Students entering NYC area MSW programs following a hiatus: Adjustment to the student role
Docherty, Jacqueline C.
MetadataShow full item record
The major question with which this study began was whether length of time out of school prior to entering an MSW program affected adjustment to the student role. However, upon failing to find a relationship between these two variables, the focus of the study shifted to an exploration of factors related to student role adjustment.;The percentage of students aged 31 and above enrolled in MSW programs continues to constitute a high proportion of MSW students. The traditional expectation of an uninterrupted educational career from high school to college to a graduate program appears to have markedly changed in recent years as it is likely that these students entered an MSW program following a gap in their education or postponed beginning their post secondary education until they were older. The weight of the evidence from literature suggests that the return to an educational program is often accompanied by obstacles, which are likely to affect adjustment. Returning and older students also are likely to face pressures as they manage the conflicting and often incompatible demands of multiple roles. Given the large number of returning and older students, it is essential that social work educators determine how well these students are able to manage their multiple roles, identify these students' special needs, if any, and develop programs and services which will ease their adjustment to the student role.;This study utilized an explanatory cross-sectional design. Data were collected from current student members of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. All survey respondents were either current MSW students at, or recent MSW graduates from, one of the six schools of social work located in the greater New York City area (other than Wurzweiler School of Social Work).;Data were analyzed through the use of SPSS 12.0 using frequency distributions and descriptive statistics, statistical testing, and multiple linear regression analysis. No relationship was found between length of time out of school and adjustment. Informal social support, age, and self-assessment of skills were the main factors which were significantly related to student role adjustment.;The findings indicate that no special services are required specifically for students who have experienced an interruption in their educational career. The finding that both informal social support and self-assessment of skills are related to adjustment, as well as data culled from the study's qualitative questions, supports creating and implementing institutional resources designed to enhance the adjustment of all students regardless of whether they have experienced a hiatus.