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MSW Curriculum & Syllabi

Generalist Curriculum Courses

All students, except those with baccalaureate degrees from programs accredited by CSWE, are required to take all of the generalist curriculum courses. These courses contain a body of knowledge, values, and skills essential for social work practice. This common base is transferable among settings, population groups, and problems areas. Successful completion of the generalist program is required before beginning the specialized curriculum.

  • This is the first half of two required sequential courses in the Professional Foundation Year. It provides the basic knowledge and skills as a foundation for the advanced practice curriculum. Using a problem-solving model in an ecological perspective, the course prepares students to apply a generalist practice perspective to systems of all sizes and levels. Essential values, concepts, and ethical considerations within a human rights perspective as they pertain to generalist social work practice are explored. Co-requisite: 19:910:508

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  • The second of two foundation practice courses based on a generalist social work perspective, this course uses a problem-solving model for work with Macro (organization and community) systems and considers implications for at-risk groups. Pre-requisite: 19:910:500. Co-requisite: 19:910:509.

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  • Theories, themes, and issues concerning the interaction among individuals—as they grow, change, and develop over the life course—and their social context are reviewed. Theories and assumptions about human behavior and diversity are critically applied to social work contexts. Values and ethical issues related to biopsychosocial development are examined.

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  • History, philosophy, and development of social welfare as an essential institution in the United States. Study of the emergence and role of social work, understanding of patterns of current provision, and introduction to analysis of social welfare policies.

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  • Introduction to scientific, analytic approach to building knowledge and skills, including role of concepts and theory, hypothesis formulation, operationalization, research design, data collection, data processing, statistical analysis, introductory computer skills, and report writing.

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  • 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.

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  • Major forms of emotional distress in adults and children. Classification trends, issues, and models. Introduction to clinical syndromes in terms of diagnostic methodology, research, and social concerns and their implications for at-risk groups.

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  • Practice social work in agency settings under qualified educational supervision. Includes service to vulnerable and oppressed populations while learning generalist skills. Co-requisite: 19:910:500.

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  • Furthers learning of problem-solving skills and strategies begun in Practicum Learning I and prepares students to enter the advanced practicum learning curriculum. Pre-requisite: 19:910:508. Corequisite: 19:910:501.

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  • This course will introduce students to the interpersonal communication skills necessary to engage and assess clients and client systems as they enter practicum learning. Topics covered include understanding the importance of the professional use of self, developing an empathetic relationship, creating a therapeutic alliance, and applying counseling skills while considering the client’s larger social environment. The course will also introduce students to expectations associated with a generalist practicum learning.  This course will use the classroom as an experiential learning lab environment that involves a significant use of classroom exercises, role-plays, written analysis and reflections about these, and client simulations to practice the concepts and skills learned. 

    Course overview:
    This course focuses on the skills needed to engage and assess clients and client systems. Areas of focus include the importance of building a relationship and developing counseling skills, and learning approaches to working effectively with diverse clients and client systems. Experiential learning will include classroom exercises, role-plays, and client simulations. This course meets five (5) times in the fall semester for 2.75 hours per class meeting.

    View syllabus (Blended Program) 

    View syllabus (Traditional MSW)

Specialized Curriculum

The specialized curriculum consists of a specialization in a method of advanced practice, an advanced research course, advanced practicum learning instruction, and electives. Only after successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses and the statistics requirement can students begin the specialized curriculum. Students must select a specialization of either Clinical Social Work or Nonprofit and Public Management.

  • The purpose of this course is to provide the 30-hours of educational training required for certification as a compulsive gambling counselor (CCGC) in New Jersey and as a nationally-certified counselor through International Certification Board of the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington D.C. (ICGC-I). The course provides an overview of the etiology and treatment of problem gambling and gambling disorder across the lifespan as well as instruction on identifying and treating problem gamblers and their families, including those with comorbid conditions and special populations. In addition to the gambling training, the course will feature instruction on a rotating special topic, requested by ACT students. Students will receive concentrated education on differential diagnosis and biopsychosocial assessment in this course.

