Courses and Master Syllabi
The following is a list of all the courses offered in our Master of Social Work program.
The Graduate School of Social Service reserves the right to withdraw or modify any of the courses or programs listed herein, or to cancel any course or program for which it deems the registration insufficient or to make any change considered necessary or desirable.
A complete syllabus for courses offered during this academic year can be found on the M.S.W. Master Syllabi page.
Foundation Phase Curriculum
SWGS 6006 — Social Policy I: Policy and the Profession
The first of two required courses covering the content of social welfare policies and services, this course introduces students to the ways American society has provided for human needs and addressed social problems through the social welfare institution, and to the underlying values, assumptions and philosophical perspectives that explain the development of this country’s social welfare system. The major forms of social provision are addressed in an historical framework that traces their development, expansion, contraction, reorganization and (at times) their elimination. Special attention is given to how economic, political and social forces lead to differential policies and provisions with racial, class and gender dimensions, as well as to inequities, and social and economic injustices. The role of the social work profession in influencing social welfare is emphasized.
SWGS 6007 — Social Policy II: Analysis, Advocacy and Practice
This is the second of two required courses covering content on social welfare policies and services. Building on the first course, this course introduces the knowledge, skills and strategies necessary to examine the impact of specific social policies on clients, agencies, service delivery and practice, and to influence these policies as participants in the major arenas where policy is analyzed, formulated, implemented and changed. This course is offered with a broad focus upon diverse fields of practice or, alternatively with a focus on a specific practice area. Prerequisite: SWGS 6006. This Foundation-level course is usually taken while the student is in the Advanced phase of the program.
SWGS 6050— Human Rights and Social Justice
This course is an introduction to the human rights and social justice perspectives and how they intersect with social work values, ethics, and practice in local and global contexts. Students will learn a practice framework that integrates a human rights perspective, which promotes the dignity, respect, and well-being of all persons with a social justice perspective which seeks to understand, challenge, and combat oppression, unequal access to resources, and social inequities. Students engage in critical self-awareness and apply an integrated practice framework for use with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities that advance human rights and social and economic justice.
SWGS 6208 — Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
This is the first of a two-semester course sequence. The course presents content from the behavioral sciences and related professional literature regarding those theoretical constructs and insights most relevant for social work practice. It uses an ecosystems perspective to coordinate and synthesize a broad range of knowledge pertinent to practice concerning the transactional and interactional aspects of large and small systems.
SWGS 6209 — Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
The second semester course in the Human Behavior and Social Environment sequence discusses human development over the life course. Similarities and variations in personal and social functioning; in social, cultural and physical environments; in complex organizations and social institutions. All are examined for insights concerning the interplay between people and their environment. This focus includes biological, psychological and sociocultural factors and how the environment affects individual development. Prerequisite: SWGS 6208.
SWGS 6321 — Generalist Practice I with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities
This is the first of a two-course sequence that covers generalist practice skills and content essential to the helping process with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Initially, basic communication and interviewing skills essential to the helping relationship within all system sizes are introduced and practiced. Following this basic skill introduction, students learn the tasks and skills required in the beginning phase of practice, including preparation, engagement, first interview skills and case documentation. Students then learn the process of collecting and organizing data from individuals, organizations and communities using a strengths perspective. Concurrent with field instruction required; students in the Experienced and Employed Social Service Practitioners (EESSP) Plan are exempt from the concurrent field instruction, but must be enrolled in the field practicum laboratory course (SWGS 6907).
SWGS 6322 — Generalist Practice II with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities
This course continues to build skills of generalist practice with individuals, families, groups and organizations. It begins by examining the common structure of social work practice that includes the engagement, assessment, interventions and evaluation phase with multi-level practice (individual, family, group, organization, community). In this course, the skills and intervention roles relevant to the middle and end phases of intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities will be discussed in greater detail. Prerequisite 6321. Concurrent field instruction required; students in the Experienced and Employed Social Service Practitioners (EESSP) Plan are exempt from the concurrent field instruction, but must be enrolled in the field practicum laboratory course (SWGS 6907).
SWGS 6801 — Social Work Practice in Research I
This is the first of atwo-course sequence that culminates in the completion of a research project and presentation of a research report. This course introduces students to social work research and focuses on various phases of the scientific method from the preparation of a research question developed by the class to the point of data collection.
SWGS 6802 — Social Work Practice in Research II
In this second course in the foundation research sequence, students implement the proposed class research projects. The course includes content on data collection and analysis, how to interpret the theoretical and practical meaning of findings for social work practice, and how to report on and present data. Basic computer skills and statistical concepts (SPSS) are presented through hands-on training in the computer laboratory. Prerequisite: SWGS 6801.
SWGS 6901 — Field Work I (Yearlong)
Actual practice with a limited workload under close supervision designed to assist the student in applying theory to practice and to enable the student to master fundamentals of generalist practice. Includes 10 two-hour seminar sessions. Fourteen hours per week from September through July; 21 hours per week from September through May.
SWGS 6907 — Field Practicum Laboratory Course for Students in the Experienced and Employed Social Service Practitioners (EESSP) Plan of Study
This required laboratory course for students who enter as experienced employees in the social services complements the Generalist Practice I and II with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities. The focus is on the integration of classroom learning with practice. Assignments are closely related to issues covered in these practice classes. Class participation, process recording, presentations, role-playing and focused journal writing are important tools in the course. Upon satisfactorily completing this course, students will receive three credits and will be eligible for SWGS 6908, Combined Field Work in the following academic year.
Clinical Practice Concentration
SWGS 6413 — Clinical Social Work Practice I
This course deepens the knowledge base of generalist practice, emphasizing advanced practice, especially the beginning stages of the clinical process, with vulnerable populations across the life cycle. Initial engagement, assessment and treatment planning with individuals and families are highlighted. The course is framed by a practice orientation that attends to human rights and social justice.
SWGS 6415 — Seminar in Clinical Social Work Practice
This required course assists students in integrating the knowledge gained in the required clinical practice courses and in field instruction. By developing and presenting an internship case, students demonstrate their ability to integrate theory and practice. Prerequisite: SWGS 6413; concurrent SWGS 6414 and field practice are required.
SWGS 6421 — Clinical Social Work Practice II with Children, Youth and Families
This course uses a developmental framework within a dynamic ecosystems perspective as a foundation for advanced clinical practice. Attachment theory anchors assessment and intervention with preschoolers and their families; theories and models of play therapy and social competency are examined as ways to promote social and emotional mental health for school-aged children. This course addresses the impact of trauma on children, youth and families. Intervention with adolescents focuses on individual as well as family system intervention, group practice in school and residential contexts, and community-based multi-system models. The role of prevention, early intervention, and trauma treatment are explored in relation to children, youth and their families. Prerequisites 6321, 6322. Concurrent with field instruction required.
SWGS 6420 — Clinical Social Work Practice II with Adults and Families
This course expands and develops the knowledge base of Clinical Practice I, emphasizing advanced clinical practice with groups, clinical interventions with adults across the life cycle, practice monitoring and evaluation, and endings and follow-up in clinical practice. This course builds on the theoretical and conceptual frameworks covered in Clinical Practice II by helping students to understand and apply clinical strategies and practice models that emerge from those frameworks, are guided by client needs, and are informed by empirical and research evidence. Prerequisites 6321, 6322. and 6421. Concurrent with field instruction required.
SWGS 6430 — Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis I
This course focuses on a biopsychosocial understanding of mental well-being and mental illness from human rights and social justice perspectives. It gives special attention to the social work view in relation to the person-in-environment and other classification systems available to the practitioner. Prerequisites: 6321, 6322.
SWGS 6431 — Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis II
This course continues the work of biopsychosocial assessment from a social-work value base that was presented in Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis I. The course presents the skills and knowledge for the differential assessment of people across the life span, emphasizing the importance of recognizing both strengths and vulnerabilities at all ages and in all areas of functioning. Prerequisites: 6321, 6322, 6430.
SWGS 6902 — Field Work II (Yearlong)
Actual practice with a limited workload under close supervision designed to assist students in applying theory to practice and to enable students to adapt fundamentals of practice to a particular concentrationand field. Includes 10 two-hour seminar sessions. Prerequisite: SWGS 6901; Advanced Standing students are exempt from this prerequisite. Fourteen hours per week from September through July; 21 hours per week from September through May.
SWGS 6908 — Combined Field Work (Yearlong)
Open only to students admitted to the Experienced and Employed Social Service Practitioners (EESSP) Plan, this course combines a review of fundamentals of practice with a focus on applying fundamentals in a particular concentration and field of practice. Students are in placement 28 hours per week from September through May, and are required to attend 10 two-hour seminar sessions during the workday or inthe evening. Prerequisite: SWGS 6907.
Students who are registering for Clinical electives must have completed the full Foundation level of the program or have the permission of the area chairperson to enroll in the course.
SWGS 6028 — Child Abuse and Family Violence
This course focuses on intervention with abused children and battered women from an ecological perspective. It highlights the need for trauma-specific interventions with individuals and families, as well as system-wide advocacy with social and cultural institutions that contribute to the continuation of abuse within family relationships.
SWGS 6030 — Death and Dying
This course examines the experience of death as encountered by social workers in clinical practice. The focus is on providing a theoretical base for understanding the psychosocial aspects of loss, death and bereavement across the life cycle. Additional emphases include strategies, techniques and goals of interventions in clinical work with the bereaved.
SWGS 6104 — Spirituality and Social Work Practice
This course will explore a number of holistic concepts under the definition of “spirituality.” The many ways spirituality can be used in a variety of social work practice settings will be the main theme. A range of methods of spiritual practice and approaches to healing will be taught.
SWGS 6109 — Meeting the Challenges of Poverty: Capacity Building with Faith Communities
This course will introduce students to capacity building with the faith community on behalf of the poor. The stage will be set to consider the role of social work and faith communities through review of poverty in the U.S., the incumbent challenges the poor experience, and the role that different faith traditions have based on their belief in social justice as a lived mission. Specific methods for capacity building will include asset-based community development, use of a strengths perspective, empowerment practice and building sanctuary and understanding social work traditions of community development, advocacy and community-based clinical practice. Students will be introduced to faith capacity building initiatives in New York City, for example: housing collaboratives, congregational organizing, alternatives to incarceration – creating refuge and sanctuary, mentoring programs for the formerly homeless, and emergency food services. This is a transverse elective.
SWGS 6403 — Family-Oriented Treatment
This course provides an introductory overview of major themes of family intervention. The approach is eclectic and integrates theory and practice. The styles of Ackerman, Satir, Minuchin, Bowen and others are emphasized.
SWGS 6404 — Crisis Intervention and Trauma Treatment
This course emphasizes the theoretical base that guides crisis intervention and trauma treatment with individuals, families and groups across the life cycle. Case materials illustrate the assessment and resolution of crisis and trauma in a variety of contexts.
SWGS 6408 — Social Work with Children
The focus of this course is on the application of theories, concepts and principles in the direct treatment of children. A developmental and systemic perspective serves as the framework for assessing the child in the context of family and environment. A range of interventive modalities is presented, including individual, family and group treatment, as well as interdisciplinary collaboration and psychoeducational approaches.
SWGS 6409 — Practice with Older People and Their Families
This course focuses on direct practice with older people and their families. The course examines the social context of aging, the aging process, associated changes and the effects on older people and their families. Emphasis is on the nature of support systems and the social work role in maintaining and enhancing older people’s functioning and well-being. The role of caregivers, when elders are limited in their capacity to function independently, is examined.
SWGS 6417 — Practice with Abusers of Alcohol and Other Substances
This course examines the diagnostic and treatment implications for social work practice with alcoholics and those dependent on other drugs. Addictions are viewed from a bio-socio-psychological perspective. The diversified roles of the social worker are emphasized.
SWGS 6418 — Social Work Practice in Schools
This course focuses on the knowledge, values and skills appropriate for social work practice within the school setting. Understanding of the school context and its politics is highlighted. Special attention is given to working with students, teachers, parents and administrators as well as on interfacing with the community. Emphasis is placed on the tasks of social assessment for educational planning, the formulation of goals and objectives, record keeping, accessing school resources and external referrals. Theoretical approaches include problem solving, crisis and role theory, play therapy, brief treatment and group treatment.
