Ph.D. Program Goals & Benchmarks

The goal of the Ph.D. 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. 

Student Learning Goal #1

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, Ph.D. Executive Committee, and Ph.D. 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

Student Learning Goal #2

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 
  • 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 
  • Public defense of dissertation 
  • Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers based on the area of dissertation research
  • 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 Ph.D. students 

Student Learning Goal #3

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

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3: 

  • Review papers/publications, presentations, and external or internal funds awarded
  • Completion by students of certificate, workshops, or noncredit course 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 Ph.D. alumni with jobs in research and academia to serve as network contacts 
  • Provide workshops on academic job search 
  • Promote student and Ph.D. faculty advisor attendance at social work professional conferences of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)