Publication Date

2007

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department

School for Social Work

Abstract

In keeping with the values of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), this longitudinal exploratory study was developed with the belief in the importance of assessing the individual perception of the client when planning, creating, and implementing a change effort for which the client has been named beneficiary. The study was undertaken to measure spatially how people perceive their environments as a means to support community planning, specifically focusing on whether an environmental change effort, the new Campus Center, can affect students' perception of community support, satisfaction, safety, and formal and informal socialization. A mapping questionnaire was sent out to Smith College undergraduates in 2002 before the new Campus Center was built and in 2005 after it was built. There were 297 respondents in 2002 and 186 respondents in 2005 who rated their sense of safety, community support, access to informal and formal socializing, who matched statements with a map of the Smith College Campus. The findings show that the new Campus Center has become a centralizing location for the Smith College community, contributing to an already high level of student satisfaction. The study further shows that environmental change efforts can be assessed, clients' perceptions of their environment can be qualified, quantified, assessed, and expressed, and mapping questionnaires are an effective and inclusive tool.

Comments

v, 68 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 60-62).