Assessment of Learning
Evaluation of Student Development
The West Chester University (WCU) Undergraduate Social Work Department routinely conducts assessment of student learning. The department assessment plan was developed in accordance with WCU university-wide assessment policy and Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation requirements.
Assessment of student learning provides insight into student competency. It also creates graduates prepared to meet the demands of high standards of excellence in the provision of social work services for the 21st Century. West Chester University is committed to assessment and has designated an Assessment Coordinator within each academic department to oversee administration of the department assessment plan. In 2015, CSWE revised its Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), shifting from outcomes to competency-based standards. The WCU Undergraduate Social Work Department likewise revised its assessment plan to reflect attempts to measure student competency in the 9 core Competency areas. For a full description of the 9 Competencies see the CSWE 2015 EPAS.
The assessment plan includes 3 key assessment measures in use: Implicit Curriculum, Senior Integration Paper (SIP) and the Field Evaluation III. Students write the Senior Integration Paper (SIP) in the spring semester of senior year. The Field Evaluation III consists of the final field placement evaluation of the student’s performance during internship that is completed in the spring semester of senior year. The Implicit Curriculum is administered to students in the final semester prior to graduation.
Each year, the faculty spends considerable time discussing data results and completing an analysis of the findings at the May and August Faculty Retreat Days. Faculty discussion also occurs during the year at regularly scheduled faculty meetings. Meetings provide opportunity for feedback loop discussions that address areas where student learning appears to be below the benchmark level for that measure. Data trends are addressed through enhancing learning opportunities for students, strengthening psychometric properties of the measures and training faculty and field supervisors in the most accurate implementation of administering the measures. Feedback loop discussions in the department have resulted in greater awareness of growth opportunities in the assessment plan that will strengthen assessment of student competency.