Educating for Practice


American Indians, social work education, race and ethnicity, MSW students, career motivations, multiculturalism, diversity


Few studies have profiled American Indian social workers or social work students in terms of their career objectives and practice interests. This article expands the current literature by reporting results from a secondary data analysis of a California statewide sample of 162 entering American Indian MSW students, from 1991 and 1998. Results are also helpful in understanding this unique racial/ethnic group with regard to their socio-demographic characteristics, views on poverty and the poor, career motivations, and future practice interests. Additionally, comparisons are made between American Indians and all MSW students regarding the above mentioned variables. Findings indicate that American Indian students demonstrate a noticeably stronger adherence toward supporting and maintaining social work's traditional mission in helping poor and dis-advantaged populations when compared to all MSW students. Implications for social work practice with American Indian populations are also discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Limb, G. (2001). Educating for practice: A profile of American Indian graduate social work students. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 10(4), 43-62.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor