Note: Not all courses are offered every semester or every academic year.
* = approved as a diversity course
SOWK 600—Social Welfare and Social Policy [3 credits]
This course provides students with a foundation understanding and appraisal of social welfare policies and programs in the United States, and the historical and contemporary forces that have shaped their development. It introduces core concepts to provide both an understanding of the political process and the analytic skills needed to further the achievement of social work goals regarding social policies and programs. The course also reviews the development of the social work profession and its influence on social welfare policies through advocacy, social action, research, and social reform.
SOWK 630—Social Work Practice with Individuals [3 credits] (Co-requisites: SOWK 631 and SOWK 635)
The values and societal mission of the social work profession guide this course. An ecological systems perspective and generic problem-solving model are taught to provide students with theory, knowledge, and a value base for purposeful, culturally competent, and sequential intervention with individuals of diverse backgrounds. Generalist skills taught in this course are interviewing, problem identification, problem-exploration, formulating the problem-to-be worked, data gathering, differential assessment, planning, intervention, termination, and evaluation. Initial exposure to finding evidence-based practices for our work with individuals, families and groups will be introduced. Self-awareness and conscious use of self are emphasized. Self-care will also be discussed. Classroom learning is enhanced through the systematic use of the students' experiences in work with individuals in their field placements.
SOWK 631—Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations [3 credits] (Co-requisites: SOWK 630 and SOWK 635)
SOWK 631 is a required foundation year course stressing beginning skills and knowledge for practice within social service organizations, networks, and communities, i.e., the contexts in which all social work practice occurs. Understanding and intervening in the environment are skills consonant with the ecological or social determinants perspective that provides focus for the foundation curriculum. This course stresses that social, economic, and political systems are important sources of individual and familial distress. In order to intervene in this distress, it is essential to craft interventions on the macro-social (communities and organizations) as well as the micro-social (individuals and families) levels. In the course, we will also explore the nature and dynamics of diverse communities and social service networks.
SOWK 632—Social Work Practice with Groups and Families [3 credits] (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, 631 and SOWK 635; Co-requisite: SOWK 636 )
This course is designed for foundation students to learn about dynamics and basic procedures for direct practice with groups and families. The course first presents an ecological perspective on groups in clinical and organizational settings, explores group typologies, formation, composition, and development, and teaches concepts of group structure and process. The course then furnishes a foundation on social work practice with families, with emphasis on family structure and dynamics as well as beginning techniques for intervention with families.
SOWK 635, 636—Foundation Field Practicum I and II [3 credits each semester]
The Field Practicum is the signature pedagogy of the MSW program. It provides the framework for knowledge and skill development through immediate application of theoretical knowledge presented in the classroom to real situations presented by individuals, groups or service delivery systems. The practicum helps students learn to shape human services in ways that respond to broad social welfare needs and issues through various forms of intervention. Attention is directed to what is currently known and practiced, to the preparation of students for change in the knowledge base and organization of services, and for reflection on the practice curriculum. Students should have knowledge of, and an opportunity to develop competence in, service delivery that reflects their understanding of the particular needs of minorities, women, and people of various ethnic backgrounds. The practicum aims to integrate the entire Foundation Curriculum. The practicum teaches a common core of knowledge and principles of social work practice in which students are guided by the values and ethics of the profession.
SOWK 645—Human Behavior and the Social Environment [3 credits]
Within the person/environment framework, this course will provide a foundation for social work practice through an understanding of the major theories of individual and family functioning that encompasses biophysical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual dimensions. Specific attention will be paid to the roles that culture and cultural identity play in human development and to what constitutes “normal” behavior. Students will master the central concepts of theories that provide the basis for many assessment and intervention tools used in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Students will also master relevant concepts of genetics and neurobiology to facilitate understanding of human functioning at the biological level. The course emphasizes the interrelations among social institutions, social structures, and social processes on the one hand, and the realities of the lives of families, groups, communities, organizations and societies, on the other. Another major emphasis of the course is on human diversity, both in terms of its inherent social value and with respect to discrimination and oppression.
SOWK 670—Social Work Research [3 credits]
As both consumers and producers of research, social workers need to understand core research concepts. This course provides a solid foundation in social work research, with a special emphasis on evidence-based practice. It will prepare you to evaluate critically the wealth of research and evidence available to inform your practice. Furthermore, you will learn to synthesize empirical research into a systematic review of the literature to address a social work practice of personal interest.
ADVANCED POLICY COURSES (Prerequisite: SOWK 600)
Course selections are determined by the student’s concentration and specialization.
SOWK 704—Social Work and the Law [3 credits]
Social Work and the Law is an introduction to the structure and operations of the legal system as it affects social work practice. The course covers several areas closely related to social work: family and domestic matters, child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, education, and advocacy. Emphasis is on analyzing legislation and court decisions as social policy. The focus includes legal issues relating especially to minors, women, people of color, and other disempowered groups. The course also provides an overview of legal issues bearing upon professional responsibility (such as malpractice, privileged communications, and confidentiality) and offers an introduction to the development of skills used in courtroom testimony.
SOWK 706—Mental Health and Social Policy [3 credits]
This course examines the growth of community mental health in the United States and its relationship to sociological and psychological approaches to various communities and cultural groups. Approaches to mental health, mental illness, problems of service delivery, professional roles, and the possibilities and problems of community mental health are discussed.
SOWK 708—Integrated Behavioral Health Policy [3 credits]
This course is an introduction to U.S. health and behavioral health care policies and programs. This course is designed to prepare students to analyze, develop, and implement health and behavioral health policies across a range of settings, including prevention/promotion services, primary care, acute care, chronic care, and long-term care. It examines the financing and organization of health and behavioral health systems, including the historical and contemporary forces that have shaped their development. We will pay particular attention to evidence-based models that aim to integrate physical and behavioral health services. The role of social workers in health care will be addressed throughout the semester, including the need to work effectively with cross-disciplinary teams of providers. A major focus will be the impact of policies on excluded, marginalized, and vulnerable populations, and the evaluation of policies based on the social work profession’s ethical criteria such as fairness, social justice, anti-oppression, self-determination, and human dignity. The course will also examine diversity dimensions, including ability, age, class, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity and expression, relationship status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
SOWK 710—Legislative Processes in Social Welfare [3 credits]
This course has two basic purposes. The first is to provide students with an understanding of American legislative processes with particular reference to the social welfare policy formulation system. The federal system of policy and legislative process also will be examined. The second aim is to develop an appreciation and understanding of the range of social work involvement in the policy/legislative process. Throughout the course, attention is given to the role of human service advocacy organizations active in influencing social welfare legislation and the role of social workers in social action. The course is also offered as SWOA 710 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the designation chosen (Advanced Policy or Macro methods).
SOWK 713—Social Policy and Health Care [3 credits]*
This course is designed to prepare students to assess and understand the impact of American medical and health service programs and policies on human well-being. It has several purposes: (1) to understand the political process through which health service delivery policy evolves; (2) to provide students with background on the organization of health care services so that they have some understanding of the origins and current directions of health care programs; (3) to understand the relationship of medical care and health care programs to other community programs and their impact on various communities; and (4) to enable students, as future social workers, to assess and evaluate program directions and proposals for change.
SOWK 715—Children and Social Services Policy [3 credits]*
This course identifies challenges contemporary American families are experiencing and presents strategies for developing policies and services to meet these challenges. It not only examines specific policies and services that most affect families but also considers broader questions concerning power and its distribution, allocation of resources, and the role of government in promoting individual and family well-being. The theme of advocacy on behalf of children and families at all levels is stressed throughout the course. This course will help students build on the knowledge of the evaluative concepts of social policy analysis developed in prior research and policy courses.
SOWK 718 —Equality and Social Justice [3 credits] *
This course examines concepts of equality and inequality, justice (or equity), and injustice, and how they have been or could be applied to the development and implementation of social policy, with a particular focus on the U.S. The course will address (1) the effects of diverse ideologies, values, cultural perspectives, and historical contexts on the evolution of these concepts; (2) the implications of contemporary definitions of equality and social justice for social policy; and (3) the relationship between social justice, equality, and human rights.
SOWK 720—Comparative Social Policy [3 credits]*
The course provides an overview of global social welfare policies and programs, and the historical and contemporary forces that have shaped their development. The course introduces core concepts relating to global human rights and social justice to provide both an understanding of the political process and the analytic skills which will further the achievement of social work goals regarding social work programs and policies. The course also reviews the contemporaneous progress of international social work organizations in responding to global initiatives. The course frames policies by examining the social determinants of health. It pays specific attention to the commitment of social workers to underserved populations, based on the profession’s ethical criteria such as fairness, equity, anti-oppression, self-determination, and human dignity. The course will apply these frameworks to the assessment of specific policies in the areas of health care, civil rights, immigrant and refugee rights, employment, criminal justice, education and the environment.
SOWK 721—Housing, Homelessness, and Social Policy [3 credits]
This course is designed to prepare students to assess and understand the dialectic between social policies and human well being, with a focus on shelter in its many manifestations. It has several purposes: (a) to reflect upon the concepts of social justice and social change and their relationship to housing, social policy, and participation; (b) to understand the processes through which housing and homelessness services are financed, constructed, maintained, and evolve; (c) to reflect upon the relationships among housing, health, human growth and development, neighborhoods, and communities; (d) to develop a sufficient knowledge of the background and context of housing and homelessness services in the U.S. so that they might predict and influence future directions of these goods; (e) to understand the relationships between housing markets on the one hand, and policies and programs serving the poor and the disadvantaged on the other hand; (f) to enable students to evaluate program changes and proposals for reform in the institutions providing housing, related services, and financing; (g) to become familiar with the context of housing provisions/financing and homelessness services in other nations; and (g) to understand the role of social workers as service providers and change agents in access to emergency shelter, homelessness services, and housing.
SOWK 725—Work, Well-being and Social Policy [3 credits]
This course provides a theoretical framework for delivering social work services in the workplace. It also explores the possible value conflicts faced by the occupational social worker. It will include a history of social services in the work arena and a comprehensive picture of the delivery points for human services, including, but not limited to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), human resources and occupational health/medicine. Specific subjects such as mental health and substance abuse, work/life, workplace violence and crisis, diversity, globalization and more will be explored with their respective policy implications. Discrimination and equality in the workplace based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, age, employee work status and any other protected categories will be discussed with their appropriate policy questions. This is a required course for students pursuing the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Sub-specialization.
SOWK 726—Aging and Social Policy [3 credits]
This course examines a variety of social welfare policies that affect the rights and interests of older adults. These include policies related to economic security, health, long term care, and elder justice. Building on the foundation policy curriculum, the course reviews the policy-making process with a discussion of the influence of legislative sanctions and case law in establishing aging policy in the U.S. The focus of the course is on critical analysis of the key assumptions driving policy and policy change, as well as enhancing skills in policy messaging and advocacy. Finally, the course includes a critical examination of the intersection between policy and practice, that is, the influence that policy has on the design of interventions and service delivery practices at the federal, state and local level and the impact of changing policies on communities, providers and older adults.
SOWK 729 —Justice at the Intersection of Social Work and the Law [3 credits - offered every other year]
Increasingly, social workers and lawyers are asked to collaborate within the legal system-from the inception of a case to after a case is resolved through court and extrajudicial processes. This advanced policy course provides an opportunity for law and social work students to explore together the promises and challenges of work that draws on the expertise of both professions. The class will meet alternately at the School of Social Work and the School of Law. It will critically explore the professional ethics and training for each profession and their workplace and institutional responsibilities in a variety of settings. It will also examine the different professional conceptions of justice, and how these may be illustrated across settings. Students will work independently and in teams to explore these issues.
ADVANCED RESEARCH COURSES (Prerequisite: SOWK 670) Course selections are determined by the student’s concentration and specialization. Research curriculum online at https://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/academics/curriculum-overviews/research-curriculum/
SOWK 772—Research: Program Evaluation [3 credits]
This is an advanced research class that introduces students to the issues and methods of evaluation in social work practice. In this course students will consider concepts and approaches for evaluating social interventions, including social work practice, programs, and policies. SOWK 670—Social Work Research—serves as a prerequisite for this class. Previously acquired research knowledge is built upon for elaborating on the conceptual, methodological, and administrative aspects of evaluation research. The course focuses on use of empirically based methods to enhance social work practice. Students will consider the theoretical and ethical aspects of an evaluative approach to treatment and examine the policy implications of professional participation (or lack thereof) in evaluation processes.
SOWK 777—Research in Child Welfare [3 credits]
The purpose of this advanced research course is to provide the student with an opportunity to explore critical research questions, methods, and results that are related to the child welfare service delivery system. Under federal requirements to report on outcomes of child welfare programs, social workers face a persistent challenge to improve the scientific knowledge that guides practice and policy in this field. This course focuses on the evaluation of interventions in child welfare, by measuring outcomes of child welfare programs. A goal of this course is to draw the logic between research findings and the development and evaluation of child welfare programs, practice, and policy. As such, the course is intended for students who are interested in discovering ways to use research to answer critical child welfare questions and to integrate empirical findings in their practice. This course fulfills the advance research requirement for the families and children specialization.
