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MSW - Courses

The foundation level of the MSW program (the first year in the two year program) focuses on basic social work values, knowledge, and skills to enable the student to work with client systems of various sizes. From this point, students will begin an advanced practice concentration in Mental Health or Child & Family Services.

Foundation Year Practice Framework

In the initial stage of the program, students build on an undergraduate base with requisite knowledge about basic human systems, including:

  • Biological systems
  • Psychological systems
  • Sociological systems
  • Humanities

Graduate level exposure to these subjects gives special attention to values and ethics, diversity, economic and social justice issues, and at-risk populations. Students assess client transactions, framed by the Strengths Oriented Life Model, with a foundational perspective of the Spiritually Enriched Ecological Systems.

Advanced Practice Concentration

The Mental Health Concentration prepares students for advanced direct agency-based social work practice in health settings. In the advanced practice terms, students explore social work knowledge and skills pertaining to persons needing physical and mental health services. This requires a broad theoretical framework and an array of intervention skills to allow for specific knowledge about health care settings and flexibility when working in the health care field.

Particular emphasis is given to the time-limited or short-term therapy approaches, crisis intervention, bereavement services, and psycho-social assessment and intervention for Managed Care and Hospital settings.

The Child & Family Services Concentration prepares students for advanced direct social work practice within public and private agencies serving children and families. In-depth attention is given to intergenerational and environmental systems that have a direct impact on the whole or part of a family system. With knowledge of various family therapy approaches, students can be integrative and select one or more treatment approaches based on the philosophy of the agency, their own professional “use of self” in the treatment process, and the assessed areas for intervention as identified by the client/family system. Major focus is given to the client/family system’s “construction of reality.”

The foundation of these concentrations is a multidimensional assessment strategy, which places the practice perspective firmly in the social work tradition. Students are exposed to a wide range of theoretical models to be synthesized into an individualized, unified practice model to maximize the strengths of each student’s personality and experiences.

Foundation Practice Framework Course Sequence

SWK520 | Social & Cultural Diversity | 3 credits

This course is a study of social and cultural diversity in terms of individual, group and institutional identity formation. Theories of oppression and discrimination and their implication for social work practice are included in this course. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK525 | Human Behavior & the Social Environment I | 3 credits

This course applies concepts from the behavioral and social sciences in identifying and understanding forms and causes of behavior. Theories are analyzed to evaluate the influence of biological, psychological, cognitive, spiritual, social and cultural variables on human behavior and development. The content focuses specifically on small social systems such as families, schools, churches, community-based groups, work sites, etc. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK526 | Human Behavior & the Social Environment II | 3 credits

This course builds on the content in HBSE I and Social & Cultural Diversity by analyzing large systems. Based on the analysis of the influence that large systems have on client systems of various sizes, the need for social justice using social change strategies are discussed. At-risk and low income populations-are particularly focused upon in this course. PREREQUISITES: SWK525

SWK530 | Social Welfare Policy & Services | 3 credits

This course is structured to help students understand the historical development of Social Welfare policy and services from their Elizabethan foundations up to the present. Students will gain skills in social welfare policy analysis which will serve in assessing the potential and current impact upon programs and services. Attention will be given to the function which social welfare policy serves in either creating or mitigating the circumstances of at-risk populations. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK540 | Social Work Research | 3 credits

This course introduces students to research design, sampling, data collection, and data analysis procedures. Theoretical bases for development of research questions and conducting research are analyzed. The similarities and differences of practice and research processes are evaluated. The reciprocity between practice and research, particularly the use of single-subject and multiple designs to evaluate practice, is explored. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are examined using research questions as a basis for selecting one or both types of methodologies in a study design. Statistics are reviewed, simultaneously to teaching the use of a computer-assisted analysis program (SPSS) for analyzing data. PREREQUISITE: Elementary Statistics Course

SWK550 | Social Work Practice I: Individuals, Family, and Group Intervention | 3 credits

This course prepares students for generalist social work practice. Theories of practice and communication skills with individuals, families, and groups in client, target, and action systems are the focus of this course. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK552 | Social Work Practice II: Organization and Community Intervention | 3 credits

This course continues to prepare students for generalist social work practice. Theories of practice and communication skills with organizations and communities are the focus of this course. PREREQUISITE: SWK550

SWK560 | Social Work Practice and Religion | 3 credits

This course analyzes spiritual/religious dynamics in social work practice and policies, value-ethical topics arising from the relationship between religion and society and implications for social work practice. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK565 | Psychopathology | 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding (both cognitive and empathetic) of the various kinds of disorders that social work clients in physical and mental health settings may experience. It will help students define those clinical entities, to explore their etiology and natural course, and to learn how to link diagnosis and intervention. Emphasis will be placed on the concepts of labeling and stigmatization, and how to employ an empowerment approach with clients who suffer from these disorders. The complexity of the intersection between the mental, emotional and physical selves will also be explored. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK570 | Field Instruction I | 3 credits

