OSU College of Social Work students started the 2014 fall semester off on the right foot with big smiles, great ambitions, and lots of energy! Standing in front of Stillman Hall, new BSSW, MSW and PhD students gathered to make history as they begin their journey as social workers.
BSSW Student Erin Hardin (center) interacts with campers during the award-winning LiFE Sports Summer Camp. Erin Served as the camp’s education coordinator, overseeing an education classroom and its leaders. Her education sessions were called “Chalk Talk.” For more information about LiFE Sports, click here.
This year, the College of Social Work’s Study Abroad program traveled to Managua, Leon, and Granada, Nicaragua, as part of its international cross-cultural learning experience. Dr. Theresa Early and Dr. Scottye Cash accompanied 17 students from a variety of disciplines. The college’s study abroad program helps students become better prepared for the global work environment, gain an expanded worldview, and develop new skills for understanding others’–and their own–culture. Their focus this year is social issues and human rights.
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Congratulations to College of Social Work senior and honors student Jessica Pever who won the 2014 Denman Award! Jessica’s research was selected out of more than 550 undergraduates’ outstanding research showcased at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum this year. Jessica’s research was titled “Assessing Rigor in Social Work Education from the Perspectives of Students, Faculty, and Lecturers.” Jessica worked with Dr. Denise Bronson (pictured left) on her research project.
Jessica also recently shared her research at two annual college events—the Thesis Showcase and the Honors Dinner which included faculty, staff, students, donors and guests of the college. As an honors student with successful completion of the coursework, Jessica will graduate “With Honors Research Distinction in Social Work.”
For social work students to develop the competencies and skills required for successful social work practice a rigorous curriculum must be available to them. While it is generally accepted that a “rigorous” curriculum leads to better learning outcomes, the actual meaning of rigor and the key components of a rigorous curriculum are not well defined. This study seeks to better understand the concept of rigor as it relates to social work education.
The goals of this study are to analyze the perception of rigor collectively held by students and instructors currently engaged in The Ohio State University undergraduate social work curriculum and to examine the differing perceptions held by these two groups. To evaluate these perceptions, the concept of rigor has been broken down into three primary categories that previous studies indicated as essential components of rigor: course relevance, individual student effort, and course context.
A survey was developed to capture the perceptions held by those active in the program regarding specific items that fall within each of these categories. There were 143 students and 21 instructors who responded to the survey. It is anticipated that the two groups will hold similar perceptions of certain measured components while having differing perceptions of others. The results of this study will provide possible considerations and next steps for the College of Social Work’s undergraduate core curriculum development and help to better define the components of a rigorous curriculum.
MSW student Jonnel Ransom manned the NASW-OH table during Social Work Month as part of an effort to recruit new members to the National Association of Social Workers—Ohio Chapter. NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 130,000 members. It works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. Jonnel also won the iPad mini given away as part of the college’s Instagram contest. Way to go, Jonnel!
Congratulations to Sean Delaney, who has been chosen as the School Social Work Association of America’s (SSWAA) student board member! Sean serves as a College of Social Work SSW intern.
Sean will be participating in the board’s monthly electronic meetings with the hope of adding a student perspective to the issues discussed. She will also attend the SSWAA National Conference in Chicago and facilitate a meeting for attending social work students. Additionally, she will be working closely with the SSWAA Membership Committee to recruit student members which could include developing recruitment materials, assisting with social media postings, and reaching out to students wanting more information about SSWAA and the field of school social work.
“I am thrilled to be working and collaborating with SSWAA to further develop and advocate for our field,” says Sean, whose SSWAA appointment begins September 2013 and runs through June 2014.