Social Work (SOWK)
SOWK 4001 Clinical Social Work Skills (3 Credits)
This foundation course focuses on basic skills for micro social work practice with individuals and small groups. The framework of intentional interviewing teaches students to think critically about applying the skills for engagement, assessment and intervention. Attention focuses on use of these skills with clients from multiple social identities (e.g. ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, gender affiliation) and the pitfalls of practitioner micro-aggressions. An active learning approach requires students to participate in role-play exercises both in and outside of class. Students digitally record some of those exercises and share them with the class and instructor.
SOWK 4003 Clinical Social Work Theory and Practice (3 Credits)
This foundation course helps students develop a multi-dimensional assessment and intervention framework for clinical social work practice. This course builds upon knowledge of human behavior in the social environment and adds a focus on theories of change - at the individual and family level. The course is grounded in empirical information about the importance of relationship skills, across a variety of classic and modern approaches to intervention. We use a social work lens to emphasize the importance of context in client lives, including their socioeconomic status, cultural history, and experiences of oppression. Since no single theory captures the totality of human experiences, we integrate a variety of intervention techniques from multiple human behavior theories and ground them in a social work framework for ethical and effective clinical practice.
SOWK 4006 Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Theory and Practice (3 Credits)
This foundation course provides an overview of theoretical frameworks for understanding human behavior from a social work perspective. Theories reviewed include the developmental stages across the life cycle in terms of psychological, cognitive, moral, spiritual, identity and social development. Students apply a biopsychological assessment across the life span. The course emphasizes a social work perspective and key frameworks for social work, with an emphasis on the person in environment and systems theory as they describe diverse individual behavior in relation to social class, race and ethnicity, age, gender orientation, sexual orientation, and other multicultural backgrounds. The course aims to develop students' foundational understanding of how theories are used to promote relationship development with diverse individuals and to guide interventions across all system levels. Students may test out of this course and substitute an advanced course in human development, with advisor approval, if they have already successfully completed an equivalent course in human development.
SOWK 4007 Community and Macro Social Work Theory and Practice (4 Credits)
This foundation course provides students with a foundational level understanding of macro social work practice and roles. The course builds upon knowledge of human behavior in the social environment, and adds theories of change to understand diverse communities and social service networks and the relationship of local, national and global interventions. The course introduces students to empirically supported models and emerging interventions that address macro level social issues. Students complete community/organizational assessments and also participate in work groups to learn how to engage, assess, and intervene in communities and organizations.
SOWK 4020 Integrated Social Work Practice for Social Justice (4 Credits)
This foundation course focuses on professional development and identity for social work practice. The course emphasizes values, ethics and ethical decision making in the context of the history of the profession. Students are introduced to person-in-environment, critical theory and empowerment perspectives and apply these concepts to current field of practice and social work roles. Through integration of field placement experiences, students analyze and apply social work frameworks and generalist practice theories to current social justice challenges and diverse contexts that social workers face.
SOWK 4050 Intro to Graduate Internship (1 Credit)
The Introduction to the Graduate Internship seminar prepares students to enter the profession of social work at a graduate level. The course provides an overview of social work values and ethics, populations served, and issues that concern social workers. Through engagement in the course content, students will complete a readiness for field assessment, including their personal and professional motivations to join the profession and serve diverse communities. Students will be exposed to the social work profession’s signature pedagogy, field education, and the stages of experiential learning. The course will also help students develop learning goals for field education and identify potential internship sites.
SOWK 4120 Social Policy Analysis, Advocacy, and Practice (3 Credits)
This foundation course analyzes contemporary societal needs and problems, as well as the historical and current context of U.S. social welfare programs and policies. It presents frameworks used to define social problems and analyze social problems, and introduces students to the policy-making process and the role of policy in service delivery with special emphasis on programs designed to aid the poor and the policies that shape them. The course is designed to help social workers advocate for policies within the social welfare system that advance social well-being and fulfill their ethical obligations to improve social conditions and promote social justice.
SOWK 4132 Power, Privilege and Oppression from a Critical Multicultural Perspective (3 Credits)
This foundation course examines the phenomena of power, privilege and oppression and their effect on individuals, families and communities in the context of the values of social and economic justice and the social work profession. The course is intended to increase awareness of the intersectionality of multiple oppressions with a focus on race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. Students will gain a beginning self-awareness to identify the influence of personal biases and values that impact practice with diverse groups.
SOWK 4150 Foundation Seminar (1 Credit)
Required seminar format used to facilitate the integration of the foundation field practicum and the professional foundation course content; emphasis on linking classroom learning with practice in the field, integrating theory with professional practice; field practicum situations and issues used for discussion and deliberation. Co-requisite: SOWK 4950.
SOWK 4201 Evidence for Practice (3 Credits)
This foundation course focuses on developing student skills in identifying, understanding, and using empirical evidence in support of their social work practice. Students review strategies for finding relevant empirical evidence (also covered in Integrated Social Work Practice for Social Justice). The course introduces students to meta-analyses and systematic reviews for use in support of their practice. The course aids students in developing a familiarity with basic research concepts such as research designs, measurement, and sampling so as to critique the utility of evidence for practice. Students also engage in critically examining available evidence for biases and relevance for under-served populations.
SOWK 4232 Advanced Multicultural Practice: Critical Race Theory Praxis (3 Credits)
Advanced Multicultural Practice: Critical Race Theory Praxis is a micro-, mezzo-, and macro practice course that uses the fundamentals of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework for contextualizing and intervening with client systems. This course is a values elective for all concentrations. CRT is used as a framework to examine, critique, and challenge the way that race and racism is unwittingly sustained and perpetuated by traditional social work approaches to the amelioration of personal and social ills. Through this course, students learn the central tenets of CRT, how to evaluate traditional social work practice using these tenets, and begin to design to design a professional social work practice that uses CRT tenets as a foundation for micro-, mezzo-, and macro-level interventions. This course is offered within the concentration curriculum as a Values for Practice course to assist in the training and preparation of social workers practicing with historical underrepresented and marginalized clients and communities of color. Students develop skills and techniques grounded in anti-oppressive culturally grounded social work practice.
SOWK 4235 Disproportionality and Disparities Across Systems: The Impact on Children and Youth (3 Credits)
This course will explore the interrelatedness of institutional racism and discrimination across major social systems within the U.S., focusing on the historical context of current racial disproportionalities and disparities in youth service systems such as child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, education, and health. Using a critical lens, the course is designed to help students analyze how policy decisions have long-range impact on generations; specifically for children and youth of color. Students will have the opportunity to apply this critical lens to their current field placement and the youth populations they serve. As an elective course, the class is open to all GSSW students; however, students concentrating in child welfare, children and youth, and families are especially encouraged to take the course.
SOWK 4240 Intergenerational Justice (3 Credits)
This course engages students in the conversation, scholarship, and social work practice issues related to how social justice is promoted across age groups and generational cohorts (i.e., baby boomers, generation X, millennial generation). While looking at debates for how families, local communities, states, and nations link age to power, decision-making, funding, and access to resources, the course also examines what within age group issues of injustice and inequality persist. Topics include: generational equity in terms of government budgets and debt, intergenerational issues related to sustainability and ecological justice, age-based versus need-based service delivery models, interventions to address intergenerational conflicts within families, and best practices in intergenerational social service models. This course is designed as a seminar course for social work students from any concentration to explore values related to social justice as they play out across all levels of practice.
SOWK 4250 Concentration Seminar (1 Credit)
This course is taken (by distance education students only) concurrently with the concentration year field practicum and the concentration year required courses. The purpose of this course is to integrate the concentration field experience and concentration year course work to prepare students for employment as professional social workers. This is also an evolving seminar co-created between faculty and students. Clinical issues and skill development at a more advanced clinical level is integrated into the seminar format as well as topics the student and faculty members agree upon that will enhance their first year learning.
SOWK 4299 Advanced Standing Seminar (3 Credits)
The seminar reviews knowledge, skills and values that form the basis of GSSW concentration year curricula in clinical practice, community practice and policy practice. The seminar combines content planned by instructors with individualized guided study and planning for field instruction based on student self-assessments. Prerequisite: Admission to advanced standing program.
SOWK 4301 Advanced Social Work Practice Skills (3 Credits)
This advanced social work practice skills course focuses on the importance of language and social identities and their influence on social work practice across client systems. A social justice, empowerment and reflexive framework challenges students to think critically about applying the skills for engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation in micro, mezzo, and macro practice settings. Attention focuses on use of these skills with individuals, groups, and communities from multiple social identities (e.g., ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, rural/urban) and the repercussions of practitioner micro-aggressions. An active learning approach requires students to: 1) participate in role-play exercises, 2) digitally record demonstration of advanced skills and share them with the class and instructor, 3) use the supervisory relationship to engage in reflexive self-assessment and practice skill adjustments based on that assessment. Prerequisite: SOWK 4001 Clinical Social Work Skills Lab or SOWK 4299 Advanced Standing Seminar.
