Department of Social Work


MSW Portfolio Overview



What is the MSW Portfolio?
The UMD Department of Social Work Portfolio was designed to help students meaningfully integrate, on an ongoing basis, the knowledge and skills they acquire throughout the master's curriculum. It will also help ensure that all MSW graduates demonstrate competence in those learning areas that we believe are key to quality masters-level social work practice.

The Portfolio is comprised of a cover page, introduction, resume, self-rating on concentration year practice behaviors, Field II ratings on concentration year practice behaviors, self-reflection on concentration year competencies, plan for career long learning, ethical dilemma case summary, and an integrative essay.

The Components of MSW Portfolios
There are 10 components of the MSW Portfolio which are as follows: Title (Cover) Page Introduction: Brief personal statement on how you became interested in becoming a MSW level social worker and your career goals. (1-2 paragraphs)


Self-Ratings on Concentration Year Practice Behaviors

Field II Ratings on Concentration Year Practice Behaviors

Self-Reflection on Concentration Year Competencies

Reflect on your overall strengths and weaknesses. Do your perceptions fit with those of your field supervisor? How have you grown in each of the 10 competency area during the MSW program? What coursework or field experiences contributed to this learning? How will what you learned in your coursework and field experiences shape your future practice and your plan for career long learning? (5-8 Pages)

Plan for Career Long Learning
This plan may be modified from the one completed in your Field Seminar II if you chose to do so. It should include action plans for promoting social justice and enhancing your cultural competence.

Ethical Dilemma Case Summary
Present a case situation that you have dealt with in either micro or macro practice and describe the process, procedures and resources that you used to conceptualize and address the ethical dilemma. You may use a paper that you have completed in a concentration year class. (5-6 pages)

Integrative Essay
Write an integrated essay that addresses the advanced generalist practice model and how it has related to your coursework and field experiences. Discuss three key themes in our program (i.e. Cultural competence, Social Work practice with American Indians and Social Justice) and relate them to key theories, skills and values that you have learned in classroom and field settings. Discuss how you will apply the advanced generalist practice to a specific area of practice that you plan to pursue. Use reference citations and include a reference page. (6-8 pages)

Optional: Attach a learning product from the classroom or field setting that exemplifies the best of your work in the MSW program.

Your First and Second Portfolio Readers
Your Portfolio First Reader is the faculty member with whom you will work most closely in putting together your portfolio. This faculty member is your academic adviser and they also chair your Final Oral Examination which is focused partly on your Portfolio (see below for a description of your Final Oral Examination). Your Portfolio Second Reader reviews your portfolio and also is the second member of your Final Oral Exam committee.

Should your adviser be unavailable during the time that you plan to take your final oral exams, you may ask another faculty member to be your adviser. An Adviser Change Form must be completed and is available in the Student Support Assistant's office (Bohannon 214).

Currently, faculty able to serve as Portfolio Primary Readers are: Kathy Heltzer, Evie Campbell, Priscilla Day, Anne Tellett, Wendy Anderson, Sandra van den Bosse and Jim Amell.
The Final Oral Examination
The Final Oral Exam consists of a presentation by the student of the following: social work practice and theory within the advanced generalist model, advanced generalist practice and its relationship to the student's coursework, field experiences, and future career, social work values and ethics (including an example of a professional ethical dilemma you have faced) and a brief overview of your portfolio elements. The structure of the Final Oral Examination is delineated in the MSW Student Handbook that is available on the Department's website.
The Portfolio Process
As you begin your Concentration Year, review attached Practice Behaviors associated with Concentration Year Learning Objectives and start thinking about where you feel you are in terms of each Practice Behavior. Also, keep in mind that you will need to prepare an Integrative Essay as well as present an Ethical Dilemma that you encounter in the field (see portfolio above).

You will complete a Self-Assessment on the Concentration Year Practice Behaviors in your Field II course. You will include this assessment in your portfolio.

You should meet with your Portfolio First Reader sometime in September to discuss the above, as well as the portfolio process in general.

You should present a preliminary draft of your Portfolio to your Portfolio First Reader by the tenth week of the Fall or Spring semester following your having completed at least 12 credits of Concentration Year coursework. Your Portfolio First Reader will provide written and oral comments on this. This feedback should be helpful to your completion the remainder of the Portfolio process.

The Final Portfolio Oral Presentation will generally take place in the final week of the Spring semester (during which Concentration Year courses won't be scheduled) through the Wednesday of Spring Finals Week. You will, in consultation with your two Portfolio Readers, be responsible for scheduling your Oral Presentation.

At least two weeks prior to your Oral Exam, you will need to submit your complete Portfolio to your Portfolio First Reader. You will submit a final version to both readers when your First Reader determines that it is ready.

UMD Social Work Department

220 Bohannon Hall
1207 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812

(218) 726-8497
1 (888) 534-9734

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