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Where do DSWs work?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by BlackSkirtTetra, 04.21.12.

  1. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    This might sound like a stupid or simple question, but I want to know--where do DSWs work, and in what context is their work something that a qualified MSW/LCSW couldn't do?

    I know I've read or heard a few times of people pursuing their DSW, but I don't understand why, and how it is unique from the PhD in Social Work or the MSW with the LCSW.

    Care to clear this up?
  2. Vasa Lisa

    Vasa Lisa

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    A quick google search found this.

    http://www.naddssw.org/pages/wp-con...SW-Degree-Task-Force-Report-April-16-2011.pdf

    I was clearly incorrect in my other reply about the DSW. Interesting the parallels with other professions re: advantages of post Masters education.

    Great question! For those in MSW programs I am now curious if your faculty are MSW and if you are in a clinical track are they also LCSWs? And if their training is at the doctoral level are they also LCSWs?

    All new counseling faculty at my local universities must have the LPC and the movement is away from hiring folks with psychology advanced degrees who are not also LPCs.

    Your question raises valuable additional questions about professional identity.
  3. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    I checked my university's webpage, and 100% of my faculty (over 40 people) are MSSW/LCSWs or PhDs. There are zero DSWs.

    This is to be expected, though. The DSW has never been marketed as a teaching or research degree but, rather, as an "advanced practice" degree. However, that's the MSSW/LCSW are!
    Last edited: 04.22.12
  4. Qwerk

    Qwerk Forensic LMSW

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    The only D.S.W.s or D.S.W. candidates that I've known are professors at social work schools.
  5. PhDstudent1982

    PhDstudent1982

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    DSW programs are quite rare today. Most that were in existence in the '70's and '80's have transformed into PhD programs.

    In theory, DSW's can work in the same environments that PhD's can.
  6. PhDstudent1982

    PhDstudent1982

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    one if the reasons DSWs were once popular was because the MSW was the terminal degree, and when social work decided to tread into the doctoral realm, PhDs were a hard sell for universities. Given that a DSW is a professional degree, it is a much easier program to develop and administer because it can skip a lot of the red tape that is paved along the PhD path. PhD's are normally granted and administered at the university level, not the department or school level, so all programs have general requirements they have to meet (i.e. GRE, selectivity, funding, etc.). With DSW's, they are created and administered solely by social work schools and departments, and thus have much more control over the coursework offered, etc. When doctoral programs were first introduced, no one knew what a PhD in social work was supposed to look like, so it was difficult to get the university graduate schools to sign off on them. So, universities created DSW programs instead.

    This is also why DSW programs, like PsyD programs, don't have the same level of funding as PhD programs. Because PhD programs are administered through the university graduate school, they all compete for the same funding, across disciplines. With professional degrees, the only funding generally comes from the academic unit.

    So, for example, my Alma Matter has a PhD program in social work. It took them nearly 25 years of work to get the program off the ground. The program, while being a social work Phd, is actually granted not by the school of social work, but by the university graduate school. This ensures that all PhD's from the university are on par with each other, regardless of discipline. The students complete their coursework through the school of social work, but the degree is actually administered through the university grad school. A DSW, on the other hand, would be solely administered by the school of social work, given that it is a professional degree. Similar to the MD.
  7. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    That's really helpful. Thank you. There's a school in TN that offers BOTH the PhD and the DSW. That seems so strange to me.
  8. Vasa Lisa

    Vasa Lisa

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    Great information you have shared here and welcome to SDN. I hope you stick around and share your insights and knowledge here. Your post helped me make sense of a lot of the controversy with for-profit schools and the PsyD.

    My alma mater (state school) offers several advanced degrees through the graduate school and through the college of psychology - MA, MEd, EdS, PsyD and PhD! The PhD was by far the hardest one to have approved. It took years and years of hard work and lots of wrangling with the state council of higher ed.
  9. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    Last edited: 04.24.12

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