This course is the first part of the foundation practice supervised field experience. The purpose of the experience is to enable the student to apply generalist practice social work knowledge, values, and skills in preparation for advanced practice in the second year. The course includes a field seminar designed to support the student during the beginning and the middle phases of their experience and to make the connection between the classroom and field. A minimum of 400 hours for SWK570 and SWK575 combined is required. PREREQUISITE: Permission of Director of Field Education

SWK575 | Field Instruction II | 3 credits

The objectives for the field experiences are organized around the foundation program objectives. These objectives, along with the Learning Agreement, provide the basis for the student evaluation. The course objectives are organized into ten major areas: Professional Development, Values and Ethics, Diversity, Social and Economic Justice, Populations-at-risk, Human Behavior and Social Environment, Policy and Services, Practice, Research, and Field Experience . PREREQUISITE: Permission of Director of Field Education

Advanced Standing Sequence

SWK545 | ADVANCED STANDING SEMINAR I | 3 credits

This course is a reading course designed to evaluate and prepare advanced standing students for beginning the advanced level of the M.S.W. The course, and SW557 Advanced Standing Seminar II, guides students in a review of generalist knowledge, values, and skills as well as acquaint them with foundational readings relevant to the mission and goals of program at Roberts Wesleyan College. PREREQUISITE: Advanced Standing Admission

SWK557 | Advanced Standing Seminar II | 2 credits

This course continues to prepare advanced standing students for entry into the advanced practice level of social work at Roberts Wesleyan College. This course will be an on-campus course with an emphasis on reviewing and adding to the generalist practice skills offered at the undergraduate level as well as general knowledge and skills required to participate fully in the advanced level of social work education at Roberts Wesleyan College. PREREQUISITE: SWK545

SWK560 | Social Work Practice and Religion | 3 credits

This course analyzes spiritual/religious dynamics in social work practice and policies, value-ethical topics arising from the relationship between religion and society and implications for social work practice. NO PREREQUISITES

Elective Courses

SWK705 | Death and Bereavement | 3 credits

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the dying process, associated issues, and the meaning of individuals across the life-span. Death, grief, and bereavement will be examined within the cultural context. Attention will be given to life-span and family perspectives. Treatment of uncomplicated and complicated mourning will be included in the course. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK715 | Integration of Social Work and Christian Theology | 3 credits

This course is designed to build upon the foundation of the first year Social Work and Religion course and to offer a more in-depth examination of the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. Students from either group will be able to deepen and broaden their knowledge of basic theological doctrines and principles and their application to social work and to apply this knowledge to social work within the context of a variety of practice settings. All student will choose either this course or SWK615 Justice, Values, and Ethics. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK730 | Marital Therapy | 3 credits

This course covers the fundamentals and practice of marital therapy in social work advanced practice. Twentieth Century trends regarding marriage will be explored. The approach to marital therapy taken by various theoretical models will be presented and critically reviewed. Intervention techniques that can be used in a variety of settings will be addressed. Preventive strategies for strengthening marriages as well as remediation strategies for various problems will be explored. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK733 | Family Violence | 3 credits

This course is an in-depth analysis of the etiology dynamics of family violence. The analysis considers social, political, and economic dynamics that affect individuals and families. Appropriate assessment and treatment strategies to restore healthy family functioning and empower the victims are examined. Emphasis is on the need for quality direct services as well as public policy change. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK734 | Play Therapy | 3 credits

This course provides students with exposure to and an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in using play therapy with individuals, families and groups in diverse settings. Students will become familiar with various theoretical practice models and learn to apply those models with children experiencing a variety of problems across diverse populations. This course will expose the student to basic knowledge about play therapy as a component of services to children, including in mental health, child welfare, health and community based settings. This course gives major attention to several social work objectives: Use of self, Communication, Assessment and Intervention. In addition, the course addresses the following objectives in a significant way: Critical Thinking, Technology, Values and Ethics, Diversity, At-Risk Populations, Low Income, Evaluation and Research Consumer. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK735 | Managing Conflict | 3 credits

Conflict is an inevitable and ubiquitous phenomenon which can be either constructive or destructive. In this course, the causes and dynamics of conflict as well as ways to transform conflict into a constructive force in different kinds of settings with be explored including interpersonal conflict, family conflict, and organizational conflict. Conflict transformation skills will be developed with special attention given to mediation. NO PREREQUISITES