SOWK 4305 Child Maltreatment: Causes and Developmental Consequences (3 Credits)
This course examines theory and research concerning causes and developmental consequences of child maltreatment, as well as theory and research concerning attachment and the developmental consequences of separation and loss that often follow intervention in child maltreatment.
SOWK 4315 Building Resilience: Healthy Development in Childhood and Adolescence (3 Credits)
This course provides students with knowledge of child and adolescent development with a particular focus on resilience. At each stage of development, risk factors that are deleterious to development, and protective factors that promote healthy development, will be discussed. Along with basic information about theories of resiliency, students will also gain a good working knowledge of cognitive behavior theory.
SOWK 4320 Theories and Practice of Family Systems Therapy (3 Credits)
This course introduces family systems, feminist and cultural/contextual models of family therapy, integrating theory, practice and skill development. Content includes current family structures and assessment and intervention from a family systems perspective with couples and families. Family system models covered: intergenerational, structural, strategic, solution-focused brief, narrative and feminist. Also analyzed in this course are intersecting issues of oppression: sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism and ageism.
SOWK 4325 Evolving Perspectives and Trends in Health and Wellness (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of the theories that inform social work practice in the field of health and wellness. Health as a concept is examined for its understanding and meaning in multiple practice settings, communities and cultures. While addressing evolving trends and ethics in health care practice settings, a range or topics are covered including systems perspectives and thinking, the intersection of health and mental health, wellness and prevention, social ecology of health promotion, client and person centered care, care management and health care disparities.
SOWK 4330 Assessment of Mental Health and Drug Use in Adults (3 Credits)
Focuses on the assessment of psychological, social and biological contributors to mental health disorders in adults and the use of this assessment as a guide for treatment/clinical interventions. Examines the strengths and weaknesses of the DSM-IV classification system in terms of social work values and ethics. Examines symptoms, theories of etiology, treatment interventions and prognosis within each diagnostic category, and reviews a variety of assessment tools in the context of gender, ethnicity, cultural diversity, sexual orientation and historically oppressed and/or disadvantaged populations.
SOWK 4338 Assessment of Mental Health Across the Lifespan (3 Credits)
This course focuses on the assessment of psychological, social and biological contributors to mental health disorders in children, youth, adults, and older adults and the use of this assessment as a guide for treatment/clinical interventions. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of the DSM-5 classification system in the context of social work values and ethics. It examines symptoms, theories of etiology, treatment interventions and prognosis within each diagnostic category and reviews a variety of assessment tools in the context of gender identity and expression, ethnicity, cultural diversity, sexual orientation and historically oppressed and/or disadvantaged population.
SOWK 4340 Leadership and Supervision Skills (3 Credits)
This course examines the application of leadership and supervision theories to practice settings in communities, organizations and policy contexts. A focus is placed on leadership roles and an examination of leadership styles, with an emphasis on the skills of transformational leadership and supervision. Topics covered include team leadership and supervision, one to one supervision skills, managing conflict, personnel management, and cross cultural work.
SOWK 4345 Intersections of Mental Health, Substance Use and, Trauma (3 Credits)
This course is an advanced theory for practice course with builds upon foundation courses in HUman Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) and clinical theories, and covers conceptualization, dynamics of, and interventions in mental health, substance use, and trauma. The course examines the independent and intersecting theory bases of mental health, trauma and substance use approaches. It also explores recent evidence about individual and environmental risks associated with these conditions and evidence about both specific therapeutic interventions and the importance of common relational factors. Social workers make up one of the largest professional groups working with clients living with mental health concerns, and bring a unique person-in-environment and strengths perspective to that work, which fits well with a recovery philosophy. Clinical frameworks and interventions common across these fields, such as harm reduction, motivational interviewing, self-determination theory, and the transtheoretical model of changes are presented, and students are introduced to integrative approaches that show promise in responding to client conditions.
SOWK 4350 Evolving Perspectives and Trends in Aging (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of how theories of aging inform the role of social workers with older adults and their families across a range of service settings, including emerging fields of practice. The course examines multiple perspectives on the late life adult years, spanning the period from middle adulthood and on into late life, including: historical, biological, psychological, social, cross-cultural, and spiritual theories and related empirical evidence. While addressing evolving trends, the importance of difference, and ethical implications the topical issues include: work and retirement; economic status; residence and housing location; education and learning styles; interpersonal relationships with partners, families, and peers; creativity, spirituality, and religiosity; political beliefs and ideologies (including the formation, maintenance and alteration of prejudice and racism); the experience of chronic illness, disability, and death; and wisdom attained during adulthood and aging.
SOWK 4360 Social Ecology, One Health and Resiliency: Connecting Human and Environmental Health (3 Credits)
This course is a theory of practice course in the Sustainable Development and Global Practice Concentration and is a required class. This course is also an elective for other concentrations. A defining feature of social work is the profession's focus on human well-being and health in a context of person-in environment. This theory of practice course builds on that feature and emphasizes the concept of Social Ecology and explores the integrated model of One Health as a necessary understanding for human health as connected to the natural world. This course positions students to understand a 21st-Century vision for a sustainable and healthy human presence on Earth, including an integrated understanding of social, political, economic and environmental structures that influence the UN's Millennium Development Goals http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/. Social workers often conceptualize interventions through the model of a Systems Perspective where the interconnectedness of systems is endorsed as the most accurate way in which to understand people in context. Fundamental to equipping social workers with the knowledge and skills to be effective in new challenges facing the human condition is a comprehensive understanding of the importance of healthy environments, and environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in the everyday lives of people. This course is offered within the Sustainable Development and Global Practice concentration to assist in the training and preparation of social workers practicing within the international arena. Students explore the models and theories for the important and urgent issues occurring in our global environment and come away from this course with a strong understanding of the issues facing communities. Through the development of an integrated social science and eco-centric understanding of one's place in the natural environment and a paradigm that acknowledges the interdependence and interconnection between humans and the more-than-human world, social workers practicing locally and globally will be equipped to contribute to effective, strength-based solutions to address the crises and issues facing the world. Local issues and community-based efforts that strive for socio-environmental justice are highlighted to promote critical thinking around concrete issues and develop a knowledge-base for prevention as well as intervention strategies, environmental awareness, sense of belonging in a community, sustainability, resilience and advocacy. This includes policy and relevant laws with a focus on such topics as environmental toxins, sustainable economics, conservation of nature and biodiversity, land use, water use and the strong correlation between human health and the health of non-human animals and the environment. This includes humane treatment and care of wildlife and habitat and how to empower communities to resist their exploitation. Students are exposed to current challenges and competing needs confronting communities in urban as well as rural communities.
SOWK 4370 Community and Organizational Change: Theory for Practice (3 Credits)
This course presents key theoretical frameworks for students to be informed and innovative in responding to changing community, organizational and societal contexts. Theories of social change are presented that can assist social work leaders in promoting positive social change in the lives of vulnerable populations through the development of policy, community interventions and human services organizations. Students apply theories to understanding organizational change and innovation and the promotion of social and economic justice through community and policy practice.
SOWK 4375 Economic Theory and Social Work (3 Credits)
Human rights, urbanization, poverty, housing, gender inequality, care of children, poverty, indebtedness, racial and/or ethnic discrimination, and cultural conflicts are challenging the United States and nations throughout the world. This course introduces students to economic theories to develop broader conceptualization of local, national, and global social problems and possible intervention strategies. An understanding of economic theory provides a foundation for studying the emergence and maintenance of diverse social policies to address these problems. The course explores Neoclassical, Behavioral, and Microeconomic concepts of economic efficiency and the corresponding consequences to marginalized and oppressed populations.
SOWK 4401 Integrated Health Care: Models and Practice (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of the knowledge, skills and theory of integrated health care social work practice, where physical and behavioral health services are most often provided in a primary care medical environment. Students will learn roles/functions of the behavioral health professional and their effectiveness as a member of the collaborative care team. Incorporating knowledge of evidence-based practice models of care and behavior change theory, they will increase their practice abilities to effectively work at an advanced level of skill as an integrated care behavioral health provider. Strategies and skills in patient engagement, motivational enhancement and advocacy will be taught through case studies and group activities. Cultural competency and effective care planning in an integrated healthcare environment will be emphasized.
SOWK 4410 Prevention & Treatment of Adolescent Substance Abuse (3 Credits)
This course examines causal factors and theories that seek to explain why some adolescents develop problems with alcohol and other drugs. Effective substance abuse prevention and treatment approaches are identified at the individual, family, school and community level.
SOWK 4412 Practice Elements in Interventions with Children and Youth (3 Credits)
This course offers an integrative framework of theory and research to intervene with children and adolescents in school, family, and community-based agencies. Interventions include both direct work with children and collaborative/conjoint work with parents. Techniques include common elements across empirically-supported interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral treatment, client centered treatment, social skills training, and parent management training. Intervention strategies are described across four primary problem areas common among children/adolescents: anxiety, depression, disruptive behavior, and attention deficit disorder. For each of these problem areas, intervention techniques are demonstrated, practiced in class, implemented in field placements, and monitored for client progress. The use of empirically-supported interventions is discussed from a multidimensional perspective with consideration for cultural context and adaptations necessary for particular client groups.
SOWK 4415 Intake and Family Based Services: Assessment and Intervention (3 Credits)
This course examines decision-making in child welfare at the point of family referral to the child welfare system, the processes involved in family assessment and service planning, and design, delivery and intervention skills for home-based child welfare services. It is preferred that students have completed SOWK 4305 prior to taking this course.
SOWK 4416 Foster Care and Permanency Planning (3 Credits)
This course presents strategies for culturally competent assessment and intervention with children who are in foster care, adoption, or with their families. It focuses on permanency planning, involving extended families in making case decisions and caring for children, family reunification, relinquishment of children for adoption, termination of parental rights, preparing children and parents for adoption or guardianship, working with young adults nearing emancipation, and providing post-adoption/guardianship services. Prerequisites: SOWK 4305 and SOWK 4600 or permission of the instructor.
SOWK 4420 Strategies and Techniques of Family Systems Therapy (3 Credits)
This is a skill-based class where students learn to apply family systems knowledge to case situations. Teaching strategies include role-play and discussion of actual cases. Prerequisite: SOWK 4320.
SOWK 4422 Strategies for Family Meetings (3 Credits)
This course builds students' skills in conducting family meetings and brief family interventions. Students learn to incorporate clinical principles during time-limited contact with clients and their families of all ages. Skills include assessing family dynamics quickly, guiding family mediations and decision-making meetings, managing and debriefing crises and incidents, providing education, and intervening with supportive counseling. These skills are applicable in different human service organizations, such as aging services, alcohol and drug treatment facilities, child welfare, hospital and outpatient health care facilities, mental health settings, and schools.
SOWK 4425 Positive and Community Youth Development (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of the "community and positive youth development" approach to providing social services to children and adolescents. Many services for young people focus on negative outcomes such as behavior problems, pregnancy, violence, drug abuse, and truancy. These services are supposed to "fix" the small minority of kids who are "broken" in some way. The community and positive youth development perspective stresses that all youth need a variety of supports and opportunities to develop into healthy, contributing adults. This course considers how such an approach to social service delivery can be applied across different organizational settings (e.g., schools, government agencies, and non-profits) to promote the well-being of American youth from diverse cultural backgrounds.
SOWK 4430 Substance Use Interventions (3 Credits)
There is widespread recognition that substance use is one of America's most pressing social problems. Social workers increasingly find themselves attempting to help individuals and families resolve substance use problems, as well as directly or indirectly related issues. This course introduces students to current and emerging substance use treatment approaches so they can conduct their practices from an informed perspective.
SOWK 4435 Community Organizing and Empowerment Practice (3 Credits)
Examines empowerment practice and community organizing as a social work intervention method. Topics include challenges of community practice in today's world and with diverse groups; special tactics and techniques of community organizing and community capacity building models; empowerment of oppressed populations; ethical issues in community practice; social work and social justice. This is a required course in the Leadership for Community and Organizational Practice.
SOWK 4445 Social Work Assessment and Intervention in Aging (3 Credits)
This course focuses on biological, neurological, psychological, social, spiritual, and environmental aspects of late life as a foundation for the delivery of assessments and interventions to older adults. This course presents information on demographic projections, population trends, and theoretical perspectives that inform gerontological social work practice. This class additionally focuses on the unique nature of social work with this diverse population including a continuum of care services for older adults, interdisciplinary nature of helping services, dynamic nature of aging for multiple vulnerable older adults such as those facing institutionalized oppression, and specific attention to elder wellness.
SOWK 4454 Child and Adolescent Trauma (3 Credits)
This course introduces students to the common concepts (general theory and foundational knowledge), components (intervention and treatment elements) and skills (practitioner skills) underlying evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. 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, witnessing interpersonal crime (e.g. intimate partner violence), and other traumatic events. The course highlights the role of development, culture, and empirical evidence in trauma-specific interventions with children, adolescents, and their families. It addresses the level of functioning of primary care giving environments and assesses the capacity of the community to facilitate restorative processes. The course focuses on assessment and intervention as a foundation for subsequent learning about treatment. This course incorporates the new National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) core curriculum on child trauma (CCCT). The course conveys the crucial evidence-based concepts, components, and skills designed by NCTSN to strengthen competency in assessment, referral, and treatment.
SOWK 4465 Human Security: Intervention Strategies for Economic & Social Development (3 Credits)
Human security is a new paradigm for understanding complex global vulnerabilities. Human security goes way beyond traditional notions of national security and highlights the security of the individual rather than that of the nation state. Human security uses a person, entitlement and human rights centered view of security. It is essential for national, regional and global stability and sustainability. In defining human security, the United Nations stressed "the right of all people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair," and recognized that "all individuals, in particular vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential" (A/RES/60/1). "Human security aims at ensuring the survival, livelihood and dignity of people in response to current and emerging threats - threats that are widespread and cross cutting. Such threats are not limited to those living in absolute poverty or conflict" (UN-OCHA). Today, the impacts of natural disasters, climate change and other forms of environmental change, and global economic crises, among others, are considered to threaten human security in developing as well as developed countries. The increasing numbers of internal violent conflicts, forced migration, natural disasters and environmental degradation have resulted in national and international security failings that reflect the challenges of the post-Cold War security environment. The failure of mainstream development models to generate growth, particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), or to deal with the consequences of complex new threats (e.g., HIV/AIDS, climate change, social and economic inequality) reinforced the sense that international institutions and states are not organized to address such problems in an integrated way. Social workers focusing on human, social and economic issues in global settings will use various human development strategies and other capacity-building approaches in practice. This course develops students' skills in human and social development strategies, sustainable livelihood and conflict management strategies, and other capacity-building community strategies, and fosters a solid understanding of the programmatic and practical requirements for human security in a global context.
SOWK 4500 Mental Health Interventions with Children (3 Credits)
This course offers an integrative framework of theory and research to understand and intervene in the major mental health problems experienced by children. Interventions include both direct work with children and collaborative/conjoint work with parents. Techniques include play therapy, cognitive-behavioral interventions, psychopharmacology, and crisis intervention for suicide. Children's development is considered from a multidimensional perspective, including cultural context, risk and protective factors, and the development of psychopathology.
SOWK 4501 Wellness Promotion and Intervention Across the Lifespan (3 Credits)
This course prepares students to critically analyze the determinants of wellness across the life span, across socio-economic boundaries and across cultures in order to promote wellness in the everyday lives we lead both personally and as social workers in a community. An emphasis will be placed on the research and application of knowledge and skills to increase social worker awareness of the distinctions between health and wellness and to promote wellness in the quality of life in a community. This course builds students' skills and strategies to enhance wellness needs within a community. Strategies include using developmental models, researching current policies, and implementing wellness assessment tools in order to create interventions for communities.
SOWK 4505 Relationship Therapy (3 Credits)
This course focuses on assessment, problem/solution path identification, intervention strategies and outcome evaluation in counseling heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples. Identifies common relationship patterns and explores intervention strategies including behavioral, strategic, structural, narrative, transpersonal and feminist. Also covered are issues such as conflict management, relationship enhancement, intimacy, power and control, domestic abuse, infidelity and divorce. Students will analyze the intersecting issues of oppression: sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism and ageism.
SOWK 4520 Advanced Strategies and Techniques of Family Systems Practice (3 Credits)
This course is an advanced skill-based course that extends students' knowledge and application of family systems therapy. The course engages the activate participation of students in role-play scenarios and the discussion and deconstruction of actual cases. Advanced Strategies and Techniques builds on the family systems theory and practices applications learned in the family systems concentration courses and expands students' opportunity to apply theory to cases in diverse practice and client situations. Pre-requisites: SOWK 4320 and SOWK 4420.