SOWK 781—Actionable Research: Results-based Accountability and Empowerment Evaluation [3 credits]
SOWK 781 is an advanced research course on Results-Based Accountability (RBA) and complementary Empowerment Evaluation (for working with stakeholders). This course is primarily designed for students in or planning to be in macro practice roles (such as human service or nonprofit administrators, program managers, supervisors, evaluators, community planners, developers, and organizers, and policy practitioners). The RBA framework, currently used at the national, state, local and community levels in the United States and abroad, is used to improve results among whole populations and to improve results among the consumers of specific programs, agencies and service-delivery systems. The goals of this course are for students to know how to use a results and performance framework, identify indicators of success and performance measures to track progress towards a result over time, and engage organizational members and community partners in efforts to collect and analyze data, measure outcomes, and interpret and utilize findings to enhance program, organizational, and community effectiveness. The course requires a “hands-on” team-based project in partnership with designated organizations or community initiatives.
SOWK 783—Qualitative Cross-Cultural Research [3 credits]*
The course purposes are: (1) To provide students with beginning level of skill in planning, implementing, and evaluating ethno-cultural research projects that utilize qualitative methods. (2) To enable students to develop confidence in their ability to independently conduct ethnocultural class project within constrains of time, energy, and resources. (3) To aid students to enhance their awareness of a role of an ethnographic researcher as one who learns from members of different cultural backgrounds in order to develop an ability to learn from insider perspectives.
SOWK 789—Faculty Initiated Independent Research Project [1-6 credits]
The instructor-initiated advanced research course involves student participation in research activities under the instructor’s direction and supervision. Opportunities are provided for students to engage in hands-on research activities which contribute to a faculty member’s program of research. See specific course descriptions offered each semester in the course schedule.
SOWK 790—Student Initiated Independent Research Project [1-6 credits]
The student-initiated independent research course provides an opportunity for students with advanced research abilities to pursue a research topic of personal interest that cannot be addressed in the existing MSW curriculum. This course requires a faculty mentor and a written proposal that is approved by the research sequence as methodically sound. It must also be approved by the chair of the student’s concentration and specialization. To be eligible to propose an independent research course, the student must have earned a grade of “A” in SOWK 670, and must have some hands-on research experience. Approval submission deadlines are: March 1st for fall semester; October 1st for spring semester.
ADVANCED HUMAN BEHAVIOR COURSES (Prerequisite: SOWK 645)
SOWK 765—The Nature of Health and Illness [3 credits]
A bio-psychosocial model of health and illness is developed in this course, where biological, psychological, social, cultural, and environmental factors and their interactions are explored. A framework of individual and family development is used to study common diseases throughout the life span.
SOWK 766—International Social Welfare [3 credits] *
This advanced human behavior course prepares students for international social work globally and / or for transnational work in the United States or abroad. International social work is a discrete field of practice within social work that seeks to improve the social and material well-being of people everywhere. It is practiced across geopolitical borders and at all levels of social and economic organizations. International social work is also development-focused, and so practice is most often at the local, state, and provincial levels within countries. Increased global communication strengthens our awareness of social challenges faced throughout the world, including human rights violations, rapid and unplanned urbanization, poverty, housing access, gender inequality, inability to care for the complex needs of children, poverty and indebtedness, racial and/or ethnic discrimination, and cultural conflicts. To respond to these challenges, social work models used in the United States represent only a subset of possible intervention strategies to meet the diverse needs of communities and societies globally. Expanding the knowledge of models of intervention strategies and their relevance to specific situations is a key element of this course.
SOWK 767—Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) - Breaking the Cycle [3 credits]
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant societal problem, which has persisted despite determined efforts to eradicate it through legal and therapeutic methods. In this course, the student will be introduced to the basics of IPV, as well as a number of different theories which have been used to explain it. Issues related to victims, offenders, and the effects of exposure to IPV on children will also be examined. Against this backdrop, we will explore various strategies for ending and preventing IPV. Both clinical and policy options will be addressed. This course will help students think critically about what it means to end intimate partner violence on both individual and macro levels of intervention and change.
CLINICAL METHODS COURSES (Prerequisites: SOWK 632 and SOWK 636 unless otherwise specified) At least one clinical methods course must be taken concurrently with each semester of advanced clinical field practicum.
SWCL 700—Advanced Clinical Interventions [3 credits] (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, 631 and SOWK 635)
This required clinical methods course advances students’ ability to work directly with adult individuals from diverse populations using evidence and theoretical models to inform clinical practice. Major skills to be acquired are how to make comprehensive psychosocial assessments, treatment plans, and facilitate interventions for clients based on evidence and theoretical models. The specific models of clinical practice addressed in this course are: cognitive, behavioral, solution-focused, narrative, psychodynamic, and motivational interviewing. The development, maintenance, and termination of the therapeutic alliance will be explored from different theoretical perspectives. Multi-cultural applications for practice will also be incorporated. Attention will be given to developing students’ critical thinking skills and their ability to apply ethical standards to clinical practice.
SWCL 703—Family Therapy [3 credits]
Working with families requires a conceptual base in understanding the importance of transactions and patterns between family members, and development of practice application in family therapy techniques. This course extends knowledge in current theoretical thinking about family interaction, and methods of direct intervention. Among the various theoretical perspectives that are examined, special emphasis will be placed on structural, strategic and family-of-origin models.
SWCL 704—Integrated Behavioral Health Practice [3 credits]
This course is designed to provide the students with extensive knowledge of the integration of treatment for health, mental health and substance use disorders. Students will develop competence in the implementation of this integration in a variety of practice settings. Further, students will develop competence in assessment, treatment planning, and implementation through awareness and understanding of the most modern, empirically based and accepted treatments for a variety of health, mental health, and substance use illnesses. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to gather and analyze information, make accurate diagnoses based upon that information, assess positive and negative factors affecting treatment decisions, develop an appropriate and contemporary treatment plan and present it in a form consistent with current practice in the Behavioral Health Professions.
SWCL 705—Clinical Social Work With Addictive Behavior Patterns [3 credits]
This course is designed to teach the clinical social work student the following major content areas: 1) current scientific understanding of substance use disorders (SUDs), 2) diagnostic indicators of SUD(s) (DSM 5), 3) drug classifications, routes of drug administration, and intoxication effects for select commonly abuse substances, 4) example evidence-supported screening and assessment instruments, 5) example evidence-supported interventions for treating SUDs, 6) the impact of factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, co-occurring disorders, and health disparities on treatment access and outcomes, and 7) the application of social work values and ethics in the delivery of SUD-related services.
SWCL 710—Advanced Group Methods [3 credits]*
The aim of this advanced group methods course is to deepen students’ understanding of group dynamics, theories, and methods, with special emphasis on the group-as-a-whole. Course content includes using research and theory to plan for and facilitate groups with different populations and in different settings. The meanings of group experience for members of oppressed groups will be stressed. Specific readings and assignments will focus on group treatment for members of groups who have and are suffering discrimination, exclusion, lack of resources and stigmatization because of ethno-racial background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality and/or age.