    View the syllabus here

  • Focuses on advanced social work, clinical and client advocacy skills and techniques at each stage of the helping process, and with difficult practice situations as these apply to individuals, client groups, couples, and family systems. Case examples are drawn particularly from the client populations. Prerequisites: Successful completion of generalist curriculum courses. Corequisite: Must be taken concurrently with Practicum Learning III (19:910:600).

    This is the advanced practice course for students that have selected the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • This course addresses therapeutic work with couples, families and groups. The focus is on the professional use of self in differentiated ways to enhance therapeutic outcomes. Reinforcement of the connections among theory, evidence-based practice, interventions and culturally appropriate and anti-oppressive stances toward social work practice occurs. Prerequisite: 19:910:511. Corequisite: Must be taken concurrently with Practicum Learning IV (19:910:601).

    This is the advanced practice course for students that have selected the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • This course focuses on the etiology, neurobiology, pharmacology, prevalence and policy implications of common addictive behaviors, including involvement with opioids, stimulants, alcohol, sedatives, and hallucinogens, among others, and behavioral (non-substance-based addictions: gambling disorder, internet gaming/internet addiction, sexual disorder and food addiction). Students will learn to evaluate addiction-related policy as well as the pharmacological mechanisms of dependence, components of addiction-related behavioral change, and human behavior- related issues involved in prevention, intervention and evaluation of these addictive behaviors. The course will also examine the impact of age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability on patterns of addiction. Content includes major theoretical perspectives on biological, sociological and psychological bases for addiction and the impetus for addiction recovery and examines the empirical evidence for various perspectives. Students will be introduced to comorbidity and differential diagnosis. This course is required for the ACT Certificate.

    View syllabus here

  • Core theories, elements, and functions of human services management are analyzed with a particular focus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to lead public and private human service agencies in the environment of today and the future successfully. Emphasis on internal management functions, such as budget and finance, human resource administration, applications of information technology, and governance relationships; and on external functions, such as legislative, media, and community relationships. Crosscutting topics enhance skills in leadership, mediation, and conflict resolution. Prerequisites: Successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses. Corequisite: Must be taken concurrently with Practicum Learning III (19:910:600).

    This is the advanced practice course for students that have selected the Management and Policy specialization.

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  • Processes and technologies of strategic planning and program development in human service organizations from problem formulation through program design, resource mobilization, and implementation. Special attention to designing programs and meeting the needs of at-risk populations. Prerequisite: 19:910:535. Corequisite: Must be taken concurrently with Practicum Learning IV (19:910:601).

    This is the advanced practice course for students that have selected the Management and Policy specialization.

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  • This advanced level policy course will examine the broad array of federal, state, and local policies serving older Americans and their families with a particular emphasis on policies and services provided by US health care and financial systems. This course will examine the contemporary foundation of health care and retirement policies and how they may serve older adults as the US experiences a shift in demographic and economic projections. Students will develop critical frameworks for assessing the benefits and costs of health care policies and programs, specifically as they relate to access to care, cost of care, and disparities in care. The financial security of older adults will also be a prominent topic. The delivery of health and financial-oriented social services will be examined in detail, as will the evidence-base of health care and financial services provided to older adults today. The topics will be viewed through a lens that embodies social and economic justice values. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the social work practitioner in enhancing the well-being of older Americans through social policy development, implementation, evaluation, and advocacy.
    • This course is required for students enrolled in the Aging and Health Certificate program, but is also open to all advanced year students.

    This course meets the Advanced Contemporary Policy requirement.

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  • Opportunities provided to become competent in providing advanced social work services and applying theory and concepts to practice in preparation for advanced professional practice.  Corequisite:  To be taken concurrently with 19:910:512 (Clinical Social Work specialization) or 19:910:536 (Management and Policy specialization)

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  • Models of analysis applied to policies affecting adult survivors of physical, sexual, and other forms of interpersonal violence. Addresses understanding of values and socio-political forces that define problems; populations affected; current policies and programs and their impact; service delivery and resource allocation; unmet needs; trends; and analysis of political processes and change strategies. 