SOWK 4523 Care Management Skills and Resources to Promote Community Living (3 Credits)
Many individuals and their families of all ages cope with physical and mental health conditions that impede their ability to live in the community. A vast array of formal and informal resources, public programs, and privately funded services can promote community living. Social workers often provide care management to enhance access, coordinate care, and ensure equality of these long-term services and supports. This course will develop students' skill at care management and knowledge of resources, including resources for persons with developmental disabilities, chronic mental health conditions, physical disabilities, and age-related functional impairments.
SOWK 4525 Administration and Management Practice and Skills (3 Credits)
This course examines the application of leadership and supervision theories to practice settings in communities, organizations and policy contexts. A focus is placed on leadership roles and an examination of leadership styles, with an emphasis on the skills of transformational leadership and supervision. Topics covered include team leadership and supervision, one to one supervision skills, managing conflict, personnel management, and cross cultural work.
SOWK 4530 Poverty and Community Economic Development (3 Credits)
This is an advanced community practice class focused on poverty, low-income neighborhoods and local economic development. The class begins with a thorough review of the scholarly literature related to poverty, sustainability, and the concentration of poverty in low-income neighborhoods. Then, public and private responses to poverty are examined. The class focuses on both governmental policies and programs supported by the private sector. Next, the class turns to local responses to the concentration of poverty in low-income neighborhoods. The class focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of programs and interventions aimed at community economic development in low-income neighborhoods.
SOWK 4535 Planning and Program Development (3 Credits)
This course prepares students to engage in strategic planning and program development roles and practice within a social work community, organizational, or policy practice setting. Students in this course gain knowledge in the principles of planning, social enterprise, the engagement of stakeholders in planning processes, community collaboration and the elements of designing and implementing programs. Students have the opportunity to put this knowledge base into practice by developing a comprehensive program proposal applying the skills of strategic thinking, planning, critically evaluating research informed practice and practice informed research. In addition, students engage in communicating professional judgment in both written and oral formats.
SOWK 4565 Social and Environmental Impact Assessments (3 Credits)
Social and environmental impact assessments are important tools for analyzing and managing both the intended and unintended consequences of development projects on human and ecological systems in order to bring about a more equitable and sustainable social ecological system. This class incorporates an understanding of the history and concepts of the three levels of impact assessments (micro, mezzo, and macro) into the research process that is the core of social impact assessments. Students prepare and evaluate social ecological impact assessments through learning to identify and define problems, select theoretical frameworks appropriate to the problem, identify research questions, design a study appropriate for the identified questions, gather and analyze data, and write the final assessment. Particular attention is paid to assessing the effects of interventions on vulnerable populations. Other topics will focus on the practical aspects of project team selection and management, timelines, and the communication of findings to stakeholders.
SOWK 4600 Child Welfare Policies and Services (3 Credits)
This course examines contemporary U.S. child welfare policies in historical perspective, focusing on prevention, report and investigation of child abuse and neglect, as well as family preservation, out-of-home care, adoption and services for troubled adolescents. Also evaluated are the impact of policies and proposals for change in policies, considering empirical evidence, values and ethics. Provides a framework to analyze policy choices and encourages students to advocate for needed policy changes. Prerequisite: SOWK 4120 or SOWK 4299.
SOWK 4605 Poverty: Policies and Services (3 Credits)
The United States poverty rate declined steadily from the 1950s through the 1970s, decreasing from 22% of the population in the late 1950s to 12% in the late 1970s. Poverty rates have fluctuated since then with current rates standing at approximately 15% or 46 million people. More than 16 million children, 22% of all children, live in families with incomes below the federal poverty line. The course begins by considering the federal poverty measure and competing definitions of poverty. Key programs and policies meant to alleviate poverty, such as government transfer programs (including cash and noncash welfare, earnings supplements, and social insurance programs), education and training programs, and support services are examined. Course content is applied to practice scenarios to enhance student knowledge of poverty programs, eligibility criteria and application processes. Critical discussions of these programs will inform analysis of alternative approaches to poverty reduction and economic self-sufficiency.
SOWK 4610 Policies and Programs for Children and Youth (3 Credits)
This course examines the history and evolution of social policies and programs targeting high-risk youth. Students will seek to critically analyze the effects of current and recent policies in the context of youth offending and other adolescent problem behaviors. Prerequisite: SOWK 4120 or SOWK 4299.
SOWK 4630 Family Policies and Services (3 Credits)
Identifies challenges contemporary American families are experiencing and presents strategies for developing policies and services to meet these challenges. Examines specific policies and services that most affect families, as well as broader questions concerning power and its distribution, allocation of resources and the role of government in promoting individual and family well-being. Prerequisite: SOWK 4120 or SOWK 4299.
SOWK 4635 Immigration Policies and Services (3 Credits)
This course identifies challenges for immigrants and presents strategies for developing policies and services to meet these challenges. It not only examines specific policies and services that most affect immigrants but also considers broader questions concerning power and its distribution, allocation of resources, and the role of government in promoting individual and family well-being. This is a concentration policy course for all concentrations.
SOWK 4640 Mental Health and Substance Use Policies (3 Credits)
This course provides a comprehensive understanding of policies related to mental health and/or substance use, their historical antecedents, and the socio-political forces that influence their development. This course also introduces students to emerging controversies concerning these policies.
SOWK 4645 Health Care Policy (3 Credits)
This policy course provides an overview of health care policy as it is relevant to social work practice in multiple health and behavioral care settings. With the advent of health care reform and the implementation and operationalization of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), there are rapidly changing policy issues related to this innovative integration and delivery of health care services. Students in this course critically analyze the practice of policy in this new and quickly evolving service arena. This course explores key health policy strategies to foster integrated delivery system development and sustainability in line with health policy goals to reduce cost of care, improve population health and improve quality of integrated care services, with special emphasis on the integration of primary care, behavioral health services and wellness/health promotion initiatives. Strategies for students to influence policies and promote change in the interest of the individual/family/community, agency/organization and the communities they serve are presented. Critical thinking skills in developing and analyzing proposals to improve integrated health policy are encouraged. The course builds on policy content offered in the professional foundation year and links policy to practice and research skills.
SOWK 4650 Aging Policy (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of social policy and service delivery issues in gerontology. It includes a critical review of rapidly developing policy issues, as well as an overview of U.S. health care and social service delivery systems serving older adults. The course encourages students to participate in critical analysis of issues and to develop and analyze innovative proposals to improve policy and programs for older adults. This course fulfills the policy requirement for the Aging Services and Policy concentration.
SOWK 4655 Mental Health and Health Care Policy (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of social policy and service delivery issues in mental health and health care, with emphasis on achieving quality and addressing disparities. It includes a critical review of United States’ historic and developing policy issues, as well as mental health and health care financing and delivery systems and other key issues in the field. Students will participate in critical analysis of issues and will examine various proposals to improve mental health and health care policy and programs. Prerequisite: SOWK 4120 Social Policy Analysis, Advocacy and Practice, or SOWK 4299 Advanced Standing Seminar.
SOWK 4660 Social Policy Advocacy (3 Credits)
Facilitates student learning within policy-making arenas. Students are paired with health and social service agencies and coalitions to assist in agenda-setting, legislative research, and issue-advocacy development and implementation in the state legislature and bureaucracy.
SOWK 4665 Global Policies and Programs (3 Credits)
This course focuses on understanding and connecting eminent global policy trends, their inter-relatedness with globalization and their impact on human and social development. In particular, economy, trade, human rights, immigration, health, environment, human security as well as disaster relief and response related policies are examined. The course gives students the opportunity to study, analyze and understand specific federal and global policy initiatives, their development and implementation. The goal of this course is to train students to understand the essential components of global policies in both the public and private sectors and to prepare them to initiate systems reform to accomplish innovative and effective outcomes. This course addresses the development of policy in the context of social values and ethics. Policies are covered both from the viewpoint of developed and developing countries. Readings, examples and discussion include policies of nations and international organizations (e.g., United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization) with applications to both developed and developing countries. The course emphasizes an analytic approach for understanding the impact of policy on programs, services, and development at large.
SOWK 4670 Policy Development & Analysis (3 Credits)
Focuses on the development and analysis of social welfare policy. Reviews the structure of the policy-making and implementation process, and examines perspectives on the definition of social problems and approaches to the development and analysis of social welfare policies. Students apply the perspectives and frameworks as they analyze a specific social problem and policy directed toward it, identify needed change in policy, select place and strategy for change in policy, and communicate knowledge to central actors in the policy-making and implementation process. Prerequisite: SOWK 4120 or SOWK 4299.
