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?
 

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.
 

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!
 
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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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Vasa Lisa

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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.

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.
 

crunch2780

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Think about it: a DSW can work anywhere an MSW can, but can also teach and do research. This means they are working in an extremely diverse number of places. Perhaps more so than your traditional PhD, since once they pop those babies out of the oven, just about all they are capable of is the publish or perish lifestyle. They teach and do research. DSWs can be found in the higher ranks of the profession pretty much anywhere. And, I know it wasn't the source of your inquiry, per se, but I know the question is there...I swear to you, people do not take the doctoral degree for granted, even if it is "just a DSW".
 

erg923

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I thought that was a shoe company?
 
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crunch2780

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It is, LOL. That is a side benefit of being a DSW, people think you are in retail.
 
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