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Program Goals and Benchmarks

The goal of the PhD program in Social Work is to educate students at an advanced level in social work fields of study so they may obtain positions of leadership in research, teaching, and service.

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Attain marked ability, scholarship, and research skills in a broad field of learning

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Qualifying examinations assessing depth and breadth of knowledge
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Presentation at a professional conference

Roles of School of Social Work in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools by the Program Director,  Doctoral Executive Committee, and Doctoral Faculty
  • Evaluate teaching effectiveness of instructors in doctoral courses. If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Seek funds for the support of students presenting papers in professional conferences
  • Provide seminar series in topics related to the development of scholarship and research skills, including development of conference presentations and publications

Learning Goal 2 for Students: Engage in and conduct original research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Preparation of and defense of Ph.D. dissertation proposal
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation:
    • Public defense of dissertation
    • Critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside the faculty of the Rutgers social work graduate program
    • Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers based on the dissertation
    • Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placement, selection for conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and individual internal and external funding attainment.

Roles of School of Social Work in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback
  • Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors
  • Provide supplemental funding for doctoral student travel to present research  at conferences
  • Promote a community and learning climate conducive to goal achievement, including student focused seminar series; computer lab; social events to facilitate interaction and exchange among social work doctoral students

Learning Goal 3 for Students: Prepare to be professionals in their discipline

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Review evidence of papers presented, publications, and professional networking
  • Completion by students of certificate in the Rutgers Teaching Assistance Project (TAP)
  • Aggregate evaluations of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors
  • Collection of placement data
  • Participation by each student in SSW Professional Development Seminar

Roles of School of Social Work in helping students achieve Goal 3:

  • Promote programs associated with the Teaching Assistant Project (TAP)
  • Encourage enrollment in TAP Introduction to College Teaching I and II
  • Host and promote professional development programs in such areas as human subjects research, library use, presentation skills, development of CVs, use of research tools, and proposal writing
  • Develop or enhance programs related to job and networking skills, including activity in professional societies and preparation for necessary certifications
  • Acquaint students with non-academic career opportunities
  • Assemble network of PhD alumni with jobs in research and academia to serve as network contacts
  • Provide workshops on academic job search
  • Promote student and doctoral faculty mentor attendance at social work professional conferences of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)

The leadership of the Doctoral program will regularly review the structure and content of the program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews will be used to provide the best possible education to students in order to meet the needs for highly trained individuals in the social sciences that address issues related to social work.

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