School of Social Work

Social Work Courses

Human Services

HSRV-H 202 Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Abuse I (3 cr)

As an introductory course in drug and alcohol studies, this course is designed to provide students with a basic overview of the physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of substance abuse.  Course material includes an introduction to classification, physical characteristics, physiologic and psychological effects, biochemical mechanisms of action, subjective and objective effects of commonly abused mood altering substances, the culture surrounding use, and implications for treatment.  Students will be introduced to legal, ethical, personal, and societal implications of substance abuse, as well as terms and concepts used in substance abuse treatment, intervention and prevention fields.

HSRV-H 204 Introduction to Gerontology (3 cr)

Basic introduction to the field of gerontology and the role of the human services professional.

HSRV-H 205 Treatment Issues in Alcohol and Drug Abuse (3 cr)

This course focuses on treatment of individuals impacted by drug and alcohol abuse.  Content builds on previous learning in (H202) Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and complements other courses in the Human Services Drug and Alcohol series of classes.  It includes discussion of methods of treatment, continuum of care, selected treatment intervention models, and the functions of screening instruments, assessment, diagnosis, accurate treatment placement and aftercare.  Further treatment strategies with special populations are explored.

  • Prerequisite: H202.

HSRV-H 211 Dynamics of Group Behavior (3 cr)

Despite changes in theoretical approaches and methods, the primary context of service delivery to chemically dependent clients remains the treatment group.  Humans are social beings by nature, and group settings and interactions can bring unique opportunities and motivations for individual change.  The experience of being in a group can enhance the individual’s social skills, self-awareness, growth potential.  New attitudes, behaviors, and responses can be learned and practiced.  Human service workers must possess knowledge of group dynamics and processes, and must be able to competently apply group skills to help empower individuals make personal and environmental changes to reach their therapeutic goals.

This course increases students’ understanding of basic group interventions with chemically dependent individuals.  This course focuses on group structure, dynamics and processes.  Students will experience development of group leadership skills, ethical implications, and the influence of personal characteristics of the group leader on the group itself.  Students will be encouraged to examine their own personal leadership styles and will begin to practice specific techniques to move clients toward therapeutic change and help manage relapse.

HSRV-H 301 Service Needs of Older Adults (3 cr)

This course addresses the basic service needs of the older adult. The topics to be addressed will include nutrition, health, and housing. A case management approach will be used.

HSRV-H 302 Psychological Aspects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (3 cr)

This course is designed to help students become familiar with a broad range of theories, principles, terms, procedures, and techniques related to the psychological dynamics that contribute to and maintain addictive behaviors. Because the course specifically focuses on psychological dynamics, emphasis is on perceptions, defenses, and functioning at the level of the individual. Students will explore psychological explanations of stages of addiction, maintenance of addictive behaviors and recovery from addiction, including the roles of cognitive errors, distortions and defense mechanisms. Psychological profiles typical in addictive behaviors will be examined and discussed. Students will be introduced to various assessment instruments and techniques, as well as DSMIV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for substance abuse and dependence. Finally, the class will explore the recovery process from a strengths-based perspective and begin to identify psychological perspectives of relapse.

HSRV-H 303 Counseling Needs of Older Adults (3 cr)

This course addresses the emotional and psychological needs of the older adult. Topics to be covered will include retirement, loss, companionship, isolation, sexuality, autonomy and others. Focus will be on assessment, delivery of services, and referral.

HSRV-H 304 Basic Counseling Skills (3 cr)

This course is designed to introduce students to basic counseling skills and techniques.  Skills such as listening attending, interviewing and treatment planning will be discussed and practiced by students.  Students will be introduced to motivational interviewing techniques.  The course will consist of didactic and experiential teaching methods in order to enhance students’ learning.  Since this course is largely oriented around skill development with addicted clients, attendance and participation are crucial to student learning.

  • Prerequisite: Six credits of alcohol/drug, gerontology, or psychology.

