First Advisor

Sonja Matison

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Portland State University -- School of Social Work -- Alumni and alumnae, Social work education -- Curricula, Universities and colleges -- Alumni and alumnae



Physical Description

1 online resource (60 pages)


This was a follow-up study of graduates of Portland State University's School of Social Work from 1964 to 1973. The study gathered information in four areas: (1) graduates' career patterns, (2) tasks graduates presently perform in their jobs, (3) tasks graduates felt are necessary for students to learn in a school of Social Work, and (4) graduates' continuing education needs and experiences. It was hoped that this information would prove valuable in curriculum design, both in the School of Social Work and in the Division of Continuing Education.

A stratified random sample of sixty-one graduates, totaling 15.4% of the ten-year population of 396 graduates, was surveyed by mailed questionnaire. Fifty-two of these responded for a return rate of 85.3%. Results from the questionnaire were transferred to punch cards and frequencies, means, standard deviations, and a factor analysis of data were performed by computer.

Forty-five of the fifty-two respondents considered themselves to be presently practicing social work. Twenty-four of these respondents worked primarily in direct treatment, and all but one of these reported having collateral duties in administration or facilitative services.

Respondents showed almost no interest in pursuing further graduate study in social services or any other field, and indicated only moderate interest in continuing education seminars or classes. Of all continuing education offerings, family therapy received the highest interest score and research received the lowest.

Respondents felt that the most important tasks to be taught in graduate school were direct service tasks. A factor analysis was performed to reduce these tasks to more easily reportable shared factors, and the tasks seen as most crucial for learning were those concerned with direct treatment, resource assistance, and client contact. Although respondents believed that direct service tasks should be stressed in the School curriculum, most of the respondents also were performing non-direct service tasks such as leadership and consultation in group process.


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