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Publication Date


First Advisor

James Drisko

Second Advisor

Catherine Nye

Third Advisor

Maura O'Keefe

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School for Social Work


Field instruction, Clinical placement, Teaching advocacy, Levels of advocacy, Thematic analysis


This research used a one shot, comparative, thematic analysis to listen for, analyze, and explicate: (1) best practices in teaching specialist level advocacy skills at micro, mezzo and macro levels, (2) the field instructors’ motivators that affected their prioritization of learning objectives, (3) obstacles to prioritize the teaching of these advocacy skills, and (4) strategies that field instructors used that overcame the obstacles.

Two groups of expert, nominated, strong, 2nd year clinical field instructors at Sacramento State University were interviewed. The first group prioritized teaching advocacy skills higher than their average CSWE learning objectives prioritization,t he second prioritized teaching advocacy skills lower than their average prioritization.

In order to further objectivity and promote efficiency, this researcher used NVivo for Mac (v. 12.3.0). Transcribing, coding and noting the field instructors’ interviews—and coding in a manner where a field instructor’s quote can reflect several different themes—furthered the identification of similarities and differences between the interviewees’ statements by the characteristics of the interviewees. The software helped the researcher identify, examine and analyze the field instructor’s responses.

This research found that FIs have different motivations that correlate with how much they prioritize teaching advocacy skills, especially that self-advocating FIs are more likely to prioritize teaching advocacy. Also, that the student’s MSW II experience is an important, foundational time where the MSW student determines how much they are going to prioritize advocacy in their clinical social work careers.


©2020 Michael J. Rogers Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




viii, 182 pages : color illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (pages 154-169)