The Premise of an Educational Continuum in Social Work Education

By Dora M.Y. Tam and Siu Ming Kwok.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social work education encompasses various programs across North America that include: college diploma, bachelor degree, master degree, and doctoral degree. Program admission requirements, course contents, and work prospects after graduations from different programs are presumably on a continuum, but in reality there are different levels of overlaps as well as gaps (Greene, 2000). This paper discusses the educational continuum in social work across North America. To set the stage for this discussion, this paper focuses only on the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master in Social Work (MSW) programs because these two are considered as professional degrees and are required to meet the accreditation standards by the governing association of schools of social work. Purportedly on the educational continuum, BSW programs teach professional foundation content, whereas MSW programs focus on advanced and specialized social work practice content. Evidence supports that the educational continuum does exist, but there are challenges at implementation level. The authors conclude that the ideal of an educational continuum provides certain uniformity and is essential. To overcome the identified challenges in the implementation of the educational continuum, the authors suggest three alternatives.

Keywords: Social Work Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp.47-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 531.435KB).

Dr. Dora M.Y. Tam

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Siu Ming Kwok

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, King's University College at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada


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