The Innovative Integration of SBIRT raining Using Standardized Clients and Computer Simulation in Social Work Education


  • Sheri Boyle
  • Thao Pham



SBIRT, social work students, advocacy, social work education


Through a Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant from NORC and the Conrad Hilton Foundation, the Department of Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) integrated SBIRT throughout the social work curriculum. A combination of computer simulation and standardized clients was developed to evaluate students’ skills in assessing for substance misuse and engaging with clients. Along with the development of students’ skills with assessment, motivational interviewing and active listening were an unintended outcome of student activism. Students, drawing from their new knowledge, training, and experiences, organized advocacy events on campus to promote awareness of the opioid epidemic impact on surrounding rural communities.