A Survey of Information Technology-Related Curriculum in Undergraduate Work Programs

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This study examined the extent to which undergraduate social work programs include information technology in their curriculum and how this inclusion is implemented. A national survey (N=297) of BSW programs was conducted in order to learn more about the inclusion of computer literacy skills in BSW education, and to assess the importance and amount of information technology content in BSW programs. Furthermore, feelings about the creation of a CSWE computer literacy requirement were also sought. It was found that respondents believe that information technology is important and should be integrated within the curriculum, but that this does not occur in the vast majority of programs. Although most programs stated that they taught some computer-related content in the social work curriculum, forty percent noted that students could graduate without any course content pertaining to computers. When it is present, information technology is primarily taught as part of the research course as a tool for statistical analysis rather than as a tool for facilitating BSW generalist practice. Respondents believed an overcrowded curriculum is the chief barrier to inclusion of information technology curricular content. Discussion focused on the inevitable increase in information technology in the university curriculum. Consequently, it is critical that social work integrate information technology within the curriculum in order to convey the professions unique perspective on issues related to its use in human service organizations and work with clients. Suggestions were made regarding how such integration can occur.

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Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work





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