Core Competency Education of Social Work Students: An Empirical Assessment Through Scale Development

Yu Guo, Shuang Lu, Chien-Chung Huang, Yuqi Wang, Yiwen Zhang


This study investigates how competency-based education and assessment prepare social work students to become competent professionals, with a quantitative examination of Chinese students’ (n=332) core competencies. Factor analysis suggests that core competencies can be grouped into conceptual and professional dimensions. The regression results demonstrate that curriculum content satisfaction, preference for the social work major, field experience, and knowledge of career outlook are positively related to students’ conceptual, professional, and comprehensive competencies. Gender and willingness for further study also relate positively to both conceptual and comprehensive competencies, and grade is positively associated with professional competency. These findings carry important implications for the competency-based approach to social work education in China.

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