This roundtable poses the following questions: How does social work doctoral education foster racial, economic and social justice, and how might it do better? How can universities and doctoral programs support the psychosocial and academic well-being of social work doctoral students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds? What can extant research and recent graduates' perceptions tell us about how processes of power, oppression, and inequality operate in social work doctoral programs, and what additional research is needed?
To this end, the roundtable proceeds in four parts. Our first presenter will provide a brief overview of extant research about the experiences of social work doctoral students. This overview builds upon a scoping review that examined how dynamics of gender, sex, ethno-racial difference, able-bodiedness, class, citizenship, and generational access to education come to bear on the lives of social work doctoral students (Chin, et. al., 2018).
Three presenters will then describe the results of a study about the perceptions of recent graduates of social work doctoral programs (N = 127). Findings will highlight (1) how respondents define and measure their post-graduate success; (2) key program hardships; and (3) how services and supports provide value. This portion of the roundtable will explore if and how answers differ based on the respondents' social identities and their programs' institutional features (i.e., PhD or DSW, part-time or full-time program).
The panel will conclude with a presentation by Julia Henly, GADE co-President, who will summarize ongoing initiatives to strengthen social work doctoral education, and support students.
The presenters will then facilitate discussion with audience members regarding how their lived experiences relate with or differ from the presented research. Depending upon the size and composition of the audience, the attendees will be briefly broken into affinity groups (i.e., doctoral directors, people who teach in doctoral programs, recent graduates, doctoral students).
Ultimately, this roundtable contributes to efforts to dismantle harmful policies, practices, attitudes, and social norms in doctoral programs by supporting institutional and social arrangements that contribute to a robust and anti-racist professoriate.