Note: Not all courses are offered every semester or every academic year.

Our faculty are currently revising the clinical and macro courses. Advanced courses for 2024-2025 will be finalized by March 1.

Foundation Curriculum Courses

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 610 – Structural Oppression and Its Implications for Social Work Practice [3 credits]
Structural oppression – e.g., by race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, (dis)ability, religious and cultural beliefs and practices, ethnicity, national origin, and class – is omnipresent. Its faces and forms shape our consciousness, our communities, and our cultural norms. It influences the way we see both ourselves and others. It impacts our attitudes, our interactions, and our opportunities. We cannot escape it; we can only work to overcome it. This course will encourage its members to interrogate the causes, manifestations, impacts, and means of overcoming structural oppression in its myriad faces and forms. We will explore social identity in the context of a complex web of structural oppression – and the ways that dominant narratives influence the way we see ourselves and others. We will examine how some human differences are given social meaning, and how these differences have been used to divide people and hide and justify systems of exclusion, exploitation and marginalization. Throughout, as we seek to question constructs often considered natural and inevitable, we will challenge ourselves to envision and create more liberatory, equitable, and just ways to practice social work and organize social life.

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 14 their understanding of the particular needs of minorities, women, and people of various ethnic backgrounds. Practicum experiences and student application of course content are supported by a field seminar in the foundation year. Field Seminar includes an intentional focus on concepts of privilege and oppression, and their implications for practice. Both the practicum and seminar aim to integrate the entire Foundation curriculum. The practicum and seminar teach 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 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 microsocial (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 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. 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.

Foundation Field Instruction

FOUNDATION FIELD PRACTICUM
The Foundation Field Practicum courses are core elements of the educational program. These courses provide opportunities for students to integrate knowledge, attitudes, and skills learned in academic courses to the practicum situation at the foundation level of practice.

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 registered for foundation field must also be enrolled in SOWK 630 and 631 in the fall semester and SOWK 632 in the spring semester.

Advanced Policy Courses

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.a—Public Policy for Social Justice [1.5 credits] (fall only)
This is a year-long course (1.5 credits each semester for a total of 3 credits) that will meet weekly for an hour and a half each week in a hybrid format. This course will help each of us develop a clearer picture of the world we wish to create, the ability to apply theoretical perspectives and analytical tools to questions to public policy, and the skills of public policy practice. We will motivate and critique a diverse range of perspectives on questions of social justice, and use these perspectives to analyze the development and implementation of public policies. We will cultivate practical policy practice knowledge and skills, which will then be applied - specifically in the context of the Maryland General Assembly (i.e., from January to April), which will act as a sort of “lab” for our applied work. We will also develop an appreciation and understanding of the range of social work involvement in the policy creation, implementation, and evaluation process.

Leadership, Policy, & Social Change concentrators will take this course over 2 semesters of their advanced year as their required policy course. Meets advanced policy requirement for all students and can serve as an elective.

SOWK 710.b—Public Policy for Social Justice [1.5 credits] (spring only)
This is part 2 of a year-long course (1.5 credits each semester for a total of 3 credits) that will meet weekly for an hour and a half each week in a hybrid format. This course will help each of us develop a clearer picture of the world we wish to create, the ability to apply theoretical perspectives and analytical tools to questions to public policy, and the skills of public policy practice. We will motivate and critique a diverse range of perspectives on questions of social justice, and use these perspectives to analyze the development and implementation of public policies. We will cultivate practical policy practice knowledge and skills, which will then be applied - specifically in the context of the Maryland General Assembly (i.e., from January to April), which will act as a sort of “lab” for our applied work. We will also develop an appreciation and understanding of the range of social work involvement in the policy creation, implementation, and evaluation process.

Leadership, Policy, & Social Change concentrators will take this course over 2 semesters of their advanced year as their required policy course. Meets advanced policy requirement for all students and can serve as an elective.

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.

Advanced Research Courses

ADVANCED RESEARCH COURSES (Prerequisite: SOWK 670) 

SOWK 777—Implementation and Applied 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 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. 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.

Clinical Methods Courses

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. 

Please Note: Course titles and descriptions are under review and will be updated as faculty approve changes--numbers will remain the same.

