Event Title

Baccalaureate-Level Social Work Student Perceptions About Rural Practice

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2015 3:30 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Paul Mackie

Mentor's Email Address

paul.mackie@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Social Work

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

The lack of rural social workers and related behavioral health providers across the United States has resulted in a shortage of services to rural communities. To understand the cause of this problem, our research sought to identify predictive rural labor force utilizing the following research questions: What differences exist between students who prefer urban social work practice and those who prefer rural social work practice? What are positive factors in considering rural social work practice? What are negative factors in considering rural social work practice? Our research was conducted using surveys completed by Baccalaureate-level social work students from seven universities across the country. A total of 224 responded, with nearly a 100% response rate. The survey was used to collect basic demographic information, students’ experience living and/or working in rural and urban communities, and perceptions about both urban and rural practice. Findings are based on both quantitative and qualitative data outcomes. Responses revealed a correlation between the size of one’s hometown and the setting in which respondents are more likely to practice. Students surveyed who have little to no experience in a rural setting tend to indicate a preference toward urban practice based on negative assumptions about rural practice. Rural social work practitioners and advocates may apply this information to direct their efforts in addressing rural social work labor force challenges.Results from this study are expected to influence rural policy decisions to improve the appeal of rural social work to prospective practitioners.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:30 PM

Baccalaureate-Level Social Work Student Perceptions About Rural Practice

CSU Ballroom

The lack of rural social workers and related behavioral health providers across the United States has resulted in a shortage of services to rural communities. To understand the cause of this problem, our research sought to identify predictive rural labor force utilizing the following research questions: What differences exist between students who prefer urban social work practice and those who prefer rural social work practice? What are positive factors in considering rural social work practice? What are negative factors in considering rural social work practice? Our research was conducted using surveys completed by Baccalaureate-level social work students from seven universities across the country. A total of 224 responded, with nearly a 100% response rate. The survey was used to collect basic demographic information, students’ experience living and/or working in rural and urban communities, and perceptions about both urban and rural practice. Findings are based on both quantitative and qualitative data outcomes. Responses revealed a correlation between the size of one’s hometown and the setting in which respondents are more likely to practice. Students surveyed who have little to no experience in a rural setting tend to indicate a preference toward urban practice based on negative assumptions about rural practice. Rural social work practitioners and advocates may apply this information to direct their efforts in addressing rural social work labor force challenges.Results from this study are expected to influence rural policy decisions to improve the appeal of rural social work to prospective practitioners.

Recommended Citation

Hamann, Julia and Makenzie Petzel. "Baccalaureate-Level Social Work Student Perceptions About Rural Practice." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/poster_session_B/46