Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dale Oswalt

Second Advisor

Johnathan D. Bartling

Third Advisor

Kelly S. Brown

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


Higher educational institutions must demonstrate that their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) students are competent prior to graduation. There are conflicting studies regarding the reliability of field instructor, faculty, and students’ self-assessment. The purpose of this study was to examine the consistency of how field instructors, faculty, and students assessed the same students’ social work competence across three academic years. This quantitative research study examined historical data from one Midwestern University where students, faculty, and field instructors rated students’ competence in the last semester of their senior year using the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) 13 core competencies (2.1.1-2.1.10d). Data analysis included descriptive statistics, 39 Kruskal-Wallis H tests, 13 Friedman’s test, Bonferroni correction, and a False Discovery Rate, due to the large number of statistical tests conducted using the same data set. The field instructor and faculty sample were similar (n = 83); however, the sample for student self-assessment was n = 45. Findings indicated that faculty assessment of students’ social work 13 core competencies was the most inconsistent across three academic years, whereas field instructors’ assessment was the most consistent. When comparing how faculty, field instructors, and students assessed the same students, finding indicated that faculty and field instructors were more closely aligned than students and field instructors and students rated their own social work competence higher than faculty on two core competencies and higher than field instructors on four core competencies.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2017 for Olivet Nazarene University.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License