MSW Course Descriptions
SOWK600: Human Behavior and Social Environment I 3 Sem. Hours
This foundation course presents an overview of human behavior and social environment theories in relation to social work ethics, values, diversity, populations-at-risk, and culturally competent practice utilizing a strengths perspective. Students learn a social systems framework and employ selected ecological concepts for integrating theories and understanding the complexity of human behavior within environmental and societal contexts, taking note of traditional and alternative paradigms. Individual development will be examined with attention to life course theory, and socio-cultural factors.
SOWK602: Human Behavior and Social Environment II 3 Sem. Hours
This course builds on the framework, theories, and perspectives introduced in SOWK600. It focuses on human behavior and the social environment from the perspective of families, small groups, organizations, and communities. It explains traditional and alternative paradigms. Connections to generalist social work practice and interventions are made. Students consider the linkages and applicability of the learning to the population of their specialized interest. Prerequisite: SOWK600: Human Behavior and Social Environment I.
SOWK604: Social Welfare, Social Policy, and Social Work 3 Sem. Hours
This course provides a knowledge base for understanding the social welfare system and its relationship to the history and development of social work as a profession. It examines the economic, social, political forces and trends, as well as the philosophy, values and beliefs that shape public and private social policies and programs, and impact social work practice. Special attention is paid to inequities and deficiencies in the institutional policies and socioeconomic structures impacting on various population groups. Students examine current federal policies and consider their impact on family life.
SOWK606: Social Policy and Social Policy Practice 3 Sem. Hours
This course builds on the knowledge base for understanding the social welfare system and its relationship to the social work profession provided in SOWK604. Students explore the connection between social problem and policies, obtain concepts and frameworks for analysis of social policies, and develop skills in assessing, analyzing, formulating, influencing, and promulgating social policies which promote well-being, and economic and social justice. The ethical base for policy practice is explored. Special attention is paid to family policy issues.
SOWK608: Social Work Research I 3 Sem. Hours
This foundation course focuses on qualitative and quantitative research methods used by social workers. It emphasizes hypothesis formulation, research designs, ethical considerations, measurement, sampling, data collection, and data analysis needed for building knowledge for practice and for evaluating service delivery in all areas of practice.
SOWK609: Social Work Research II 3 Sem. Hours
This course builds on SOWK608 and focuses on needs assessment and program evaluation. It emphasizes program accountability in social services. Students learn to determine needs of client populations and to determine the effectiveness of programs in achieving outcomes. They also apply needs assessment strategies and program evaluation techniques to their field of interest. Prerequisites: SOWK608: Social Work Research I.
SOWK612: Social Work Practice I 3 Sem. Hours
This course orients students to the helping processes in social work, using systems and ecological perspectives, strengths orientation, and problem solving and interactional approaches. It delineates the generalist foundation knowledge, ethics, value, and skills of the profession and integrates systems levels, cultural competency, and economic and social justice. It emphasizes the professional use of self, self-awareness, communication, observation, documentation, relationship building, and interviewing skills.
SOWK613: Social Work Practice II 3 Sem. Hours
This course builds on the foundation of Social Work Practice I for an in-depth look at modern social work practice skills. A central focus is the relationship of theory and research to social work micro, mezzo, and macro practice, highlighting its political dimensions as well as social and cultural context. Social work practice decisions are underpinned by a theoretical and research perspective and delivered with sensitivity to diverse populations. Prerequisite: SOWK612: Social Work Practice I.
SOWK622: Field Education Internship I 3 Sem. Hours
This practicum provides structured learning opportunities for students to apply and integrate knowledge, skills, values, and ethics into practice within agency settings. It requires a minimum of 225 hours of practice in an agency setting. Students receive professional instruction and supervision from a qualified agency-based field instructor. A professional seminar is included as part of the internship experience. Taken concurrently with SOWK612: Social Work Practice I. Open only to those admitted to the MSW program.
SOWK623: Field Education Internship II 3 Sem. Hours
This internship is a continuation of SOWK 622 and provides structured learning opportunities for students to apply experience and internalize generalist social work knowledge, skills, values, and ethics into practice within agency settings. It requires a minimum of 225 hours of practice in an agency setting. Students receive professional instruction and supervision from a qualified agency-based field instructor. A professional seminar is included as part of the internship experience. It is taken concurrently with SOWK613: Social Work Practice II. Prerequisite: SOWK612: Social Work Practice I, SOWK622: Field Education Internship I.
SOWK699: Principles of Advanced Social Work Practice with Families 3 Sem. Hours
This course provides a review of important theories, concepts, principles, knowledge, values and skills. The course is open only to students who have been admitted to advanced standing and prepares the student for entry into the concentration.