SWCL 712—Clinical Social Work Practice with Individuals Experiencing Acute, Chronic, and/or Life Threatening Conditions [3 credits]
This course focuses on the roles and functions of social workers in a rapidly changing health care industry. A strengths-based, family-centered and culturally aware approach to assessment and intervention is presented and used as the organizing framework for this course. We explore a range of advanced practice interventions, from prevention and health promotion activities (e.g., motivational interviewing in primary care) to crisis intervention in acute care and end-of life scenarios. We also critically evaluate how ethical dilemmas and the interprofessional environment influence the implementation of these interventions.
SWCL 714—Clinical and Public Health Perspectives in Child and Family Health [3 credits]
The course examines maternal and child health with a life course perspective. The course builds upon theory and policy introduced in the health specialization courses and emphasizes social work services to women, children, and adolescents within the context of the family. The curriculum examines a variety of issues affecting the health and well-being of mothers and children. Students examine the cultural diversity inherent in our nation’s families and the richness these differences bring to our communities. In pursuit of this discovery, the course focuses on both maternal and child health within a historical context and the utility of social work practice methods in the provision of services to this population. A strong emphasis is placed on exploring issues with difficult to reach MCH populations and use of evidence-based interventions employing a public health perspective.
SWCL 715—Mindfulness, Stress Reduction and Self Care [3 credits]
The focus of this course is to teach students to utilize stress-management techniques for the purpose of self-care, and to implement these techniques with their clients. A neurobiological framework will be used to conceptualize the stress-management techniques taught in this advanced methods course. Psychological, physiological and sociocultural aspects of stress will be addressed, and stress-management techniques will be explored didactically and experientially. Students will learn to understand the cognitive, affective and neurobiological impact of stress. They will discuss how diversity factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, spiritual/religious beliefs and other factors impact the type and impact of stress and coping responses.
SWCL 720—Art Therapy in Clinical Social Work Practice [3 credits]
This 3 credit advanced clinical practice course explores the principles of Art Therapy and considers the adjunctive use of art in a therapeutic setting. Ethical guidelines will be presented on the appropriate therapeutic use of art in a social work setting. Art therapy was established as a psychotherapy profession over 70 years ago. Current and past research will be reviewed. Art Therapy interventions can be a challenge to research and to establish at the highest level of evidence based practice due to the subjective nature of the creative process. Clinical studies that support best practice approaches in the field will be emphasized in all lectures with emerging EBT discussed. Readings will cover the hierarchy of evidence-based approaches.
SWCL 722—Cognitive Behavioral Therapies [3 credits] (Additional Prerequisite: SWCL 700)
This course provides an introduction to Cognitive and Behavior Therapy as it applies to the practice of Clinical Social Work. The course begins with an overview of the behavioral approaches to therapy. Students will become familiar with respondent and operant conditioning, social-learning, behavioral observation/assessment, differential reinforcement and the application of behavioral interventions in working with individuals, families, and other client groupings. The various settings for behaviorally oriented social work, such as schools, hospitals (behavioral medicine), and others are discussed. Following this review of behavioral approaches to clinical social work, students will learn about the theoretical framework and treatment components of cognitive therapy and the role of cognitive interventions in promoting symptom reduction and behavior change. This includes an understanding of cognitive assessment, Socratic questioning, and cognitive restructuring. Once students have a solid understanding of cognitive and behavioral frameworks and interventions, the course will explore various applications of cognitive and behavioral techniques as they are integrated into evidence-based treatment approaches which will prepare students to work with diverse client populations in a variety of clinical social work and social service settings.
SWCL 723—Couples Therapy [3 credits]
This course builds upon the knowledge, attitude and skills components of the foundation curriculum, with a focus on assessment and intervention in intimate relationships within clinical social work practice. The process and outcomes of working with intimate dyadic adult relationships will be viewed from psychosocial, developmental, structural, communication, and systems, frameworks. Lecture, discussion and assignments will encourage student awareness of their own values base and the need to provide ethical professional service free of personal bias.
SWCL 724—Clinical Social Work With the Aging and Their Families [3 credits]*
This course is required for the Aging Specialization and provides a foundation for clinical social work practice with older adults and their families. We will be focusing on PIE-person in environment perspective in order to practice effective clinical interventions with older individuals, their families, and the practice settings where older adults interface. Major goals for this course will be for students to: (1) Understand the aging process from a comprehensive holistic perspective, including biophysical, psychological (cognitive and emotional), social, economical, and spiritual dimensions. (2) Develop knowledge and skills to conduct a competent psychosocial assessment and implement effective interventions with older adults and their caregivers. (3) Become familiar and develop skill set to practice competent social work in specific practice settings such as hospitals, adult day centers, gero-psychiatry units, hospices, retirement communities, and adult protective services. (4) Apply social work ethical principles to guide work with older adults and their families.
SWCL 726—Clinical Social Work With African-American Families [3 credits]*
The overall objective of this course is to provide a knowledge base on African American families within a community and societal context that is the basis for developing methods and skills relevant for clinical intervention with African American families. The course will explore in depth the literature on African American Families with a focus on understanding the wide range of forces which help to shape the Black family historically. The course will provide the student with the opportunity to expand on the concepts, principles, skills and assumptions about clinical transactions learned in the basic clinical courses; and most importantly to hone the student's capacity to critically analyze existing models for relevance and appropriateness for intervention with African American Families. Conceptual models for assessment and intervention with African American Families will be presented with the goal of assisting students in clarifying and becoming comfortable with theoretical and practice approaches with African American Families. These theoretical and practice models will recognize the importance of culture in providing effective social work clinical intervention. The course content is presented from a perspective of resilience and strength rather than from a perspective of deficit or deviance, acknowledging the impact of oppression and racism on African American Families and communities, and will examine these issues as critical to clinical practice with African American Families.
SWCL 727—Clinical Practice With Families and Children in Child Welfare [3 credits]
This course focuses on the characteristics, strengths, and service needs of families and children in the child welfare system. The course examines issues and builds practice skills related to family support services, child maltreatment, substitute care, and permanency planning. It considers family events within their ecological context and works to build sensitivity to various family forms and cultural patterns. Skills that are emphasized include: engaging families as partners, interviewing, assessing risk and safety, assessing the child and family, planning and delivering effective treatment, evaluating change and risk reduction, and deciding when to close the case.