SWGS 6422 — Individual-Oriented Treatment
This course provides an overview of the principles, premises and practices of a selected sample of current theories and methods of intensive individual treatment. Examining and comparing the clinical dimensions of history-taking, diagnosis, symptomatology, time and relationship, it focuses on critical appraisal of commonalities and differences across theories with a view toward developing an integrated approach to direct social work treatment of individuals.
SWGS 6424 — Women’s Issues in Social Work Practice
This course explores the evolving theory of women’s psychological development with an emphasis on the implications for social work intervention. Through an examination of the impact of gender throughout the life cycle, the course seeks to increase understanding of gender-related premises underlying professional social work practice and the issues women clients present.
SWGS 6426 — Cognitive and Behavioral Brief Treatment with Children and Adults
This course focuses on the theory and practice of cognitive behavioral social work. Several common problems of children, adolescents and adults are examined, including aggression, depression and anxiety disorders. Techniques that effectively treat these problems such as cognitive reframing, behavior modification, assertiveness training, stress management, the use of homework and bibliotherapy and the evaluation of practice will be introduced.
SWGS 6427 — Brief Treatment: Current Models
This course provides an overview of the theory, premises, practice principles, method and techniques used in the major current brief treatment models. It examines these elements, the models from which they are drawn, and the client populations and problems best served by a brief approach. The efficacy of these different approaches is also examined.
SWGS 6428 — Social Work Practice with Adolescents
Adolescence is explored within a developmental context in this course. The importance of maturational norms, family dynamics, class and cultural factors and peer group influence are examined. Particular attention is paid to adolescents at psychosocial risk and to the development of assessment and intervention skills with the adolescent client.
SWGS 6429 — Methods of Group Intervention
This course focuses on group practice as an integral part of social work intervention. It includes theories and methods of work with groups for prevention and treatment, and the use of groups in staff and team relationships. Theory and practice are integrated through an eclectic approach. Teaching is augmented by group exercises.
SWGS 6433 — Relational Practice with Children, Adolescents and Adults
This course will emphasize the application of relational theories — attachment theory, ego psychology, object relations theory, self psychology and women’s relational theory — to social work practice. Risk and protective factors in child development will also be considered. Case materials of children, adolescents and adults will be discussed.
SWGS 6434 — Evidence Based Mental Health Practice
This course is aimed at developing the knowledge and skills necessary for working with individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness using recovery-oriented, evidence-based practices. Students will become familiar with evidence-based practices, within a recovery-oriented paradigm, as a general approach to practice as well as specific evidence-based interventions to use for individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness. It is assumed that students will have a basic knowledge of serious mental illness as a pre- or co-requisite, however, a review will be provided. Students will learn to examine research literature to determine the various levels of support for specific interventions and essential principles for translating research into practice. In addition, they will identify the appropriate treatment outcomes that reflect effective, quality mental health practice. Each evidence-based practice presented will also be examined for its utility with diverse groups. Providing assessment and treatment to a diverse group of individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness is the focus of this course and will be discussed in detail. This is a clinical elective and there is a prerequisite – SWGS 6430 Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis.
SWGS 6435 — Spirituality and Clinical Practice
This course will explore the concept of spirituality as it broadly relates to professional assessment and treatment. A number of holistic concepts under the definition of spirituality will be presented, with the overarching recognition of the need to include spirituality in a bio-psycho-social perspective. The course will focus on assessment and culturally and spiritually sensitive interventions with clients who may be dealing with a range of issues, including trauma, loss, guilt, bereavement, etc. Course participants will also explore ethical considerations in employing spiritual strategies. Throughout this course, participants will be challenged to identify the link between ongoing clinical research into the construct of spirituality and how this may inform practice.
SWGS 6436 — Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents
This course will introduce students to the common concepts underlying evidence-based treatment for traumatized children and adolescents, using a case analysis format. 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. domestic violence) and other traumatic events. 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.