HSRV-H 323 Social Systems Aspects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (3 cr)

This course introduces students to social systems such as family, peer groups, and cultural systems as they interrelate with persons abusing alcohol and other drugs.  The course  includes substance abuse in the workplace and in organizations.  Course material will focus on the culture of addiction and the culture of recovery in the context of these social systems.

HSRV-H 361 Counseling Substance Abusers and Their Families (3 cr)

Counseling Substance Abusers and Their Families provides students insight into family dynamics around substance abuse.  The student gains an appreciation for the role family dynamics play in maintaining, preventing, and alleviating substance abuse.  The student begins to understand substance abuse and use as integral elements in an addicted family system.  The student is introduced to intervention techniques to help families.

HSRV-H 401 Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Seminar (3 cr)

This course is designed to assist the student in the development of counseling skills and strategies for services to alcohol and other drug dependent clients.  A variety of theories, modalities, and client characteristics will be discussed.  The student will become familiar with assessments, treatment plans, and evaluations as strategies for intervening with addicted clients.  A heavy emphasis will be placed on intervention techniques.

  • Prerequisite: Six credits of alcohol and drug abuse courses.

HSRV-H 402 Integrative Seminar in Gerontology (3 cr)

Integration of gerontology knowledge and skills through completion of a special project in gerontology and participation in a seminar focused on the community and institutional care needs of older adults, along with the role of human services gerontology professionals.

  • Prerequisite: Fifteen hours in Gerontology.

Social Work

SWK-S 102 Understanding Diversity in a Pluralistic Society (3 cr)

This course covers theories and models that enhance understanding of our diverse society. It provides content about differences and similarities in the experiences, needs and beliefs of selected minority groups and their relation to the majority group. These groups include, but are not limited to, people of color, women, gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons. This course analyzes the interrelationship of race, class, age, ethnicity, and gender and how these factors influence the social values regarding economic and social justice. Course content will be integrated through student writing and presentations. (Replaced SWK-S 100 Fall 2012)

SWK-S 141 Introduction to Social Work (3 cr)

This course is an introduction to the profession of social work and the philosophical, societal, and organizational contexts within which professional social work activities are conducted. This course provides the opportunity for students to explore their interest in and potential for a career in social work.

SWK-S 200 Introduction to Case Management (3 cr)

Given current changing demographics, complex social problems, human service providers will serve a more diverse and perhaps more vulnerable population. A large number of clients will find it challenging to access the maze of increasingly decentralized social services. Case management may help to address some of these issues. This course will introduce various case management models and the roles and functions of case managers. It will highlight the nature of client participation and the mutuality of the helping process. Ethics and ethical dilemmas will be addressed. Skills for client centered, culturally competent case management will be explored.

SWK-S 221 Human Growth and Development in the Social Environment (3 cr)

This course assists the undergraduate social work student in building a foundation for understanding human behavior and development in diverse contexts across the life course. The course emphasizes the interdependence of dynamic interactions between a person and that individual’s environment, and thus introduces students to implications for human development through a person-in-environment lens.

  • Prerequisite P103, S141 or permission of instructor.
  • Pre- or Corequisite: SOC-S100

SWK-S 251 History and Analysis of Social Welfare Policy (3 cr)

This course is designed to provide a historical perspective on the evolution of social welfare policies and programs and allow students to develop beginning policy analysis skills so that students will be able to identify gaps in the service delivery system and inequitable or oppressive aspects of current policy delivery. Students acquire knowledge of the prevailing social, political, ideological, and economic contexts that gave rise to the various social welfare policies and programs and have influenced how programs and policies have changed over time.

  • Prerequisite S141 or permission of instructor.
  • Pre- or Co-requisite: HIST- H106.

SWK-S 280 Introduction to Field Experience (3 cr)

Introductory field experience for testing interest in Social Work.

SWK-S 300 Contemporary Issues in Domestic Violence (3 cr)

This course will explore contemporary issues related to domestic violence, also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Students will review the history of the movement to end domestic violence. Theories of the cause of domestic violence will be surveyed along with local, state, federal and international public policy issues. Prevention and intervention models relevant to social work and other helping professions will be explored, as well as community level practice and contemporary research issues.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing.