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]                                                                                   
(meets clinical core methods requirement)
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 711—Clinical Social Work with Children and Adolescents [3 credits]           
(meets clinical core methods requirement)
This advanced direct practice course presents theory and practice skills and strategies from assessment through intervention in clinical social work practice with diverse populations of children, adolescents, and their families. The course will focus on clinical skills and processes, including: assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, engagement and relationship skills, theory-driven and evidenced-based intervention models and techniques for use with children and adolescents, the termination process and skills, and evaluation of practice. This course will also focus on cultural humility in working with diverse children, adolescents, and families including African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino American, European American, mixed race and cross-cultural children and adolescents. A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used in the course including lecture/discussion, group exercises, role plays, cooperative learning projects, and written assignments. The central aim of the course is to provide depth with respect to several key clinical techniques and skills in work with children and adolescents within an eclectic practice perspective and theoretically grounded framework.

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—Child and Family Health [3 credits]
The course examines maternal, child, and family health using an equity-centered, interdisciplinary, life course perspective, from the prenatal period through adolescence. It builds upon theory and policy introduced in foundation and advanced health courses and critically examines social work services for mothers, other parents and caregivers, children, and adolescents within the family context. It also attends to issues facing pregnant people and parents who do not identify as women. The course places maternal, child, and family health within a historical context and explores the utility of clinical social work practice methods in the provision of services to children and families. A strong emphasis is placed on exploring the strengths and challenges facing marginalized populations and the use of evidence-based interventions employing a public health (micro-macro) perspective, using a variety of case studies. 

SWCL 715—Clinical Applications of Mindfulness and Stress Reduction [3 credits]
(meets clinical core methods requirement)

Students will understand how to apply mindfulness-based interventions as an evidence-informed approach for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and other symptoms that affect quality of life. 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, disability, and other factors impacting stress and coping responses. 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.  

SWCL 722—Cognitive Behavioral Therapies [3 credits] (Additional Prerequisite: SWCL 700)
(meets clinical core methods requirement)

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 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—Assessment, Diagnosis, And Intervention Planning [3 credits] (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, 631 and SOWK 635)
This course is designed to provide students with extensive knowledge of the various forms of mental illness as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition Text Revision (DSM-5 TR); an overview of evidence supported interventions to treat individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder; and an understanding of the sociocultural contexts and social justice implications for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Upon successful completion of the course, students will develop competence in assessment (gathering and analyzing relevant information); making sociocultural-informed diagnoses based upon that information; assessing positive and negative factors affecting treatment decisions; developing a sociocultural-informed and evidence-supported intervention plan for individuals diagnosed within each major category of mental illness; and presenting it in a form consistent with current practice in the mental health professions. Students will be prepared for socio-culturally informed diagnosis and treatment planning activities appropriate to a variety of clinical settings. This course is required for clinical concentrators. 

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.

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 evidencebased 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 756—Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice [3 credits]               
(meets clinical core methods requirement)

This course in Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an intensive experiential approach to learning Motivational Interviewing with Social Work Clients. MI is an evidence-based practice method that increases motivation to make specific and needed behavior or attitude 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.

In-Person and Synchronous Online course Teaching Methodology

This version of the MI course relies heavily on skill development using coaching and feedback.  A primary teaching method involves live supervision where students receive coaching during practice interviews.  IN addition, students will review recordings of their work, provide feedback to other students, and receive detailed and specific feedback from the professor.  Students will learn approaches to feedback specific to MI using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Manual and will prepare for a skill-based assessment as a part of their final examination.

Asynchronous Online Course Teaching Methodology Overview

This version of the MI course is asynchronous online, contained within Blackboard. It is designed to provide opportunity for MI knowledge acquisition and skill development. To accomplish this, the course is a blend of individual learning tasks, peer interaction and discussion, and application activities and assignments.  This asynchronous course runs for 16 weeks and contains a brief orientation module and 15 course content modules. Each module within the course contains three main parts:  knowledge acquisition, interaction, and application. Each content module is estimated to be approximately 9-10 hours. This time estimate may vary based on assignments and each student's individual struggles and strengths. 

SWCL 773—Adult Trauma and Clinical Social Work Practice [3 credits] (Additional Prerequisite: SWCL 700)
(meets clinical core methods requirement)

In this course, students will explore the nature and meaning of trauma, building off the history of traumatology, neurobiological aspects, assessing and identifying trauma, and effective practices for treating trauma from various perspectives and modalities. In the first part of the course, students will broaden and deepen their understanding of trauma theory and practice, expanding practice knowledge by learning to apply diagnosis, assessment, psycho-education, safety and stabilization, affect regulation techniques, and core treatment components. The intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, and culture will also be applied. In the second half of the course, students will have the opportunity to examine the interplay of multiple trauma dynamics impacting psychological health/well-being, interpersonal relationships and meaning making process of tragedies experienced by individuals of diverse backgrounds via the presentation of specific trauma types, including developmental trauma, sexual and intimate partner violence, collective or intergenerational trauma, medical trauma, and religious trauma. Throughout the course, students will consider ethical issues, use of self, and especially issues impacting those who work with trauma survivors, such as vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burn-out, exploring approaches to self-care and promotion of wellness. 

