Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. David Royse

Second Advisor

Dr. Kalea Benner


This is an exploratory study of undergraduate social work education at a private faith-based university. The university offers both online and residential program options. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of distance education and program option on the educational outcomes of graduates in a newly developed social work program. The program started in 2015 with its first graduating class in 2017. The sample (N = 262) consists of students graduating in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Students could take classes across program options and each student in the sample completed both traditional and online social work courses. The outcome measures utilized are field instructor evaluations and comprehensive exam scores. The field instructor evaluations assessed students’ skills during their practicum internships while the comprehensive examination scores captured students’ knowledge and critical thinking. The study uses multiple linear regression analyses to determine the influence of social work distance education credits, program option, and other demographic variables had on educational outcomes. The dissertation addresses the limitations of the data collection as well as implications for social work educational programs and areas for future research.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Teaching Assistantship: College of Social Work, University of Kentucky 2011-2013

Research Fellowship: College of Social Work, University of Kentucky 2013

Graduate School Scholarship, University of Kentucky 2019-2022