College of Education

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project Report

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Pedagogical Studies

First Advisor

Richard E. Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Spencer K. Thompson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Clark Johnson, Ph.D.


The terms "social work," "casework," and "counseling" signify similar but separate professions, occupations, and techniques. Their places within the spectrum of community or helping services are clarified by a discussion of relevant literature. Based on these perspectives, a survey of 104 local helping service agencies and organizations was under taken to establish employment qualifications (educational, experiential, professional) for the helping professions. Follow-up was done in 10 situations where Master's Degrees in Social Work, Counseling, and Psychology were required for employment—to determine the particular value of the degree for the specific position. Indications from this study are: that, most positions available require a Bachelor's Degree or less; that, a priority is placed on relevant experience; that, specific competencies are not exclusive to one degree; and that, job titles refer to job functions as defined by individual agencies rather than levels of education. Responses from the early graduates of the Community Counseling Program suggest that the degree has not been particularly helpful in obtaining employment commensurate with the degree, although they feel that the coursework has upgraded their counseling skills. Suggestions are also made as to how the program might be restructured in order to better prepare students for employment and to meet the needs of the local communities.



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