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  • This course will engage students in policy practice related to promoting economic and social justice for individuals, families, and communities. Students will explore the values, ideologies, and socio-political forces that promote and fail to promote economic justice in the US. We will focus on policies related to wages, employment, poverty, food and housing insecurity, health, immigration, the criminal justice system, as well as policies related to democracy and representation, which underlie all these policy domains.

    This course is open to ALL advanced year students, including those in any certificate programs.

    This course meets the Advanced Contemporary Policy requirement.

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  • This course focuses on contemporary policy issues related to mental health including social determinants of mental health, treatment and access to care, rights and privacy, systems transformation, and disparities in care are examined in this course. The role of social workers in policy advocacy, the history and evolution of mental health policy, and recent mental health policy proposals are discussed. Students will learn to analyze mental health policy and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. This course is open to ALL advanced year students, including those in any certificate programs.

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  • This course will examine the broad array of state and federal policies for children, youth, and their families, with a particular emphasis on understanding policies and services for populations involved with child-serving systems. The course will also examine the historical foundations of these policies and how they have evolved over time in response to unmet needs. Students will develop critical frameworks for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of these policy interventions and of the delivery of child-oriented social services based on social and behavioral science research evidence and through the lens of multi-culturalism and social justice values. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the social work practitioner in enhancing the well-being of children and youth through social policy development, implementation, evaluation, and advocacy. The course uses a children’s rights lens to examine different child policy topics.

    Topics covered include: child maltreatment and child welfare; youth aging out of foster care; youth involved with behavioral health systems; juvenile justice system; secondary education policies; food insecurity; homeless youth; poverty and two-generation policy programs; and child care.

    This course is required for students enrolled in the Child and Adolescent Well-being Certificate (ChAP) program, but is also open to all advanced year students. In Fall 2020, it will be offered on the New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark campuses. This course meets the Advanced Contemporary Policy requirement.

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  • Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of agency programs and individual practice. Participation in hands-on, small-group research projects to cover all phases of the research process, and use of computer technology. Prerequisites: Successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses.

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  • Opportunities provided to become competent in providing advanced social work services and applying theory and concepts to practice in preparation for advanced professional practice. Prerequisites: Successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses and 19:910:509. Specialization specific. To be taken concurrently with 19:910:511 (Clinical Social Work specialization) or 19:910:535 (Management and Policy specialization). Placement is determined by choice of specialization.

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  • Continued learning experiences in specialized settings in preparation for advanced professional practice. Prerequisites: 19:910:600. To be taken concurrently with 19:910:512 (Clinical Social Work specialization) or 19:910:536 (Management and Policy specialization).

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  • May be used only if a student has a written, official leave of absence granted by the associate dean for student affairs.  Students may not take a leave of absence during the first semester of the program.

  • Building upon the content learned in previous ACT courses, this practice-based course focuses on addiction counseling skills for work with couples, families, and groups, particularly for clients presenting with co-occurring disorders. Students will learn strengths based, evidence-based interventions including crisis intervention and Motivational Interviewing in a group setting. Students will understand how to provide education about the influence of addiction on the family system as well as identify resources available for affected significant others. Students will learn how to educate families on the psychological, biochemical and sociocultural processes that may influence the addiction recovery process.
    Students will learn about cultural and sociological traditions of various families and groups and how age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability can impact recovery from addictive disorders. Students also will examine their own attitudes and beliefs about working with diverse populations. This course is open to all ACT students who have completed the course prerequisites, and it is required for the ACT Certificate. 

    View syllabus here

  • Building upon the content learned in previous required ACT courses, this course focuses on case management skills needed for work with clients with substance use disorders (SUDs), co-occurring disorders, and other psychosocial, health or life issues. Students will learn about coordinated care systems and the importance of treatment teams, including how properly to consult with supervisors, counselors, professionals, and/or other service providers to assure comprehensive, quality care for clients. Students will gain skills in researching, accessing and referring for inter- or intra-agency services. Topics such as HIV and the wide variety of community resources available in New Jersey will be covered, in addition to NJ systems for Families and Children, Disabilities, Mental Health, Employment, and Criminal Justice. As in all the Addictions Counselor Training (ACT) Certificate Program courses, the impact of age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability on recovery from addictive disorders will be infused throughout the course content. This course is open to all ACT students who have completed the course prerequisites, and it is required for the ACT Certificate.