SWCL 730—Clinical and Evidence-Supported Practices for Individuals in Recovery from Serious Mental Illness [3 credits]* (Additional Prerequisite: SWCL 744)
This is an advanced methods course within the clinical concentration. The focus is on social work treatment and care with persons in recovery from serious mental illness using empirical knowledge of what we know works (recovery-oriented and evidence-supported practices and interventions and noting where there is a paucity of evidence-supported practices and interventions). This course teaches practice models and methods of intervention for effective social work practice in community mental health services, including the promotion of mental health, the prevention of mental illnesses (with special emphasis on relapse prevention), and the delivery of psychosocial treatments and rehabilitation services across diverse populations. It will assist students with the ability to examine research literature and determine how to translate research into practice. A major focus of the course is on enabling individuals with mental health problems to increase their functioning in the least restrictive environments, with the least amount of ongoing professional intervention, so these individuals maximize their success and satisfaction. This course has a specific emphasis on services to individuals who suffer from serious and persistent mental illness, substance abuse in conjunction with mental illness (dual-diagnosis population) and/or who are recovering from the effects of severe traumatic events. Interventions relevant to these conditions help individual’s develop/restore their skills and empower them to modify their environments so as to improve their interactions with their environments. A second major focus is culturally humility in the context of providing services including addressing special issues for groups who have been subject to ongoing oppression. Privilege and social justice as they affect access to treatment will be a major emphasis of the course. Mental health disparities by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and physical disability will be considered in relation to diagnoses, treatment options and case disposition within the mental health system.
SWCL 738—Financial Stability for Individuals, Families, and Communities [3 credits]
This course examines barriers to and opportunities for the financial stability of individuals, families, and the impact of low wealth in communities. The course uses a comprehensive approach examining social programs and direct practice interventions, financial services, and policies that can move individuals, families, and communities along the asset-building continuum. The impact of issues such as life stage, social class, and cultural background will be examined. Policy issues include savings, consumer protection, tax credits, public benefits, and innovative programs; practice issues include financial assessment and goal setting, financial coaching, and integrating financial interventions with traditional psychosocial interventions. This is an advanced clinical methods course. It is also offered as SWOA 734 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.
SWCL 744—Psychopathology [3 credits] (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, 631 and SOWK 635)
This course is designed to provide the student with extensive knowledge of the major forms of emotional illness and their treatment. Students will develop competence in diagnosis by mastering the currently accepted diagnostic code (DSM-V). They will develop competence in treatment planning through awareness and understanding of the most modern and accepted treatments for each major category of mental illness. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to gather and analyze relevant information, make accurate diagnoses based upon that information, assess positive and negative factors affecting treatment decisions, develop an appropriate and contemporary treatment plan, and present it in a form consistent with current practice in the mental health professions. Students will be prepared for diagnosis and treatment planning activities appropriate to a variety of clinical settings. This course is required for clinical concentrators.
SWCL 747—Introduction to Forensic Social Work [3 credits]
Forensic social work is the application of social work methods and practice to questions and problems, which arise within the legal system. This social work specialty involves clinical practice with (1) victims and defendants in the Criminal Justice and Penal systems, (2) victims and respondents in CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) and delinquency proceedings in Juvenile Court, and (3) adults and children who are involved in proceedings in Civil Court, such as child custody determinations, divorce mediation, and civil commitments. This three-credit class reflects a holistic and comprehensive approach to the practice of forensic social work. It offers an overview of the structure and operation of the judicial system with emphasis on the various roles of the forensic social worker. However, unlike the policy course Social Work and the Law, this course option focuses on the varieties and methods of clinical interventions and practice within the legal system. Moreover, this course on forensic social work differs from those offered at other institutions, in that it is balanced with perspectives of both prosecution and defense, and it is comprehensive and practical. The instructor and guest presenters include legal and social work practitioners with experience in the wide variety of areas in which forensic social workers practice. The goal of this course is to develop appropriate clinical skills within the forensic setting, and foster an appreciation for the variety of roles that forensic social workers assume.
SWCL 748—Clinical Social Work Practice in Relation to Death, Dying, and Bereavement [3 credits]*
This course provides a framework of knowledge, skills and values for culturally competent and responsive social work practice in helping clients who confront the issues of death and dying. A comparative, critically reflective approach to content is employed. The students will explore experiences of death, dying and bereavement in relation to diversity of ethnicity or culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, and social class.
SWCL 749-Clinical Social Work Practice with LGBTQI+ Communities [3 credits]*
This is an advanced clinical course that is designed to expose students to a variety of concepts, topics, and contemporary phenomena that impact LGBTQI individuals, families (by blood and by choice), and communities. The framework of this course endorses non-cis, non-heterosexual identities, and self-concepts as real and irrefutable. This course recognizes key dimensions of intersectionality in addition to marginalization and alienation – which are byproducts of structural oppression that limit and/ or restrict the freedoms and therefore well-being of LGBTQI individuals. The class seeks to elevate the importance of the “lived experience” of individuals within a social context and arena that is influenced by institutionalized heterosexism and proscribed gender binaries. Additionally, this course highlights the phenomena of “minority stress” as a key instigator of psycho-social and health-based disparities. Lastly, this course endorses the need for students as well as tenured social workers to be equipped and versed in strategies and knowledge to effectively and clinically support LGBTQI clientele. Ultimately it is pivotal that Social Workers employ affirming clinical techniques that recognize the inherent worth, value, and strengths and resiliencies of LGBTQI clientele.
SWCL 750—Social Work in Education [3 credits]*
This course will present knowledge, skills, and strategies for engaging in social work practice from preschool through high school in educational settings across the continuum from direct practice, to school- and district-level programming and policy. The course is designed for students who are interested in direct practice or programming and policy roles in educational settings. Ten central topical areas will be covered: 1) the history of social work in school settings leading to the current and still evolving roles of social workers in schools; 2) theory, research, and conceptual frameworks informing social work practice and programming in schools; 3) historical and ongoing inequities in public education, policy and programming efforts to reduce those inequities; 4) laws, legislation, and current policy and procedures guiding the identification and service provision for students with disabilities; 5) assessment skills with student, family, classroom, school-level, and community needs and struggles in order to conduct student development studies, functional behavioral assessments, and to inform student, family, classroom, and school level service planning; 6) response to intervention (RTI) and the three level approach to prevention and intervention service delivery; 7) crisis management and response including student suicide risk assessment and screening or violent incidents and prevention in schools; 8) consultation and coordination with school staff and families; 9) planning and implementing direct social work services in schools at the individual, family, group, classroom, and school levels; 10) issues and service needs of populations of students vulnerable to poor educational outcomes due for example economic disparities, historical discrimination, language or immigration status, incarcerated parents, parents with substance abuse issues, sexual orientation, or homelessness. This is an advanced clinical methods course. It is also offered as SWOA 750 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.
SWCL 751—Relational Theory and Practice [3 credits] (Additional Prerequisite: SWCL 700)
This course builds on earlier psychodynamic theories taught in HBSE and Paradigms, and emphasizes self psychology and relational theory as the basis for learning contemporary psychodynamic/relational clinical practice skills. The course focuses on learning models of intervention grounded in a comprehension of relational theory and self psychology, and their integration of feminist and gender perspective with socio-cultural factors in the treatment. Specific skills will be emphasized, including the clinician use of self, the appreciation for attachment processes, developmental factors, relational patterns, affect facilitation, and utilization of impasse and enactment in the therapeutic relationship. This course includes the application of relational treatment with multicultural populations, and with clients presenting with a range of mental illnesses, including mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, and personality disorders.