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 prerequisites: 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 trauma-specific 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

Leadership, Policy, & Social Change METHODS COURSES                                      Leadership, Policy, & Social Change concentrators MUST take SWOA 701: Advocacy (full time students should take it in the spring of their foundation year).

Please Note: Course titles and descriptions are under review and will be updated as faculty approve changes.

SWOA 701—Advocacy [3 credits] (Prerequisites: SOWK 630, SOWK 631, and 635)
Advocacy is inherent in both social work and social life.  When we were younger, we advocated to stay up past our bedtime and borrow the car.  Indeed, our first advocacy was for food – and then a clean diaper.  Today, we advocate daily on behalf of the people with whom we work – for an appropriate individual educational program or discharge plan, for the benefits and supports needed to live successfully in one’s community, or for a bed in a shelter or treatment facility.

This course moves from individual-level advocacy to more effective systems-level advocacy – that is, advocacy that seeks to motivate intentional change in organizations, public policies, and communities.  We will interrogate the faces of political power, and the ways that power underlies and informs social problems.  We will analyze and propose issues based on various criteria so that our demands are both actionable and potentially transformational.  We will formulate and articulate advocacy plans that incorporate a range of strategic considerations – e.g., the opportunities and challenges provided by the political context, the roles that are available and necessary in an advocacy campaign, and the constituencies and interests that are involved.  We will develop and critique messages and media for various audiences.  We also will assess and propose opportunities for integrating advocacy initiatives in the context of social service agencies.

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, lowincome 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 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 709 – Advanced Community Action [3 credits] (Prerequisite SWOA 701)

SWOA 722—Supervision in Social Work [3 credits] (Prerequisites SOWK 630, SOWK 631 and 635)
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.

 

 

Advanced Field Instruction

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.

Other Courses

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 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 767—Intimate Partner Violence: Breaking the Cycle [3 credits]
I
ntimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant societal problem with wide-ranging detrimental consequences. Grounded in anti-oppressive and healing-centered practices, students will be introduced to definitions, prevalence, consequences, and dynamics of IPV, as well as theories that have been used to explain why IPV occurs. Students will examine information related to people who experience IPV, people who engage in violent behavior in intimate partnerships, and the effects of childhood IPV exposure. Applying an intersectional social-ecological framework, the course will explore various strategies for responding to and preventing IPV from individual- to community-level interventions. This course will help students think critically about personal and societal notions of why IPV continues to be a prevalent issue as well as how social workers can engage in a range of practices to promote effective intervention and broader societal change. (Prerequisite: SOWK 645)

SOWK 798—Independent Study [1-3 credits]
A student-selected topic is studied under the guidance of a faculty member.

SWCL 709—Tele-Behavioral Health: Delivery of Clinical Social Work Services [1 credit]
An introduction to the practical and knowledge-based skills required to engage in safe, effective, and ethical tele-behavioral health services. Through a series of on-line modules and practice sessions, students will gain confidence and competence in the use of appropriate technology, establishing virtual services with a client, safety planning, and how to handle potential issues that arise. Additionally, students will learn about current research on what treatment modalities are effective delivered virtually as well as how particular services can be competently delivered through technology, e.g. substance use treatment, case management and group treatment services.

SWCL 779—Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare Delivery [1 credit]
This 1-credit intensive, hybrid clinical course offers graduate social work students an opportunity to interact and learn with UMB professional students across disciplines in the annual Interprofessional Education Day. Core elements of interprofessional collaboration, including shared decision-making, mutual role understanding, and the development of joint treatment plans, are delivered via online, asynchronous multi-media learning modules.

To prepare social work students to be effective colleagues on healthcare teams, this course uses: (1) brief lectures on the meaning and practice of interprofessional collaboration; (2) experiential exercises to catalyze open communication, role clarification, and healthy partnerships on healthcare teams; and (3) participation in the annual IPE Day at UMB.

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