Student-instructor assessments: Examining the skills and competencies of social work students placed in military-connected schools

Julie A. Cederbaum, Keren Malchi, Monica C. Esqueda, Rami Benbenishty, Hazel Atuel, Ron Avi Astor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Field education is a vital part of learning and training for students pursuing an MSW degree. Guided by competencies created by the Council on Social Work Education, MSW programs are continuously evaluating the effectiveness of field experiences. U.S.-based public schools lack the training and capacity to provide adequate support to military-connected students. To understand the skills and competencies of MSW students placed in military-connected schools, the authors collected data from 30 first-year MSW students and their eight field instructors at two time points (fall and spring) during the 2010-2011 academic year. Both students and instructors gave higher-than-midpoint ratings to students on competencies at both time points. At time 1, students rated themselves lowest on application of complex practice models, policy issues, and working on the macro level with military organizations, whereas instructors rated students lowest on items related to systemic monitoring and research in practice. Progress toward competencies during the academic year was noted for more than half of the competencies. Although as groups, students and field instructors provided similar assessments, similarity within student-instructor dyads was low, suggesting opportunities for growth in the context of field instruction and the need for development of individual student-instructor relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Schools
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • competencies
  • field education
  • military social work practice


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