    View syllabus here

  • Building upon the content learned in previous required ACT courses, this course focuses on professional responsibility and development for professionals working with clients dealing with substance use disorders (SUDs) and any co-occurring disorders or life issues. Students
    will learn the ethical standards, as well as the ethical theory that should ground their decisionmaking. Federal, state, and licensing act regulations will be covered, as will the benefits and best practices of clinical supervision, professional networking, and community involvement
    and education. Students will become familiar with core functions and competencies, and the ways in which ongoing education will enhance their professional development. Students will understand purposes of and methods for proper documentation. Students also will identify the personal and professional risks to health and mental health for social workers and addictions counselors, and learn self-care and other strategies to ensure professional effectiveness, utilizing the dimensions of recovery as a lens. As in all the ACT courses, the ethical and legal issues related to age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability, and the ways in which counselors can work toward destigmatizing SUDs, will be infused throughout the course content. Finally, students will participate in practical preparation for licensing, including case presentations, and application completion.

    This course is open to all ACT students who have completed the course prerequisites, and it is required for the ACT Certificate.

    View syllabus here

Electives

Three general elective courses are required to complete the MSW program. Any elective offered through the School of Social Work meets the general elective requirement. Typically, students complete one general elective in the Generalist Curriculum  and two in the Specialized Curriculum.

Students may take general elective courses at any point in the program. Only after successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses and the statistics requirement are students eligible to take advanced electives.  Students should review course descriptions for additional pre- or corequisites for elective courses.

Students are also required to complete a Human Behavior Distribution Requirement and Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement course (see course descriptions or review  "Curriculum at a Glance" for a list of electives that meet these requirements).

Generalist Curriculum Electives

*also meets one of the distribution requirements

  • This course examines aspects of service delivery to Hispanic populations at both the macro and micro levels.  Students will develop knowledge about aspects of Latino culture that are relevant to the development of cultural competency.  They will develop skills in providing evidence-based culturally relevant practices in services to this group.

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  • This course examines ways to improve the financial stability and security of low-income individuals, families, and communities in the United States. Students will learn the difference between income assistance and asset-based policies, which aim to help individuals and families build savings and acquire assets that will improve their financial security over the long-term. Historical patterns of institutionalized racism and oppression largely explain racial wealth disparities that justify asset development as a practice and policy strategy to achieve social and economic justice. This course uses a comprehensive approach to examine 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 social insurance programs, 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.

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  • This course will explore the developmental stage of adolescence (approximately from ages 12–19 years), with a specific focus on how at-risk youth populations navigate the normative tasks associated with this stage. Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • This course is designed to promote critical thinking about children’s mental health services that support the development of effective programs, services and treatment for children’s mental health. It introduces students to the nature and scope of mental health problems for youth in the United States, and examines the mental health delivery system for them, with particular attention to the influential system of care model developed in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. Students will explore clinical and programmatic complexities of engagement and collaboration, service utilization, and treatment interventions, and will investigate the persistent problem of disparities in, and barriers to, mental health care. The course prepares students to better understand and become equipped to fulfill a role as an active participant and leader in the delivery and design of mental health services and treatment for youth with serious emotional problems and their families.

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  • 19:910:533 Special Topics in Social Work Research: The DC Experience - Policy Advocacy in Action; Prerequisite: 19:910:504
    Advocacy on behalf of clients to promote social justice and social change is a core mission of the social work profession. This course combines online and in class instruction with a 3-day trip to Washington, DC to provide students with hands on advocacy experience around a specific population or social problem. Students will learn about the legislative process and the roles of relevant governmental and non-governmental actors, understand the current policy landscape, examine the policy construction of a focal social problem and potential policy reforms, and actively engage in policy advocacy practice by meeting with legislators, lobbyists, and activists to discuss their proposals.

