Perceptions of Macro Social Work Education: An Exploratory Study of Educators and Practitioners
Keywords:Social work education, social work licensure, macro social work
Social work graduate education is responsive to and reflective of larger environmental forces, including economic and job market trends, regulations by diverse organizations, and student interests. A national online survey of macro social work educators (n=208) and macro social work practitioners (n=383) explored their perceptions of the intersections between these forces and graduate social work education. Findings indicate that while there remains a consistent level of support for and inclusion of macro social work within MSW programs from both groups, macro practitioners identified a concurrent experience of negative perceptions, attitudes, and experiences toward macro social work education while in their graduate programs. We suggest that social work programs seek out opportunities to integrate macro practice content and field experiences into their curriculum, so that students can be better equipped to respond to the complex systemic challenges they will encounter while in professional practice.
Association for Community Organization and Social Administration. (2017). About the special commission. Retrieved from https://www.acosa.org/joomla/about-the-special-commission
Bibus, A., & Boutté-Queen, N. (2011). Regulating Social Work: A primer on licensing practice. Chicago, IL: Lyceum.
Biggerstaff, M. A. (2000). A critique of the Model State Social Work Practice Act. Social Work, 45(2), 105-115. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/45.2.105
Black, P. N., & Whelley, J. (1999). The social work licensure exam: Examining the exam through the lens of CSWE curriculum policy. Areté, 23, 66-76.
Boutte'-Queen, N. M. (2003). Identifying barriers to obtaining social work licensure (Order No. 3103583). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (305327209). Retrieved from http://proxycu.wrlc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxycu.wrlc.org/docview/305327209?accountid=9940
Cherry, A., Rothman, B., & Skolnik, L. (1989). Licensure as a dilemma for social work education: Findings of a national study. Journal of Social Work Education, 25(3), 268-275.
Council on Social Work Education [CSWE]. (2015a). Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Alexandria, VA: Author.
CSWE. (2015b). 2014 statistics on social work education in the United States. Alexandria, VA: Author.
CSWE. (2016). Annual statistics on social work education in the United States: 2015. Alexandria, VA: Author.
D’Aprix, A., Dunlap, K., Abel, E., & Edwards, R. (2004). Goodness of fit: Career goals of MSW students and the aims of the social work profession in the United States. Social Work Education, 23(3), 265-280. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/0261547042000224029
DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale development: Theory and applications. Newbury Park, NJ: Sage.
Donaldson, L. P., Fogel, S. J., Hill, K., Erickson, C., & Ferguson, S. (2016). Attitudes toward advanced licensing for macro social work practice. Journal of Community Practice, 24(1), 77-93. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2015.1127864
Donaldson, L. P., Hill, K., Ferguson, S., Fogel, S. J., & Erickson, C. (2014). Contemporary social work licensure: Implications for macro social work practice and education. Social Work, 59(1), 52-61. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swt045
Ezell, M., Chernesky, R., & Healy, L. (2004). The learning climate for administration students. Administration in Social Work, 28(1), 57-76. doi: https://doi.org/10.1300/J147v28n01_05
Fisher, R., & Corciullo, D. (2011). Rebuilding community organizing education in social work. Journal of Community Practice, 19(4), 355-368. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2011.625537
Fogel, S. J., & Ersing, R. (2016). Macro focused social work dissertations: A preliminary look at the numbers. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(2), 170-177.
Gibelman, M. (1999). The search for identity: Defining social work – Past, present, future. Social Work, 44(4), 298-310. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/44.4.298
Han, M., & Chow, J. C. (2010). What changes MSW students’ view on the mission of social work? Social Work Education: The International Journal, 29(2), 205-221. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/02615470902912227
Hill, K., Ferguson, S., & Erickson, C. (2010). Sustaining and strengthening a macro identity: The Association of Macro Practice Social Work. Journal of Community Practice, 18(4), 513-527. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2010.519684
Kleiner, M. M., & Krueger, A. B. (2008). The prevalence and effects of occupational licensing. (Working paper 14308). Retrieved from National Bureau of Economic Research website http://nber.org/papers/w14308
Lein, L., Uehara, E. S., Lightfoot, E., Lawlor, E. F., & Williams, J. H. (2017). A collaborative framework for envision the future of social work research and education. Social Work Research, 41(2), 67-71. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svx008
Lightfoot, E., Nienow, M., Moua, K. N., Colburn, G., & Petri, A. (2016). Insights on professional identification and licensure from community practice social workers. Journal of Community Practice, 24(2), 123-146. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2016.1165328
Lubove, R. (1977). The professional altruist: The emergence of social work as a career 1880-1930. New York: Athenaeum.