SWCL 753—Social Work Response to Mass Violence and Disaster [3 credits]
This course is designed to provide students with advanced learning opportunities intended to increase students’ knowledge of how to apply different theories and intervention strategies to the social work assessment and response to mass violence and disaster. Crisis theory, used to guide crisis intervention and response to traumatic events, in addition to prevention and preparedness among diverse groups and communities, will be studied. Multiple conceptualizations of exposure to human-made and natural disaster will be discussed, ranging from acute to chronic, complex and long-term trauma reactions. The class will explore evidence-based interventions, controversies and emerging areas of practice with various populations who experience trauma across multiple settings. Larger social, cultural, and political forces will be considered with regard to how they influence exposure, response and recovery from traumatic events. Finally, the impact of working with individuals and communities exposed to traumatic events on social workers will be reviewed with recommendations for self-care. This is an advanced clinical methods course. It is also offered as SWOA 753 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.
SWCL 754 —Social Work and Developmental Disabilities [3 credits]
The mission of Social Work and Developmental Disabilities (SWCL 754; online) is to prepare students to deliver ethically sound, family-centered, and evidence-based services to children, adolescents, and emerging adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This online clinical methods course uses self-paced multi-media modules to advance student understanding of the incidence and etiology of common intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as the unique physical, psychosocial, and behavioral health needs of affected youths and their families. Social Work and Developmental Disabilities also examines the intersection of culture and ethics in the delivery of family-centered services to this population, as well as how clinical assessment processes and practice models (e.g., group work and CBT) are adapted for the I/DD population. Social work students who intend to practice with this population must also be able to critically analyze historical and contemporary legislation impacting the health, quality of life, and community integration of individuals with I/DD and their families. Prior experience in the disability field is not necessary to be successful in this course.
SWCL 755—Assessment of Common Childhood Mental Health Disorders [3 credits]
This course is designed to provide the students with knowledge of the major forms of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral illnesses impacting children and adolescents, as well as best available treatment options. Students will develop competence in comprehensive assessment leading to diagnosis by mastering the currently accepted diagnostic code (DSM-5). Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to gather and analyze relevant information, make accurate diagnoses based upon that information, assess positive and negative factors affecting treatment decisions, develop an appropriate and contemporary treatment plan and present it in a form consistent with current practice in the mental health professions. Students will be prepared for diagnosis and treatment planning activities appropriate to a variety of clinical settings. This course does not replace the requirement of SWCL 744 for students in the Clinical concentration
SWCL 756—Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice [3 credits]
This course in Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an intensive experiential approach to learning Motivational Interviewing with Child Welfare Clients. MI is an evidence based practice method developed by Bill Miller and Stephen Rollnick that increases motivation to make specific and needed behavior changes for individuals and their families. MI is a directive, client-centered approach for resolving ambivalence and eliciting behavior change across a broad range of behavior domains.
SWCL 771—Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment With Children and Adolescents
The overall objective of this course is to provide students with a framework for understanding evidence-based mental health treatment with children and adolescents and promote an understanding of the principles of Evidence Based Practice. The underlying premise of the course is that effective implementation of empirically supported therapeutic interventions has an important place in the treatment of emotional and/or behavioral problems. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with some of the most commonly used EBTs in the field today and will gain an understanding of how clinical interventions are implemented in real world settings. As is true with the current state of the field, many models presented will be based in cognitive-behavioral theory. Individual, family and group treatment will be addressed. Consideration of clients’ cultures and backgrounds as well as the importance of consumer engagement will be emphasized. Students will be expected to utilize knowledge gained in the classroom to assess their field placements with regard to organizational capacity and readiness for implementation of evidence-based practice.
SWCL 773—Adult Trauma and Clinical Social Work Practice [3 credits] (Additional Prerequisite: SWCL 700)
This course will provide an advanced learning in theories of trauma, practice approaches and research findings. In the first part of the course, students will learn the conceptualization of trauma from a cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic and attachment theory perspectives. They will become familiar with neuroscience findings that explain the impact of trauma on brain development. Students will be able to differentiate between different types of trauma, to identify the impact of trauma on adults, and to understand the role of gender, race, ethnicity and culture in individuals’ response to trauma. In the second part of the course, students learn to apply diagnosis, assessment, psycho-education, safety and stabilization, affect regulation techniques, as well as sensory, affective and cognitive processing techniques as core treatment components. They will utilize ethical principles based on the social work Code of Ethics. The course will include the applications of trauma therapy to selected groups, including adult survivors of complex PTSD and combat trauma. The course emphasizes critical thinking, use of self and the clinician’s self care.
SWCL 774—Social Work with Military Service Members and their Families [3 credits] (Additional Prerequisites: SWCL 700 and 744)
This advanced clinical course will provide learning in conceptual theories of, best practice approaches with, and research findings on working with service members (veterans and active duty) and their families, with a primary focus on service members who have served in combat. Students will learn theoretical frameworks of trauma. They will become familiar with common psychological and medical concerns for service members with combat experience. Students will be able to identify the impact of trauma on those who have served in combat and on their amilies upon their return, including the role of gender, race, ethnicity, and culture in individuals’ response to trauma. Students will also learn common demands of military service on family dynamics and composition. Students will learn about the role of social work within the military in meeting the needs of active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, veterans and their families. Students will develop a working understanding of the history of military social work, aspects of the military culture that they will need to know in order to be able to develop a strong therapeutic alliance, social and mental health needs and issues facing this ethnically and culturally diverse population, military social work policies and services and needed advocacy efforts in that regard, evidence-based and other mental health interventions with emerging empirical support for this population, and other ethnic and cultural diversity issues in military social work (including the needs of women, gays and lesbians, and immigrants serving in the military). The course will emphasize the needs of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (but will touch on veterans from all eras), including stressors connected to multiple deployments and to the unique nature of those wars, when danger is ever present and the enemy often is not identifiable. Students will learn and practice strengths-based assessment and core evidence-based treatment interventions. Finally, the impact of working with traumatized individuals and families on social workers will be reviewed with recommendations for self-care.