    19:910:533 Special Topics in Social Work Research: Military Culture: Life and Issues
    This course provides an extensive exploration of the world of being a service member and the unique culture and socialization that takes place in this process: the values, norms, language, rank as caste system, military justice, family life and being a “dependent” [wife, husband or child]. The course includes the preparing for the war zone and training to become ready for combat missions for the service member: adjusting to uncertainty, killing others, death, bonding and fighting for each other, and shear tension of being always on alert and aware. Material on potential means for building resiliency prior to facing combat/trauma for service members and deployment for families, including children.

    19:910:533 Special Topics in Social Work Research: Perinatal Death, Dying, and Bereavement
    Pregnancy loss and infant death can be devastating and traumatic events for women and their families, with potentially serious implications for one’s physical and mental health. This course will examine the biopsychosocial aspects of perinatal death (pregnancy and newborn loss) by exploring the impact on women and their families who experience perinatal death, dying and bereavement. This course approaches perinatal death through an interdisciplinary lens by integrating works from the applied health (genetics, medicine, nursing) and behavioral health (psychiatry, psychology, social work) professions, and by drawing from knowledge spanning a variety of disciplines in the social sciences (anthropology, sociology), arts and humanities (history, literature, philosophy/bioethics, women’s studies, theology). Of particular relevance for students in, or planning to enter, the applied professions of health, behavioral health, and theology, the course will also be of interest to any student who wants to learn more about perinatal death, dying and bereavement, and what this means in different perinatal contexts.

    19:910:533 Special Topics in Social Work Research: Social Justice and Public Health
    This course explores the interplay between social and economic disadvantage, and its health consequences. It also examines how health inequalities in society affect social inequalities. Through an understanding of these bidirectional relationships, this course reinforces a unified approach to thinking about the fields of social work and public health. Such an approach is critical for social workers interested in working in health or mental health, and public health professionals interested in working in human service settings.

  • Law in health and human services. Reading, using and finding law. Law in practice in relation to law on the books. Topics include due process, equal protection, discrimination, confidentiality and duty to warn, child abuse, domestic violence, AIDS, sexual harassment, mental health, developmental disabilities, courtroom testimony, malpractice and administrative liability.

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  • Focuses on identifying, developing, and testing community organizing skills. Special attention given to leadership development and community analyses.

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  • 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. Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • 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. Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • This course explores global social work, past and present, and the application of social work to vulnerable groups around the global. Students will learn about different applications of social work and social services delivery systems around the globe. Students will apply social work values, knowledge and skills to address global problems. Student will explore the peer-reviewed literature, grey literature, and databases on international development applied to a selected country and specialized field of practice of the student’s choice. Students will explore their international career goals through the focused exploration of a specific development issue within a country or region of the globe.

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  • This course will address many types of loss that occur across the lifespan and will incorporate a developmental approach to loss and grief. Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • This course provides an overview of Latino peoples in the United States.  It examines concepts and theories that apply to ethnicity, racial and social identity, and acculturation as they apply to the various Hispanic groups in the United States.  It begins with brief histories of the major Hispanic groups and the political and social forces that provided the impetus for their location/relocation here.  It continues with the cultural similarities and differences among the groups.  Also to be discussed, the current social and economic condition of Hispanics and specific problems related to their status in the United States. and implications for social work.  In addition, a model of viewing Hispanic identity will be presented as a basis for social work assessment and intervention. 

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  • 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.      

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  • 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.

    This is a survey course and an elective. There are no prerequisites. The purpose of this course is to provide the attitudes/values, knowledge, and skills as well as theoretical underpinnings to effectively serve LGBTQ individuals, families, and communities.

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  • Prepares the social worker to be an effective practitioner in the field of developmental disabilities and examines the complexity of social issues and how they affect social work practice, including the issue of current legislation and policies.

