Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

Byron Hargrove


Research shows that there is an increase in working professionals returning to social work school but are ill-prepared to give up their jobs to attend school full-time to obtain their master’s in social work degrees. The purpose of this case study analysis was to explore the perceptions of social work graduate students and faculty members within a model known as the One-Year Residency (OYR) Program on the east coast using both focus groups and interviews, respectively. Using a qualitative phenomenological approach with a purposive sample, the study focused on discovering the graduate students’ and faculty perceptions about (a) the OYR Program in general, (b) the capabilities of graduate students to take and pass the licensure exam, and (c) the graduate students’ preparedness to enter the social work profession as licensed professionals. Data collected from eight social work graduate students using three focus groups and from four faculty members using individual interviews focused on their perceptions of the OYR Program. The findings from both data sets revealed the importance of the OYR program to working professionals but also showed the void of human resources to address concerns about the program, preparation for the field placement year, and readiness to take and pass the social work licensure exam. Both students and faculty recommended the need to strengthen the OYR Program by utilizing more full-time professors in the program, having staff support and prepare students for field placement year, and create more opportunities for licensure preparation.

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