SOWK 4680 Native Peoples Practice: History and Policy (3 Credits)
This course is designed as the background to practice with Native Peoples. It will explore the relationship between theory and practice, socio-economic, political, and health issues, and the dynamics of changes in reservation and urban Native communities. Historical trauma, federal policies, impacting Native people, and laws and regulations that impact social service delivery will be reviewed. Social services delivery systems will be analyzed with the uniqueness of the cultural parameters of tribal communities. Guest lecturers from tribal communities may partner with faculty to teach the course. Prerequisites: SOWK 4299 and SOWK 4132.
SOWK 4700 Solution Focused Brief Therapy (3 Credits)
This course is a methods/skills course that provides students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the contextual stance and core interventions of the evidence-based approach, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Students gain an understanding of how this approach works, and the ability to use this approach in a variety of settings including with clients struggling with chronic mental illness, trauma, and substance misuse, as well as with children and adolescents, couples and families, in community development, and supervision. This course addresses competencies and practice behaviors in advanced clinical settings including Families, Child Welfare, Children and Youth, Mental Health and Health.
SOWK 4705 Forensic Orientation in Social Work Practice: Assessment and Interventions with High-Risk Offenders (3 Credits)
Presents and applies a framework for assessing and intervening with offender populations. This risk and containment framework takes a community safety and victim-centered perspective and focuses on assessing and intervening with multiple systems surrounding offenders. The framework is then applied to specific interventions with domestic violence abuse offenders and with adult and adolescent sexual offenders.
SOWK 4710 Domestic Violence (3 Credits)
This is a concentration year practice elective focusing on understanding, assessing, and intervening with domestic violence, understood as violence occurring in the context of intimate relationships. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the theoretical understanding and practice skills necessary to establish a beginning competence in assessing and intervening with domestic violence and in developing community, systemic, and policy responses.
SOWK 4712 Law of Family and Child (3 Credits)
Examines legal principles and procedures relevant to social work practice with families and children: structure and operation of the American legal system, principles to follow in conducting legal research, basic principles of constitutional law and law related to juvenile delinquency, child protection, child adoption, education and domestic relations. Covers legal aspects of social work practice including licensing, confidentiality and professional liability. Successful completion of this course or SOWK 4715 required for certification as school social worker in Colorado.
SOWK 4713 Preventing Behavioral Health Problems in Children and Youth (3 Credits)
Behavioral health problems in childhood and adolescence take a heavy toll on millions of lives. These problems range widely – from anxiety and depression to alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse; delinquent and violent behavior; dropping out of school; and risky sexual activity and unwanted pregnancies. SOWK 4713 presents an overview of practices and policies aimed at preventing behavioral health problems in young people. Emphasis is placed on developing the practice and policy skills that are necessary to deliver preventive interventions and programs in schools, families, and communities. Students will select an effective program, learn the skills necessary to deliver the program, and then implement the program in a classroom setting. Class content will emphasize the importance of increasing the role of social work practitioners and social work values in the interdisciplinary field of prevention practice.
SOWK 4715 School Social Work Interventions (3 Credits)
Designed to give students the ability to identify, understand and apply the varied roles of school social worker. Examines politics of education, the educational organizational structure, special education law and process, collaborative teamwork with school and community professionals and intersystem case coordination. Emphasis placed on meeting the needs of special education populations through assessment, intervention and evaluation and on preventive programs for children and youth at risk for school failure, truancy and dropping out.
SOWK 4720 Prevention and Treatment of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Violence (3 Credits)
Examines causal factors and theories that seek to explain why some adolescents engage in delinquent conduct and/or violent behavior. Effective delinquency and violence prevention and treatment approaches are identified at the individual, family, school and community levels.
SOWK 4721 Existential Social Work Practice (3 Credits)
The problems facing people can be understood in the context of situations and meanings they give to them. This course seeks to identify useful ways to clarify and validate the client's unique "world view", bypassing the many dangers and misuses of diagnostic categorization and empowering clients in relation to themselves and problem definition.
SOWK 4723 Social Work Practice in Health Care (3 Credits)
This course is designed to explore and develop advanced social work knowledge and skills in order to practice social work in diverse health care settings. It includes examination of the social work role on interdisciplinary teams, health care terminology, setting-specific assessment and interventions and comprehensive social work services for acute and chronically ill patients. It emphasizes social work values and ethics in relation to health care practice.
SOWK 4725 Mind-Body Connections and Social Work Practice (3 Credits)
This course teaches skills for implementing mind-body techniques, models for wellness assessments, and evidence-based mind-body strategies for intervention in client and community problems. An evidence-based approach creates a foundation for: 1) understanding the mind-body connection that influences an individual’s and community’s physical, emotional, and social well-being and 2) the most efficacious methods for mind-body social work practice skills. Research evidence demonstrates that mind-body strategies are helpful for an array of concerns such as, military personnel with PTSD, adults with emotional regulation issues, academic concerns of stressed-urban youth, community mobilization, and emancipatory practice.
SOWK 4730 Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (3 Credits)
This course examines major cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) suggesting methods focusing on clients' problem-solving abilities, building on client strengths, targeting specific thought patterns that impede clients from reaching goals, and assessing outcomes in terms of changes in thinking and behavior. Theory is applies to individuals, dyads, families, and groups. Additionally, this course examines relevant research suggesting both indication and counter-indications of approaches.
SOWK 4732 Disrupting Privilege through Anti-Oppressive Practice (3 Credits)
This course, building on the theoretical foundation in SOWK 4132 Multicultural Social Work Practice, examines the barriers to the professional use of self as an ally to historically disenfranchised groups, both in the context of day-to-day relationships with clients as well as in the context of community and macro-level interventions. The course is intended to assist in understanding the personal, situational, structural, and cultural influences that impede justice-oriented social work practice. The course supports students in developing strategies, skills, and approaches to anti-oppressive practice. Anti-oppressive social work practice is a range of practice approaches that adopt a critical and structural perspective on issues of social inequality, oppression, power, privilege, and domination. It encompasses approaches such as feminist, anti-racist, Afrocentric, disability practice, and critical social work frameworks to name a few (Campbell, 2003). It attends to both process and outcome (Dominelli, 1998), and links the provision of individual assistance to people from marginalized groups with involvement in social movements corresponding to the marginalization (Carniol, 2000). "The [anti-oppressive] framework enables links to be made between individual action and social structures. It informs practice by enabling the worker to evaluate differences that exist at an individual level and within society and how these impact on each other. It provides the means of making accurate assessments by taking into account the inequalities that texture the lives of those denied access to society's resources because of their defined social status and the exclusionary practices of the dominant system. It demands that we consistently engage in the process of critical self examination, which in turn enables us to engage in the process of change." (Dalrymple and Burke, 1995, p. 18).
SOWK 4735 Interpersonal Approaches to Counseling (3 Credits)
This course is an elective course which utilizes the interpersonal models of psychotherapy and neurobiology, drawing upon psychodynamic theories and techniques. The course examines traditional and contemporary psychotherapy theories and techniques. Interpersonal interventions are grounded within the values, ethics and standards of practice for clinical social work.
SOWK 4737 Assmnt & Interven w/Adolescent (3 Credits)
Examines adolescence as a major developmental life cycle stage and the reciprocal relationships between gender, race, ethnicity, family development, peer group, neighborhood and the adolescent's physical, intellectual, social and sexual development, as they contribute to identity formation. Presents individual, group, family and programbased intervention approaches, ranging from least to most intensive and restrictive. Prerewuisite: completion of foundation year course work or permission of adviser and instructor.
SOWK 4741 Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan (3 Credits)
This course is designed to prepare students to understand social work roles and practice (engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation) in working with those experiencing loss across the life span. Whether the loss is related to health or functioning, family system, developmental stage or an actual death, this course prepares students to be culturally responsive to diverse perspectives and bereavement needs. Students will learn theoretical models of grief and loss and how to effectively evaluate the needs of grieving individuals, families, communities and their support systems.
SOWK 4749 Social Work Interventions with Latinos/as (3 Credits)
Addresses immigration issues, as well as intervention and theoretical approaches for Latinos/as. Covers the selection of interventions and strategies for cross-cultural use in adequately addressing the needs of Latinos/as. A required course for the Social Work with Latinos/as Certificate.
SOWK 4750 Critical Perspectives on the Latino Context (3 Credits)
This course provides a framework for culturally relevant social work services designed to meet the needs of the Latino/a community. This is a social work content course taught in Spanish in collaboration with the Department of Languages and Literatures. Students acquire core principles grounded in an understanding of social justice, privilege, and oppression including the interconnection between human and civil rights, globalization, immigration and poverty. Students will expand their oral and written Spanish expression as they learn about cultural, social and political theory. Students learn aspects of Mexican culture, community development, historical patterns of oppression, spirituality, and the role of indigenous movements. As a result of this course, students understand how to advocate for nondiscriminatory cultural, social and economic practices within a Latino context and experience. The course is open to both foundation and concentration students. It is designed for students in all tracks who have an interest in understanding issues facing the Latino community. This course is conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Initial placement is based on minimum language proficiency test results at the intermediate-advanced level. Further placement determination will consist of a comprehensive evaluation to ascertain oral and written proficiency.
