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Satisfaction with Education and Self-Evaluation of Students’ Competency in Helping Professions

Authors
Publisher
Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences
Keywords
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Study
  • Competencies
  • Social Pedagogy
  • Socijalni Rad
  • Socijalna Pedagogija
  • Kompetencije
  • Psihosocijalni Rad
  • Psychosocial Work
  • Psihologija
  • Studij

Abstract

This paper presents results of a preliminary investigation conducted on three university groups. Students’ satisfaction with their education, their professional interests and the self-evaluation of their competence for future psychosocial work were examined. The goal of this research was to compare students of three helping professions (social pedagogy, psychology and social work), with regard to perceived competency for the future psychosocial work and obtain insight in the degree of satisfaction with the general and specific knowledge and skills for psychosocial work obtained during study and compulsory student practice.A total of 227 final year students participated in the study (two generations), out of which 88 psychology students, 80 social work students and 59 social pedagogy students were involved. Data on students’ satisfaction with general and specific knowledge and skills gained through their education, student practice, volunteer work and specific professional interests were gathered. A preliminary version of the Perceived competency for future psychosocial work scale was also administered. Participants assessed how sure they are that they can professionally/successfully perform certain activities in the domain of psychosocial work (common to all three investigated professions). Also, the Perceived incompetence scale (Bezinovic, 1988) was administered. Results show that students are mainly satisfied with the general and specific knowledge and skills gained through their education, although there are some differences between the university groups. Out of all the students that participated in the study, 47% is or were included in some form of volunteer work, and they believe that this experience has enabled them to gain new job-skills. Factor analysis of the Perceived competency for future psychosocial work scale revealed four factors: (1) direct work in practice; (2) group work/ prevention programs, (3) empathy and establishing a relationship with a client and (4) application of theoretical knowledge in practice. Differences between three university groups considering students’ satisfaction with the knowledge and skills gained, their volunteer work and their perception of competency for their future work within the psychosocial domain are discussed.

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