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Abstract

The infusion of global social work concepts into social work curricula enhances the educational experience and understanding of practice, policy, and research for students at all levels. Having faculty members who participated in global work augments the presentation of these concepts in ways that connect to student learning. Yet, no known research has investigated the role of internationally experienced faculty in promoting a global perspective in social work education and practice. One mechanism for obtaining global experience is through service in the U.S. Peace Corps, an organization that has been available for U.S. citizens to serve their country since the 1960s. In order to determine the impact of this type of service on teaching social work, we surveyed a convenience sample of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in faculty or teaching positions at schools of social work on the connection between their international experiences and social work education. The majority indicated that their international experiences affected how they taught social work, understood the concept of “diversity,” engaged with students in field practice, and advocated for and supported communities. Over half the participants saw a connection between current CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) and their globally informed academic activities. More research is needed to investigate the perspectives of faculty with other types of international experiences.

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