Social Work (SK)

SK 0301 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I3 Credits

Corequisite: SK 0303.

Prerequisite: SO 0192.

The purpose of this course is to engage students in an exploration of human behavior and the impact of the environment on individuals as they develop through the lifespan. It examines the biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects of human development with a further emphasis on how factors such as poverty, discrimination, racism, culture, gender, health status, and sexual orientation, affect the developmental process. Exploration of research, case examples and self-reflection, will deepen students ability to conceptualize the processes of assessment, intervention, and the person-in-environment perspective across systems with diverse populations. This course, the first in sequence, will cover human reproduction through adolescence.

SK 0302 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II3 Credits

Corequisite: SK 0304.

Prerequisite: SO 0193.

The purpose of this course is to engage students in an exploration of human behavior and the impact of the environment on individuals as they develop through the lifespan. It examines the biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects of human development with a further emphasis on how factors such as poverty, discrimination, racism, culture, gender, health status, and sexual orientation, affect the developmental process. Exploration of research, case examples and self-reflection, will deepen students ability to conceptualize the processes of assessment, intervention, and the person-in-environment perspective across systems with diverse populations. This course, the second in sequence, will cover young adulthood through end-of-life issues.

SK 0303 Social Policy and Social Justice3 Credits

The course will explore policy within the context of social, economic, and environmental justice issues including oppression, poverty, income inequality, food insecurity, immigration, healthcare disparity, pollution, criminal justice, and other issues that affect individual and social well-being. The impact of social policies and social programs on vulnerable populations will also be explored. Students will understand and identify with the role of social workers as agents of change in developing and advocating for social policies that meet the needs of clients. This course will include service learning in a community setting and will culminate in a project that will evaluate policy issues that arise throughout the semester.

SK 0304 Research in Social Work Practice3 Credits

Scientific inquiry which tests theory and supports the evidence base of social work intervention is a critical component of social work education. The research course introduces students to all aspects of the research process, including forming hypotheses, framing research questions, conceptualizing and conducting a literature review, identifying variables, quantitative and qualitative measurement, sampling, data collection, coding, data analysis, and communication of results. Students will also learn to include and be sensitive to ethical guidelines in social work research and the importance of a culturally competent approach to research. This course will include service learning, and culminates with a research project that poses questions for scientific inquiry in relation to the service learning experience.

SK 0305 Generalist Social Work Practice I3 Credits

This is the first of two courses in the generalist practice and methods curriculum. This course immerses students in the fundamental values, ethics, skills, and knowledge that are the foundation of generalist social work practice. The course will cover the NASW Code of Ethics and Standards with a strong focus on cultural competence and a strengths-based approach to practice with individuals and families. Students will be encouraged to explore the profession while developing direct practice skills, such as developing the helping relationship, assessment, conceptualizing problems, assessing strengths, using research to inform practice, setting goals and contracting, choosing and evaluating intervention strategies, and evaluating practice. Students are expected to apply knowledge of human behavior, social policy, research, and practice with diverse and vulnerable populations into the practice situation.

SK 0306 Generalist Social Work Practice II3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0305.

This is the second of two courses in the generalist practice and methods curriculum. This course further immerses students in the fundamental values, ethics, skills, and knowledge that are the foundation of generalist social work practice. There will be a focus on increasing students understanding of the helping process and the development of generalist practice knowledge and skills. There will be emphasis on the importance of applying theoretical and empirical knowledge when choosing intervention strategies. Students will continue to engage in an ongoing and reflective process of exploring and evaluating their own practice and will also reflect on their "use of self" with clients and in the supervisory process. It is expected that students will integrate prior learning from previous courses and in current fieldwork concerning human behavior, social policy, research, service delivery, and practice with diverse and vulnerable populations across systems with specific focus on group work and community practice.

SK 0307 Integrative Field Practicum Seminar I3 Credits

The course is the first of two field seminar courses and is taken in conjunction with Field Practicum I. The purpose of this course is to acclimate students to field work and to prepare them for social work practice with diverse and vulnerable populations. The course will focus on the knowledge, values, and skills required to identify as a professional social worker and to practice in the field with competence, including the professional use of self, the application of social work values and ethics in social work practice, the use of communication skills, engaging in the supervisory process, social worker roles in community practice, understanding the organizational context of practice, exploring research to inform evidence-based practice, understanding and protecting clients confidentiality, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The seminar is designed to support students learning and integration of knowledge as they build practice skills. Students are supported through the use of small group process oriented interactions, self-reflection, role-play, case discussion, and experiential exercises. Students are also encouraged to share questions, concerns, and learning needs in regards to their field experience.

SK 0308 Integrative Field Practicum Seminar II3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0307.

This second seminar course is process-oriented and is designed to provide students the opportunity to discuss, analyze, and integrate theory within their field and coursework learning while demonstrating their ability to apply multiple sources of knowledge and skills to generalist social work practice. The seminar provides the opportunity for further learning and consolidation of knowledge and skills, through self-reflection, case discussion, process recordings, presentations, experiential exercises, and a comprehensive case study paper.

SK 0309 Field Practicum I4 Credits

As the "signature pedagogy" in the education of professional social workers, field learning is integral to the program and needs to instill in students the ability "to think, to perform, and to act with integrity" (Shulman). The Field Practicum is designed to provide students with a generalist perspective for social work practice, through supervised experience with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Provided in collaboration with human and social service agencies, the field practicum will preparation students for professional practice in social work.

SK 0310 Field Practicum II4 Credits

As the "signature pedagogy" in the education of professional social workers, field learning is integral to the program and needs to instill in students the ability "to think, to perform, and to act with integrity" (Shulman). The Field Practicum is designed to provide students with a generalist perspective for social work practice, through supervised experience with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Provided in collaboration with human and social service agencies, the field practicum will preparation students for professional practice in social work.

SK 0311 Leadership for Interdisciplinary Health Professionals3 Credits

This course is designed to expose students in the fields of public health and social work to conceptual frameworks through which to view leadership. Students will explore the key values and personal attributes that guide the leadership process. Students will engage in dynamic exercises and collaborative work to better understand leadership principles and work to apply these concepts to communities in their fields of study. The students will have the opportunity to reflect on leadership qualities relevant to their profession as well as personal leadership qualities that guide the relationship with vulnerable populations.

SK 0425 Organizational and Business Management3 Credits

This course will provide an overview of small business and private practice management. Students will become acquainted with the technical and personal elements necessary to create and sustain a small business. Attention will be focused on narrowing student focus in order to develop a feasible strategy for creating, implementing, and maintaining small business goals. The course will draw on program evaluation research to prepare the student to assess business outcomes to ensure attainment of practice goals. Emphasis will be placed on the mastery of key components required to create and sustain a business including defining the scope and purpose of the professional practice as mandated by licensure and professional standards, marketing, financial, and legal implications, and personal and professional resources, all within the framework of the conceptualized brand. Focus will also be placed upon problem solving through case studies related to student's development of sound business knowledge. Course content will be examined through a self-reflective lens, incorporating self of the therapist, mindfulness and ethical and professional practice.

SK 0433 Social Justice and Diversity in Professional Practice3 Credits

Students will examine issues in professional practice with individuals, couples and families from diverse ethnic, cultural, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Students increase their self-awareness of their own social identity, values and biases, and impacts on their clinical (other professional) work. Collaboration and interdisciplinary contextual factors will be considered. The course addresses the role of power, privilege, and oppression in the lives of individuals, families, and the society. The course addresses the issues of gender role stereotyping and changing sex roles, and integrates professional contributions from the professional literature.

SK 0447 Lifespan Human Development3 Credits

This course explores the processes of individual and family development from childhood through old age. Presenting theoretical perspectives for studying child, adolescent, adult, and family development, the course examines the modification of family structures over time and psychosocial development within family systems and cultural contexts.

SK 0450 Narrative and Solution-Focused Therapy3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0559.

This course will provide an overview of two postmodern and strengths-based therapeutic theories, concepts and applications. Students will become acquainted with the theories and concepts developed by White, Epston, Anderson, Freedman, Combs, de Shazer, Berg, and others. Attention will be focused on distinguishing between the postmodern approaches in terms of assessment, conceptualization, treatment, and theoretical foundations.

SK 0533 Human Behavior in the Social Environment3 Credits

This course is designed to introduce social work students to various theoretical models that explain how human behavior is shaped by groups, organizations, and communities. The ecological and strength perspectives are employed for understanding human behavior within the context of these systems. Attention is also placed on the influence of social class and ethnicity on human behavior. This course will look at the different worldviews of diverse populations in order to help students develop and achieve cultural competencies.

SK 0550 Generalist Social Work Practice I3 Credits

Social work practice is based on a foundation of generalist social work. This course begins with an overview of the profession through its history and conceptual development and an examination of fundamental social work knowledge, values, and skills. The content focuses on social work interventions appropriate at the macro environment, mezzo and micro levels of practice. All aspects of practice will be presented in the context of cultural competence and social justice.

SK 0551 Generalist Social Work Practice II3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0550.

Social work practice is based on a foundation of generalist social work. This course begins with an overview of the profession through its history and conceptual development and an examination of fundamental social work knowledge, values, and skills. The content focuses on social work interventions appropriate at the macro environment, mezzo and micro levels of practice. All aspects of practice will be presented in the context of cultural competence and social justice.

SK 0552 Social Policy and Practice3 Credits

This course surveys the history of social welfare policy, services, and the social work profession. It explores current social welfare issues in the context of their history and the underlying rationale and values that support different approaches. Emphasis is placed on major fields of social work service such as: income maintenance, health care, mental health, child welfare, corrections, and services to the elderly. Analytic frameworks with regard to social welfare policies and services are presented. These frameworks identify strengths and weaknesses in the current social welfare system with respect to multiculturalism and diversity; social justice and social change; behavioral and social science theory and research; and social work relevant promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs and services.

SK 0559 Social Work Fieldwork I3 Credits

This course offers field practice and immersion into social work process under direct supervision of an LCSW social worker. The field placement engages the student in social work practice, integrates policy formulation into a coherent professional position, and builds an understanding of social justice as integral to the profession. The field placement (and accompanying integrative seminar) is designed to support students in developing and integrating skills and knowledge learned in coursework into their professional social work practice. Fieldwork I and II require a student to spend a minimum of 450 hours in a supervised field setting. Each student is expected to assess her/his social work learning needs, and to plan and complete, with the assistance of the agency-based field instructor, activities that support achievement of structured learning goals. Student progress is monitored throughout the placement using a competency development model. Two formal student evaluations are completed: at mid-placement and at the end of the field placement. All social work fieldwork requires participation in integrative practice seminars throughout the semester. Students must complete 450 hours in generalist social work practice field placement prior to enrollment in this course.

SK 0560 Social Work Fieldwork II3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0559.

This course offers field practice and immersion into social work process under direct supervision of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The field placement engages the student in social work practice, integrates policy formulation into a coherent professional position, and builds an understanding of social justice as integral to the profession. The field placement (and accompanying integrative seminar) is designed to support students in developing and integrating skills and knowledge learned in coursework into their professional social work practice. Fieldwork I and II require a student to spend a minimum of 450 hours in a supervised field setting. Each student is expected to assess their social work learning needs, and to plan and complete, with the assistance of the agency-based field instructor, activities that support achievement of structured learning goals. Student progress is monitored throughout the placement using a competency development model. Two formal student evaluations are completed, at mid-placement and at the end of the field placement. All social work fieldwork requires participation in integrative practice seminars throughout the semester.

SK 0562 Advanced Clinical Skills and Practice I3 Credits

Prerequisites: SK 0433, SK 0447, SK 0533, SK 0551, SK 0552, SK 0560, SK 0566.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is "a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person's own motivation and commitment to change" (Miller and Rollnick, 2012). The definition has intentionally evolved throughout the "lifespan" of this counseling posture (since its inception in the 1980s) to reflect its applicability and effectiveness not only across clinical populations, but also indeed among non-clinical populations. This first required course (of a two course sequence in MI) offers both theoretical foundations and critical skill acquisition for "beginner" competency. Methods of instruction will include didactic modules, written exercises, small-group exercises, video analyses, and many opportunities to practice key skills.

SK 0564 Advanced Clinical Skills and Practice II3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0562.

This advanced course in Motivational Interviewing (MI) presumes successful completion of the Motivational Interviewing I course, the acquisition of a counseling posture suggesting the collaborative "MI spirit," and elementary proficiency of critical microskills (OARS: Open-Ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflections, Summaries). This required course intentionally builds upon the theoretical foundations and skill development introduced in the fall. MI II will enhance students’ readiness to integrate MI principles and skills in their own clinical practice. Students will be able to demonstrate competent use of the 4 Key Principles and Techniques as described in the Miller and Rollnick's 3rd edition textbook: Engaging, Focusing, Evoking, and Planning. This course will also introduce the MITI (Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity): a reliable and valid instrument utilizing a coding system for interviews, measuring the practitioner’s MI competency. The MITI provides structured, formal feedback to increase "MI Adherence" through objective measures. Methods of course instruction will include didactic modules, small and large group exercises and discussions, video analyses, and repeated student MITI taping, reviews, and structured feedback. The MITI, in particular, will support deeper learning and integration of MI skills into the developing clinician’s clinical repertoire and practice.

SK 0566 Research Methods in Social Work I3 Credits

This required course is part of the research sequence in the generalist practice curriculum. The purpose of this course is to develop students' understanding and skills in the approaches, techniques, and challenges of conducting social work research and to enable students to be competent and discerning consumers of social science literature.

SK 0568 Advanced Social Work Research and Program Evaluation3 Credits

Prerequisites: SK 0433, SK 0447, SK 0533, SK 0551, SK 0552, SK 0560, SK 0566.

Students will develop knowledge of evidence- based practice, including skills needed to identify, acquire, and assess appropriate interventions for practice and basic skills required to evaluate their own social work clinical practice.

SK 0569 Assessment Techniques and Psychopathology3 Credits

Prerequisites: SK 0433, SK 0447, SK 0533, SK 0551, SK 0552, SK 0560, SK 0566.

This advanced social work course addresses clinical diagnosis and assessment in the treatment process. Diagnosis and assessment represent the integration of information from multiple sources to provide a perspective of current individual, partner, and family functioning for the purpose of decision-making, treatment planning, evaluation, and interdisciplinary and larger system communication. This course will highlight an awareness of gender and diversity issues in diagnosis and the ethical use of formal and informal assessments. It will provide an introduction to the nomenclature and decision-making procedures of the DSM-5, and an overview of standardized assessment instruments and self-report inventories available for use with individuals, couples, and families.

SK 0577 Advanced Social Justice, Diversity, and Ethical Professional Practice in Clinical Social Work3 Credits

Prerequisites: SK 0433, SK 0447, SK 0533, SK 0551, SK 0552, SK 0560, SK 0566.

This course will focus on the key theories that explain the impact of the environment on human experience to be followed by an examination of how dimensions of culture, power, oppression, and cultural contexts can shape individual values, beliefs, worldviews, and identities and therefore play a role in the helping process. The course will build on Social Justice and Diversity in Professional Practice and will continue to explore areas of universality and difference in the context of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, and socioeconomic status, as well as the realities and influence of multiple forms of oppression. Empathic and skillful clinical interventions with individuals, groups, and communities require self-understanding as well as understanding of others. This course provides an opportunity for increased self-awareness. The goal of the course is to enable students to develop a culturally competent framework for analyzing human behavior in order to create empathic, empowering relationships with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The course will also explore ethical decision-making theories and processes. Ethical decision-making is informed by knowledge of legal statutes and the NASW Code of Ethics. Exploration of interdisciplinary collegiality, ethical codes, and professional identity will also be discussed.

SK 0580 Advanced Clinical Specialist Field Work I3 Credits

Prerequisites: SK 0433, SK 0447, SK 0533, SK 0551, SK 0552, SK 0560, SK 0566.

In Advanced Clinical Field Work, students are placed in clinical settings where they provide therapy to individuals, couples, families and groups. Students will apply clinical models and interventions in their work with clients across the lifespan. All social work fieldwork requires participation in integrative practice seminars throughout the semester.

SK 0581 Advanced Clinical Specialist Field Work II3 Credits

Prerequisite: SK 0580.

This course is a continuation of SK 0580.