SWCL 775—Clinical Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees [3 credits]*
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of clinical social work with immigrant and refugee populations. The population in the United States is changing rapidly due to the influx of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from all around the world. This clinical course examines factors fueling U.S. Immigration. It provides an in-depth examination of how immigration has contributed to Racial and Ethnic diversity, what drives diversity in destinations for newly arrived immigrants, and the importance of understanding educational and language diversity among and within immigrant groups. Social work practitioners need to be skilled in understanding the diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds that shape the landscape of the U.S population. The course will offer knowledge and critical skills needed for engaging in social work practice with immigrant and refugee populations. The course focuses on the need for cultural competency in order to assess, communicate, adapt, and provide culturally sensitive services. The course will examine the social work role in aiding the successful integration of first and second- generation immigrants and refugees. Students will consider their roles in incorporating research- informed practice, practice- informed research, and indigenous healing practices to the fields of health, mental health, and family violence. They will learn how to communicate the U.S. laws and cultural mores, while helping to preserve the client’s dignity and values.
SWCL 776—Core Concepts in Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents [3 credits]* (Additional prerequsites: SWCL 700 and SWCL 744)
This course will introduce students to the core concepts (general theory and foundational knowledge), which inform evidence-based assessment and intervention with children, adolescents, and families who are traumatized. Trauma is broadly defined, and includes children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events including, but not limited to natural disasters, war, abuse and neglect, medical trauma and witnessing interpersonal crime (e.g., family violence, intimate partner violence) and other traumatic events from a domestic and international perspective. The course will highlight the role of development, culture, and empirical evidence in traumaspecific interventions with children, adolescents, and their families. It will address the level of functioning of primary care giving environments and assess the capacity of the community to facilitate restorative processes.
MACRO METHODS COURSES (Prerequisites: SOWK 632 and 636 unless otherwise specified) At least one Macro methods course must be taken concurrently with each semester of advanced Macro field practicum.
SWOA 703—Program Development [3 credits] (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, SOWK 631, and 635)
This course is designed to expand students’ knowledge of and skills in the design, development and management of programs in human service organizations within a multi-cultural environment. Program theory and multicultural program development are applied to a range of human service programs. Students will design and develop a program, create logic models and a strategy for performance measurement and program evaluation, develop program budgets and management information systems. Students will also be exposed to various related contextual organizational and management practices such as organizational learning and change, strategic planning, interagency alliances.
SWOA 704—Community Organization [3 credits]* (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, SOWK 631, and 635)
Community organizing is a means of bringing people together to address problematic social conditions. As a purposeful collective effort, organizing requires sound analytical, political and interactional skills. An important aspect of those skills for professional organizers involves a continuous pattern of systematic planning, “doing”, reflecting again (theorizing) and acting strategically to build a group that can achieve its aims. Community organization is rooted in the reform tradition of professional social work and such values as self-determination, self-sufficiency, empowerment, and social justice. This course is particularly relevant to direct practice with and advocacy for disempowered groups in the society, such as ethnic and racial minorities, low-income persons, women, the aged and the disabled. The methods course in community organization is aimed at students who seek to expand and refine their skills in organization-building and collective action. It builds on foundation knowledge and skills from the prerequisite introductory level practice course in the curriculum.
SWOA 705—Community Economic Development [3 credits]
This course helps students build upon, expand, and refine their organizational development and capacity building skills. The course covers a number of themes, including small communities, factors leading to the health or decline of communities, community economic development (CED) strategies, community development corporations (CDC), advocacy and community organizing, various action programs, and social development strategies. Specific knowledge, skills, and values will be discussed in relation to these themes. Culturally responsive practice principals will be woven into class discussions on a regular basis.
SWOA 707—Social Policy and Social Change [3 credits] (Prerequisites SOWK 630, SOWK 631 and 635)
The course provides an overview of the policy-making process at the federal and state levels and analyzes the roles of the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of the government in the policy-making enterprise. The focus of the course is on critical analysis of the key assumptions driving policy and policy change, such as social vs. individual responsibility and risk. The course also includes a critical examination of the role that policy plays in the design of interventions and service delivery practices at the federal, state, and local level and the impact of changing policies on people, groups, communities, and providers. In addition, it emphasizes the impact of policy on diverse and at-risk-populations, and its implications for social and economic justice. Students will be introduced to both the analytic and interactional skills associated with social policy development, including social problem analysis, social planning, the legislative process at the federal, state, and local levels, policy analysis and evaluation, and policy advocacy and social change.
SWOA 710 – Legislative Processes in Social Welfare [3 credits]
This course has two basic purposes. The first is to provide students with an understanding of American legislative processes with particular reference to the social welfare policy formulation system. The federal system of policy and legislative process will also be examined. The second aim is to develop an appreciation and understanding of the range of social work involvement in the policy/legislative process. Throughout the course, attention is given to the role of human service advocacy organizations active in influencing social welfare legislation and the role of social workers in social action. The course is also offered as SOWK 710 for those wanting an advanced macro policy course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the designation chosen (Advanced Policy or Macro methods).
SWOA 721—Strategic Talent and Performance Management
This course focuses on fostering the skills and competencies necessary for understanding and applying contemporary and strategic management of human capital and individual, team, and organizational performance within human service organizations through team-based learning exercises, case analysis, peer training, readings, and discussion. The course is divided into 3 two-day intensive modules. Module 1: Legal and Dynamic Environment for the Human Service Workforce: This module will prepare students to both understand and play a proactive role in implementing both required and effective workforce legislation and legalities, ethical behavior, risk leadership, inclusive culture and environment, safety, and work-life integration. Module 2: Talent Management and Leadership: This module will prepare students to employ integrated and outcome-directed talent management through workforce forecasting, competency-based work analysis, talent scouting, recruiting, and on-boarding, work engagement, compensation, and career development. Module 3: Performance Management and Measurement: This module will prepare students in performance management and measurement strategies for work and programmatic accountability and results, and workforce feedback, coaching, and mentoring.
SWOA 722—Supervision in Social Work [3 credits]
Students are introduced to the historical development of supervision within social work and will explore the core responsibilities of a supervisor - administrative, educational, and supportive roles. The course also covers different supervisory methods and techniques and considers supervisory issues that arise in a variety of practice settings. The course will build students’ knowledge base, develop specific supervisory skills, and will promote self-awareness.
SWOA 724—Managing Financial and Information Systems in Human Services Organizations [3 credits]
The goal of the course is to introduce students to the elements of financial management and design of information systems in human service organizations. In addition to learning the elements of financial and information management through readings and class presentations, students also will gain beginning skills through assigned exercises. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to integrate their experience and training as social workers and as administrators with the concepts, options, and techniques of financial management.
SWOA 732—Resource Development for Nonprofit Groups
Nonprofit organizations operate in a climate of increasingly scarce and unpredictable resources. In recent years, government cutbacks, volatile stock markets, changing policies, and changing practices of business contributors have caused many charitable agencies and community organizations to change their focus, curtail services, merge or go out of business. As a result, nonprofits have had to seek new avenues for funding and other sources for resources. This course aims to explore the resource climate of nonprofit organizations, to identify different ways of acquiring resources, and to develop knowledge of and skill in a variety of interrelated strategies and techniques. These include annual giving, capital gifts, direct mail, special events, face-to-face solicitation, grant seeking, sale of goods and services, online donations, major gifts and planned gifts. These also include board development, case development, fundraising feasibility studies, fundraising readiness assessments, marketing, planning and prospect research.
