Engaging MSW Students in Policy Practice
Evaluation of Civic and Course-Learning Outcomes
Keywords:Policy practice efficacy, service-learning outcomes, course-learning outcomes, competence
Social policy courses are a staple in social work curricula, particularly in graduate-level social work education. Indeed, policy practice is among the nine social work competencies stipulated by the Council on Social Work Education. The purpose of the present study is to measure the effectiveness of service-learning over traditional-learning methods in obtaining civic and course-learning outcomes. This study utilized a purposive sample of 89 graduate-level social work students enrolled in advanced social policy courses (30 in a service-learning section, and 59 in traditional sections). Employing a quasi-experimental design, this study found that service-learning is associated with better civic and course-learning outcomes. Service-learning may be utilized to enhance policy practice efficacy based on knowledge, skills, values, and competence.
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