Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


“Quality” is a value-laden term that depends upon variables associated with culture, language and political context. Concluding there is no absolute, single definition of this term Harvey and Green (1993) postulated the meaning of quality as reflective of the differing perspectives of individuals and society as a whole; this includes the interrelated concepts: excellence; perfection; fitness for purpose, value for money; and transformation. This exploratory study attempts to define and operationalize the relevant characteristics that describe quality in undergraduate social work education by applying the five concepts of Harvey and Green (1993). Interviews were conducted with undergraduate social work program directors and faculty in the State of Wisconsin to elicit from the participants their understanding of the nature and relevance of each of the five dimensions of quality. From the analysis of the resulting data a synthesized and cohesive definition of each concept of quality is developed. The analysis also notes differences in perceptions between the program directors and faculty. Finally, implications for accreditation, undergraduate social work education and program funding will be discussed.

Keywords: quality, higher education, undergraduate social work

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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