SOWK 4751 Global Relations and Poverty in Mexico (3 Credits)
Provides a mixture of experiential and academic learning based on the community-learning model of Paulo Friere. Taught in Cuernavaca, Mexico, the course covers Mexican culture, community development, historical patterns of oppression, spirituality and liberation theology, global economics and policy, and the role of indigenous movements. Includes discussion on the relationship between poverty in Mexico and the US, and implication for social workers. A required course for the Social Work with Latinos/as Certificate.
SOWK 4752 Trauma Informed Assessment and Interventions (3 Credits)
This course provides an overview of multi-system level definitions of traumatic experience—historical, individual, interpersonal, family, organizational, and community. The emphasis is on social work practice that is culturally responsive, growth-oriented, and strengths based, in which the study of trauma is approached from a theoretical base that perceives the trauma response as a "response" rather than a "disorder." Trauma informed assessment and interventions are examined, incorporating a social justice perspective on historical trauma, poverty, and interpersonal violence. This course promotes the unique contribution social workers offer through the lenses of strength, resilience, and coping as well as commitments to cultural responsiveness and ecological/systems factors. Students will identify how secondary trauma impacts social workers and the importance of professional accountability to self-care and ongoing growth and development.
SOWK 4753 Social Development in Latin America (3 Credits)
Covers social development in South and Central America, with special emphasis on Mexico. Practice-oriented, it is geared towards a knowledge of policy-making in Latin America and on the skills required for local social development. A required course for the Social Work with Latinos/as Certificate.
SOWK 4754 Trauma and Recovery in Social Work Practice (3 Credits)
Provides an overview of multi-system level definitions of trauma experience - historical, individual, interpersonal, family, organizational, community, and global. Also examines various approaches to trauma response theory. Promotes the unique contribution social workers have to offer through lenses of strength, resiliency, and coping as well as commitments to multicultural and systems factors.
SOWK 4755 Interventions for Responses to Trauma (3 Credits)
This course is designed from a strengths perspective, in which the study of trauma is approached from a theoretical base that perceives psychological adjustments after trauma as primarily a "response" rather than a "disorder." Includes information on the integration of cognitive, emotional, and somatic approaches to trauma treatment, as well as consideration of when to use a trauma-informed versus a trauma-focused paradigm. At the community level, the course also includes an introduction to mental health reactions and responses to disaster. Prerequisite: SOWK 4754.
SOWK 4756 Social Work from a Chinese Perspective (3 Credits)
This course provides students with a unique opportunity to learn first in the classroom the social, cultural, historical, political, and economic characteristics of China and how these characteristics shape social work in China. Then students learn by experiencing social work in China. In Beijing, students participate in lectures given by faculty at China Youth University, discussions with social work students, visits to social work organizations, visits to important cultural landmarks and nightly synthesis of new knowledge and experiences. An elective course.
SOWK 4757 Social Work and Latino/a Cultures: An Intensive Practice and Spanish Immersion Course (3 Credits)
This required course for the Social Work with Latinos/as certificate combines academic classroom instruction and experiential and conversational learning. The goal of the course is to enhance the student's Spanish communication and cultural responsively skills through dialogue practice and service in Latin America. Country location for this study abroad course is determined based on yearly certificate objectives and travel advisories. Based on the student's individual skills and interests, and the needs of local field agencies and communities, students become involved in volunteer and service learning opportunities preparing them for their concentration field placement back in the United States where they are expected to demonstrate competency in Spanish. Students will learn to identify cultural differences and similarities in attitudes towards community organizing and mental health care, and social service delivery in order to better address these cultural differences and similarities in the United States. This experience also allows students to learn Spanish within a cultural and professional context. This course is conducted entirely in Spanish.
SOWK 4758 Social Work in Kenya: Context, Conservation, Empowerment, Sustainability (3 Credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to the social, cultural and conservation issues of Kenya and East Africa. This course is field-based with strong emphasis on service learning and direct experiences. Course readings, lectures, classroom discussions, service learning projects and field work in rural Kenya provide participants firsthand experience in the social, cultural, historical, political, environmental, ecological and economic realities that exist in Kenya. This course is open to qualified concentration and advanced standing Graduate School of Social Work students. The course meets on campus for four sessions before traveling to Nairobi, Voi, and Kasigau, Kenya. Due to the intensive nature, remote travel logistics and costs for this course, direct communication with the professors is required. Qualifications include: willingness to sign International Travel Agreement, willingness to receive required medical authorization and immunization, academic good standing, and readiness for the physical and emotional demands of traveling in rural and remote Africa.
SOWK 4759 Global Cultural Perspectives: Consensus and Conundrums (3 Credits)
Social workers increasingly practice in global communities both nationally and internationally. Changes in practice environments demand that social work practitioners are informed citizens of comparative cultures and societies. This course examines the values and ethics of social work practice in a global context of power, privilege and oppression. Course materials and educational experiences are used to challenge students to examine ethical and value-based conundrums when practicing in global settings and to develop practice skills to enhance the health, well-being and sustainability of communities. Through the use of case studies, critical thinking, cultural inventories and reflexivity the course supports and challenges students' personal growth and professional practice.
SOWK 4760 Resource Development and Fundraising (3 Credits)
This course examines strategies and tactics around skill building in fundraising, resource-development strategies, grant-proposal writing, budgeting, and fiscal processes common to not-for-profit or governmental organizations. Topics include resource development and acquisition (fundraising) and discussions on the budget process required resource management for nonprofit organizations.
SOWK 4762 Bosnia in Transition: The Social Work Response (3 Credits)
This course provides students with the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the social work response in post-war Bosnia through a social justice lens. The social, cultural, historical, political, economic, religious, legal and ethnic characteristics of the former Yugoslavia will be explored as context for studying the genocide that occurred in the l990s. Learning will occur in the classroom at GSSW, followed by travel to Bosnia. Students will be exposed firsthand to the local, national and international efforts toward rebuilding and healing, through lectures provided by faculty at the University of Sarajevo School of Social Work, interaction with Bosnian social work students, visits to NGOs focused on the post-war efforts, visits to sites important during the war, visits to war tribunal sites, and exposure to current legal, economic and human service processes.
SOWK 4764 Historical Trauma and Healing (3 Credits)
This course is designed to provide students with a context for practice with communities experiencing historical trauma. We learn about the conceptualization of historical trauma, its impact on communities as well as community responses to it. We also discuss the importance of cultural protective factors, strengths, and culturally relevant models of healing around multigenerational, collective experiences of trauma. A number of practice approaches found useful with communities experiencing historical trauma are presented and discussed. Class format includes presentations, small group discussions, films, poetry, movement, and experiential learning in the community. This course is built upon the concepts of empowerment practice, indigenous models of social work, and narrative theory and practice. We use these perspectives as we explore work around historical trauma in communities. This class provides social work direct practice skills on individual, family, community and policy levels.
SOWK 4765 International Social Development (3 Credits)
Social development is a process of planned instructional change to bring about a better correspondence between human needs and social policies and programs. This class focuses primarily on the developing work with particular emphasis on transitional economies. Practice-oriented, the class is geared toward a knowledge of policy-making for human security and the skills required for local social development.
SOWK 4775 Social Work with Adult Groups (3 Credits)
The course teaches students advanced clinical group work methods and skills with vulnerable and resilient adult clients who are experiencing an array of bio-psycho-social-spiritual problems, and who are seen in mental health, health, and gerontology practice settings. The purpose of group work is to meet the socio-emotional needs of members through mutual aid and support, education, therapy, growth, and socialization. The impact of gender, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, ability/disability, and spirituality on group formation and dynamics is addressed. Evidence of practice effectiveness of group methods is examined. Ethical conflicts and dilemmas involved in group work are considered within the framework of social work values and ethics.
SOWK 4780 Conflict Resolution in Social Work Practice (3 Credits)
Covers methods of conflict resolution including negotiation, bargaining and mediation. Applies social work role of mediator to families, divorces and child custody, elder care issues, groups and organizations. Examines frameworks and helps students build skills for conflict resolution in practice. An elective course.
SOWK 4784 Suicide Assessments and Interventions (3 Credits)
This course builds students' competencies in assessing suicide risk, planning for safety, and providing counseling to individuals who are thinking about suicide or have made a suicide attempt. This class examines theories of suicide causation, methods of suicide risk assessment, and models of techniques for intervention. Students will learn practices for eliciting sensitive information about troubling thoughts, assessing and documenting a client's level of suicide risk, and using cognitive-behavioral and other methods to help reduce suicide risk.
