MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM




Introduction

Admissions Requirements

Regular Admission

Provisional Admission

Program of Study

Curriculum

Comprehensive Examination Policy

Degree Requirements

Graduate Faculty




Introduction

The mission of the Master of Social Work program is to advance social and economic justice by preparing students for competent, empowering clinical practice with vulnerable children, adults and families of diverse backgrounds. In its efforts to enhance the dignity and rights of all people, particularly of historically oppressed populations, the MSW Program seeks to partner with diverse individuals, groups and organizations at university, local, state, national and international levels.

The MSW program is designed to prepare students for responsible, professional social work practice with children and families across the lifespan. Coursework prepares students to assume practice and leadership roles and responsibilities in clinical social work practice, public child and family welfare programs, the protection of abused and neglected children, home-based services, foster care, adoption, school-based services, group and residential care settings, child guidance, parent education, family courts, family violence programs, military social work, adult protective services, child and family advocacy, as well as  in major social service systems that include mental health, physical health, and corrections.

Upon graduation, the MSW student will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Readily identify as a social work professional, particularly in multi-disciplinary treatment settings.
  2. Maintain professional roles and boundaries in practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  3. Demonstrate professional leadership in advocating for vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  4. Demonstrate increasing levels of autonomy and proficiency in advanced social work practice.
  5. Apply ethical decision-making skills to issues specific to advanced practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  6. Employ strategies of ethical reasoning in practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults and its impact on client rights.
  7. Critically evaluate the relevance of commonly-utilized assessment tools and practices in terms of their usefulness and appropriateness with vulnerable children, families, and adults from diverse backgrounds.
  8. Research and utilize culturally sensitive and effective services with vulnerable, children, families and adults at all levels of practice.
  9. Work effectively with vulnerable children, families, and adults from diverse populations.
  10. Use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination, and historical trauma on clients and client systems to guide service planning and provision.
  11. Identify agency and legislative policies and procedures that positively and negatively affect the wellbeing of vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  12. Understand the roles and responsibilities of ethical professional leadership to enhance diversity and alleviate racial and ethnic disproportionality in services to vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  13. Use evidence-based practice assessments and interventions with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  14. Participate in the generation of new knowledge and service provision to vulnerable children, families, and adults through research and practice.
  15. Demonstrate the ability to use information, technology, and evidence-based research to evaluate and improve policy, practice, and program effectiveness to vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  16. Synthesize and differentially apply theories of human behavior and the social environment to guide practice with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  17. Use bio-psycho-social-spiritual theories and multi-axial diagnostic classification systems in the formulation of comprehensive assessments.
  18. Articulate and apply theories related to trauma resulting from family conflict, family dissolution, and family or community violence in practice and program development.
  19. Inform and advocate with administrators and legislators to influence policies that affect vulnerable children, families, and adults and the services provided to them.
  20. Communicate to stakeholders the implications of policies and policy change in the lives of vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  21. Use evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence in advocacy for policies that advance social and economic well-being for vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  22. Assess the quality of clients interactions within their social contexts.
  23. Demonstrate leadership in the ability to collaborate with individuals, groups, community-based organizations, and government agencies to advocate for equitable access to culturally sensitive resources and services to vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  24. Develop a culturally responsive professional relationship with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  25. Demonstrate skills in interviewing vulnerable children, families, and adults for assessment, service planning, intervention, evaluation and/or forensic purposes.
  26. Use multidimensional assessment tools effectively.
  27. Select and modify appropriate intervention strategies based on continuous practice assessment.
  28. Critically evaluate, select, and apply best practices and evidence-based interventions.
  29. Demonstrate the use of appropriate intervention methods for a range of presenting concerns identified in the assessment.
  30. Collaborate with other professionals to coordinate appropriate service interventions with vulnerable children, families, and adults.
  31. Contribute to the theoretical knowledge base of the social work profession through practice-based research.
  32. Use practice evaluation of the process and/or outcomes to develop best practice interventions for a range of bio-psycho-social-spiritual conditions impacting vulnerable children, families, and adults.



