided. Practicum instructors rate students as meeting or exceeding the established benchmarks. However, students are not getting the experiences needed in working with various types of groups. It is thus difficult to understand if students are meeting this benchmark for Applying Theory to Practice.

Practicum Office personnel and the BSW Curriculum Committee have been informed of this trend and are discussing the issue. In response, in the past few years, efforts have been made to increase the number of macro level placements. However, not all agencies and organizations serve families, groups, organizations or communities. The program objective recognizes this and is written so that a student may actually be doing work with these groups or is at least learning in theory how she or he might practice at these levels of intervention. A next step could be to develop meso and macro level exercises that are presented to practicum instructors at their annual meeting. These exercises could be used with students in practicum.

Communication. Although for the most part constituents felt students were achieving set benchmarks for Communication, there were a couple of areas that bear watching. It may be that more content is needed with regard to recordkeeping and using information technologies appropriately and effectively. The BSW Curriculum Committee has been informed of this possible issue and the situation is being monitored.

BSW Program Strategic Planning

In response to assessment information, growth of the program, and changing economic times, the BSW Curriculum Committee began strategic planning in early 2008. This process includes examining the curriculum and syllabi with regard to what they currently contain, if there are any gaps, and how they align with the MSW foundation curriculum syllabi. Discussions have taken place and continue to take place with regard to gatekeeping issues, indigenization of the curriculum, and competencies.

12) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

We are examining way to increase responses to various surveys, especially employer surveys. Although response rates are acceptable for exit surveys, we are looking at ways to increase those, too. The BSW curriculum committee is engaged in using these results to move forward to establishing competencies outlined by our accrediting body but that also fit in with the school's move toward indigenization.

13) Other important information: