How Are We Doing?

BSW and MSW Learning Outcomes and Program Assessment

The School of Social Work has a well‐established culture of evaluating student outcomes and continually assessing, evaluating, and improving our students’ educational experience. Throughout the year, we ask our students, agency supervisors, and other stakeholders to give feedback on many aspects of the School (e.g., advisement services, field program, and agency‐school relations).

The data obtained is reviewed by various committees, recommendations are formed and shared, and the resulting changes are implemented in both the explicit (classroom and field), and implicit (the environment in which the explicit curriculum is presented) curricula.

In this section, you can review:

  • The results from the 2017 Outcome Study for the BSW and MSW programs, and the areas our faculty have targeted for review/improvement;
  • The percent of students meeting designated “benchmarks” for each program; and,
  • How our first-time pass rate compares to the entire population of graduates taking the National Social Work Exam.
How do UW-Madison social work students do: A look at student learning outcomes

Professional Social Work education at UW-Madison concerns itself with preparing highly competent, well-trained social work practitioners at the baccalaureate level (BSW) and master’s level (MSW).

In the BSW program, the focus is on preparing students for generalist practice through their mastery of 9 core competencies that encompass social work knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes as well as demonstrating integration of these components in concomitant learned professional behaviors.

The MSW program prepares graduates for advanced practice through mastery of the nine generalist competencies and related professional behaviors as well as mastery of a set of advanced generalist specialization competencies and behaviors delivered in the context of an area of focus.  Our areas of focus are:

  • Aging;
  • Child, Youth, and Family Welfare;
  • Health;
  • Joint Aging and Health (Part-Time MSW Program Only); or
  • Mental Health
Competencies: Our students do very well…

Data generated from the School’s Outcome Study and the Field Evaluation indicates the degree to which professional program students have achieved the 9 core competencies. We have set a benchmark of 80% of students achieving mastery of each competency in the BSW and MSW programs.

Findings below benchmark become the primary agenda for faculty to improve in curriculum or other pertinent areas.

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON BACCALAUREATE SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM
LAST COMPLETED ON 03-05-2018

All Council on Social Work Education programs measure and report student learning outcomes.  Students are assessed on their mastery of the competencies that comprise the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education.  These competencies are dimensions of social work practice that all social workers are expected to master during their professional training.  A measurement benchmark is set by the social work programs for each competency.  An assessment score at or above that benchmark is considered by the program to represent mastery of that particular competency.

COMPETENCY COMPETENCY BENCHMARK PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING BENCHMARK
  Identify as a professional social worker   80%   88.46%
  Apply ethical principles   80%   84.62%
  Apply critical thinking   80%   76.92%
  Engage diversity in practice   80%   84.62%
  Advance human rights/social and economic justice   80%   88.46%
  Engage research informed practice/practice informed research   80%   80.77%
  Apply human behavior knowledge   80%   80.77%
  Engage policy practice to advance well-being and deliver services   80%   76.19%
  Respond to practice contexts   80%   88.0%
  Practice engagement   80%   92.31%
  Practice assessment   80%   80.77%
  Practice intervention   80%   76.92%
  Practice evaluation   80%   91.67%

 

 

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON MASTERS OF SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM
LAST COMPLETED ON 03-05-2018

All Council on Social Work Education programs measure and report student learning outcomes.  Students are assessed on their mastery of the competencies that comprise the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education.  These competencies are dimensions of social work practice that all social workers are expected to master during their professional training.  A measurement benchmark is set by the social work programs for each competency.  An assessment score at or above that benchmark is considered by the program to represent mastery of that particular competency. 

COMPETENCY COMPETENCY BENCHMARK PERCENTAGE OF ADVANCED PRACTICE YEAR STUDENTS ACHIEVING BENCHMARK
    Full Time MSW Program Part Time MSW Program
Identify as a professional social worker 80% 82.65% 83.82%
Apply ethical principles 80% 82.65% 82.35%
Apply critical thinking 80% 89.69% 82.35%
Engage diversity in practice 80% 89.69% 86.76%
Advance human rights/social and economic justice 80% 83.51% 85.29%
Engage research informed practice/practice informed research 80% 81.63% 75.0%
Apply human behavior knowledge 80% 92.86% 89.71%
Engage policy practice to advance well-being and deliver services 80% 80.0% 76.47%
Respond to practice contexts 80% 79.38% 72.06%
Practice engagement 80% 93.88% 82.09%
Practice assessment 80% 90.63% 83.82%
Practice intervention 80% 90.72% 78.79%
Practice evaluation 80% 77.08% 77.27%
Details

If you have questions or suggestions regarding data you would like to see here, please email to Associate Professor Tally Moses at moses@wisc.edu.

National Social Work Exam Scores: Our students do very well...

Another indicator of student success is looking at passage rates of the national social work exam by UW-Madison students v. all social work students in other programs. As you can see, our students perform approximately 20% above the national average for these tests.

Comparison of our BSW students versus national results on social work exam
Comparison of our MSW students versus national results on social work exam