Perceptions of Macro Social Work Education: An Exploratory Study of Educators and Practitioners


  • Katharine Hill St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work
  • Christina L. Erickson Augsburg College
  • Linda Plitt Donaldson Catholic University of America
  • Sondra J. Fogel University of South Florida
  • Sarah M. Ferguson St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas



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. 

Author Biography

Katharine Hill, St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work

Associate Professor, School of Social Work


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