SWK-S 301 Computer Technology for Social Workers (3 cr)*

Students may use this course to fulfill the computer course requirements for the undergraduate program or as an elective. This course is geared primarily for students with a low to moderate understanding of computers technology. It provides the student with the beginning level skills and knowledge necessary to function professionally in this technologically-based age.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 302 Law, Inequality and Poverty (3 cr)*

In 1996, Congress passed and President Clinton signed a welfare reform bill that represented a sharp break from the past. This course analyzes the origins of the law and its initial outcomes. The course will review social science and legal thinking about welfare programs and policies, emphasizing how they are influenced by and how they affect trends in the labor market and family structure.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 305 Child Abuse and Neglect (3 cr)*

This elective course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to child abuse and neglect from psychological, social, cultural, legal, and economic perspectives. Social workers in all professional work settings must know how to identify child maltreatment and family violence. Students must also be able to practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to the clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 306 Crisis Intervention (3 cr)*

This elective course focuses on the increasing number of complex and painful personal, couple and family crisis situations encountered by professional social workers in the course of service delivery. Crisis events are characterized by high stress responses in one or more persons within a short period of time, usually in response to some difficult social, interpersonal, intrapsychic, medical or developmental triggering events.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 307 Grief & Loss Across the Life Span (3 cr)*

This is an elective web-based course that will explore the complex components of grief and loss throughout the life span from an ecological and strength based theoretical perspective. The focus of the course will be to increase understanding, knowledge and compassion related to the impact of grief and loss on individuals, families, and communities at large. In addition, the course gives students an opportunity to explore and understand their perceptions and beliefs on death and dying, and how individual cultural differences influence that experience.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 312 Substance Abuse and Social Services (3 cr)*

The purpose of this elective course is to give students an overview of the field of addiction (alcohol & drugs) including discussion of several conceptual models and theories. The course focuses on self-help groups, assessment procedures, and current intervention strategies. Students are given an opportunity to explore special issues in the field among oppressed minorities that are of particular interest to them and to share their findings with other students.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 313 Poverty in the United States (3 cr)*

Working with persons experiencing poverty is a major focus of the social work profession. The primary purpose of this course is to examine the nature of poverty, both rural and urban, in the United States. To achieve this purpose, we will explore and examine the history of poverty in the United States, theories about the causes of poverty, and the effects of poverty on individual development.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 322 Small Group Theory and Practice (3 cr)

The course examines the significance of the small group as both the context and means for social development of individuals and as a vehicle for generalist practice. It includes discussion of the individual as a member of a variety of groups, including the family. The course covers group theories as well as mezzo practice strategies.

  • Prerequisite: S221

SWK-S 323 Human Behavior & Social Environment III: Community and Organizational Functioning (3 cr)

Theoretical and conceptual foundation of community and formal organizations, community research, institutional discrimination, distribution of community resources, and power and control as it relates to oppressed groups.

SWK-S 331 General Social Work Practice I: Theory/Skill (3 cr)

This course focuses primarily on the application of basic generalist social work skills that demonstrate an understanding and application of the continuum of social work practice in the helping relationship.
The course focuses on the beginning phase of the problem-solving process and related skills. This course is designed to provide students with a beginning understanding of generalist social work practice.

  • Prerequisite: Admission to B.S.W. program.
  • Pre- or Co-requisite: S221
  • Pre- or Co-requisite: S322 and ANTH-A104

SWK-S 332 General Social Work Practice II: Theory/Skill (3 cr)

This practice course examines the middle and ending phases of the helping process and related skills. Students explore the helping relationship with various client system sizes, impact of agency policies and procedures upon practice and resolution of clients’ problems; practice evaluation.

  • Prerequisite S231, and admission to the B.S.W. program.
  • Corequisite: S381

SWK-S 352 Social Welfare Policy and Practice (3 cr)

This second course in social welfare policy builds on S251 by exploring in depth the current social welfare delivery system through policy analysis using a variety of frameworks and developing policy practice skills.

