Achieving HBSE Competencies through Service-learning


  • Sarah E. Twill Wright State University
  • Kathy Elpers University of Southern Indiana
  • Kathy Lay Indiana University, School of Social Work



service-learning, human behavior in the social environment curriculum, CSWE competencies


Service-learning pedagogy allows social work educators to create meaningful learning opportunities for students and better prepare them for practicum, while at the same time, meeting a community need. This paper outlines the relevance of incorporating service-learning into the social work curriculum, specifically the human behavior and the social environment (HBSE) area. Using Bloom’s taxonomy as a guide, the authors propose how the CSWE competencies and practice behaviors specific to HBSE may be assessed using service-learning pedagogy. An example is reviewed to illustrate how service-learning can assist faculty and students achieve the HBSE competencies and practice behaviors. Finally, implications for service-learning as a pedagogical strategy for social work education are discussed.

Author Biographies

Sarah E. Twill, Wright State University

Sarah Twill, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at Wright State University.

Kathy Elpers, University of Southern Indiana

Kathy Elpers, Ed.D, MSW, is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana

Kathy Lay, Indiana University, School of Social Work

Kathy Lay, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Indiana University, School of Social Work. 902 W. New York Street, ES4107 Indianapolis, IN 46202