A Case Study of the VU Social Work Department Advising Transition

Faculty Sponsor

Jane Barden


Arts and Sciences


Social Work Department

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-2-2015


This research project focuses on one aspect of the implicit curriculum within the Social Work Department at Valparaiso University, that of advisement. Specifically, this research was conducted in order to understand the experiences of students during the transition from faculty members as advisors to a single professional academic advisor. Grady (2011) created a survey for the purpose of studying the implicit curriculum in a masters program. Based on that work, we have constructed a survey specific to advising and mentorship that will be used in the present study. We hypothesize that the transition has had a negative impact on faculty-student relations in the Social Work Department and that relationships have not yet been cultivated between students and the professional academic advisor. Data will be collected through surveys and interviews with social work students. It is our intention to provide feedback about the process of advising to the VUDSW based on the findings of this research.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Four of the five researchers are junior social work majors. One researcher is a social work minor, and all have been affected by this transition from faculty members as advisors to one professional academic advisor. This made the researchers curious about how the rest of the Social Work Department experienced this transition. They want to find out if this transition was a positive or negative change for the department, regarding the relationships between students and faculty. Then they plan to give feedback to the department about the experiences and attitudes of students about this transition.

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