SWK-S 371 Social Work Research (3 cr)

The general goal of this basic social science research methods course is to introduce and develop skills needed to conceptualize a problem, make use of available literature, design a research strategy, evaluate, organize, and integrate relevant data (both existing and new), derive useful solutions based on knowledge, and communicate those solutions to clients and colleagues.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing

SWK-S 401 Integrative Practicum Seminar I (2 cr)

This course is designed to facilitate integration of material gained from social work practice and theory courses with the realities of practice in the field as they occur in the student's practicum placement, S 482 Social Work Practicum I.

SWK-S 402 Intergrative Practicum Seminar II (3 cr)

This second semester of field seminar provides a continuing forum for the integration of academic learning with agency-based field placement. Taken as a co-requisite with S 482 Field Practicum II, this course provides students with educational and administrative support to synthesize knowledge from all previous social work course and the experiential learning from field.

SWK-S 423 Organizational Theory and Practice (3 Crs.)

This course provides the theoretical and conceptual foundation for understanding organizational functioning and behavior, and introduces the knowledge and skills necessary for generalist social work practice and leadership within an organizational context. The course assists the undergraduate social work student in building a knowledge base about organizations and organizational life from the perspective of consumers, practitioners, and leaders.

SWK-S 433 Community Behavior and Practice Within A Generalist Perspective (3 cr)

This course provides the theoretical foundation for community functioning and behavior and the knowledge and skills of community interventions designed to mitigate social, political and economic injustice and bring social change. The orientation of this course is primarily based on systems theory, the ecological and strengths perspectives and concepts of conflict, power, empowerment, corporate domination, global interconnections, and advocacy.

  • Prerequisite All junior-level social work courses.
  • Corequisite: S472, S482.

SWK-S 442 Practice-Policy Seminar in Fields of Practice (3 cr)

Addresses practice and policy issues in specific fields of practice. Variable course topics include:

  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Addictions (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Aging (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Case Management (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Children and Families (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Health Care (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Mental Health (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Public Child Welfare (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Youth and Adolescents (3 cr)

SWK-S 460 Scholarly Writing Seminar (3 cr)

This course prepares BSW/MSW students to successfully complete scholarly writing tasks. Topics addressed include expectations and standards for scholarly writing, conducting searches of professional literature, using effective paraphrasing and summarization skills, writing logically and coherently, and appropriately citing references adhering to APA format. The course is intended to support students’ efforts on writing tasks assigned in future courses.

SWK-S 472 Social Work Practice Evaluation (3 cr)

Practice-Research Seminar provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate their own practice and the effectiveness of social service programs within which they work, as well as to become critical consumers of the professional literature to guide their practice. This course reviews a variety of evaluation designs, methodologies and techniques applicable to evaluating generalist social work practice..

  • Prerequisite S371 and all other junior-level social work courses.
  • Corequisite: S433, S482.

SWK-S 481 Social Work Practicum I (4 cr)

The course affords the student an opportunity to make application of practice knowledge, values, and skills within an organizational structure of a human service agency. In the agency settings, students are expected to demonstrate beginning competency in working with clients, utilizing community resources, interacting with other professionals, and in functioning effectively within an organization. Furthermore, students are expected to identify and work to alleviate (at a beginning level) oppressive conditions in the lives of their clients.

SWK-S 482 Social Work Practicum II (4 cr)

This course is the continuation of S481 agency-based field experience which provides opportunities for students to demonstrate the practice behaviors outlined in the competencies defined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in preparation for professional practice at the BSW level. Demonstration of competencies requires the application and integration of classroom concepts and principles and the development of skills for generalist practice.

  • Prerequisite All junior-level social work courses.
  • Corequisite: S433, S472.

SWK-S 490 Independent Study (1-6 cr)

Prerequisite special permission. Individual study of an area of special interest.