SWGS 6437 — Social Work Practice with Hispanic/Latino(a)s
The purpose of this course is to prepare social work students to understand culturally competent practice and socially just services to members of the Latino population in the US. These problems might include oppression, discrimination, adjustment, cultural shock, religion, immigration, language, survival, legal and working issues that social workers need to be aware of in order to increase the effectiveness of their practice. The course aims to provide students with an opportunity to deepen their clinical practice knowledge, skills and values with these populations.
SWGS 6438 — Social Work Practice with LGBT Individuals
This lifespan based course examines issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and the implications for social work practice. Based upon an understanding of the ways in which heterosexism and homophobia are embedded in the social milieu, students will identify strategies for serving these populations. Topics will include the nature of sexual orientation, LGBT identity formation, transgender identity, as well as family and relationship configurations. The course will focus on the mental and physical healthcare needs of LGBT people.
SWGS 6439 — Evidence Based Mental Health Practice with Children and Families
The course will provide an introduction to definitions and competencies connected with Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and an overview of the history, theoretical foundations, and implementation of several nationally (and internationally) acclaimed evidence-based family treatment models. Over the course of the semester, students will receive didactic training in the theory and practice of these treatment models, and hands-on training utilized within the models. Didactic presentation and discussions will be supplemented by case presentations by providers of the models and by testimonials from families who have received in-home services. Students completing the course will be able to distinguish between the different models, and have an understanding of the shared core competencies for home-based family therapists, as well as an understanding of evidenced-based practice.
Leadership and Macro Practice Concentration
There are two ways to pursue the Leadership and Macro Practice Concentration:
The first, Social Work Management, referred to as Focus A, allows students to focus on the knowledge and skills needed to administer and manage agencies, programs or projects. Students are prepared to assume administration positions at all levels, as supervisors, program or project managers, or executive directors.
The second, Client-Centered Practice and Management, Focus B, prepares students to work directly with and on behalf of client populations while at the same time performing management roles and tasks to ensure that organizations and communities respond to client needs, although they may not hold formal administration positions.
Required Courses — Focus A (Human Service Leadership)
SWGS 6009 — Social Policy Analysis for Macro Practitioners
This course focuses on significant management areas including strategic planning, designing and restructuring organizations; managing finances; managing a diverse and multicultural workplace; evaluating programs, performance and agencies; and managing the environment. Cases are used to examine the theories and skills that provide a framework for management practice. Prerequisite SWGS 6617.
SWGS 6625 — Philanthropy and Resource Development
This course introduces the key knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage human service programs, units or agencies. Content focuses upon the generic requirements of managers, regardless of organizational role, function, position or setting. Different perspectives are used to examine the manager’s job in human service organizations. Special attention is given to becoming a manager, possible obstacles to effective management and issues around leadership, motivation, gender, ethnicity and race. Prerequisite: SWGS 6319, 6321, 6322.
Required Courses — Focus B (Community-based Practice and Leadership)
SWGS 6420 — Clinical Practice II with Adults and Families
SWGS 6421 — Clinical Practice II with Children, Youth and Families
SWGS 6627 — Leadership and Macro Practice I
The first of a two-semester course sequence in the management of direct service agencies, this course broadens and deepens the knowledge base of macro generalist practice, introduces the concept of client-centered management, and focuses on the management roles of social workers engaged in practice with clients. It focuses on knowledge and skills in relation to the planning, design, and administration of community-based programs, and in working with communities and organizations to insure quality services are available and accessible especially to populations-at-risk. Prerequisite: SWGS 6319, 6321, 6322; concurrent field practice is required.
SWGS 6628 — Leadership and Macro Practice II
This is the second of a two-course sequence in advanced management. It expands upon managerial roles and skills for improving or changing programs and service delivery. Special attention is given to inter-agency collaboration, enhancing community capacity, and managing programs and agencies faced with challenges related to funding, staffing, competing values and changing environments. Prerequisite: SWGS 6620; concurrent field practice is required.
SWGS 6413 — Clinical Social Work Practice I
The first of a two-course sequence in advanced clinical social work practice, this course expands and deepens the knowledge base of generalist practice, emphasizing advanced assessment with clients across the life cycle, and evaluation of practice. Treatment planning with individuals, families and groups are all explored. Special attention is given to the assessment of trauma. Prerequisite: SWGS 6319, 6321, 6322; concurrent field practice is required.
