Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

D.S.W. Social work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Juliana Svistova

Second Advisor

Dr. Janice Gasker

Third Advisor

Dr. Heather Girvin


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore the lived experiences of undergraduate social work students who self-identify with struggling to meet their basic needs. Through individual in-depth semi-structured interviews coupled with photo-elicitation, several important considerations for social work educators and leaders emerged including: how undergraduate social work students define success; academic, social and financial barriers to learning; work-school balance; strategies for coping; messages for social work faculty and college/university administrators about their experience; adverse childhood events; and, the role of the academic advisor. The findings of this study can be utilized to help inform social work faculty and social work professionals who are employed at institutions of higher education regarding the needs and challenges facing students. Additionally, awareness of the issues and challenges facing these students can lead to advocacy regarding policies that impact students such as requirements for food stamps and affordability of college.

Included in

Social Work Commons



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