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  • Practice, theory and research about group dynamics and group work in task groups, psychoeducational groups, support groups, and therapeutic groups are analyzed and applied as part of learning the basics of group work in human services settings. Prerequisite: 19:910:500.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • This course examines the definitions, scope, and impact of violence and abuse in adulthood. The spectrum of theories and conceptual frameworks used to explain violence are explored. In particular, the course focuses on the prevalence, etiology, myths, and dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence, trafficking, and elder abuse. Perspectives on working with both victims/survivors and perpetrators are presented, with an understanding of the role of culture and environmental context. The course includes a review of the conceptual frameworks used to guide current services, interventions, prevention efforts, and policies aimed at remedying and eliminating violence in our society. A special emphasis is placed on the advocacy role of the social worker in creating social change. Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • This course examines the definitions, scope, and impact of violence and abuse in childhood. The spectrum of theories and conceptual frameworks used to explain violence are explored. In particular, the course focuses on the prevalence, etiology, myths, and dynamics of child physical abuse, childhood neglect, child sexual abuse, sibling abuse, and trafficking. Perspectives on working with both victims/survivors and perpetrators are presented, with an understanding of the role of culture and environmental context. The course includes a review of the conceptual frameworks used to guide current services, interventions, prevention efforts, and policies aimed at remedying and eliminating violence against children in our society. A special emphasis is placed on the advocacy role of the social worker in creating social change. Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • 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.

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  • This course focuses on understanding, analyzing, and applying theories of development for infants and children (through middle childhood). The course will use child development theories in application to case studies and child observations with infants and children. Particular consideration will be given to theories of change, culturally responsive practice, and privilege.  Prerequisite: 19:910:502 or 19:910:898 or 19:910:899.

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  • Introduction to working with diverse populations in complex situations. This course is presented in 3 sections: 1) it addresses social work practice in the context of COVID-19; 2) the importance of self-care to prevent vicarious traumatization and preserve students’ wellbeing, and 3) the use of communication technology (e-social work) in providing social work services. The sections are taught in 3 separate 5 week modules creating the single class across the 15 week semester.

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Advanced Electives

*also meets one of the distribution requirements

  • The physical, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of adolescence in today's culture, with focus on advanced direct practice with typical problems of adolescents. Particular attention paid to high-risk groups. Pre- or corequisite: 19:910:511.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Theories and skills of direct clinical practice are applied at an advanced level for individuals, families, and groups in health care settings. Skills of crisis intervention, case management, and professional practice as part of an interdisciplinary team are addressed.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Contemporary interventions with clients who have severe psychiatric disorders and their families, in institutional and community settings. Intervention techniques with the more severe and chronic forms of psychiatric disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR); psychotropic medications; case management; the treatment orientations to care; and special issues in work with children and adolescents. Pre- or corequisite: 19:910:511.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Focuses on children (ages birth to 18), and the ways their development and circumstance as a dependent population affect the well-being of individuals and communities. As children generally reside in families, various family forms and risk statuses will be examined with a focus on anti-oppressive social work practice. Emphasis is on assessment of developmental aspects of child well-being and aspects of family well-being (with a broad and diverse definition of family); identification of risks, strengths, and resiliency factors; and sociological and psychological knowledge of how family and community contexts affect children. Intervention modalities include direct work with children and their families, case management, promotion of resilience, crisis intervention work with community service systems, and the use of the legal system. Pre- or corequisite: 19:910:511.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Advanced practice with family systems, with emphasis on a systems-analytical perspective that includes environing systems, as well as internal dynamics of the family system. Differential use of the major theoretical approaches in family therapy. Emphasis on a social work framework and on such traditional family social work techniques as advocacy, brokerage, and provision of concrete services. Pre- or corequisite: 19:910:511.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Advanced direct practice with children and adolescents, in the context of public school setting, individually, in groups and with their families. Emphasis on the role of the school social worker in a host setting that is bound by governmental statutes and regulations and on relationships with teachers and school administrators, with other members of the professional team, and with community agencies and groups. This course is a direct practice elective course that can be taken after the successful completion of the professional foundation course work. Enrollment in Advance Direct Practice I (19:910:511) is a pre- or co-requisite.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Building upon the content learned in previous ACT courses, this practice-based course focuses on the assessment and diagnosis of common addictive disorders as well as addiction counseling skills with individuals. Students will learn how to develop a therapeutic alliance, starting with the initial interview, conduct a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment, and develop systematic diagnostic summaries that include differential diagnosis and attention to co-occurring disorders. Students will learn how to evaluate a variety of assessment instruments, and to assess the impact of age, race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical and mental ability on recovery from addictive disorders. Students will learn strengths-based, evidence-based interventions including Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral approaches. This course is open to all students who have completed the course prerequisites. It is a required course for those in the Addictions Counselor Training (ACT) Certificate Program.

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  • This course examines social work practice theories and intervention approaches and skills as they apply to practice with childhood and adult survivors of physical, sexual and other forms of abuse and trauma. Particular attention will be made to the use of engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation and follow up on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice. An emphasis will also be placed on diversity and use of social work ethics and values when working with survivors of abuse and trauma. Prerequisite: Successful completion of generalist curriculum courses.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Examines social work practice theories, multidimensional assessment, and intervention approaches and skills as they apply to practice with older adults and their families. Diversity among older people will be emphasized, including discussion of the lifelong integration of personal experiences and client populations that range from well elders to older adults and their families who are facing end-of-life issues. Late-life opportunities, transitions, and challenges will be addressed. Implications for policy that impacts older persons will also be included. Prerequisite: Successful completion of generalist curriculum courses.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Clinical Social Work specialization.

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  • Core theories, dynamics, functions, and ethics of human resource management in nonprofit and public human services organizations are analyzed with particular focus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully recruit, retain, and develop the workforce necessary to achieve the mission of an organization. The substantive areas covered in this course include industry standard human resource policies and procedures in the areas of staff recruitment and selection; developing classification and compensation systems; establishing employee performance standards and conducting performance evaluations; developing and supporting a diverse workforce; employee and organized labor relations; maintaining a safe, discrimination- and harassment-free workplace; training and professional development; and strategic human resource planning. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Management and Policy specialization.

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  • In this course, students will learn to apply this strength-based, brief model of treatment to assist adults, children, couples and families to discover their own resilience and problem solving abilities. Although the focus of this course will be on clinical practice, implications for case management as well as intervening with larger systems, such as agencies and communities will also be addressed.

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  • Opportunities provided to become competent in providing advanced social work services and applying theory and concepts to practice in preparation for advanced professional practice.

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of the professional foundation courses and specialization specific. To be taken concurrently with 19:910:511 (Clinical Social Work specialization) or 19:910:535 (Management and Policy specialization).

    Placement is determined by choice of specialization. Practicum Learning III Practice social work in agency settings under qualified professional educational practicum learning instruction. The advanced practicum learning curriculum provides students with opportunities to gain expertise in an area of specialization, either Clinical Social Work or Management and Policy.

    This is the second level of the graduate practicum curriculum.

    Course Overview: The primary purpose of the Advanced Practicum is to educate students to apply advanced social work services. Students use professional social work practicum learning instruction to advance learning and apply knowledge and social work ethics and values to their practice with clients and communities that enhance social well-being. Place of Course in Program.

    This three credit course is designed to provide the opportunity for the operationalization of advanced year social work skills. This is accomplished in individualized Practicum Learning Placements and these are arranged by the regional Practicum Learning Offices. The below courses are corequisite for Practicum Learning III in either the Clinical Social Work specialization or the Management and Policy specialization. Clinical Social Work Practice I Focuses on advanced social work clinical and client advocacy skills and techniques at each stage of the helping process, and with difficult practice situations as these apply to individuals, client groups, couples, and family systems. Case examples are drawn particularly from the client populations. Prerequisites: Successful completion of professional foundation courses. Corequisite: Must be taken concurrently with Practicum Learning III (19:910:600).This is the advanced practice course for students that have selected the Clinical Social Work concentration.

  • Overview of fiscal responsibilities of social agency executives. The accounting process, financial statements, budgeting, internal controls, audits, tax compliance, and fund accounting. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Management and Policy specialization.

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  • Analysis of supervisory roles in human service organizations. Covers the three functions of supervision - supportive, educational and administrative. Course designed primarily for the first line supervisor but covers concepts and theories applicable to general supervision and management.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Management and Policy specialization.

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  • Introduction to current strategies and procedures for identifying, obtaining, and maintaining a diverse portfolio of social service funding sources; review of methodologies for packaging, marketing, and selling program proposals to social service funders and consumers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the generalist curriculum courses.

    This elective meets the Advanced Practice Distribution Requirement for the Management and Policy specialization.

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