MSW Courses

(All courses 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted, updated 6/27/12))

SWK-S 501 Professional Social Work at the Masters Level:  An Immersion

This foundation course provides an overview of social work including the definition, scope, history, ethics and values of the profession. This course will provide an orientation to the resources and expectations of graduate education and the MSW program, within the framework of competency based education and an adult learner model. Students will develop basic communication, self-assessment and reflection skills necessary for success in the MSW program. Students will have an opportunity to survey various fields of practice and will begin to identify personal learning goals for their MSW education as well as develop a commitment to lifelong learning as a part of professional practice.

SWK-S 502 Research I

This foundation research course assists students in developing the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of social work practice.  Emphasis is placed upon knowledge of qualitative and quantitative designs, methods, and techniques that inform students of best practices in social work.  Students will recognize the impact of ethnicity, gender, age, and sexual orientation on the research process and be able to critically review published studies with attention to bias in research. 

SWK-S 503 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

This course provides content on the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments.  It includes empirically based theories and knowledge that focus on the interactions between and within diverse populations of individuals, groups, families, organizations, communities, societal institutions, and global systems.  Knowledge of biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and spiritual development across the life span is included.  Students learn to critically analyze micro and macro theories and explore ways in which theories can be used to structure professional activities.  Concepts such as person-in-environment are used to examine the ways in which social systems promote or deter human well-being, social, and economic justice.

SWK-S 504 Professional Practice Skills I

This foundation course offers components of generalist practice theory, skills, and principles necessary for generalist practice with varied populations and client systems (individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations). The course introduces and prepares students for competent social work practice through the examination of personal values, professional ethics, and personal demonstration of essential practice skills (beginning, attending, establishing rapport, reflecting summarizing, exploring, questioning, contracting, and establishing clear and well formed goals) that will serve diverse populations with specific attention to gender, sexual orientation, class, race and ethnicity. 

SWK-S 505 Social Policy Analysis and Practice

This course examines the processes that influence the development of social policy and social services. Included are legislative and political processes, models of policy analysis, service delivery and policy implementation. Effects of these on people are considered from global, political, economic and social policy perspectives.

This course is developed around the general proposition that social workers utilize knowledge and skills to carry out roles and functions critical for practice. Such knowledge and skills include the application of social policy analysis, the legislative process, the role and impact of politics and political choice on the quality of life of people, and the effect of economic-social policy decision and judicial actions on social services. In addition, the course examines the variability of the common and uncommon attributes of service delivery systems.

SWK-S 513 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II

This course builds upon S503 (HBSE I) and focuses on developing further knowledge of human behavior theories and their application to practice.  Students will link course content to the concentration that the student has selected.

SWK-S 514 Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups

This course builds on the practice theories, principles, and skills introduced in the Professional Practice Skills course to prepare students for competent social work practice with individuals, families and groups.  A strengths perspective will be emphasized, and students will be introduced to the fundamental components of the task-centered and solution-focused approaches to practice.  The trans-theoretical model of change will be presented, so students can develop skills to engage clients in the process of change.  Students will be prepared to complete assessments and to use intervention skills that will serve diverse populations with specific attention to gender, sexual orientation, class, race and ethnicity. 

SWK-S 516 Practice:  Organizations, Communities & Societies

This course provides students with knowledge, values and cognitive skills focused on social work practice at organizational, community and societal levels.  Social work interventions at these levels include involvement of relevant stakeholders in the development and/or modifications of organizational, community and societal policies, programs and practices.

SWK-S 517 Assessment in Mental Health and Addictions

Recognizing the social, political, legal, and ethical implications of assessment, students enrolled in this course critically examine various conceptual frameworks and apply bio-psychosocial and strengths perspectives to understand its multidimensional aspects. Students learn to conduct sophisticated mental status and lethality risk interviews, engage in strengths and assets discovery, and apply the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association and other classification schemes in formulating assessment hypotheses. They gain an understanding of the application of several relevant assessment instruments and learn to evaluate their relevance for service to at-risk populations, including persons affected by mental health and addictions issues. Students learn to collaborate with a diverse range of consumers and other professionals in developing meaningful assessments upon which to plan goals, intervention strategies, and means for evaluation.

