Implicit curriculum in Social Work education and student stress

The purpose of this study was to explore Masters of Social Work (MSW) students' perceptions of the implicit curriculum offered by the Masters of Social Work Program at California State University (CSU) Stanislaus and its correlation with stress. This research study had a sample of 92 MSW graduate students. Participants consisted of full time and part time graduate students who were enrolled in the program as of the fall 2016 semester. Data were gathered through an electronic survey and two focus groups. The major findings indicated that MSW graduate students at CSU, Stanislaus face moderate levels of stress. This research also found that the implicit curriculum and student stress were not correlated. Students shared that faculty were supportive, flexible and available and encouraged them to access them when needed; therefore, faculty should continue to provide this support. A future recommendation for the MSW department is to assist students by engaging them in open communication with faculty in regards to field placement, its process, and timelines. A concern shared by students related to how issues related to diversity, particularly political and religious diversity, were addressed by some faculty in the program. This area needs further attention and research faculty support and students stress are two very important factors that contribute to graduate student success.