Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Social Work Education: The International Journal 12 February 2013


This paper reports on the difficulties and supports experienced by social care practitioners within the educational institution during their transition to higher education. A life transition such as entering higher education causes stress for individuals and social support is essential in successfully dealing with this stress (Anderson et al., 2012). Fifteen social care practitioners were interviewed twice during and once at the end of their first academic year in college. Findings indicate that participants were reluctant to approach staff for help despite anxiety about classes and assignments. Discussion and debate in class helped learning and contributed to feelings of being valued. ‘Moving in’ was a slow process with a physical and emotional impact for which they were unprepared. Student peers were a source of emotional and cognitive support but developing relationships took time. By the end of the transition phase participants noted changes and gains in themselves and their work practices. Recommendations are made to aid the transition to higher education for in-service social care practitioners.