BSW Assessment Report

Analysis of Data 2017-2018 Academic Year | Submitted January 2019

Curriculum Overview

Our undergraduate program in social work (BSW) provides comprehensive social work education through our scaffolded core courses. Students begin their social work education in our course, FSW: 201 (Introduction to Social Work) and FSW 206 (Social Welfare: Impact on Diverse Groups), where they are introduced to the nine competencies that guide social work education and practice. Students are introduced to the nine competencies in FSW 201 & 206, and the competencies are addressed in all syllabi in our social work courses.

The typical timeline is for students to take 200-level courses (FSW 201, 206, 261, and 295) during their freshmen and sophomore years, 300-level courses (FSW 306, 309, 312, plus FSW 406) during their sophomore and junior years, and 400-level courses (FSW 411, 412, 413, and 414) during their senior year. Over their time at Miami, social work students also take related coursework in economics, psychology, sociology, statistics, and biology, as well as Miami Plan coursework and electives.

Assessment Measures Employed

Performance on each of the competencies are evaluated using assessments from key classes. Course instructors evaluate their students’ performance using grading rubrics.

Student competency level is also measured by field instructors in the students’ 450 hour senior field practicum using the Social Work Expectation Assessment Project’s Field Placement/Practicum Assessment Instrument (SWEAP FPPAI). At the beginning of each semester, field supervisors and students select specific tasks as part of the individualized learning contracts to ensure adequate practice across all dimensions of knowledge, skills, values, and cognitive and affective processes. Upon completion of the second semester senior field experience, field supervisors complete the SWEAP FPPAI for each student under their supervision using the agreed upon tasks as a guide for competency. Ratings are scored as: 1=Lacking Performance, 2=Inadequate Performance, 3=Competent Performance, 4=Superior Performance, 5=Mastered Performance. Scores across the behaviors for all students in completing the program are aggregated and averaged to determine the percentage of students scoring competent or better. For Measure 2, 80% of students must score an average of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale on the SWEAP FPPAI, according to Field Instructor evaluations.

Assessment of the competencies are conducted using the ongoing schedule:

  • Competency #1: assessed by course instructor in FSW 306 (December) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #2: assessed by course instructor in FSW 406 (May) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #3: assessed by course instructor in FSW 309 (May & December) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #4: assessed by course instructor in FSW 295 (May & December) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #5: assessed by course instructor in FSW 309 (May & December and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #6: assessed by course instructor in FSW 306 (May & December) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #7: assessed by course instructor in FSW 306 (December) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #8: assessed by course instructor in FSW 406 (May) and by field instructor (May & December)
  • Competency #9: assessed by course in FSW 412 or FSW 413 (May & December) and by field instructor (May & December)

We also collect data from two additional sources to assist with programmatic improvement. First, we collect data regarding students’ own self-reported assessment of competency achievement using the SWEAP Exit Survey each May and December. Second, we collect information regarding social work licensure exam pass rates. Although these rates are not a part of our comprehensive reaffirmation process with CSWE, they indicate how well our BSW students do the first attempts taking the licensing exams. The pass rates of the Bachelor’s of Social Worker exam were received from the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Licensure Board of Ohio.

Assessment Findings

Miami University's Undergraduate Program in Social Work (BSW) successfully met or exceeded the benchmark for all nine of the CSWE core competencies for social work education. Our benchmark was that at least 80 percent of students would earn 80 percent or better on all nine competencies, as measured by course embedded and field placement assignments. Findings indicate that students tend to excel in competencies related to ethical and professional behavior, diversity, human rights, social and economic rights, advocacy, policy and intervention. They score lower in areas related to assessment, research, and evaluation. It is important to note these ratings reflect different students at different points of their educational experience and knowledge.

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Social Work Program Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
Competency Percent Achieving Benchmark
in Coursework
Percent Achieving Benchmark
in Field
Aggregate of Coursework and Field Assessments Percent Achieving Benchmark: Student Self-Assessment
Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior 100%


99% 96%
Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice 93% 95% 94% 95%
Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice 93% 98% 96% 85%
Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice 69% 95% 82% 84%
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice 100% 98% 99% 91%
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 88% 98% 93% 92%
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 83% 95% 89% 95%
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 93% 98% 96% 94%
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 71% 98% 85% 95%

Note: For all classes, the benchmark is that 80% of students earn 80% or better.

Our indirect measure, the student exit interviews, indicates that students believe that there is still room to grow and improve in achieving mastery of the core competencies. The pattern of results, however, are consistent with findings from the direct measures. One reason for lower ratings for the exit interviews may be the different time point, as well as the way that students’ interpretations of item anchors (e.g., what does it mean to master a competency), compared to instructors and field supervisors.

Licensure Exam Pass Rate

In 2017, the most recent data, the Miami University pass rate was 81% for the persons taking the exam the first time; a pass rate above the average for North America (78%). The pass rates for the Miami University undergraduate social work program have consistently been above the averages for North America.

First-Time Pass Rate
Year Miami Pass Rate North America Average
2017 81% 78%
2016 85% 77%
2015 86% 71%
2014 74% 71%
2013 91% 78%
2012 82% 74%
2011 93% 78%
2010 100% 78%

Program Improvements

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, social work faculty provided both curriculum instruction and field instruction embedded within a supportive learning environment and collected, analyzed, and presented data depicting the outcomes for our students. Based on program findings, new field assessments were created for the field seminar class to be more targeted in addressing deficit areas. Across the curriculum, instructors also worked to refine assignment rubrics and more clearly articulate expectations regarding the assessments.

The following areas have been identified as priorities for improvement during the 2018-2019 academic year:

  • refine policies to promote early detection and intervention for students who are struggling in the social work program
  • articulate pathway to bachelor of social work for transfer students 
  • improve linkages with the regional campus students, faculty, and advisors
  • policy change to require a “C” or better on core social work courses, to ensure student competency
  • on-going curriculum re-evaluation to ensure that competencies are taught and that students have opportunities to demonstrate their competency

Assessment Committee

Angela Curl, Ph.D., MSW, Director
Sharon Custer, MSW, Field Director
Carolyn Slotten, Chief Departmental Advisor
Terri Spahr Nelson