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Active military personnel and combat veterans face a variety of emotional challenges brought on by frequent relocations, separation from family, and experiences at war. In some instances, the strain of combat-related stress can lead to substance abuse, homelessness, or other social issues. The courses in this elective cluster help you develop an understanding of military culture and the short- and long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. You also will have an opportunity to explore how family members are affected by a loved one’s combat-related experiences. With this cluster, you can better prepare to address the various needs of armed forces personnel and veterans.
Note that this program requires students to have a web cam for their first course of the program and for various assignments throughout the program. Please refer to our standard program technology requirements.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
This foundation course is designed to introduce students to the social work profession. Students explore the history of the profession, the characteristics of advanced generalist practice, social work practice settings, and professional values and ethics. Students develop knowledge of current issues and directions for the profession, and the requirements and challenges of being a professional social worker.
In this foundation course, students have the opportunity to learn and practice social work skills. They explore professional boundaries and demeanor, client engagement, active listening, empathetic responses, and interviewing skills. Students demonstrate the ability to engage clients in interviews, assessment, and goal setting. They learn to set professional boundaries and maintain ethical codes with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Students in this foundation course are provided with an understanding of the intersection between the social environment and the healthy lifespan development of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Throughout this course, students increase their comprehension of how the environment and social context serve to mediate or intersect with the healthy development of each individual, family, group, or community. They examine the ways gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and disability impact human development. Students explore human behavior through the lens of human development, environment, and social context.
Students attending this residency have the opportunity to engage in supervised clinical practice in preparation for the foundation field experience. This clinical residency is designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice the essential skills required of social workers. Throughout this residency, students can demonstrate their skills in ethical practice, case conceptualization, and oral communication. In addition to familiarizing students with the Master of Social Work (MSW) program and the profession itself, faculty members will work with students throughout the residency and identify specific clinical development needs for each student to address prior to their first field experience.
This is a foundation course in which students broadly address race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and class, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability, and environment in an effort to better understand social identity. Throughout this course, students benefit from course assignments, discussions, and course materials to understand the role of power and privilege and oppression and marginalization on the social development of clients. Students specifically focus on activities that help them recognize systems that support or foster power inequities, oppression, and underutilization of human talent and skills. In addition, students engage in activities to foster self-awareness of their own role in the hierarchy of power and privilege. At the completion of this course, students will understand the importance of social workers developing competence in providing evidence-based contextually and culturally relevant assessments and interventions for individuals, families, groups, and communities.
In this advanced course, students prepare for clinical social work practice that reflects an advanced understanding of lifespan development and sociopsychological identity development in individuals, families, groups, and communities. Throughout this course, students seek to understand human behavior and, in particular, how individuals and families function in an environmental context. With an emphasis on ethical practice in social work, students are provided with knowledge that can inform their assessments, evaluations, interventions, and advocacy for their clients.
The goal of this foundation course is to develop students’ understanding of the importance of research in relation to social work practice. Students are introduced to various research methods—quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research. Students examine ethical standards as they relate to research, basic principles of scientific method, and research that addresses diverse populations. This basic course is the first of two courses designed to prepare students as scholar-practitioners who use research to inform their ethical social work practice.
Students in this foundation course are provided with an overview of the professional social worker’s role in the development, delivery, and implementation of social welfare policies, programs, and services in the U.S. The students explore the history of social welfare and current policies and programs, including those addressing poverty, healthcare (including mental health), child welfare, and disabilities. Students develop policy knowledge and skills to assist them in influencing policy development.
This is the first foundation course in the four-part field practicum sequence. Students are required to complete 250 hours in an approved social services agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. The practicum experience provides students with an introduction to the role of a professional social worker. Students demonstrate skills in maintaining boundaries and ethics while interacting in a professional manner with clients. Through their participation in a weekly hour-long seminar with their instructor and peers, students demonstrate their integration of classroom knowledge with professional practice skills.
This is the second foundation course in the four-part field practicum sequence. As in SOCW 6500, students are again required to complete 250 hours in an approved social services agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. Students have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills in engaging clients, developing mutually agreed-upon goals, identifying clients’ strengths and needs, completing assessments, and providing professional documentation during the field practicum experience. Students also identify policies at the organizational, local, state, or national level, which impact the client system. Through their participation in a weekly hour-long seminar with their instructor and peers, students demonstrate their integration of classroom knowledge with professional practice skills.
In this course, students are provided with an overview of military culture. The focus of this course is on understanding military work culture, the sociocultural identity development of military personnel, the experience of military families, support for military personnel and their families, and socioeconomic and other lifestyle challenges for military personnel. After completing this course, students will be more informed about the mental health and social support needs of these populations.
This foundation course is designed to provide students with an overview of theories and intervention methods for generalist social work practice. Students explore the theoretical constructs and applications of various approaches to working with clients. The emphasis of the course is on the development of strengths based on person-in-environment perspectives, ecological systems theory, problem-solving skills, and person-centered methods. The focus is on the importance of choosing approaches that are compatible with the client’s cultural and ethnic background. The students integrate multiple sources of knowledge and models to interview, assess, and respond empathetically when working with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.
This is an advanced practice course designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to utilize in their clinical social work practice. Students in this course focus on the application of evidence-based theories and other intervention methods with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Additional advanced theories, such as, Attachments Theory and Cognitive Behavior Theory will be integrated into the assessment and intervention processes. This course has a particular focus on preparing students to practice with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds and marginalized or oppressed populations. Students demonstrate therapeutic skills to engage clients, to define and prioritize issues, to set mutually developed goals, and to commit to the change process.
Students in this course, in particular, are prepared to identify and assess problems in biopsychosocial functioning. Throughout this course, students collect, organize, and interpret client data and use it to identify areas of strength and areas that require additional intervention and support. Students examine how race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and age serve to affect clients’ level of functioning and/or how they present themselves. With an emphasis on ethical practice, students use this information to design appropriate interventions to help clients to meet identified goals.
This advanced course is designed to support students’ development as scholar-practitioners in clinical social work. Students identify and apply research that can be used to advance their practice, including social welfare, advocacy, and policy. Throughout the course, students are provided resources and activities designed to help them become critical consumers of research for the sake of ethical, evidence-based clinical social work practice. Students in this course have the opportunity to evaluate research design, research methods, and the applicability of results to diverse populations.
This residency is designed to complement the advanced curriculum. In this residency, students continue to develop their clinical skills and are required to demonstrate competency in ethical practice, case conceptualization, and evidence-based practice. Students also have the opportunity to strengthen their supervision and consultation skills through applied practice. Successful completion of this residency indicates that the student has demonstrated proficiency in the prescribed areas and is ready to interact with the public as a clinical social worker in training.
This is an advanced practice course designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to apply clinical social work services when working with families and groups. Students in this course will concentrate on the application of evidence-based practice theories and group work models consistent with empowerment and ecological perspectives. This course has a particular focus on families and groups from diverse cultural backgrounds and marginalized or oppressed populations. Students will demonstrate clinical practice skills in the assessment, intervention, and evaluation of family systems and groups. This course will focus on the influence of social work professional values in working with families and on group work practice. Students will learn to use the problem solving process to develop mutually agreed goals and objectives, mediate, and facilitate the treatment group process.
This advanced course is designed to prepare students for their roles as supervisors, leaders, and administrators in social work organizations. Students receive academic preparation focused on leadership theory and strategies for leadership development, ethical practice as clinical supervisors, and roles of administrators in social work organizations. Students participate in activities that develop their skills in critical decision making to address some of the complex problems that are common to leaders and administrators in social work. As a result of this course, students should understand the competencies of social work supervisors, leaders, and administrators and identify a plan for their own continued development in these areas.
Students are provided with the knowledge to analyze, formulate, and advocate for social policies that advance individual and social well-being in this course. Students explore various methods of policy analysis and develop advocacy plans that involve collaboration with colleagues and communities to address policy issues. There is a special emphasis on policies that impact human rights and advance social and economic justice. Students develop insight into the policy analysis process, including the values that influence policy, the legislative process, and the roles of advocacy and lobbying organizations.
This is the third course in the four-part field practicum sequence. As in SOCW 6500 and in SOCW 6510, students in this course are also required to complete 250 hours in an approved social services agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. The focus is on agencies that serve clients from diverse groups and/or marginalized or oppressed groups. The practicum experience allows students to recognize the importance of diversity in social work practice, as well as prepare students to negotiate and advocate with and on behalf of client systems to enhance client well-being and ensure social and economic justice. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to critically examine the research available on interventions, make an appropriate selection, and follow through with the implementation. A seminar is included in which students demonstrate the integration of classroom knowledge with the professional practice skills.
This is the final course in the four-part field practicum sequence. As in SOCW 6500, SOCW 6510, and in SOCW 6520, students in this course are also required to complete 250 hours in an approved social services agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. Through the practicum experience, students are provided with the opportunity to monitor and evaluate therapeutic outcomes and engage in research-based practice. Students demonstrate the ability to provide services to a client or client system, from intake to termination or transfer. Students demonstrate skills in termination; evaluating interventions and outcomes; and disseminating these results and analysis to colleagues, peers, and other practitioners. A seminar is included in which students demonstrate the integration of classroom knowledge with the professional practice skills.
The specific focus of this course is on combat trauma, crisis, and stress experiences and responses of military personnel—both wartime and post-war. Students develop an understanding of the short-term and long-term impact of post-traumatic stress and vicarious trauma. In addition to focusing on how combat and wartime experiences impact individual military personnel, students also explore the effects on families. As a result, students will be better prepared to provide services and mental health support to military personnel dealing with trauma, crisis, and stress.
The nature of military work responsibilities impacts not only military personnel but their families as well. Frequent relocations, extended deployments, parent-child separation, and high-risk jobs all contribute to unique family dynamics. This course is designed to educate students about the experience and unique support needs of military personnel and their families.
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