Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Community organization, Social service



Physical Description

1 online resource (88 p.)


This follow-up study of 1970-73 graduates of the Portland State University School of Social Work was aimed at identifying the community organization and social welfare planning skills that M.S.W.s are using in their current practice. The study sought information from graduates that could be useful in evaluating the current Social Welfare Planning concentration and planning future curriculum.

Two groups of graduates were surveyed utilizing a mailed questionnaire. The first group consisted of the universal sample of former students identified as community organization concentrators; the comparison group was a sample of graduates who had majored in direct services.

The study explored and compared the educational backgrounds of the two groups and their employment histories following graduation. More importantly, it sought the opinions of former students on the usefulness or relevancy of specific community organization and planning skills in their actual practice.

At the outset of the study, it was assumed that graduates who had concentrated in community organization would consistently rate community organization/planning skills higher than graduates who had majored in direct services. Overall, the results of the study substantiated that assumption. However, the agency setting of the practitioner appeared to be a more important determinant of the types of skills he found relevant than his area of specialization in graduate school.

Thus, community organization concentrators who were in organizing or planning positions at the time of the survey rated the associated skills as having much greater utility in their practice than did direct service concentrators who held direct service positions. Further, direct service concentrators who were also in administrative or planning positions rated the skills higher than did their counterparts in direct service positions.

It was also found that community organization concentrators were more conservative than direct service majors in crediting the School of Social Work with having contributed significantly to their attainment of community organization/planning skills.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier