Social Work Courses

Code Course Name Description Credits
HSA 402 Death and Dying Introduces thanatology, the study of dying and death, from a psychological and sociological perspective. Considers American attitudes toward death with particular emphasis on the development of the hospice movement as an aspect of the health care system in America. 3
HSA 425 Children's Rights and Societal Responses Analyzes policies and services designed to meet a range of needs and problems experienced by children and their families. Specific areas of analysis include child abuse and neglect, juvenile justice, homelessness, foster care, adoptions, institutional vis-a-vis, community strategies in response to particular problems, impacts of prejudice - discrimination on minority groups, children and families, advocacy, and social change. 3
HSA 430 Aging: Issues and Perspectives Examines the biological, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of aging. Analyzes roles and relationships of older persons and systems that make up their environment (e.g., family, friends, neighborhood, etc.). The contemporary continuum of care in the context of a strengths-based approach is explored. The course also focuses on ageism, stereotyping, advocacy, and social policy change. 3
HSA 435 Aging and Society The study of aging in American society. Considers the biology of aging, the psychology of aging, sexuality and aging, friendship and family relationships, changes in status and power. Particular attention is given to the development and management of long term care centers. 3
HSA 461 Administrative Practicum in Health Care Systems Involves the student in several field visits to facilities within the health care system. Also involves discussion in seminar of the organization and planning for each of the facilities visited. 3
HSA 511 Ethics in Management Provides an introduction to the field of ethics and an opportunity to increase understanding, knowledge and competence in dealing with the ethical challenges and dilemmas that are found in the public, private, and nonprofit employment sectors. Course materials will focus on individual as well as corporate systems of responsibility and accountability and the ethical dimensions of public as well as private life. 3
HSA 520 Introduction to Health Services Administration Provides a background on the United States health care system in areas of administration, history and philosophy of public health, politics, health policy and strategic planning, finance and evaluation and assessment of medical care in the context of the social, legal, and regulatory environment of the delivery of personal health services. 3
HSA 524 Health Care Systems Analysis A comparative analysis of health care delivery systems and the application of systems analysis and design concepts for designing and evaluating health care delivery systems. A study of the elements of personal health services systems which encompass the various ways of delivering personal health services with regard for their evolution, governance, financial structure, organization function and structure, changing characteristics and relationships, and mechanisms for quality assessment and social accountability. A study of individual social and environmental determinants of health, disease, and disability including the field of medical sociology. 3
HSA 525 Health Care Economics Deals with the macroeconomics and microeconomics context of health care finance; the basics of health care accounting and of demand and utilization of health care services; pricing of health care services. 3
HSA 537 Managerial Decision-Making in Health Care Organizations Examines operational concerns in the area of institutional administration. Included are project planning and constraints, work-load forecasting, patient scheduling, facility staffing, quality assurance, utilization review, control mechanism, applications of institutional resources. Includes application of management and administrative skills for the hospital administrator. 3
HSA 539 Overview of Managed Care Provides an overview of health care insurance and finance by addressing the issues surrounding conventional delivery. The background and development of managed care, contracting, and legal issues in managed care and the general management requirements in managed care organizations are covered in three modules. 3
HSA 555 Professional Contribution This is the last program requirement to be fulfilled by the candidate before graduation. This is not a structured classroom course, but rather a semi-independent experience, such as a thesis, and similar to the comprehensive examination requirement. Participants should consult with their mentors early in the program to develop an acceptable Professional Contribution agenda. 0
HSA 580 Epidemiology /Environmental Health Studies the field of epidemiology including concepts, principles, and models. Descriptive epidemiology relative to person, place, and time will be analyzed and interpreted. Human health and the environment, some research needs, and planning in environmental health science is reviewed. 3
HSA 583 Marketing and Strategic Planning The science of marketing centers and the creation of a marketing strategy in order to achieve corporate goals and deliver the product to the ultimate consumer are discussed. The course explores market segmentation, strategic marketing and the role advertising, pricing and packaging play in market planning. Harvard Business Cases and other cases are utilized to illustrate the theory covered. 3
HSA 595 Independent Study Student interest and self-directed learning. See program director.
HSA 597 Management Project /Internship A Management Project/Internship is required to increase knowledge and skills in theoretical application. The student, upon completion of coursework, must do either a research oriented management project or an internship. Students must consult their mentors early in the program to determine the administrative project or internship to pursue. The objective is to develop research skills, skills in improving organizational effectiveness and in the development of leadership potential, including stimulating creativity, and interpersonal and communication skill development. 3
HSA 599 Practitioner's Seminar in Administration Seminar format designed to develop management skills, including work programming and time management; also covers experiential application of public administration theories and principles with emphasis on observation, analysis, reporting, and communication skills. Career development component directs participants in the process of self-analysis to formulate career goals and strategies. 3
SW 145 Foundations of Social Work Introduces the student to social work as a profession in the context of the social welfare institution. Historical and philosophical roots of social work and social welfare are examined. Attributes of the social work role, knowledge-value-ethical-skill base, and fields of social work practice are introduced. 3
SW 150 Introductory Social Work Field Experience Provides the student with a beginning practical experience in community social agencies. Students visit numerous and diverse agencies throughout the semester. The class emphasizes the Social Work Mission and social worker roles within agencies. Prerequisite: SW 145. 1
SW 230 Analysis of Social Welfare Policy Enables the student to analyze social welfare policy in American society. Focuses on the application of frameworks for analyzing social policies in the context of social and economic justice. Social policy, programs, and services are analyzed in terms of selected problems such as poverty, racism, ageism, sexism, and related issues. Social policy formulation and change are also emphasized. Prerequisites: SW 145, 150. 3
SW 250 Contemporary Social Work Practice Provides the student with a generalist model for engaging in social work practice. Analyzes the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) Code of Ethics and focuses on the development of helping skills which are essential in working with a variety of client systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of interviewing skills through role play and analysis of video vignettes of professional situations. Prerequisite: SW 145, 150. 3
SW 310 Social Work Research I Focuses on quantitative social work research methods. Principles of research methodologies and designs for systematic evaluation of social work practice and social service programs are emphasized. Computer analysis of data is studied and applied. Implications for social work practice and knowledge building are integral outcomes. Prerequisite: SW 250. 3
SW 311 Social Work Research II Enables the student to learn the connection between collecting and examining data through analysis of qualitative research articles. Qualitative methodologies of field research: sampling, interviewing, case studies, and single-subject design will be emphasized. Qualitative data methodology will give students opportunities to proceed from the specific to the general and learn how to begin creating a study for examination. Prerequisite: SW 310. 3
SW 345 Junior Field Experience Provides the student with continued exposure to and increasing involvement in the field. The student spends a minimum of 30 hours providing helping services related to the social work role. The field experience is complemented by a seminar that focuses on developing self-awareness, basic human relation skills and understanding of social work and social welfare organizations. Prerequisite: SW 250 1
SW 350 Human Behavior and the Social Environment Focuses on the interrelationships of biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of human behavior across the life span. Theoretical frameworks are presented to better understand human behavior in family, group, organization, and community as primary systems. Major influences on human behavior such as racism, sexism, ageism, and other structural factors are analyzed. Prerequisites: PSY 251, BIOL 130, HIST 105, SOC 214. 3
SW 401 Social Work with Neighborhoods, Communities and Organizations: Theory and Practice Builds on the generalist model presented in SW 250. Enables students to apply theories, develop practice skills, and employ a range of interventive strategies in working with neighborhoods, communities, and organizations. Social work influence and intervention at political system levels are emphasized. To be taken concurrently with SW 311, 402, and 403. Prerequisites: SW 230, 250, 310, 350. 3
SW 402 Social Work with Groups: Theory and Practice Builds on the generalist model presented in SW 250. Enables students to apply theories, develop practice skills, and employ a range of interventive strategies in working with small groups. Group structure and process, stages of group development, and group work skills are emphasized. To be taken concurrently with SW 311, 401, and 403. Prerequisites: SW 230, 250, 310, 350. 3
SW 403 Social Work with Individuals and Families: Theory and Practice Builds on the generalist model presented in SW 250. Enables students to apply theories, develop practice skills, and employ a range of interventive strategies in working with individual and family systems. To be taken concurrently with SW 311, 401, and 402. Prerequisites: SW 230, 250, 310, 350. 3
SW 425 Children's Rights and Societal Responses Analyzes policies and services designed to meet a range of needs and problems experienced by children and their families. Specific areas of analysis include child abuse and neglect, juvenile justice, homelessness, foster care, adoptions, institutional vis-a-vis community strategies in response to particular problems, impacts of prejudice/ discrimination on minority groups, children and families, advocacy, and social change. 3
SW 430 Aging: Issues and Perspectives Examines the biological, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of aging. Analyzes roles and relationships of older persons and systems included in their environment (e.g., family, friends, neighborhood, etc.). The contemporary continuum of care in the context of a strengths based approach is explored. The course also focuses on ageism, stereotyping, advocacy, and social policy change. 3
SW 435 Family Issues Understanding the family in its varied forms, in our society is beyond most individual personal experience. The interactions of systems and subsystems impacting the family and the family's responses and initiatives are rich issues for study by students who are preparing to work with and for families across systems. This course will give students relevant practical knowledge for understanding diverse family issues confronted by diverse family structures. 3
SW 452 Health Care and the Helping Professional Introduces the student to the nature and scope of the contemporary health care system in the United States. Policy and services pertaining to health care delivery are examined. Interdisciplinary approaches, with particular reference to the social service professions, are analyzed. 3
SW 490 Field Instruction A professional practice experience that enables the student to integrate and apply knowledge, values, ethics, and skills gained through the BSW curriculum. The student provides direct social work services in a community social agency under supervision of a professional social worker. This is a block field placement of 450 hours in which the student spends four days per week throughout the fall semester of senior year in the social agency. Prerequisites: SW 150, 230, 310, 311, 345, 350, 401 402, 403. In addition, students are required to maintain an overall QPA of 2.00 and a minimum of 2.33 in the major and give evidence of continued skill development and adherence to standards of conduct as contained in the NASW Code of Ethics. The student applies for SW 490 in the preceding spring semester. 9
SW 491 Integrative Seminar Student-instructor seminar, complements SW 490 and further enables the student to integrate and apply social work knowledge, values, ethics, and skills in the field experience as well as complete a research project. To be taken concurrently with SW 490. Prerequisites: SW 150, 230, 310, 311, 345, 350, 401, 402, 403. 3
SW 495 Senior Seminar Student-instructor seminar which emphasizes specific preparation for entry into the social service workplace. Students also engage in professional study of contemporary issues and current research in the field. To be taken concurrently with SW 490 and 491. Prerequisites: SW 150, 230, 310, 311, 345, 350, 401, 402, 403. 1
SW 499 Independent Study and Research Involves faculty directed, student initiated study and research on a topic relevant to student interest. 3
SW 501 Social Work Practice I This course introduces the student to conceptual frameworks that encompass practice with all levels of client systems. Students use critical thinking skills to assess client systems, develop intervention strategies, and evaluate practice using a scientific mode of inquiry. Professional relationship, ethical practice, diversity, social and economic justice, professional use of self, problem-solving process, and organizational context for practice are stressed. Focus is on work with individuals and families. This course is taken concurrently with SW 591 and integrates practice experience and course learning. 3
SW 502 Social Work Practice II This is the second foundation practice course. It prepares students to assess larger systems such as groups, organizations, and communities. Special attention is paid to social work practice with diverse groups, those oppressed and at-risk, and to institutional patterns of discrimination. This course is taken concurrently with SW Field 592 and integrates practice experience and course learning. Prerequisite: SW 501. 3
SW 511 Advanced Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups I This course presents theories and techniques applicable to social work practice with individuals, families, and small groups, including those from diverse and at-risk populations. Field education experiences serve as basis for integration and application of theories, assessment of the cultural competence of their interventions with specific populations, examination of strengths and limitations of evidence-based practice, and articulate a personal practice stance. This course is taken concurrently with SW595. Prerequisites: SW502, SW592.? 3
SW 512 Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities This course builds on foundation content and theoretical perspectives explored in SW 511. It advances skills in differential interventions with a variety of systems and focuses on organizations and communities as systems for assessment, intervention, and evaluation. The course examines discrimination and oppression with an organizational and community context and the complex interface between individual, family, and group needs and organizational and community context. The course is taken concurrently with SW596. Prerequisites: SW511, SW595. 3
SW 531 Administration in Social Work Practice I Focus on social work practice from an administrative perspective, including theories and principles of culturally competent management and organization issues in administration, within the context of professional social work. Includes consideration of social and economic justice and ethical imperatives and influences of funding patterns, legislation, organizational culture, and structure on program planning and implementation. SW 531 as a concentration course is taken concurrently with SW 597. Prerequisites: SW 502, SW 592. 3
SW 532 Administration in Social Work Practice II This course develops additional management competencies, with emphasis on the role of middle management and its relationship to social and economic justice, especially internal and external resource development. The course examines issues of cultural and social diversity as they affect the constituency served by the agency in relation to its mission. Students apply research and evaluation principles in examining access to service, quality of service, and cost/benefit of services. Includes a review of nonprofit fiscal management, budgeting and social marketing, resource development, grant writing, and effective human resource utilization. Taken concurrently with SW 598, Advanced Field Education IV. Prerequisites: SW 531, SW597. 3
SW 535 Child Welfare Practice and Services The course provides an historical and theoretical framework for understanding the ecological context of child welfare practice. The societal values which shape current policy and legislation are considered in addition to the concepts of strength and resilience as underlying philosophies of effective, family-focused interventions. The course also examines evaluative research in child welfare and differential intervention for culturally competent child welfare practice. 3
SW 536 Social Work Practice with Children This course builds upon the basic skills, values, and knowledge introduced in other areas of the curriculum and, particularly, in the human behavior and practice foundation courses. The course focuses on the application of theories, concepts, and research to guide empirically based social work practice with children and young adolescents. The course is designed for students who have an interest in working directly with children, their caregivers, and their families. Case materials illustrate the ethical and practice challenges in working with a variety of children including those who live in out-of-home placements, in substance-disordered families, in families affected by illness and death, in nontraditional families, and those who are victims and witnesses of family violence. The special circumstances surrounding children at risk as well as those with special needs and social/emotional issues are also addressed. A range of therapeutic approaches and modalities is presented, including individual, family, and group interventions, developmental, non-directive and cognitive/behavioral play therapy, as well as interdisciplinary collaborative and psycho-educational approaches. A strengths perspective is highlighted as an approach to intervention, and attention is given to development of student self-awareness around children's issues. 3
SW 561 Family Focused Social Work Practice Builds on the history and traditions of family intervention in the basic social services. This course examines pertinent practice issues, family therapy concepts approaches used in contemporary social work intervention, with an emphasis on family resilience, family intervention concepts are applied to families under economic stress, families within vulnerable populations and with diverse family structures, and current research. A strengths perspective is highlighted as an approach to treatment. 3
SW 571 Supervision in Social Work Practice This course provides the requisite knowledge and skills for assuming basic responsibilities of supervision. The course examines the purpose, principles, and methods of supervision applicable to many social work settings and the demands upon the supervisor and supervisee. Emphasis is on the supportive, educational, and administrative elements of supervision. Issues specific to women and other minority groups are also addressed. Prerequisites: SW 502, SW 592. 3
SW 591 Field Education I 3
SW 592 Field Education II Students must complete a total of 440 clock hours in the foundation year. The goal is to foster understanding of the organizational context and social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors with which client systems interact. Students learn the fundamental role of social work values and ethics, identify issues of social and economic justice for oppressed and at-risk persons, and develop a professional identity as they engage in social work practice. SW 591 is taken concurrently with SW 501 and SW 592 with SW 502. 4
SW 595 Field Education III: Advanced Practice with Client Systems Concentration 4
SW 596 Field Education IV: Advanced Practice with Client Systems Concentration These courses build on the knowledge and skills gained in the foundation Field Education placement. Students gain additional experience working with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations within the political, social, and cultural context of the setting. Issues of social and economic justice within organizational and community contexts and how they are addressed through policy or program development and evaluation. Students must complete 480 clock hours in the concentration year. SW 595 is taken concurrently with SW 511 and SW 596 with SW 512. 4
SW 597 Field Education III Administration in Social Work Concentration 4
SW 598 Field Education IV Administration in Social Work Concentration Focus on advanced administration skills, including the dynamics of organizational behavior, application of management techniques, and program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Skills are put in context of sensitivity to cultural, societal, and community influences, and social work values and ethics. Administrative responses to issues of social and economic justice are considered through research based practice design. Sixteen hours per week under the supervision of an MSW Field Education instructor. Taken concurrently with SW 531 and SW 532. 4
SW 601 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I This is an introduction to biopsychosocial-spiritual factors important to understanding and assessing human growth, personal development, and behavior over the life span. Focus is on interactions among individuals, families, groups, and the social system, and diverse, vulnerable, and oppressed populations. 3
SW 602 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II This course is a continuation of SW 601. An examination of institutional factors and systems in relationship to human behavior and social work practice with focus on oppressed, diverse, and vulnerable groups. Prerequisite: SW 601. 3
SW 621 Social Work Perspectives on Psychopathology This course allows students to identify and develop an understanding of the issues inherent in the study and assessment of individual behavior. The course reviews several explanations of causes of "abnormal" behavior and ways in which such behavior can be classified. One of the major tensions in this area is whether abnormal behavior is learned or has a physio-chemical basis. Major diagnostic groups are addressed within the framework of the DSM IV TR classification system. PIE will be introduced as an alternative framework. The inclusion of the strengths perspective counters and obvious shortcoming of DSM IV. 3
SW 625 Critical Issues in Chemical Dependence The course provides an overview of the major psychoactive drugs of abuse, the role of drugs in today's society, theories of causation, actions on the central nervous system, and the pharmacology of individual substances. Using systems and strengths perspectives and bio-psychosocial understandings, examines the roles of the individual and society with respect to development of chemical dependence. Addresses intervention with individuals, families and groups; policy issues; prevention efforts, and the relationship to HIV/AIDS. 3
SW 701 Social Work Research: Design and Methodology This course introduces principles and methods of conducting and evaluating social research, the importance of ethical issues related to research, and qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It includes examination of selected literature relevant to issues of social and economic justice, diversity, and systems of various sizes. 3
SW 702 Social Work Research: Implementation and Analysis Overview of the role and function of qualitative and quantitative analyses in addressing research questions and testing hypotheses. Examines approaches to qualitative analysis and the logic behind the application of descriptive and inferential statistical analyses. Examines analytical techniques and the unbiased interpretation of results as they relate to issues of diversity, oppression, and populations at risk. Students learn to use statistical software for processing data and apply theoretical and methodological materials in a required research report. Prerequisite: SW 701. Students must take both courses with the same professor. 3
SW 705 Social Work Thesis The elective component of the research sequence, this course is recommended especially, but not exclusively, for those students who plan to pursue doctoral-level education. The course is designed to strengthen the student's overall research knowledge and skills through the development and presentation of individual research projects related to practice issues. The course offers students the opportunity to refine and implement a research proposal designed prior to admission to the course, and supports student research designs and data analysis, advanced statistical analysis, and multivariate analyses. Prerequisite: SW 702. 3
SW 801 Introduction to Social Welfare This is the first of two required policy courses. Examination of the history and development of U.S. social welfare programs and policies as they pertain to marginalized groups of people and populations-at-risk. Present day policies are analyzed through the lenses of history and contemporary economic, social, political, value, and spiritual milieus. Using professional ethics and value, and cross-cultural knowledge as foundation, the rich contribution and strengths of a diverse range of individuals and groups, in particular women and people of color, are brought to bear in evidence-based analyses of historical and contemporary policy. 3
SW 802 Social Welfare Systems and Services This course teaches policy practice skills that enable students to use evidence-based data to frame for intervention social issues that affect the lives of marginalized groups of people and populations-at-risk. Using professional values and ethics and the employment of critical thinking skills as a base, students will demonstrate their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of culturally competent policy practice interventions. Prerequisite: SW 801. 3
SW 908 Women's Issues and the Practice of Social Work An overview of perspectives on the development of women including the complex, interplay of gender and human systems, social forces, and social policies. The course focuses on institutionalized oppression experienced by women in the forms of sexism, racism, classism, ageism, ableism, and heterosexism. Students are encouraged to examine their own value systems related to these issues and how these belief systems may affect their practice as social workers. 3
SW 920 Spiritual and Religious Dimensions of Social Work Practice This course allows for an in-depth, comprehensive concentration on spirituality and religion in social work services to individuals, families, groups, and communities. Reviewing major religious as well as non-religious spiritual practices in the United States and the world, students gain an understanding of the diversity of religious and spiritual traditions that frame clients' lives. Students learn to incorporate an examination of religion and spirituality as part of social work assessment, intervention, and evaluation. 3
SW 925 Critical Issues in Racial and Ethnic Experience An examination of the nature of devaluing attitudes toward others, and the ethnocentrism, prejudice, bias, discrimination, and racism in society. The course explores the ways in which racial and ethnic attitudes have shaped the experiences of selected groups in the U.S. Culturally competent social work practice is stressed, with particular emphasis on the role of diversity in practice, policy, and research. Literature related to the development of social policies and research related to diverse groups is also examined. 3
SW 941 Concepts and Issues in Gerontology Reviews social gerontological theories, social policy issues of aging, and skills integration with the biopsychosocial processes of middle and late lifespan development impacting individuals, families, and groups. Special attention is given to the strengths perspective, poverty, elder abuse, and cultural and gender issues as they relate to racism, sexism, and ageism in populations at risk. 3
SW 950 Independent Study An independent study course planned by the student and a faculty mentor that focuses on a specific program of readings or field experience. The student is responsible for developing a proposal that addresses specific learning objectives and incorporates current social work theories and literature. The student is evaluated on a measurable project or paper. The faculty mentor guides the student's progress through approximately five tutorial sessions for a three-credit study. 3
SW 950I International Independent Study This independent study course is based on international practice experience. The student is responsible for developing a proposal that addresses specific learning objectives and incorporates current social work theories and literature. The student is evaluated on a measurable project or paper. The faculty mentor guides the student's progress through approximately five tutorial sessions for a three-credit study. 3
SW 965 Human Sexuality: Issues for Social Work An overview of the theoretical perspectives on the development process of human sexuality. The course covers the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of sexual development across the life span including contemporary issues and their implications for social work practice, policy, and research. Particular attention is given to the wide range of beliefs and behaviors related to sexuality. Issues of discrimination and oppression are addressed as they apply to various groups (e.g. gays, lesbians, bisexuals, women, elderly, disabled, etc.). Social work and related literature is examined to assess the ways in which we develop knowledge of human sexuality and the limitations of research regarding sexual issues. Ethical dilemmas related to human sexuality are considered throughout the course. 3
SW 971 Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice This course has been designed to foster sensitivity to ethical concerns and to provide knowledge and? experience in ethical decision-making. Students will become familiar with the philosophical base of Social Work ethics and the profession's Code of Ethics. Ethical principles and models of ethical decision-making grounded by critical thinking will be presented in relation to case materials reflecting a variety of issues, levels of practice, a diversity of populations, and social justice concerns. 3