Overview: Assessment of Student Learning
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) conducts regular reviews of all accredited undergraduate and graduate social work programs in the United States. Student learning outcomes are a critical part of CSWE accreditation and findings provide data to programs to guide quality improvement for the curriculum and fieldwork program. Student learning outcomes are based on mastery of nine competencies as defined by CSWE. Benchmarks for competency attainment are set at 80% for the MSW program and 75% for the BSW program. Aggregate scores for each of the nine competencies that meet or exceed the benchmark are indicators that our programs are serving students well to achieve competency. Quality improvement is an on-going process in our programs, and in areas where scores fall below the benchmark, the program reflects on the data to revise curriculum and/or practices. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes is conducted each year using two measures: (1) the Competency Attainment Evaluation for the academic curriculum, and (2) the Fieldwork Evaluation for the Field Practicum.
1. Competency Attainment Evaluation (CAE): Assessment of Outcomes in the Academic Curriculum
The CAE consists of multiple choice question clusters that pertain to each of the nine competencies and reflect the material taught in courses across the curriculum. The CAE is delivered online at the end of each spring semester as an exam, and it is required of all students completing the BSW program and the MSW generalist and specialized curriculum. Individual scores on the CAE are not consequential to students. The data is aggregated for assessment of student learning outcomes.
2. Fieldwork Evaluation (FE): Assessment of Outcomes in the Field Practicum
The FE is administered to all fieldwork students, BSW and MSW, at the end of fall semester and again at the end of spring. The FE is used to assess student performance and competency attainment in the field practicum and is completed by field instructors. The FE ratings are consequential to individual students as scores are used to determine the quality of student performance in fieldwork. For program evaluation purposes, the FE data from the spring term is aggregated and utilized as outcome data to determine the overall student competency attainment at the 75% benchmark for BSW students and 80% for MSW students.
The Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes are presented in tables below. The data are presented as aggregate average percentages for the CAE and FE combined.