Researching admissions: what can we learn about selections of applicants from findings about students in difficulty on a social work programme

Cathryn Holmstrom, Imogen Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores the findings of a small‐scale empirical study of social work admissions data. It is designed to be exploratory in nature and used to illustrate key themes discussed in a previous paper. The study has been designed as a comparator to a Canadian study with the aim of building upon their findings within the current UK/England context. The research examines the relationship between applicants' pre‐admission information and their subsequent performance on the programme. Data relating to a sample of students and available at the pre‐admission stage (from application forms and interviewer report forms) and data relating to students on the programme who had been identified (by faculty) as having difficulties in one or more areas of their learning, are compared to a sample of those not identified as having experienced such problems. The two groups (total sample size=150) are drawn from one university in southern England and comprise students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Methodological issues are critically analysed and findings are explored and compared to that of the Canadian study. Key themes regarding the seemingly complex relationships between performance on the programme and academic background, extent of previous experience and a range of other factors are discussed and examined in relation to other available literature. Implications are explored in relation to current practice and development needs within social work education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-836
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2008

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applicant
social work
student
need development
performance
university
interview
learning
education
experience
Group

Keywords

  • Social Work Education
  • Social Work Admissions
  • Selection for Social Work
  • Suitability.

Cite this

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title = "Researching admissions: what can we learn about selections of applicants from findings about students in difficulty on a social work programme",
abstract = "This paper explores the findings of a small‐scale empirical study of social work admissions data. It is designed to be exploratory in nature and used to illustrate key themes discussed in a previous paper. The study has been designed as a comparator to a Canadian study with the aim of building upon their findings within the current UK/England context. The research examines the relationship between applicants' pre‐admission information and their subsequent performance on the programme. Data relating to a sample of students and available at the pre‐admission stage (from application forms and interviewer report forms) and data relating to students on the programme who had been identified (by faculty) as having difficulties in one or more areas of their learning, are compared to a sample of those not identified as having experienced such problems. The two groups (total sample size=150) are drawn from one university in southern England and comprise students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Methodological issues are critically analysed and findings are explored and compared to that of the Canadian study. Key themes regarding the seemingly complex relationships between performance on the programme and academic background, extent of previous experience and a range of other factors are discussed and examined in relation to other available literature. Implications are explored in relation to current practice and development needs within social work education.",
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