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IIDEA Focused Academics

IIDEA is infused throughout the entire curriculum in each of the School of Social Work's programs. Below are some examples of MSW courses and certificate programs where such content is the focus of the curriculum. 

Aging Services: A Critical Perspective

This course provides an overview of older adults as a population group and of aging as a biopsychosocial process. The course explores aspects of social services and health care systems intended to help individuals, families, and communities confront aging-related challenges and capitalize upon aging-related strengths.

Chronic Illness and Disability

This course examines chronic illnesses and disability among adults, focusing on the medical and psychosocial aspects of various mental and physical health conditions. This course aims to foster understanding of how social workers work with clients with chronic illness and disability, as well as their significant others, within healthcare and community systems. This course also reviews relevant policies and welfare system components intended to support those with chronic illness and disability.

Diversity and Oppression

As part of Generalist Curriculum courses for Rutgers School of Social Work's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) programs, all students must complete the course Diversity and Oppression. 

Diversity and Oppression introduces a range of diverse populations by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and physical differences. Additionally, it examines the role, function, and effects of oppression in society as it relates to social and economic justice. Assumptions underlying theory and research methodologies from which basic constructs of human behavior are drawn will be examined to understand how power and other dynamics manage and sustain oppression at the individual and institutional levels. Also of interest is how oppression affects service delivery at micro and macro levels, particularly social policies and strategic planning which drive the shape of services.

For more insight in to the Diversity and Oppression course, listen to the Therapy Show Podcast: Epsiode #42, Dr. DuWayne Battle on Diversity & Social Justice in Social Work hosted by Dr. Bridget Nash. 

Environmental Justice and Social Work

This course will highlight theories to enhance the students’ understanding of “Person-in-Environment” to be inclusive of the physical environment. Students will develop a paradigm regarding the interconnection of social work and environmental justice with an understanding of the bi-directional relationship of people and nature.  Students will examine social work history and create an emerging perspective of social workers’ role with respect to the environment.  This course will help students achieve the updated Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) competency “Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice” by developing awareness of ecological crises, environmental injustices, and movements that are intended to serve marginalized populations.  Students will discuss how social workers can increase equality through advocacy, education, and action.     

Gender, Women & Intersectional Social Justice

Examines intersections among gender, race, class, and sexuality; the institutional factors and values of society that impact on personal roles, status, and discrimination of women; and the social and individual problems that affect women because of their gender. Feminist theories and feminist practices that facilitate institutional and individual changes are discussed.

Intersectionality in Social Work Practice with HIV/AIDS

Explores the impact of HIV infection and AIDS on the individual, family, society, and institutions that provide care. Examines the political, social, legal, ethical, spiritual, and public health issues and the perspectives of people living with HIV infection and AIDS that are needed to inform practice and policy.

LGBTQ Issues

This course provides foundation knowledge and general practice skills for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. Students will gain knowledge of LGBTQ historical and political perspectives, the development of LGBTQ identity-formation, health, mental health and familial issues, and LGBTQ issues across the life span including the coming-out process. Intersectionality of race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity will be addressed along with ethical and legal issues which impact LGBTQ individuals and their families. Students will learn how to practice with LGBTQ clients in cultural relevant ways, and resources for support and information will be identified.

LISTA: Latina/o/x Initiatives for Service, Training, and Assessment

Approximately 20% of both New Jersey and New York's individual state populations are Hispanic and as this community continues to grow there is a lack of culturally competent social practitioners to work effectively with these populations. The MSW Certificate Program for Latina/o/x Initiatives for Service, Training, and Assessment  (LISTA) with funding from the New York Community Trust, was developed to fill this gap. 

LISTA aims to increase the number of social workers who are culturally competent to provide services to Hispanic populations through:

  • Education on evidence-based culturally sensitive practices
  • Internships in Hispanic serving agencies
  • Experiential learning through study abroad in Hispanic countries

Poverty, Inequality, Discrimination, and Public Policy

Confronting issues of poverty and inequality is a core value of the social work profession. This course will provide students with a theoretical, empirical, and analytical understanding of poverty and inequality in the United States. Throughout the course comparisons will be made with other developed nations.

Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees

This course examines the phenomenon of global human migration and human vulnerability and the impact on the local reality. Students will develop knowledge and skills that encompass the diversity of immigration experiences, international refugee situations, and acculturation and family dynamics processes; transnational families; and inter- and intra-ethnic tensions. Students will learn and apply concepts relevant to social work that define specific needs and issues facing immigrant and refugee clients at the practice and policy levels. Students will explore personal biases and experiences, organizational barriers, and culturally relevant practices in services to immigrants and refugees. Students will analyze social policies, programs and practices for safeguarding rights and determine culturally responsive services to immigrants and refugees. 

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