Unit: Social Work
Program: Social Work (MSW)
Degree: Master's
Date: Thu Oct 13, 2011 - 12:25:45 pm

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

Since our last report, the student learning outcomes (SLOs) for the MSW Program remain the same. SLOs specify seven key abilities (i.e., values/ethics, diversity, communication, application of theory to practice, critical thinking, professional use of self) which are core to students’ preparation for effective professional social work practice. Currently, these SLOs (aka seven abilities or core competences) are addressed in all MSW foundation and concentration year courses and explicitly stated in master syllabi, as well as syllabi for all courses. Each course within the MSW curriculum addresses all seven SLOs 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).

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

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/sswork/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
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:

3) Below is the link(s) to your program's curriculum map(s). If we do not have your curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

No map submitted.

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) For the period June 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

What are competencies for the concentration year which fit to both MSW program goals and objectives and 2008 EPAS (Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards by the Council of Social Work Education)?

During this period, we sought to develop an assessment plan rather than collect new evidence. There were two reasons for this decision: (1) changes in Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation requirements and (2) changes in faculty, including transitions to faculty leadership.

Currently, we have initiated a planning process to assess critical competencies requisite for MSWs in the current social welfare landscape. This process includes review of core competencies already articulated in our curriculum, as well as specification of additional competencies that reflect the School’s growing emphases on indigenization of the curriculum and global social work practice in the Pacific Rim  Part of this process involves planning for systematically gathering from our community stakeholders’ (e.g., alumni, social service agency personnel, and social welfare leaders) input on training and educational needs of our masters level students, such that the latter are better equipped for entry into the field.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #5.

Minutes from MSW Program/Curriculum Committee meetings.

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

Fifteen faculty members (i.e., sequence and concentration course chairs, representatives from the Practicum Office, Student Services, Distance Education, PhD and BSW curriculum chairs) and one MSW student representative met monthly for the MSW Program/Curriculum Committee meetings. 

8) 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)

9) 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)

10) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #5:
Summarize the actual results.

As stated in the minutes of the MSW Curriculum/Program Committee, the revised/enhanced competencies include:

Leadership – the knowledge, skill set, and confidence to motivate, influence, and inspire a dynamic and evolving process of positive change, with integrity.

Empowerment – the process and outcomes which challenge assumptions about power, equity, and opportunities at all levels with the sociopolitical context in redistributive justice.

Language/Cultural Competency – contextual understanding of the relationship between language and culture on one hand, and between meaning and experience on the other that results in a value base for culturally-grounded practice at all levels.

Local & Global Perspectives – with an emphasis on Hawaii, Asia, and the Pacific Rim, this competency seeks to provide experiences and exposure that heightens students’ awareness and knowledge of human rights, equity and justice issues within the social context and that fosters ideas and actions leading to social and environmental well-being.

Social Entrepreneurship – the practice of starting, financing, assessing, and managing an innovative, mission-driven nonprofit entity (agency) that effects positive social change.

In addition to defining these competencies, the MSW Program/Curriculum Committee identified and affirmed the requisite values, knowledge of theoretical constructs, practice knowledge, and skills sets for each competency through discussion and consensus agreement.

11) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.

First, we intend to re-visit and possibly, revise the MSW program’s core competencies or seven abilities (i.e., values/ethics, professional use of self, critical thinking, application of theory to practice, advocacy, communication, and capacity to work with diverse populations and groups) such that there is optimal alignment with our School’s recently formulated mission and evolving strategic plan.  Beginning in Spring 2012, we will develop a curriculum map and collect information relevant to academic courses and field practicum.

Second, we intend to systematically gather input from community stakeholders which will be used to inform the operationalization and integration of the revised/enhanced competencies into the MSW curriculum.

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.

Social Work faculty re-affirmed the benefits of assessment at the faculty meeting as a tool for discussing the curriculum and improving the students’ educational experience.

13) Other important information.
Please note: If the program did not engage in assessment, please explain. If the program created an assessment plan for next year, please give an overview.

Changes in CSWE accreditation requirements (i.e., focus on assessment of learning outcomes v. educational program objectives) and in faculty prompted the MSW Program/Curriculum Committee to develop an assessment plan, rather than to collect new evidence.  Our assessment plan for the next year, AY 2011-2012, includes the creation of a curriculum map that emphasizes SLOs (v. educational program objectives), with input from faculty and community stakeholders.  We recognize the value of a curriculum map in ensuring integration of standards with course content and in facilitating long-range planning, short-term preparation, and clear communication. Thus, it is a stated objective of the MSW Program/Curriculum and Assessment Committees to create such a map in academic year 2011-12. To meet this objective, we plan to review Student Learning Outcomes (see item #1 response) by course and indicate how each course addresses and operationalizes the SLOs; also, we plan to designate if an SLO (e.g., values and ethics of social work profession) in a given course is introduced, reinforced with opportunity to practice, or mastered at the exit level.