SWOA 735—Social Work and Social Action [3 credits]
This course examines the origin, structure, methodology, and theory of social movements. It also focuses on the organizing methods and processes used in various social movements to bring about social change. Close attention is paid to the causes and crystallization of protests, the genesis, growth, and maintenance of movements, the strategies and tactics required to achieve social goals, and the institutionalization of social change. Where appropriate, current and historical examples of major social movements–such as the civil rights, feminist, labor, and welfare rights movements–are studied in terms of their theoretical foundations or operational mechanisms. Emphasis throughout the course, however, is on the skills and processes needed to bring about change.
SWOA 736—Administering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) [3 credits]
This course will introduce students to a conceptual framework for managing and administering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Similarities with other human service programs will be identified while the uniqueness of administering EAPs will be examined closely. Topics such as policy development, case management, supervisory training, marketing, and evaluating EAPs from a cost-effective approach will be covered. EAP direct practice including intake, assessment, brief intervention and short-term counseling, and referral with follow-up will also be reviewed, with an eye to managing and administering such services. Students will learn about EAP services for managers and supervisors to gain an understanding of how EAPs serve multiple clients within the workplace. Special populations in the workplace, including women and minority employee groups, and other vulnerable employee groups including the working poor will be discussed. Social workers are well suited to function in the workplace; however, they must understand the unique nuances of the business world in an effort to meet the sometimes conflicting needs of their multiple clients. This course is required for ALL students sub-specializing in EAPs.
SWOA 738—Financial Stability for Individuals, Families, and Communities [3 credits]
This course examines barriers to and opportunities for the financial stability of individuals, families, and the impact of low wealth in communities. The course uses a comprehensive approach examining social programs and direct practice interventions, financial services, and policies that can move individuals, families, and communities along the asset-building continuum. The impact of issues such as life stage, social class, and cultural background will be examined. Policy issues include savings, consumer protection, tax credits, public benefits, and innovative programs; practice issues include financial assessment and goal setting, financial coaching, and integrating financial interventions with traditional psychosocial interventions. This is an advanced macro methods course. It is also offered as SWCL 734 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.
SWOA 750—Social Work in Education [3 credits] *
This course will present knowledge, skills, and strategies for engaging in social work practice from preschool through high school in educational settings across the continuum from direct practice, to school- and district-level programming and policy. The course is designed for students who are interested in direct practice or programming and policy roles in educational settings. Ten central topical areas will be covered: 1) the history of social work in school settings leading to the current and still evolving roles of social workers in schools; 2) theory, research, and conceptual frameworks informing social work practice and programming in schools; 3) historical and ongoing inequities in public education, policy and programming efforts to reduce those inequities; 4) laws, legislation, and current policy and procedures guiding the identification and service provision for students with disabilities; 5) assessment skills with student, family, classroom, school-level, and community needs and struggles in order to conduct student development studies, functional behavioral assessments, and to inform student, family, classroom, and school level service planning; 6) response to intervention (RTI) and the three level approach to prevention and intervention service delivery; 7) crisis management and response including student suicide risk assessment and screening or violent incidents and prevention in schools; 8) consultation and coordination with school staff and families; 9) planning and implementing direct social work services in schools at the individual, family, group, classroom, and school levels; 10) issues and service needs of populations of students vulnerable to poor educational outcomes due for example economic disparities, historical discrimination, language or immigration status, incarcerated parents, parents with substance abuse issues, sexual orientation, or homelessness. This is an advanced Macro methods class; it is also offered as SWCL 750 for those wanting an advanced clinical methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.
SWOA 753—Social Work Response to Mass Violence and Disaster [3 credits]
This course is designed to provide students with advanced learning opportunities intended to increase students’ knowledge of how to apply different theories and intervention strategies to the social work assessment and response to mass violence and disaster. Crisis theory, used to guide crisis intervention and response to traumatic events, in addition to prevention and preparedness among diverse groups and communities, will be studied. Multiple conceptualizations of exposure to human-made and natural disaster will be discussed, ranging from acute to chronic, complex and long-term trauma reactions. The class will explore evidence-based interventions, controversies and emerging areas of practice with various populations who experience trauma across multiple settings. Larger social, cultural, and political forces will be considered with regard to how they influence exposure, response and recovery from traumatic events. Finally, the impact of working with individuals and communities exposed to traumatic events on social workers will be reviewed with recommendations for selfcare. This is an advanced macro methods course. It is also offered as SWCL 753 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.
ADVANCED FIELD PRACTICUM
The Advanced Field Practicum continues the signature pedagogy of the MSW program in the advanced curriculum. It consists of two consecutive semesters in a fall-spring sequence. Each practicum semester is completed concurrently with a methods course appropriate for the concentration selected.
SWCL 794, 795—Advanced Clinical Field Practicum I and II [6 credits each semester]
Two semesters in the Advanced Curriculum. Students are assigned to agencies and organizations for practice responsibilities and instruction in clinical social work. A SWCL course must be taken concurrently with each semester of advanced clinical field practicum.
SWOA 794, 795—Advanced Macro Field Practicum I and II [6 credits each semester]
Two semesters in the Advanced Curriculum. Students are assigned to agencies for practice responsibilities and instruction in social administration, human services, and community organization and development. A SWOA course must be taken concurrently with each semester of advanced Macro field practicum.
SOWK 699—Special Topics [1-3 credits]
The topics of these courses vary from semester to semester. Prerequisites may vary. These courses may be used to satisfy elective credit requirements.
SOWK 700—Racism & Racial Equality in Social Work [3 credits]*
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding of institutional racism and the way concepts such as power and privilege impact institutions, social service agencies, social workers, and clients. During the course of the semester, students will broaden their understanding of racism and racial equity and deepen culturally responsive clinical and management skills. This is a special topics course intended for students willing to engage in a process of self-exploration regarding personal and professional attitudes, biases, and clinical frameworks. Class discussions and assignments will be focused on the individual and structural consequences of racism in the United States.
SOWK 705—International Social Work [3 credits]
Comparative studies of social work practice provide instruments for better understanding the general laws of social life and opportunities for examining practice trends and issues in a clearer perspective. This course focuses on the study of the social work profession and practice in specified developed and developing nations. This course is taken in conjunction with travel to various destinations, which have included India, Central America and Israel. Required pre-departure classes and post-trip debriefings, presentations, and subsequent planning are also included in the course.
SOWK 798—Independent Study [1-3 credits]
A student-selected topic is studied under the guidance of a faculty member.