Continuing education by schools of social work
Callaway, Janice Tuck
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This study began the empirical examination of factors influencing the level of involvement in continuing professional education provided by schools of social work. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between certain attributes of a SSW and the school’s level of involvement in CPE. A secondary purpose was to determine whether these attributes additionally contributed to a school’s perceived future focus for CPE activities. A school’s level of involvement was classified into five possible categories ranging from none to premier according to the conceptual description given in the study as presence of structure, provision, leadership, and research. A school’s future focus for continuing professional education was classified into three possible categories (decreasing focus, maintaining focus, and increasing focus) based on areas of programming, evaluation, and economics. Chi-square analyses were performed to determine the presence or absence of a relationship; Cramer’s V was used to measure the strength of association of the relationship. 129 schools of social work responded to the mailed questionnaire (90% response rate). Eighty percent of schools indicated that they provided continuing professional education. It was found that statistically significant relationships existed between a school’s level of involvement and the attributes of degree program levels, fee-based funding for programs, strategic plans, organizational charts, budget ranges, tenure-track positions, and Carnegie Foundation Research classification. For future focus, statistically significant relationships existed with the strategic plan, organizational chart, and tenure-track position. These results may be used by administrators and directors of continuing education programs at schools of social work to assist their decision-making, planning, evaluation, and modifications of existing programs.