Factors affecting the retention of learners following the degree in social work at a university in the south-east of England

Hafford-Letchfield, Trish ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0105-0678 (2007) Factors affecting the retention of learners following the degree in social work at a university in the south-east of England. Learning in Health and Social Care, 6 (3). pp. 170-184. ISSN 1473-6853

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Abstract

Changes to the education and training for social workers in England, UK since 2003 have increased the number and widened the pool of students encouraged to enter the profession via higher education. Social work education is very much linked to increasing diversity in work-force development where an agenda to build a well-motivated and skilled work-force can in turn provide good quality services
and interventions reflecting the diverse needs of service users and carers. This paper reports on a small-scale study which explored factors affecting the potential success of students following a vocational education programme leading
to the degree in social work. Using in-depth face-to-face interviews with a sample of seven students and a focus group with eight social work tutors, within a qualitative framework, the experiences of learning and teaching were explored
from the participants’ subjective viewpoints. The study highlighted several factors found to potentially impact on student success in social work education and compared these with the published literature relating to both widening participation and diversity in learning. Factors impacting were student organization and time-management skills; access to study skill support; their relationships with tutors and peers; and the impact of affective factors on the learning process. This study forms a useful basis for determining areas for
intervention to improve the potential of success on the degree and the challenges anticipated in implementing these for students from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds. Although this study related specifically to social work education, the findings may be transferable to other vocational education professions in the health and social care sector.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): diversity, learning support, nontraditional. students, student retention, widening participation, social work
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 12833
Notes on copyright: no
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2013 08:23
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 18:12
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/12833

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