SWK-S 555 Practicum I

The MSW Social Work Practicum I is an educationally-directed practice experience under the direct supervision of an approved agency field instructor.  The practicum occurs as a culmination of the Intermediate curriculum, providing opportunities for the application and integration of classroom learning (theories, concepts and practice principles) in a practice setting.  The practicum fosters the development of core competencies in generalist social work practice with emphasis on acquiring graduate-level, strengths-based interpersonal skills for work at all systems levels.

SWK-S 616 Social Work Practice in Schools

This advanced level practice course is designed to provide students with an overview of contemporary social work practice in school settings.  Specific topical areas include the historical and contemporary contexts of social work service in school settings, legal mandates for social work practice in schools, social policies and trends in education affecting school settings and social work practice in schools, preventive and intervention methods and roles applicable to diverse populations in school settings, research issues and practice effectiveness, and multiculturalism and diversity issues in social work practice in schools.

SWK-S 618 Social Policy and Services (variable title)

The purpose of this course is to provide intensive study of a specific service delivery system and to provide an opportunity for synthesis and application of learning and practice of policy in that system. The content of the course will build on the values of the profession and focus on the role of the “social policy practitioner” in assisting individuals in the maintenance or attainment of optimal health, social and economic justice, and social well-being. This course examines the relationship of social work values and ethics to social policies and service delivery systems especially as they relate to oppressed populations and discrimination. Opportunities for students will be encouraged for direct involvement in the political and organizational processes used to influence policy and delivery systems.

SWK-S 619 Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents

This course is designed to develop and broaden student knowledge and skill in direct practice with children and adolescents.  Social work practice will be examined within the context of meta-frameworks that include developmental stages/tasks, sexual development and orientation, gender issues, family context, culture, larger environmental systems, discrimination/oppression, and legal rights and responsibilities.  Emphasis will be placed on practice methods including assessment, interviewing, comparative treatment models, and practice with special populations.

SWK-S 623 Practice Research Integrative Seminar

This course examines a number of single-system designs that can be used to evaluate practice or practice interventions with clients.  The designs, which are n = 1 types of studies, can be used with any size system, e.g., individuals, couples, families, groups, or organizational (agency) units.  Students in this course will learn a variety of single-system designs, the descriptive statistics that are used with such designs, graphing and plotting data, content on binomial and normal distributions, and tests of hypotheses with single-system designs.  In addition, important issues for this course are the values and ethics that relate to the design selection, baseline and withdrawal phases, and appropriate analyses and reports of results.

This course furthers the knowledge, skills, and values students develop in the foundation-year research course. Students will apply their knowledge and skills in research to evaluate practice or program effectiveness in their concentrations, using research methods that are sensitive to consumers’ needs and clients’ race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and additional aspects important to effective and ethical research.

SWK-S 632 Child Welfare Practice I: Working with Children Impacted by Violence in the Family

This course is designed to build individual and group practice skills for work with children and families impacted by child physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and/or family violence. Emphasis will be placed on practice skills with children. Students will practice assessment and intervention skills guided by theories of child development, attachment and bonding, grief, and trauma. The goals of safety, permanency and well-being will be emphasized when assessing risk and trauma and intervening within the child welfare and school systems.   Students will explore cultural differences and issues impacting particular oppressed and underserved populations.

SWK-S 633 Child Welfare Practice II: Working with Diverse and Transitioning Families

This course will focus on the experiences of children and families in the child welfare system.  Content will include interventions with families through all stages of change including preparation for change, separation and loss, the changed family system, reintegration as children transition into a family, and adolescents transitioning into independent living.  Content will include the impact on families when the natural cycle of family development is disrupted.  Special consideration will be given to various family types including adoptive, foster care, kinship, extended, single parent, multi-generational, and homosexual families.  Practice content will emphasize strengths based and family-centered approaches and include knowledge and skill development to help children and families work through their family and personal crisis and grief in a timely manner to achieve permanency for children in safe and nurturing environments within 12 months after separation.