Admissions Requirements

The MSW Application Packet contains several forms that must be completed before the file may be evaluated by the MSW Admissions Committee including:


  1. An official transcript from each regionally-accredited college or university attended.  The applicants undergraduate education must reflect a sound liberal arts foundation, including at least 21 credits in the humanities, the social sciences, the behavioral sciences, and the biological sciences.  The transcript must show a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale).
  2. Three professional letters of recommendation from persons who can address the applicants ability and potential for successful graduate education and professional social work practice (e.g., former professors, employer, etc.), using the forms provided in the MSW Admissions Packet.
  3. Completion of the Personal Narrative Statement, following the Personal Narrative Statement Outline form included in the MSW Admissions Packet.
  4. A professional resume.  The applicant will submit a current resume that includes her/his complete work history.  The applicant is asked to include a notation to explain any gaps in the work history.
  5. Personal Interview.  In some cases, a personal interview with the MSW Admissions Committee may be required in order to better evaluate the applicants potential for successful advanced social work practice.




Regular Admission


For regular admission, the applicant must meet all the admission requirements of the Graduate Admission Office and the MSW program.




Provisional Admission


Applicants who do not fully meet the requirements for Regular Admission may be considered for Provisional Admission.  The MSW Admissions Committee will evaluate each applicant on an individual basis.  In some instances, the applicant may be required to fulfill prerequisites prior to provisional admission.  An applicant under Provisional Admission is limited to nine semester hours and must achieve a grade of "B" or better in each course attempted.  An applicant who attains less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA will be withdrawn from the MSW Program.  Provisional Admission status will be converted to Regular Admission status when the applicant achieves a "B" or better in each course taken under Provisional Admission status.




Program of Study


The MSW program is designed for non-traditional graduate students, with classroom instruction beginning after 5:15pm in the evening.  The MSW curriculum is guided by the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of our accrediting body, the Council of Social Work Education. Students must successfully complete 64 credit hours in order to receive the MSW degree. The curriculum consists of 32 credit hours in the Foundation Year courses followed by 32 credit hours in the Advanced Practice Year.  Since the MSW program is very structured, all prerequisites must be met and courses must be completed in their correct sequence.  Students who enroll in courses for which they have not met the prerequisites will be dropped from those courses.  Any deviation from the official MSW Degree Plan will result in substantial delays of a year or more, due to the structured sequential nature of the MSW Program.  Students are reminded that all requirements for the MSW degree must be completed within four years of their admission.





Curriculum


The MSW Program consists of 64 credit hours taken in the following order:


Foundation Year


Fall Semester (16 Credits)


SOWK 6020

Achieving Justice in a Diverse World

3 hours

SOWK 6021

Human Behavior and the Social Environment

3 hours

SOWK 6031

Direct Practice Methods

3 hours

SOWK 6011

Social Welfare Policies and Program

3 hours

SOWK 6055

Foundation Field Experience I

3 hours

SOWK 6051

Foundation Field Seminar

1 hour

Spring Semester (16 Credits)


SOWK 6032

Theory & Practice with Families & Groups

3 hours

SOWK 6033

Theory & Practice with Communities & Organizations

3 hours

SOWK 6041

Research in Social Work

3 hours

SOWK 6056

Foundation Field Experience II

3 hours

SOWK 6052

Foundation Field Seminar II

1 hour

SOWK 6__

Social Work Elective

3 hours




Advanced Year


Fall Semester (16 Credits)


SOWK 7021

Family Dynamics Through the Life Cycle

3 hours

SOWK 7041

Evaluation of Practice With Children & Families

3 hours

SOWK 7031

Assessment & Practice with Children and Adolescents

3 hours

SOWK 7055

Advanced Field Experience I

3 hours

SOWK 7051

Advanced Field Seminar I

1 hour

SOWK 7__

Social Work Elective

3 hours

Spring Semester (16 Credits)


SOWK 7032

Assessment & Practice with Families

3 hours

SOWK 7033

Assessment & Practice with Vulnerable Adults

3 hours

SOWK 7011

Legal & Ethical Issues in Child and Family Policy

3 hours

SOWK 7056

Advanced Field Experience II

3 hours

SOWK 7052

Advanced Field Seminar II

1 hour

SOWK 7__

Social Work Elective

3 hours




Comprehensive Examination Policy


A comprehensive examination is required of all MSW students.  The examination is designed to test the ability of the student to demonstrate competencies in social work theory, practice, policy, and research.  The examination is given in the Spring semester of the Advanced Practice year.




Degree Requirements


In order to graduate from the MSW Program,, the graduate student must:

  1. Earn a grade of "B" or better on all graduate work attempted, including transfer credits approved in advance of enrollment.
  2. Have no incomplete grades.
  3. Successfully passed the written MSW Comprehensive Examination.
  4. Complete all requirements for the MSW degree within four years from the date of first enrollment.




Graduate Faculty