Required Courses—Focus A and Focus B
SWGS 6902 — Field Work II (Yearlong)
Actual practice with a limited workload under close supervision designed to assist students in applying theory to practice and enable students to adapt fundamentals of practice to a particular concentration and field. Includes 10 two-hour seminar sessions. Prerequisite: SWGS 6901; Advanced Standing students are exempt from this prerequisite. Fourteen hours per week from September through July; 21 hours per week from September through May.
SWGS 6908 — Combined Field Work (Yearlong)
SWGS 6412 — Practice in the Workplace
The focus of this course is on the individual as worker, the environment as defined by employing organizations, work itself, and social policy as it relates to the world of work. Special attention is given to: professional roles and ethical issues; models of service delivery like EAPs; opportunities and challenges in practice in workplace settings; and issues such as managing work and family, work transitions, diversity in the workplace, creating supportive work environments and organizational cultures and climate.
SWGS 6605 — Community Organization and Community Capacity Building
This course provides a history of community organizing, especially in the context of the social work profession and as a way of meeting the needs of vulnerable and at-risk populations and communities. Focus is on the various community organizing models and the array of roles and functions of community organizers. Emphasis is on practice strategies and tactics for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating community organizing projects and campaigns.
SWGS 6615 — Supervision and Staff Development
This course examines supervision and staff development as management functions in diverse agency settings and within the context of social work values and ethics. The philosophy, functions, principles and methods of supervision as well as staff development and training are covered. Emphasis is given to the knowledge and skills required to motivate and retain an effective and multicultural workforce, and to effectively supervise varying levels of staff (volunteers, nonprofessionals, professionals) during turbulent times.
SWGS 6616 — Program and Proposal Development
Students learn, step-by-step, to develop and prepare proposals, design programs, seek foundation funding and respond to grant requests. Attention is given to what makes programs and proposals effective and would enhance the likelihood of funding. Emphasis is on how program proposals relate to both organizational mission and funding interests and offer opportunities to serve unders-erved, neglected, vulnerable and at-risk populations.
SWGS 6624 — International Social Development and Capacity Building in a Global Context
This course aims to expand students’ understanding of the global context and to equip students to work with diverse communities locally or internationally. International social development increasingly becomes the core component of change, hence the essence of social work as a profession with international coherence and global reach. As small communities everywhere are part of a larger machinery affecting the social and economic tapestry of the world, it is crucial for social work professionals to gain a better understanding of significant global issues, and to be prepared to engage in global social development, as agents of change. The course will focus on enhancing students’ skills in the areas of community building; community needs assessment and capacity mapping; community organizing; stakeholder analysis; and advocacy. The course is designed around the following themes: (1) international social development and social work – theoretical perspectives and the roles of a social worker in the global context; (2) globalization, global issues and the consequences of these issues for communities and their residents from an international perspective; (3) human rights and the implications of choosing to become an agent of change from a human rights’ perspective; and (4) international social development – current approaches; best practices and future trends. This is an administrative elective.
SWGS 6705 — Comparative International Social Welfare
This course explores the similarities and differences among helping systems in the United States and other societies. This includes consideration of historical, economic, political and social forces which influence the nature and functioning of those systems. Other topics covered include social development and the globalization of social problems.
Research Practice Concentration
SWGS 6812 — Advanced Research I
This is the first of a two-semester course in advanced research in which students plan, develop, and conduct a research project of their own submitted as a master's thesis. The course focuses in the first semester on: 1) definition of a researchable problem; 2) techniques of conducting and writing a literature review, 3) formulating a study design, sampling plan and methods of data collection; 4) understanding measurement concepts, instrument construction and scaling methods.
SWGS 6813 — Advanced Research II
This is the second of a two-semester course in advanced research in which students plan, develop, and conduct a research project of their own submitted as a master's thesis. The course focuses in the second semester on: 1) data collection; 2) data management; 3) data analysis; and 4) written and oral reporting of findings. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of the validity of study findings and the role that research findings can play in the aiding social workers and social service agencies in their efforts to advance human rights and social justice. Prerequisite: SWGS 6812.