SOWK717: Family Social Work Practice I 3 Sem. Hours
This course builds on the foundation of social work practice principles, theories, and techniques in understanding the concepts and dynamics of the family and social work family-focused interventions. Students will begin the process of creating an integrative family practice framework by demonstrating an understanding of the constructs associated with the family, theories associated with family social work practice and the assessment processes utilized in working with diverse families in multiple, family social work practice settings. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation courses (SOWK600, 602, 604, 606, 608, 612, 613).
SOWK719: Family Social Work Practice II 3 Sem. hours
Advanced Social Work Practice with Families II synthesizes the broad context of family practice learned in Family Practice I into a more focused, integrative family practice framework. During this course, students will learn to effectively engage, assess, and provide intervention for families within the context of family environments commonly encountered by social work practitioners. An emphasis is placed on implementing the social work process with vulnerable families that confront issues related to social injustice, poverty, discrimination and physical and emotional challenges. Prerequisite: Completion of SOWK717: Family Social Work Practice I.
SOWK722: Field Education Internship III 3 Sem. Hours
This advanced practicum provides structured learning opportunities for students to apply and integrate knowledge, skills, values, and ethics into advanced practice providing services to families across a broad spectrum of social problems and diverse populations. A professional seminar is included as part of the internship experience. Prerequisite: SOWK613: Social Work Practice II, SOWK623: Field Education Internship II. Taken concurrent with SOWK717: Family Social Work Practice I.
SOWK723: Field Education Internship IV 3 Sem. Hours
This advanced practicum provides structured learning opportunities for students to apply and integrate knowledge, skills, values, and ethics into advanced practice providing services to families across a broad spectrum of social problems and diverse populations. A professional seminar is included as part of the internship experience. Prerequisite: SOWK 717: Family Social Work Practice I and SOWK722: Field Education Internship III. Taken concurrent with SOWK719: Family Social Work Practice II.
SOWK740: Family Diversity 3 Sem. Hours
This course will focus on issues of cultural diversity and oppression within and among families. It will emphasize empowerment of the family as its over-arching framework as a major goal for social work interpersonal practice with individuals, families, and small groups. Students will be prepared to respond to needs of diverse family populations including racial and ethnic minorities as well as responding to issues of disability, gender and sexual orientation.
SOWK741: Practice for Families and Children in Child Welfare 3 Sem. Hours
This course focuses on the characteristics, strengths and services needs of families and children in the child welfare system. It examines and builds policy and practice skills related to family preservation services, child maltreatment, substitute care and permanency planning. This course considers family events within an ecological systems approach and works to build appreciation and sensitivity to various family forms and cultural patterns.
SOWK742: Mental Health Practice in Social Work with Individuals and Families
3 Sem. Hours
Mental health policies as well as ethical and diversity issues in mental health are examined. Current best practices for specific disorders of adults, children, and adolescents, which may be exhibited across fields of practice, are presented. Special issues of unique contexts and client types are addressed. Emerging best practices of recovery in mental health is the focus, which fits well with the empowerment of mental health consumers and their families, and with strengths-based practice.
SOWK743: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD): Interventions with Families
3 Sem. Hours
This course presents an orientation to working with families in social work practice, with special attention to interventions with ATOD-misusing families. In approaching intervention for ATOD misusers, it is essential to address their problems within the context of their larger social environment, specifically, the family.
SOWK744: Administrative Social Work Practice 3 Sem Hours
This course prepares individuals to develop the skills necessary to manage human service organizations in an increasingly complex environment of competing values and demands. Topics covered include: organizational theory, strategic planning, board development, basic skills for managers, supervision and personnel management, budgeting and financial management, public relations and lobbying, organizational growth, change, crisis and decline, the problems facing women and minorities as managers, cultural diversity and resolving ethical problems.
SOWK798: Family Practice Integrative Seminar I 3 Sem. Hours
This seminar focuses on the integration of the knowledge, value, and learning experiences of the total MSW program. It prepares and provides the framework for the student's completion of a major competency paper in the following semester, inclusive of content from all social work courses, and centering on a specific population group in a family context. Students have the opportunity to dialogue on professional issues through topical discussions, and examination of students' research activities. Completion of the foundation courses is required (SOWK600, 602, 604, 606, 608, 609, 612, 613, 622, 623).
SOWK799: Family Practice Integrative Seminar II 3 Sem. Hours
This seminar is a continuation of SOWK798, promoting the integration and synthesis of the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession, and the total learning of the MSW program. Students complete their research and write their competency paper, centering on a specific population group in a family context, demonstrating theoretical preparation for advanced family practice. There is opportunity to dialogue on social work issues, arising from students' research and contemporary practice, and to present their practice frameworks and findings. Prerequisite: SOWK798: Family Practice Integrative Seminar I.