SWK-S 634 Group and Community Based Practice with Children and Families

This course will examine the development of and build skills for the implementation of a wide range of prevention and intervention strategies to support child well-being provided at the community level.  Special attention will be given to the philosophy of empowerment-oriented and client-driven service models.  This course will provide content to build skills in developing and implementing mutual aid and self-help groups to support and educate children and families on issues such as parenting, domestic violence, grief/loss, conflict mediation and child abuse issues.  The course will explore the community as a resource and discuss strategies of collaboration and advocacy services for families and children to prevent out-of-home placement or involvement in other formal child protection/juvenile justice services, such as models of community-building, youth development and family group conferencing/restorative justice.  The course also provides frameworks for identifying and analyzing best practices in group and community-based services for children and families. 

SWK-S 636 Special Topics in Social Work Practice with Children and Families:  Involuntary Populations, Addictions and Domestic Violence

This course is designed to teach strategies and skills for working with families impacted by the challenges of addictions, domestic violence and mental illness. Building upon knowledge of assessment and intervention with diagnosed mental illnesses, students will analyze the relationships between and among the social problems of addictions, mental illness and domestic violence in relation to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability, and other socio-environmental factors of vulnerability. The class will provide students with the opportunities to describe and demonstrate a theoretical understanding of both the dynamics of being an involuntary client and the legal and ethical dilemmas that abound for social work practitioners working with them. The class will provide students with the opportunities to describe and analyze power differentials between the client and worker, as well as, devise, assess and implement strategies to minimize the behaviors that have been identified as “resistance”. The class will provide students with the opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, skills, judgment, sensitivity, and self-awareness necessary to resolve the challenges of social work practice with involuntary populations when utilizing strengths-based, empowerment and eco-systems perspectives.

SWK-S 651/652 Practicum II/III (9 credits – variable concentrations)

S651 (Practicum II) and S652 (Practicum III) together provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students in a designated concentration.  Students complete both of these practicum courses in the same community agency/organization under practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor and academic guidance of a faculty field liaison.

Practicum II and III build upon the more generalist-focused Intermediate Practicum I and deepen the integration and application of social work knowledge, values, and skills for advanced practice.  Students engage in these advanced practicum courses while enrolled in the required concentration courses.  Students spend a minimum of 640 hours in a setting that provides services and allows students an opportunity to engage in experiences that support mastery of all ten core competencies as operationalized by advanced practice behaviors.

SWK-S 661 Executive Leadership Practice

This course addresses administrative, management, leadership, and supervisory skills necessary for leadership practice. Included are staff hiring, supervision, evaluation, and termination; working with boards and volunteers, leadership styles, strategic planning, and current best practices in administration.

SWK-S 662 Fiscal Management and Resource Development

This course focuses on knowledge and skills essential for developing core skills in fiscal management (which will include issues of budgeting, understanding balance sheets, audits, and theories of accounting) and resource development (including fund raising, grant writing and personnel policies) for social work leaders.

SWK-S 663  Leveraging Organizational, Community and Political Systems

This course focuses on knowledge and skills essential for understanding, analyzing, and application in organizations, communities and political arenas. Such knowledge and skills include, but are not limited to: organizational theories, structures, and processes; examination and application of rural, urban and virtual community models, themes and practices; and, understand and involvement in political, social action and social change interventions and empowerment practices.

SWK-S 664 Designing Transformational Programs

This course focuses on knowledge and skills essential for understanding, applying, and analyzing alternative, transformational models of program, organizational, and community planning. It is designed to enable students to achieve advanced mastery of the models, skills, and techniques of program planning. There is particular emphasis on inclusive, collaborative planning models that foster empowerment of diverse stakeholders in the planning processes.

The course transcends a focus on the basic technology of program development. It is centered upon applying, analyzing, and evaluating the technology of designing transformational planning as a powerful vehicle for organizational, community, and social change. The methods, roles, functions, and values associated with this course emphasize models, themes, and practices that promote cultural competency, advocacy, ethics, and social justice. The students will master knowledge and skills including, but not limited to: creating a social work program grounded in evidence based practices; applying advanced proposal writing skills; identifying funding and other resources; and, analyzing philanthropic trends.

