Assessment Committee

 Chair/Co-chairs: Katherine Magnuson 

Fall 2021 Committee Members: Committee or Group: Jooyoung Kong, Marah Curtis Yang Xiong, Steph Van Pay, Latoya Kirton, Laura Zimmerman, Elizabeth Premo, Michelle Helmer, Sarah Valencia, Cindy Waldeck  

2021-22 (December) Report Out 

Goal:  

#1 Increase the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and other governing bodies is a priority for our committee.  

Objective(s): Revise Rosenbaum Scholarship and Fall Competition questions to prioritize applicants from historically underrepresented groups, who contribute to the diversity of our community and remove barriers to apply. 

Current & Future Action Steps/Timeframes: 

  • Implement revised questions to Rosenbaum and Fall Competition 
  • Evaluate effectiveness of changes 
  • Determine if additional changes are needed  

Strategic Plan Progress Report April 2021

Committee Name: Assessment & Outcomes Committee

Committee Members:  Tally Moses, Audrey Conn, Ellen Smith, Russ Portier & Rachel Reynders

Strategic Plan Goal 2:  Improve a sense of inclusion for students, faculty, and staff.

Objective 1: Continue to refine the implicit curriculum measures–See Below

Objective #2: Better dissemination of implicit data for faculty and staff to use in making decisions moving forward.–No progress yet

Objective #3: Solicit and prioritize data requests from committees in support of their DE&I efforts.– No progress yet

Progress on goal since February 2021

With respect to Objective #1: As we revised implicit curriculum (IC) items in the CAPE, we considered the following (related to DEI):

  1. Soliciting information about this year’s CSWE expansion of the option field in place of employment so that the student data can be used to advocate for continued access to this option–which works in favor of students who must work substantially during their BSW/MSW programs. We added an item to identify those who took advantage of this option in 2021 and will use it to assess differences in field experiences overall, and program satisfaction:
  • “Did you complete your field placement in your place of employment during this academic year?”
  1. Measuring the following student DE&I experiences:
  • Students’ experiences of self-representation in the School (in addition to experiences of inclusion and respect). We took and built on a suggestion made by Amanda Ngola and added 2 items:
  • “ I see myself, my family, and my community represented in the classroom curriculum.”
    • I see myself, my family, and my community represented among the students, staff, and faculty in the School.
  1. Exposure to ‘sufficient’ content on DE&I in courses:
  • “My courses contain sufficient content on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
  1. Understanding of systemic oppression in the program as well as gained explicit skills to address systemic racism and injustice:
  • “While in the program, I have developed more awareness and understanding of systemic oppression (e.g., using abolitionist ideas or critical race theory), such that I am better prepared to notice oppression and understand it.”
  • “The social work program has helped me to develop skills to address systemic racism and injustice (e.g., advocacy and community organizing).”
  1. Refining measures of student characteristics:

Gender identity:

Which of the following best describes your current gender identity? (select as many as apply)  

___ Cisgender female/woman

___ Cisgender male/man

___ Genderqueer, gender non-binary, or gender fluid

___ Transgender male/man

___ Transgender female/woman

___ A gender not listed here; please specify ___________________________

___Prefer not to answer

Sexual identity:

Which of the following best describes your current sexual orientation? (select as many as apply)

___Asexual

___Bisexual

___Gay or Lesbian

___Straight or Heterosexual

___Pansexual

___Queer

___Questioning

___Not sure

___ A sexual orientation not listed here; please specify ___________________________

___Prefer not to answer

Race/ethnicity:

Separated ‘Black’ from African American’.

Economic hardship:

We added a new item asking “how hard has it been for you to pay for the very basics like food, housing, utilities, and transportation?” We are not sure how we will use it yet, but it seems important to gauge students’ economic challenges throughout the year.

Debt load: refined debt questions to cover overall student debt, debt from BSW or MSW program, federal/public loans vs. private loans.

Chair/Co-chairs: Ellen Smith

Objective 1: We revised the implicit curriculum measures with feedback from both the curriculum committee and the committee on diversity and inclusion

Objective 2: We have reached out to all the committee members to ask about what kind of data and data analysis would better inform their work as a committee and how we can partner to get this data to them.

Objective 3: in progress

Chair/Co-chairs: Tally Moses

Fall 2023 Committee Members: Ellen Smith, Audrey Conn, Lauren Bishop, Russ Portier & Rachel Reynders

Previous objectives:

Objective 1: Continue to refine the implicit curriculum measures

Progress: This objective is still current. In 2022-23, we continued to use the 2021-22 implicit curriculum measures for the sake of consistency and continue to observe disparities in students’ perceptions of the School’s climate and commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as personal experiences of inclusion and respect at the School between students of color and other minoritized identities and their peers. Assessment Committee is deliberating on making changes to our implicit curriculum measures for the 2023-24 academic year. These may include:

  • Transitioning some of the common sentiments about DEI students have expressed in response to qualitative questions into survey items to assess these more systematically (Examples: “The School makes a genuine effort to have real conversations about issues of social justice”; “Instructors craft coursework and workload in terms of being reflective of intersectionality”, and “Students are offered opportunity to participate in many groups at the school and the community.”)
  • Addressing certain perspectives and experiences that are relevant to social work education and training that have not heretofore been included in our measures (e.g., students’ experiences with stress and mental health struggles during their time in the program; students’ perspectives about sexuality and gender).

Objective #2: Better dissemination of implicit data for faculty and staff to use in making decisions moving forward.

Progress: This objective is still current. In 2022-23, our reporting of implicit curriculum data was streamlined with more summary data (across programs and by program) and example quotes as opposed to the inclusion of all data received (though this is available to any staff/faculty, if requested). The hope is that the new reporting promoted better absorption of the large number of points.

The Committee will continue to consider different ways to share the data and receive feedback from faculty/staff; the one-time presentation at the All School Meeting, and even in the Curriculum Committee tends to be dense and overwhelming, which is not conducive to dialogue about the findings,  pondering implications, and making decisions or developing plans drawing on the data.

Objective #3: Solicit and prioritize data requests from committees in support of their DE&I efforts

Progress: This objective is not current. In 2022-23, we solicited requests from the various School committees about the data  and analyses that respective committees would find to be useful. The intention was to discover what is most useful and not useful such that our reporting could be more tailored. Most committees were responsive, and the Assessment Committee found that once all of the requests were considered, there were no differences in the scope of data and data analyses needed by committees relative to the scope and analyses we have been disseminating. Henceforth, we will provide the full reporting we have provided in the past, but also offer guidance to specific committees as to where in the report they can find their prioritized information.

The School of Social Work continues to generate extensive, rich, data to gauge students’ experiences with diversity, equity, and inclusion in our programs so that we are alert to students’ needs for additional or different DEI supports in the classroom, in field education, and in other aspects of programming.

The School’s administration can better support the Assessment Committee’s objectives by allocating more opportunities and time to data sharing and discussion with staff and faculty (i.e. perhaps multiple opportunities to discuss data in ASMs throughout the year).  The Assessment Committee could use BSW and MSW students as representatives on the committee as well. Broader and more intensive community participation in considering the measures we use (and will modify) and dissemination of the data may lead to better utilization of the data.