The Role of the Baccalaureate Social Work Program Director: A Qualitative Understanding

Susan Mapp, Elizabethtown College
Needha Boutté-Queen, Texas Southern University


This purpose of this study was to assess preparation for the role of BSW program director, its stressors and joys, and areas for future training through two focus groups of current BSW program directors. Results indicated that the vast majority had no training before assuming the role. Major stressors included the time demands, lack of resources, and role stressors, and the most common joys noted were being able to lead the program forward and being able to use the position to help students. To do their job better, program directors stated they needed more information on leadership and management, gatekeeping, and accreditation-related issues. Implications of these findings include the need for further training—for both new and experienced program directors—as well as developing mentorship opportunities.