SWGS 6902 — Field Work II (Yearlong)
Actual practice with a limited workload under close supervision designed to assist students in applying theory to practice and to enable students to adapt fundamentals of practice to a particular concentration and field. Includes 10 two-hour seminar sessions. Prerequisite: SWGS 6901; Advanced Standing students are exempt from this prerequisite. Fourteen hours per week from September through July; 21 hours per week from September through May.
SWGS 6908 — Combined Field Work (Yearlong)
Open only to students admitted to the Employed Social Worker plan, this course combines a review of fundamentals of practice with a focus on applying fundamentals in a particular concentration and field of practice. Students are in placement 28 hours per week from September through May, and are required to attend 10 two-hour seminar sessions during the workday or in the evening. Prerequisite: SWGS 6907
SWGS 6806 — Program Evaluation
The use of evaluative research in social welfare planning, program development and theory building is examined. Recent evaluations of social work practice, including interventions on a social policy, neighborhood, family and individual level, are reviewed. Traditional research designs are considered, but emphasis is placed on emerging models of evaluation. Course is appropriate for students preparing for direct service practice.
Note: Research students, with approval from the director of the doctoral program, may enroll in the SWGS 7000 course series listed in the Ph.D. Courses page.
SWGS 7001 — Statistics I
SWGS 7002 — Statistics II
SWGS 7003 — Qualitative Research
SWGS 6616 — Program and Proposal Development
Students learn, step-by-step, to develop and prepare proposals, design programs, seek foundation funding and respond to grant requests. Attention is given to what makes programs and proposals effective and would enhance the likelihood of funding. Emphasis is on how program proposals relate to both organizational mission and funding interests and offer opportunities to serve under-served, neglected, vulnerable and at-risk populations.
SWGS 6008 —Social Work and the Law
The legal foundations for social welfare policies and programs are examined, including the history and development of the rule of the law, civil liberties and civil rights, sources of different systems of law, due process and legal institutions. Special attention is given to professional relations between lawyers and social workers, their differing values and ethical systems and on preparing social workers to practice in and with the courts.
SWGS 6014 — Women, Work and Poverty
This transverse elective course focuses on low income and working class women in the United States taking an interdisciplinary perspective on issues of race, class and gender, and striving to understand their effects on women's quality of life and opportunities for advancement. More specifically, theory and empirical research are harnessed to examine the causes of women's poverty and economic dependence, women's experiences in the family and the workplace, and the impact of public policy on women. Various strategies for social change are critically analyzed as vehicles for achieving economic justice and parity for women.
SWGS 6017 — Empowerment Practice with Immigrants and Refugees
Empowerment Practice with Immigrants and Refugees is an advanced lecture-seminar course that focuses on critical approaches to practice with/in immigrants and refugees. This course builds on HBSE, social policy, research, and micro and macro practice content in the Foundation Curriculum. This course focuses on: 1) introduction of post-colonial perspective and theoretical representations of immigrant and refugee communities, 2) critical examination of the principles of empowerment practice and understanding of trauma and recovery, 3) effects of displacement and transnational migration on immigrant and refugee individuals and their communities; and 4) social service provision strategies pertaining to working with/in immigrant and refugee communities.
This course examines principles of case management, models of service delivery, clinical issues in case management and the range of service delivery systems. Special attention is given to the diverse populations using case management (e.g., persons with HIV/AIDS, mental illness or frailty). The advocacy role of the social worker in case management is emphasized, as is the range of social work practice activities used in case management.
SWGS 6036 — Social Work Practice with Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families
This course, open to all advanced year social work students, explores the role of social work within the military in meeting the needs of active duty soldiers, veterans and their families. The course begins with an exploration of social work practice within the military from a historical perspective. The changing demographic makeup of the military and the implications for social work practice are also a part of this exploration. Issues related to the development of cultural competence and cultural sensitivity when working with the military are also explored. The course then focuses on developing an evidence-based understanding of the current social service, mental health, and health needs of active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families and the intervention methods being used to respond to these needs. While the needs of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are emphasized, the similar and different needs of veterans from previous conflicts are also considered. The challenges being faced by social workers in meeting the needs of military women, single parents, gay and lesbian soldiers and immigrant soldiers and their family members are also explored. Students analyze and critique current methods of intervention at all levels of practice and consider ways that the social work profession could further contribute to meeting the needs of active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families.
