Integrating the Grand Challenges for social work into an undergraduate capstone course

Dawn Apgar, PhD, LSW, ACSW, is an Associate Professor and Director of the undergraduate social work program at Seton Hall University who has written extensively on social work pedagogy and education.
Lori Zerrusen, MSW, LSW, a Seton Hall University and Columbia University graduate, is currently providing clinical social work counseling and services to adults and children.

Abstract: Over the last decade, social work has focused on identifying widespread societal problems that should drive research, teaching, and practice in the coming years. There are very few scholarly articles about the integration of the Grand Challenges into curricula, despite reports that about half of social work academic institutions have done so. This study provides pre-post data from a cohort of social work students who focused their undergraduate capstone experiences on the Grand Challenges. The vast majority of undergraduate social work students were initially unaware of the Grand Challenges. Students felt that they had significantly more perceived competence to address almost all of the Grand Challenges at the end of the course. There was increased interest in addressing smart decarceration. Integration of the Grand Challenges into undergraduate curricula should occur, especially as social workers prioritize work on restorative justice and mass incarceration.

Read the article here.

Citation: Apgar, D., & Zerrusen, L. (2024). Integrating the Grand Challenges for social work into an undergraduate capstone course. Social Work Education, 1–11.

Grand Challenges for Social Work Invites You to Go•Grander!