SWK-S 683 Community-Based Practice in Mental Health and Addiction

Students enrolled in this course examine a wide range of community-based services provided for people with severe mental illness and/or severe addiction problems. Special attention is given to strength-based, client-driven, and evidence-based practice models. Content includes community-based services in areas of case management, employment, housing, illness management, family, dual disorder treatment, and consumer self-help. Students also examine a variety of issues involved in the provision of community-based services such as ethical and legal issues, quality and continuity of care, cultural competency, organizational and financial factors, and other relevant policy and practice issues.

SWK-S 685 Mental Health and Addictions Practice: Individuals and Families

Students enrolled in this course develop knowledge, values and ethics, skills, and judgment necessary for competent application of selected evidence-based, best practice approaches for service for children, youth, adults, and families affected by mental health and addictions issues. Students explore topics such as risk, resilience, recovery, and relapse-prevention; and consider implications of current social and policy factors affecting service delivery to persons affected by mental health and addictions issues. Students learn to discover, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate evidence of practice effectiveness and apply that knowledge in communication, strengths discovery and assessment, hypothesis formation, contracting, intervention and prevention planning, service delivery, and evaluation. Students develop professional understanding and expertise in the application of at least one evidence-based approach for service to individuals and families affected by at least one specific mental health or addictions issues.

SWK-S 686 Social Work Practice: Addictions

The purpose of this course is to provide learners with knowledge and skills relevant to various aspects of social work practice in prevention, intervention, and treatment of selected addictions. Students draw upon previous and concurrent learning experiences and integrate values, knowledge, and skills acquired in other social work courses with the values, knowledge, and skills characteristic of addictions practice. The course assists students to develop a multidimensional understanding of prevention, intervention, and treatment needs of diverse populations and associated social work practice principles, methods, and skills. Students explore the relationships between and among addiction and socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability, and other socio-environmental factors of vulnerability. Consistent with strengths and ecosystems perspectives, students consider the impact of social environments, physical settings, community contexts, and political realities that support or inhibit the emergence of addiction problems.

SWK-S 687 Mental Health and Addictions Practice with Groups

Students enrolled in this course develop professional knowledge and skill for group work services to and for persons affected by mental health and addictions issues.  The phases of group development and intervention during the various group work stages provide a conceptual framework for the course experience.  Students learn to serve children, youth, adults and families in groups that are therapeutic, growth producing and life enhancing.  Students examine a number of theoretical perspectives including cognitive behavioral, communications, behavioral, and interpersonal approaches.

SWK-S 692 Practice Skills for Health Care Settings

This course will focus upon the role of the social worker in health care settings. Issues such as team building, professional identity, patient advocacy, ethics and managed care will be addressed. Also, the impact of healthcare payment sources and healthcare choices for patients will be explored.

SWK-S 693 Practice with Individuals, Families & Communities in Healthcare Settings

This course examines the impact of illness from the medical, psychosocial and environmental perspectives.  Areas, such as coping with chronic illness, caregiver stress, grieving and loss, medical ethics and violence as a healthcare issue are examined.  The needs of at-risk populations (i.e., children, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, frail elderly, individuals living with HIV/AIDS, etc.) are also examined.

SWK-S 694 Practice with Older Adults

The purpose of this course is to provide health concentration students with increased depth of knowledge in the area of practice with older adults in healthcare areas, such as acute care hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, adult day care and long-term care facilities.  Effective social work practice with older adults relies on knowledge and application of evidence-based theories, assessments and interventions with this population.

SWK-S 696 Confronting Loss, Grief, Death and Bereavement

This is an issue-oriented social work course on the policy and practice issues in loss, grief, death, and dying across the life span for diverse populations.  The major educational goal is to evaluate and understand the many problems and key resources relevant to social work practice with persons encountering grief, loss, death and bereavement in the context of health care settings.  Students will attain knowledge, values and skills to meet the demands for entry level practice with clients (and their families) encountering chronic or terminal illness.

Request Information