Title

Social work dissertation committee chairs’ perceptions of their role

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Department/School

Social Work

Publication Title

Journal of Social Work Education

Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 Council on Social Work Education. This descriptive study used a mixed-methods approach to explore social work dissertation committee chairs’ (N = 150) conceptualizations of their role including their understanding of successful relationships, perceptions, and experiences with the scope of the role. Most chairs had no formal training and learned through their own experiences as students and committee members. The majority believed the chair role included academic support but disagreed on whether the role should include psychosocial support (e.g., self-care, physical, mental health) and family support (e.g., pregnancy, parenting, family issues). Qualitative data provided further details and examples of how chairs learned or prepared for their role, conceptualized their role, and defined successful and challenging relationships and the scope of their role. Implications for social work education including strengthening training for chairs and supports for chairs and students are discussed.

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