SWGS 6103 — Social Work and HIV/AIDS
This course focuses on the impact of HIV and AIDS upon individuals, families and communities. A knowledge base from social work, social sciences, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, law and public policy is used to explore policy and practice implications. Advocacy and case management interventions are stressed.
SWGS 6106 — Domestic Violence: Social Work and Law
This course, open to both social work and law students, explores the roles of social work and law in the field of domestic violence. The course is based on the premise that increased interdisciplinary understanding will lead to more effective intervention for both victims and perpetrators. Jointly taught by a social work professor and a law professor, the course provides students with both an historical and a contemporary perspective on the social and legal response to domestic violence. An understanding of the practice skills required in the performance of social worker and lawyer roles is emphasized. Specifically, students explore roles in detection, crisis intervention, assessment and intervention. Prerequisite: Completion of the Foundation requirements.
SWGS 6108 — Sexuality and Social Work
This course presents an integrated approach to understanding human sexuality and the range of human sexual expression using the ecosystems and strengths perspectives. Students will learn to assess and to explore sexual issues that social workers frequently encounter in organizational practice settings and develop an overview of the social worker’s professional role in helping clients with sex-related concerns. Models of practice applicable to individuals, couples, and families will be considered as well as practice models aimed at meeting organizational and community needs. Current and historical research will be examined to understand the context and development of diverse treatment models. Sexuality as it relates to LGBT populations, race and ethnicity, and cultural diversity are integrated within the course content. This course emphasizes the social worker’s ethical responsibility to clients within diverse social work practice settings to promote the highest practice standards. This is a transverse electives.
SWGS 6110 — Forensic Social Work Practice
The course, Forensic Social Work Practice, prepares social workers to practice at the intersection of social work, public health, and the legal system in order to tackle contemporary social problems, such as health disparities and mass incarceration. Many forensic populations, such as racial and ethnic minorities, at-risk youth, the elderly, veterans, immigrants, LGBTQ persons, persons with disabilities, or those living in poverty or communities of violence often lack access to quality services and political, civil, social, economic, and cultural justice. Course participants learn and apply a human rights legal framework and social justice and empowerment theories to guide multi-level prevention, assessment, and interventions with historically under-served individuals, families, and communities. After completing the course, participants will increase their knowledge, values, and skills for collaborative empowerment practice with forensic populations in diverse practice settings, such as healthcare, social service, and legal settings, including protective services, the courts, and corrections.
Course participants also are exposed to innovative practice, research and advocacy solutions that address the psychosocial determinants of health, well-being, and legal/justice involvement. Promising and best practices covered include clinical, community, and policy responses to interpersonal and structural violence across the lifespan (‘offenders’ and/or ‘victims’); eliminating mass incarceration, inter-professional collaboration; care transitions, criminal, family, juvenile, forensic clinical assessment, treatment, and research and evaluation, collaborative leadership and advocacy, restorative justice interventions; the use of the expressive arts and spirituality for rehabilitation; specialty courts; child, adolescent, adult, and elder welfare; end of life issues; forensic mental health and substance abuse interventions in correctional or community settings; custody vs. care ethical decision-making, risk management for service providers, human rights education and advocacy campaigns. The course also offers unique opportunities action projects and to participate in field visits to innovative local and global organizations that advance human rights and caring justice.
SWGS 6904 — International Practicum
This course is designed for students who have completed their Foundation courses and who wish to supplement these courses and the practicum with an international experience. The emphasis is on the continued integration into practice of what has been learned in the foundation year, within different institutional and cultural contexts. This will be accomplished through supervised practice, formal and experiential learning activities, small-group interaction in seminars intended for students only, as well as those for local students and professionals. The learning experience is enriched by day-to-day immersion in an international living and working environment. Upon successful completion of this intensive three-month course, students will earn six credits, the equivalent of two elective courses. This course will not substitute for any of the mandatory field placement hours.