Curriculum | MSW
Regular Standing Track
Length: 2 years (60 credits). First cohort begins Fall 2013.
This track is for students with bachelor's degrees from fields other than social work. The track includes one year of foundational coursework built around core professional competencies. This is followed by a second year within the program in an advanced concentration.
The Regular Standing track includes a minimum of 900 hours of supervised field practicum instruction.
Advanced Standing Track
Length: 1 year (36 credits). First cohort begins Summer 2014.
This track, for students with a bachelor's degree in social work, includes an advanced concentration, focusing a student's studies on a particular area of interest within the field.
The Advanced Standing track includes a minimum of 450 hours of supervised field practicum instruction.
Course descriptions listed below are subject to institutional review and may be modified prior to program start.
Year One: Regular (2-year) Program
SWK 5100 - Social Policy and Service Delivery (3 cr.)
This course introduces students to the analysis of contemporary social welfare policy and explores the connection between clients, practice, and both public and organizational policy, helping beginning practitioners understand how policy affects service delivery and how to actively engage in policy practice.
SWK 5101 - Direct Practice I (2 cr.)
This is a first of a four course practice sequence designed to help students develop the professional skills, knowledge, and values for social work services to individuals, groups, families, and communities. It prepares students to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate client systems at multiple levels.
SWK 5102 - Foundations of Social Justice (3 cr.)
Focuses on the challenging dynamics of economic, social, and cultural factors in the lives of clients and client systems. The course explores strategies for advancing human rights and social and economic justice in various contexts.
SWK 5103 - Foundations of Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3 cr.)
Provides students with knowledge and understanding of the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments through a social systems approach as affected by biological, cultural, environmental, psychosocial and spiritual factors across the life span.
SWK 5201 - Direct Practice II (3 cr.)
This is the second in a four course practice sequence and continues the examination and use of practice frameworks, methods, skills, and values for service delivery in working with individuals, groups, families and communities.
SWK 5202 - Research Design in Social Work (3 cr.)
Presents the broad range of research methods and tools that social workers can use to improve the effectiveness of their practice. The course emphasizes the process of theory development across a broad spectrum of social work practice situations.
SWK 5205 - Preparation for Field I (1 cr.)
Designed for social work students who will be participating in field placement the following semester. Students have the opportunity to assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary placement documentation, and interview with at least two prospective field placement sites.
SWK 5255 - Direct Practice Field I (6 cr.)
This course is designed to provide students a 450-hour foundation level field practicum opportunity in a social service agency, institution or organization in the role of a social work intern. In placement, students prepare for effective social work practice within a pluralistic society including sensitivity to race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, handicap, or political or sexual orientation.
Year Two: Regular and Advanced Standing Program
SWK 5300 - Assessment and Differential Diagnosis (4 cr.)
This course will familiarize students with mental health and mental disorders within the context of the life cycle (child and adolescent; adult; and aging perspectives). Categories of psychiatric disorders are considered with respect to their differentiating characteristics, explanatory theories, and relevance for social work practice according to the DSM, ICD, and other diagnostic tools.
SWK 5302 - Evidence-based Intervention and Treatment (4 cr.)
This course provides social work students with research knowledge and skills to enhance their direct practice with clients. The course examines methods of clinical assessment, methods for choosing and evaluating techniques of intervention, methods for determining the effectiveness of practice, and the use of research in social work decision-making. This course develops student skills in the use of evidence-based practice in clinical assessment and intervention with clients.
SWK 5405 - Preparation for Field II (1 cr.)
Designed for graduate social work students in preparation for their field experience. Students have the opportunity to assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, and complete necessary paperwork and interview with at least two field placement supervisors.
SWK 5400 - Policy and Services in Diverse Settings (3 cr.)
This course examines the historical, social and economic dimensions of policy and service development in diverse settings and how those policies impact clinical social work practice. The course will look at how policies are developed and implemented, as well as how these policies influence social work practice, program planning, and research.
SWK 5501/5601 - Direct Practice III & IV Electives (2 cr.)
These courses are advanced clinical practice electives that focus on the theory, knowledge, skills, and values of clinical treatment in social work. These courses cover the history of and different approaches to engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation in advanced clinical social work practice.
SWK 5402 - Research: Practice Evaluation I (2 cr.)
This course introduces students to theoretical and practical aspects of social service program evaluation. Students learn about the design and implementation of all phases of an evaluation, from needs assessment to analysis of findings. Skills such as survey construction and single-subject design are introduced.
SWK 5403 - Practice with Groups and Communities (2 cr.)
The focus of this practice course is on developing an understanding of how advanced clinical social work practice applies to the context of group, organizational, and community systems.
SWK 5502 Research: Practice Evaluation II (2 cr.)
This course enhances graduate social work student understanding of the process for making practice decisions that integrate the best research evidence with practice expertise and client attributes, values, preferences, and circumstances.
SWK 5555 - Direct Practice Field II (6 cr.)
A minimum of a 450-hour social work field practicum in a social service agency, institution or organization. The practicum provides students the opportunity to integrate direct practice with acquired theoretical clinical knowledge and skills. A bi-weekly seminar facilitates the integration of classroom content and advanced practice experience. Attention is given to the relationship between the purposes, values, and principles expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics and the professional practice of advanced clinical social work.
SWK 5602 - Research: Practice Evaluation III (2 cr.)
This course allows students to use research methodologies to evaluate clinical practice effectiveness and outcome. Students will develop a framework for embedding evaluation and inquiry as a dimension of good practice in clinical social work.
SWK 5655 - Clinical Practice Field III (4 cr.)
Field III provides students with opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom to clinical practice in social work and other human service settings.