SOWK 4790 Human Sexuality (3 Credits)
Integrates human sexuality in the thinking and practice of social workers. By viewing sexual behavior from the social work perspective, the student is prepared to assume a significant role in helping clients deal with issues of human sexuality. Focuses on clients experiencing sexual dysfunction and on sexually oppressed client groups including the elderly, the homosexually or bisexually oriented, the physically or developmentally challenged and the sexually abused. An elective course.
SOWK 4795 Integration of Animals Into Therapeutic Settings (3 Credits)
Explores the human-animal bond and potential for therapeutic intervention with the animal as teacher, therapist, facilitator and companion in a number of therapeutic settings. Focuses on core skills for social workers seeking to integrate this clinical approach into their practice. A required course for the Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate.
SOWK 4796 Animal Assisted Social Work Practice (3 Credits)
This course provides a comprehensive examination of approaches to Animal Assisted Social Work (AASW) and emphasizes clinical application skills utilized with a broad array of persons and in a number of therapeutic settings. Students will learn to design, implement and analyze the efficacy of AASW approaches within their chosen area of specialization, providing an opportunity to practice these approaches in their field internships. Students will learn to clearly articulate, assess, and intervene in "link" violence as it relates to social work practices and AASW implications. A required course for the Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate. Prerequisite: SOWK 4795 or permission of instructor.
SOWK 4797 Issues for Evidence-Supported Animal Assisted Social Work (3 Credits)
This course is designed to take students into an evidence-supported exploration and understanding of methods for incorporating specific animals and animal assisted interventions in the context of current social work practice. The course examines the capacities of different species for work with diverse goals and populations in animal interactions and introduces components critical to animals' well-being. Emphasis is placed on case formulation and experiential learning methods that link goal-specific human-animal interactions that impact measureable client behavioral changes. The course focuses on the explicit identification of how the animal will move clients toward goals and identifying outcomes and indicators of such change. Special attention is given to the development of animal selection, handling, evaluation, and management skills necessary for development as a social worker with competency in the incorporation of animals in evidence-based practice. Prerequisite: SOWK 4795.
SOWK 4820 Integrated Family Studies Intensive I (1,2 Credit)
This course aids students in identifying personal strengths and weaknesses which may contribute to therapeutic work with clients.
SOWK 4821 Integrated Family Studies Intensive II (1,2 Credit)
This course is designed to provide an understanding of the historical development and basic theory and practice of family therapy.
SOWK 4825 Family Therapy Assessment, Engagement and Treatment Planning (1,2 Credit)
This course provides knowledge of assessment concepts that are related directly to strategy and goal planning, which facilitate proceeding with the early phase of family treatment.
SOWK 4826 Applied Ethics (1,2 Credit)
This class enhances the student's understanding of the professional, legal and ethical issues in systemic, relational, and family therapy.
SOWK 4830 Stategies and Techniques in Family Therapy: Families and Play Therapy (1,2 Credit)
This course is designed to acquaint students with the origin, theory and use of strategic and narrative methods in marital and family therapy.
SOWK 4831 Couples I (2 Credits)
This course concentrates on approaches to couples therapy. Developmental models of couples work are explored.
SOWK 4835 Working with Multi-Problem Families (1,2 Credit)
This course is offered as part of the cooperative program with the Denver Family Institute. Course focuses on the development of skills needed for working in multi-disciplinary settings. Emphasis is on integrating family therapy theory and practice with individual models.
SOWK 4890 Contemporary Global Issues (1-3 Credits)
The complexities of sustainable development and global practice require an understanding of current developments and events at a global scale. This course is designed to support student learning by providing a dynamic review and exploration of contemporary global issues with a focus on approaches and competencies for global social work practice. This course encourages students to understand the myriad geo-cultural, political, socio-economic, and environmental dimensions involved in current global developments and events. Examining issues of governance, local and regional laws, as well as human rights and social justice issues to include those of race, religion and ethnic influence can expand understanding of the unique considerations of various countries and world regions. Particular emphasis is laid on human security, poverty alleviation and humanitarian concerns, conflict/post conflict response, human rights, human and social development, migration and refugee activity, civil society and environmental sustainability. In this course, efforts are made to incorporate historical understanding, research-driven knowledge, expert experience-based insight, and field-tested skills and resources to examine possible solutions, policy, and response. Social workers focusing on human, social, economic and ecological issues in global settings must be equipped to evaluate, analyze and respond to current global issues with a coherent understanding of major value and policy frameworks such as the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This course develops students' global reach and readiness as global citizens and social workers by engaging students in a year-long in-depth exploration of current events shaping issues and unfolding events globally.
SOWK 4900 Methods for Evaluating Practice and Programs (1-3 Credits)
Provides students with strategies for evaluating social work practice at multiple system levels. Prerequisite: SOWK 4201 or admission to advanced standing program.
SOWK 4901 Applied Practice Evaluation Research (3 Credits)
Provides students with the opportunity to conduct a practice evaluation project in their field setting. Prerequisite: SOWK 4900.
SOWK 4950 Foundation Field Internship (1-15 Credits)
This required practicum provides foundation students with the opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice for effective professional intervention at clinical and community levels. Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 4001, SOWK 4002, SOWK 4003, SOWK 4007, SOWK 4008. Corequisite: SOWK 4150.
SOWK 4960 Concentration Field Internship: Clinical (1-18 Credits)
Concentration students participate in planned clinical practice experience that integrates classroom theory, the learning of practice skills and the continued development of social work attitudes, ethics and values in the clinical practice setting. Prerequisite: completion of foundation year course work and field practicum.
SOWK 4961 Concentration Field Internship: Community (1-18 Credits)
Concentration students participate in planned community practice experience that integrates classroom theory, the learning of practice skills and the continued development of social work attitudes, ethics and values in the community practice setting. Prerequisite: completion of foundation year course work and field practicum.
SOWK 4965 International Field Practicum (0-18 Credits)
This international course fulfills partial requirement for a student’s concentration year practicum. In an international social work setting, the practicum provides students with the opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice for effective professional intervention at clinical and community levels.
SOWK 4970 Concentration Field Internship (0-18 Credits)
Concentration students participate in planned practice experience that integrates classroom theory, the learning of practice skills and the continued development of social work attitudes, ethics, and values. Prerequisite for 2-year students: successful completion of foundation-year course work and field internship. Prerequisite for students with advanced standing: successful completion of advanced standing prerequisite courses and BSW-year internship. Field must be taken concurrently with concentration-year course work, or after core concentration course work. Concentration-year field requires a minimum of 20 hours a week experience at the assigned field agency. Any deviation from this standard requirement must be approved by the Director of Field Education.
SOWK 4971 Experimental Class (3 Credits)
Experimental courses allow GSSW to provide a wide variety of course offerings that respond to current issues and themes in the profession as they arise, as well as providing specialized courses that relate to the interests and areas of expertise of our faculty. All experimental courses are offered as electives open to all students. Prerequisite: determined by each instructor.
SOWK 4990 Topics in Social Work (1-3 Credits)
This topics course provides students with the opportunity to learn content appropriate to graduate social work education that is not currently incorporated into the standard MSW curriculum. Given the ever-changing nature of social work practice, theory, and research, topics of importance emerge each year that have particular relevance for a period of time or may be new emergent topics that will have relevance for the future of the discipline of social work. As such, this course provides a mechanism through which courses may be offered on a one-time basis. Topics may be related to social work practice, theory, or research. Topics vary from term to term and may be limited by program administrators, faculty, or by student interest.
SOWK 4992 Directed Study (1-10 Credits)
A permanent catalog course delivered on an individual basis when the course is not offered that term. Directed studies are approved under extenuating circumstances to provide an opportunity to complete a required course. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and MSW Director. Credit hours vary according to the catalog course taken.
SOWK 4999 Capstone (0-1 Credits)
This course is a 0-1 credit (Pass-Fail) required course in which students document their work through the development of an individual portfolio. Students are asked to upload artifacts (papers, presentations and field accomplishments) from both classroom and field internship that demonstrate how they have met the CSWE foundation and concentration specific EPAS competencies and practice behaviors. Students complete a reflection statement on their learning as it relates to the EPAS competencies.
SOWK 5000 Seminar in Professional Social Work Issues (2 Credits)
Examines the dilemmas and challenges confronting the social work profession and social work education. Examines the nature of professional education, the nature of the profession itself and the forces internal and external to the profession that have an impact upon practice and education. Required.