Miller, J. J., Deck, S. M., Grise-Owens, R., & Borders, K. (2015). Exploring graduate students’ perceptions about social work licensing. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 34(8), 986-1004. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2015.1096924
Miller, J. J., Grise-Owens, E., & Escobar-Ratliff, L. (2015). Preparing MSW students for social work licensure: A curricular case example. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 35(3), 296-316. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/08841233.2015.1039160
Miller, S., Hopkins, K., & Greif, G. (2008). Dual degree social work programs: Where are the programs and where are the graduates? Advances in Social Work, 9(1), 21-43.
Miller, S., Tice, C., & Hall, D. (2008). The generalist model: Where do macro and micro converge? Advances in Social Work, 9(2), 79-90.
Mizrahi, T., & Dodd, S. (2013). MSW students’ perspectives on social work goals and social activism before and after completing graduate education. Journal of Social Work Education, 49(4), 580-600.
Monette, D., Sullivan, T., DeJong, C., & Hilton, T. (2014). Applied social research: A tool for the human services (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Moore, L. S., & Johnston, L. B. (2002). Involving students in political advocacy and social change. Journal of Community Practice, 10(2), 89-101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1300/J125v10n02_06
Mor Barak, M., Travis, D., & Bess, G. (2004). Exploring managers and administrator’s retrospective perceptions of their field work experience: A national study. Administration in Social Work, 28(1), 21-44. doi: https://doi.org/10.1300/J147v28n01_03
National Association of Social Work. (2017). Code of ethics. Washington, D.C.: Author.
Netting, F. E., O’Connor, M. K., Cole, P. L., Hopkins, K., Jones, J. L., Kim, Y… Wike, T. (2016). Reclaiming and reimagining macro social work education: A collective biography. Journal of Social Work Education, 52(2), 157-169.
Pine, A. B., & Healy, L. M. (1994). Is state licensing an obstacle to social work students’ section of macro practice as a specialization? Yes! In M. J. Austin & J. I. Lowe (Eds.), Controversial issues in communities and organizations (pp. 268-273). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Pritzker, S., & Applewhite, S. (2015). Going ‘Macro’: Exploring the careers of macro practitioners. Social Work, 60(3), 191-199. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swv019
Reisch, M. (2015). Why macro practice matters. Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work. Retrieved from http://files.ctctcdn.com/de9b9b0e001/89cf81d7-bd9e-428a-9209-961f388daa8d.pdf
Rothman, J. (2012). Education for macro intervention: A survey of problems and prospects. Chicago, IL: Association for Community Organization and Social Administration.
Rothman, J., & Mizrahi, T. (2014). Balancing micro and macro practice: A challenge for social work. Social Work, 59(1), 91-93. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swt067
Schneider, R., & Netting, F. E. (1999). Influencing state policy in a time of devolution: Upholding social work’s great tradition. Social Work, 44(4), 349-357. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/44.4.349
Specht, H., & Courtney, M. (1994). Unfaithful angels: How social work has abandoned its mission. New York, NY: Free Press.
Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work (2017). It’s time macro matters! Retrieved from https://www.acosa.org/joomla/special-commission-resources
Starr, R., Mizrahi, T., & Gurzinsky, E. (1999). Where have all the organizers gone? The career paths of community organizing social work alumni. Journal of Community Practice, 63(3), 23-48. doi: https://doi.org/10.1300/J125v06n03_02
Strom, K., & Gingerich, W. (1993). Educating students for the new market realities. Journal of Social Work Education, 29(1), 78-87.
Weiss, I. (2003). Social work students and social change: On the link between views on poverty, social work goals, and policy practice. International Journal of Social Welfare, 12(2), 132-141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2397.00251
Weiss, I. (2006). Modes of practice and the dual mission of social work. Journal of Social Service Research, 32(3), 135-151. doi: https://doi.org/10.1300/J079v32n03_08
Wenocur, S., & Reisch, M. (1989). From charity to enterprise: The development of American social work in a market economy. University of Chicago Press: Chicago and Urbana, IL.
Wermeling, L., Hunn, V., & McLendon, T. (2013). Social work education’s effect on retention. Journal of Social Work Education, 49(2), 222-234.
Zippay, A., & Demone, H. (2011). Initial macro-level job responsibilities among MSW graduates. Administration in Social Work, 35(4), 412-424. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03643107.2011.599301
Copyright to works published in Advances in Social Work is retained by the author(s).