SWK794 | Cross-Cultural Experience in Social Work | 3 credits

This course introduces students to social work systems and processes as carried out in a country or territory other than the United States. Students will gain personal experience and interpersonal skills that can be effective tools when working with culturally and racially diverse groups. This course will explore selected social work policies as they relate to the nation's plans and programs in education, public information, and social welfare. Students will explore social work issues, agencies and programs sponsored by the church, and/or those sponsored by the public sector. PREREQUISITES: Permission of Instructor

SWK795 | Independent Study | 3 credits

This course is an elective in the curriculum that allows students the opportunity to expand on the research conducted in the Applied Research course or to expand their knowledge and/or skills in an in-depth and individualized manner. The independent study is arranged with and supervised by a graduate faculty member. NO PREREQUISITES

 

Mental Health Concentration Sequence

SWK664 (2 hrs)

Group Work

SWK615 (3 hrs)
Justice, Values & Ethics

OR

SWK715

Integration of Social Work & Christian Theology

Summer Option

SWK565 (3 hrs)
Psychopathology

SWK626 (3 hrs)

Mental Health Multidimensional Assessment

SWK635 (2 hrs)
Mental Health Policy

SWK615 (3 hrs)

Justice, Values & Ethics

OR

SWK715 (3 hrs)

Integration of SW & Christian Theology

SWK661 (3 hrs)

Mental Health Theories

SWK662 (3 hrs)
Mental Health Interventions
Elective - only one required (3 hrs)

SWK642 (2 hrs)

Applied Research

OR Spring

SWK 642 (2 hrs)

Applied Research

OR Fall

 

SWK670 (3 hrs)

Field Instruction III & Field Seminar

SWK675 (3 hrs)

Field Instruction IV & Field Seminar

 

SWK 565 (3 hrs)

Psychopathology

Summer Option

Elective - Only one required (3 hrs)

Summer Option

 

*SWK680 Field Instruction for Summer Block Placement may be taken in the summer (6credits) if all other course work is complete. 900 field hours must be documented by the close of the summer session to qualify for a degree dated in August of the graduation year. This option is available for concentration year students only.

 

Child & Family Services Concentration Sequence

SWK664 (2 hrs)

Group Work

SWK615 (3 hrs)
Justice, Values & Ethics

OR

SWK715

Integration of Social Work & Christian Theology

(Summer Option)

SWK565 (3 hrs)
Psychopathology

SWK625 (3 hrs)

Child & Family Multidimensional Assessment

SWK630 (2 hrs)
Child and Family Policy

SWK615 (3 hrs)

Justice, Values & Ethics

OR

SWK715 (3 hrs)

Integration of SW & Christian Theology

SWK651 (3 hrs)

Family Therapy

SWK652 (3 hrs)
Child and Family Interventions
Elective - only one required (3 hrs)

SWK642 (2 hrs)

Applied Research

OR Spring

SWK 642 (2 hrs)

Applied Research

OR Fall

 

SWK670 (3 hrs)

Field Instruction III & Field Seminar

SWK675 (3 hrs)

Field Instruction IV & Field Seminar

 

SWK 565 (3 hrs)

Psychopathology

Summer Option

Elective - Only one required (3 hrs)

Summer Option

 

585.594.6011 or GRADSOCIALWORK@roberts.edu

Concentration Courses

SWK615 Justice, Values and Ethics | 3 credits

This course examines principles and theories that influence and define the concept of social justice. The interface of the Judeo-Christian value perspective and social work values, attitudes and principles is analyzed. Based on theories of social justice and the Judeo-Christian value perspective, decision-making and ethical actions in social work practice are explored. Specific service needs of the low income at-risk populations are examined. PREREQUISITE: SWK575, or Advanced Standing

SWK625 Child-Family Multidimensional Assessment | 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students with differential assessment knowledge and skills suitable for use with advanced practice theories in child and family settings. Using a multidimensional strategy that works from a strengths oriented eco-systems framework, the course aims to provide skills related to the various aspects of assessment. The impact of discrimination, oppression, and economic deprivation, and the role of values and ethics will also be explored. SWK651 Family Therapy is to be taken concurrently. PREREQUISITE: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK626 | Mental Health Multidimensional Assessment | 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students with differential assessment knowledge and skills suitable for use with advanced practice theories in settings where mental health services are offered. In preparing students to work with persons needing mental health services, this course addresses a variety of issues related to assessment including diversity, the impact of discrimination/oppression, and the role of values and ethics. SWK661 Mental Health Practice Theories is to be taken concurrently. PREREQUISITE: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK630 | Child/Family Policy | 2 credits

This course reviews the roots of contemporary child and family policy. It applies policy analysis skills in examining current policies and the impact of these policies on service delivery to children and families. The effectiveness of service delivery is evaluated with particular emphasis on services provided to low income at-risk populations. The various levels where policy is debated, forged, enacted and implemented will be examined and experienced. PREREQUISITE: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK635 | Mental Health Policy | 2 credits

This course reviews the roots and construction of contemporary mental health policy. It applies policy analysis skills in examining current policies and the impact of these policies on service delivery. The effectiveness of service delivery is evaluated with particular emphasis on services provided to low-income at-risk populations. The various levels where policy is forged through debate, enacted, and implemented will be examined. PREREQUISITE: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK642 | Applied Social Work Research | 2 credits

This course is designed to support students in conducting evidence based practice in an agency setting by evaluating practice and planning for change. Case material will be drawn from real world practice situations students encounter in their field placements. PREREQUISITE: SWK540

SWK651 | Family Therapy | 3 credits

Normal and maladaptive patterns in families as they progress through life stages are explored with a focus on environmental and cultural obstacles to family functioning. Family therapy approaches are examined and analyzed from cultural-sensitive, gay and lesbian, feminist, religious, and low income population-at-risk perspectives. The family treatment process based on a multidimensional assessment is explored. The process presented focuses on relationship-building with the family as a system and its members, and general treatment issues. SWK625 Child-Family Multidimensional Assessment is to be taken concurrently. PREREQUISITES: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK652 | Child and Family Interventions | 3 credits

This course explores advanced theory and intervention approaches for social work practice with children and families using the spiritually enriched strengths-oriented life model as an integrative framework. Application of theories to practice is emphasized. Focus is on specific problems experienced by children, adolescents, and adult couples within a family context. Students research and analyze selected interventions, do training presentations for their colleagues, prepare a personal issues, and burnout prevention, and construct a personal model integration statement. PREREQUISITES: SWK625 & SWK651

SWK661 | Mental Health Practice Theories | 3 credits

This course explores theories related to normal and maladaptive behavior of clients in mental health settings. The socio-historical context, value orientations, motivational constructs, orientation to health and pathology, and theory of cure of a variety of approaches will be explored, which will lead to the application of intervention techniques. The relationship of client diversity and mental health practice theories will be explored. SWK626 Mental Health Practice Interventions is to be taken concurrently. PREREQUISITES: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK662 | Mental Health Practice Interventions | 3 credits

This course builds upon the content of the SWK661 course and has the overall goal of developing an awareness of a variety of brief-therapy-oriented techniques from a number of theoretical perspectives, and synthesizing these techniques into an interlocking model that can be utilized in advanced social work practice in mental health settings. Attention will be directed to the best way to combine approaches and to apply them differentially based upon different situations, cultures, settings, and clients. Culturally diverse approaches to treatment will be explored. The ability to do evaluations of the effectiveness of practice interventions will be addressed. PREREQUISITES: SWK626 & SWK661

SWK664 | Work Group | 2 credits

Diagnostic and treatment procedures in intensive group therapy are examined. Variables such as gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status are analyzed in relation to effective utilization of group therapy. PREREQUISITES: All Foundation Courses or Advanced Standing

SWK670 | Field Instruction III | 3 credits

This course is the first part of the advanced practice supervised field experience. The purpose of the experience is to enable the student to apply advanced social work knowledge, values and skills in a field setting in their concentration. The course includes a field seminar designed to support the student during the beginning and middle phase of their experience and to help make the connection between the classroom and field. A minimum of 500 hours for SWK670 and SWK675 combined is required. PREREQUISITES: SWK575, or Advanced Standing, Permission of Director of Field Education

SWK675 | Field Instruction IV | 3 credits

This course is the second part of the advanced practice supervised field experience giving the student an opportunity to apply advanced social work knowledge, values and skills in a field setting in their concentration. The course includes a field seminar designed to support the student during the middle and termination of their field experience and to help consolidate the learning that has taken place. A minimum of 500 hours for SWK670 and SWK675 combined is required. PREREQUISITES: SWK670, Permission of Director of Field Education

SWK680 | Field Instruction for Summer Block Placement | 6 credits

This course is part of the advanced practice supervised field experience giving the student an opportunity to apply advanced social work knowledge, values, and skills in a block placement setting in their concentration. The course includes a field seminar designed to support the student through the experience and to help consolidate the learning from previous classes with field experiences. A minimum of 500 hours is required as well as attendance at weekly seminars. NO other courses many be taken concurrently. PREREQUISITES: SWK570, SWK575, all concentration year courses and permission of the Director of Field Placement.