SOWK 5101 Social Welfare Policy Analysis and Development (3 Credits)
Applies analytical techniques to development of social welfare policy stressing the ability to formulate a policy hypothesis (i.e., a statement, in testable form, of a basic premise undergirding a policy position) and to reach conclusions based on analysis of empirical evidence related to the policy hypothesis. Required.
SOWK 5110 Introduction to Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (3 Credits)
This required doctoral course introduces students to quantitative approaches to conducting social research. The course includes material related to measurement, sampling, research design, data collection, and data analysis. While each of these topics encompasses technical issues to be mastered by doctoral students, the logic and underlying rationale of these research methods is of prime importance in this course. A second component of the course requires students to define and begin to develop a substantive area of intended study and research during their enrollment in the doctoral program. Elements of articulating a substantive research area and steps toward defining key research questions in a topical area are reviewed. Aspects of conducting literature reviews leading to the articulation of a substantive research area are discussed in class sessions.
SOWK 5111 Quantitative Methods for Assessing Social Interventions (3 Credits)
Social work researchers are in a unique position to contribute to knowledge about the causes of individual and societal problems and to test interventions that seek to prevent or ameliorate such problems. A variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods are used to advance knowledge about etiological factors contributing to individual and social problems and to assess the outcomes of specific social policies and practice strategies. This course presents a detaile3d examination of quantitative methods and designs that are useful in assessing the effects of social interventions. Measurement, sampling and design issues in generating and testing research questions and hypothesis are explored. Experimental, quasi-experimental, and survey research designs are assessed and applied to practice and policy issues and problems. Special emphasis is placed on developing skills necessary to conduct intervention research. Cognate students may be permitted on a case by case basis, space permitting.
SOWK 5120 Introduction to Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (3 Credits)
This course provides a substantive doctoral-level review of content on qualitative research methods and strategies. It is developed for students from social science disciplines. The content includes the nature of the method, the epistemological implications and assumptions, and appropriate applications. Student learning and evaluation includes the experience of developing a research proposal based on qualitative methodology and conducting data collection for a mini-research project. This class a prerequisite for SOWK 5121, Qualitative Data Analysis. This course is required for social work doctoral students. Students from other departments may register with permission from the professor.
SOWK 5121 Qualitative Data Analysis (3 Credits)
The focus of this course is on data analysis and interpretation, demonstration of the science of the analysis, and presentation of findings in oral and written forms. Students are expected to conduct qualitative analyses on textual data they collected as part of SOWK 5120 or as a result of some other qualitative data collection experience. Over the course of the term students learn to code and analyze their data, interpret findings, orally present those findings, and write a final paper in which they demonstrate a rigorous engagement with qualitative data analysis and the literature relevant to their topic. This course is for SOWK PhD students only. Cognate students may be permitted on a case by case basis, space permitting.
SOWK 5130 Mixed Methods Research in Social Work (3 Credits)
This course introduces doctoral students to mixed methods research in social work and the social sciences. Students explore mixed methods as a third research paradigm that strategically combines both quantitative and qualitative methods within a single inquiry. The course encourages students to actively reflect on previous quantitative and qualitative research training. Specific topics for the course include: history and language of mixed methods research; relevant paradigms and epistemological debates; mixed methods design and research questions; and analysis and dissemination consideration. SOWK PhD students only. Cognate Students will be allowed to register on a case by case basis, space permitting.
SOWK 5201 Statistical Methods (5 Credits)
Examines the use and interpretation of statistics in educational and human services research, including descriptive and inferential statistics. Required.
SOWK 5202 Correlation and Regression (4 Credits)
Examines correlational and multiple regression research designs and their application to social work and social science problems. This course is for SOWK PhD students only. Cross-listed with RMS 4911, SOWK 5952. Prerequisite: SWOK 5201.
SOWK 5203 Multivariate Analysis (5 Credits)
Provides a conceptual understanding of common multivariate statistical techniques as applied to research in social work and the social sciences. Prerequisite: SOWK 5201.
SOWK 5300 Social Science Theory and the Philosophy of Science (3 Credits)
This foundation doctoral level course introduces traditional issues and recent developments in the philosophy of science, and provides an overview of social science theory and theoretical frameworks. It examines philosophical questions on scientific inquiry and the consequences modern science imposes on our basic understanding of knowledge and nature. The course analyzes and critiques the social-and-behavioral-science foundations that undergird the social work knowledge base and current social work theories. There are no prerequisites for this course. This course is required to social work doctoral students.
SOWK 5301 Social Work Theory in Research and Practice (3 Credits)
This course builds on SOWK 5300, Philosophy of Science and Social Work Theory, to examine how theories, conceptual frameworks, perspectives, and models are used specifically within social work research, education, and practice. This course explores how theories are used in research and in social work interventions on individual, family, group, organizational, community, and policy levels. The course analyzes and critiques the social work knowledge base and the current state of social work theories. This course is required for social work doctoral students. Prerequisite: SOWK 5300.
SOWK 5401 Quantitative Research Methods (4 Credits)
Focuses on basic elements of quantitative social research methods: measurement, sampling, research designs, data collection and data analysis. Emphasizes logic and underlying rationale, as well as technical issues. Prior understanding of computer-based statistical analysis is helpful. Required.
SOWK 5403 Advanced Social Welfare Policy Analysis (3 Credits)
Applies analytical techniques to development of social welfare policy stressing the ability to formulate a policy hypothesis (i.e., a statement, in testable form, of a basic premise undergirding a policy position) and to reach conclusions based on analysis of empirical evidence related to the policy hypothesis. This course is for SOWK PhD students only.
SOWK 5405 Qualitative Data Analysis (4 Credits)
Provides an understanding of analysis methods used to draw meaning from qualitative data, methods that must be practical, applicable and understandable to other observers. Prepares students to use a systematic, scientific process of analysis that captures the meaning of data while avoiding research self-delusion and unreliable or invalid conclusions. Topics include data collection, data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing and verification. Methods include application of computer software. Prerequisite: SOWK 5402. Required.
SOWK 5450 Social Work Knowledge Integration and Publication (3 Credits)
This required doctoral course introduces students to integrating knowledge for social work scholarship through the use of tolls that support academic argumentation and exposition. It provides students with the skills, expertise, and readiness necessary to compose a number of scholarly documents, including academic publications and the dissertation proposal. The course focuses on the preparation and writing of the comprehensive examination proposal as an example of such documents. The major product of the class is a paper designed to meet the requirements of the comprehensive examination proposal. Advisors and mentors participate in class presentations and critiques as a part of preparing the student for their ongoing scholarship.
SOWK 5500 Pedagogy in Social Work Education (3 Credits)
This foundation course examines philosophies, theories, and pedagogical models that are utilized in social work education. It explores how various perspectives shape the approaches and techniques used and how these in turn impact classroom effectiveness and issues of classroom management. The course incorporates concepts and develops skills based on evidence-based teaching. This course is a required course for social work students and has no prerequisite. This course is for SOWK PhD students only.
SOWK 5700 Teaching Practicum (3 Credits)
This 3-hour required course provides classroom instruction and teaching opportunities designed to prepare doctoral students for faculty positions in undergraduate and graduate level social work education. Students work with a faculty mentor to pursue practicum placements that match their substantive interests. Students are expected to devote approximately 8 hours to the practicum per week. Restricted to Ph.D. students only.
SOWK 5950 Multivariate Analysis (5 Credits)
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to common multivariate statistical analyses. Provides a conceptual understanding of common multivariate statistical techniques as applied to research in education and the social sciences. Cross listed with RMS 4913. Prerequisite: SOWK 5930.
SOWK 5952 Correlation and Regression (4 Credits)
Examines correlation and multiple regression research designs and their application to educational and social science problems. Cross listed with RMS 4911. Prerequisite: SOWK 5930. Required.
SOWK 5990 Special Topics (1-3 Credits)
This special topics course provides students with the opportunity to learn content appropriate to graduate social work education that is not currently incorporated into the standard PhD curriculum. Given the ever-changing nature of social work practice, theory, and research, topics of importance emerge each year which have particular relevance for a period of time or may be new emergent topics that will have relevance for the future of the discipline of social work. As such, this course provides a mechanism through which courses may be offered on a one-time basis. Topics may be related to advanced social work theory, pedagogy, or research. Topics vary from term to term and may be initiated by program administrators, faculty, or by student interest.
SOWK 5991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)
This is an opportunity for students to undertake special study in a defined area of interest with faculty consultation.
SOWK 5995 Independent Research-Thesis (1-10 Credits)
SOWK 6991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)
Students undertake special study in a defined area of interest with faculty consultation. By arrangement.
SOWK 6995 Dissertation Research (1-18 Credits)
The formal mechanism for undertaking the dissertation, providing for faculty support through the appointment of a dissertation committee. By arrangement.