A comparison of the academic performance of experienced versus inexperienced MSWs earning the social work doctorate
Artelt, Thomas Alexander
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Social work doctoral programs in the United States purport to educate students for careers in social work research, teaching, and service. There is an implicit assumption that having some years of post-MSW social work experience prior to beginning doctoral education puts the student in a better position to benefit from their studies. This dissertation surveyed the performance of a convenience sample of 98 social work doctoral students from four programs in the United States. It noted that experienced social workers in doctoral programs took longer to graduate, published fewer scholarly papers, made more conference presentations, were less likely to graduate, and were about equally likely to obtain an academic position than social work doctoral students who had less than two years of post-MSW practice experience. The potential applications of these findings, if replicated, for doctoral program admissions policies are discussed, as are the limitations of the present investigation, and ways in which future research in this area could be improved.
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