Courses numbered 1000-1999 are open to freshmen; 2000-2999 to sophomores; 3000-3999 to juniors; 4000-4999 to seniors. It is recommended that students elect courses in the years for which they are listed. Freshmen will be admitted to courses above the 2000 level only with the consent of the instructor and the student’s advisor. Juniors and seniors taking freshman courses may be expected to do additional work. Any course above 4999 is a graduate course.
The number in parentheses following the course title indicates the semester hours of credit assigned to the course.
An H following the course number indicates an honors level course.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Anti-Oppressive Practice [Course] (3)
This course reviews and explores the various theories related to prejudice, discrimination, and oppression, with a particular focus on racism and systemic oppression. The history of the United States and its contribution to continued struggle with diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as the history of resistance and resilience of marginalized people, will also be discussed. Anti-oppressive perspectives that are sensitive to the lived experiences of various populations who have been and continue to be impacted by prejudice, discrimination, and oppression will be studied, as well as the ways intersecting identities and systems of power shape these experiences. Finally, self-awareness and critical consciousness will be paramount as students uncover their own biases and begin to shape themselves into professional social workers who are not only aware of the importance of social, economic, racial, and environmental justice but also are champions for equity and liberation.
Human Behavior and Social Environment I [Course] (3)
This course introduces students to a broad range of concepts and theories related to human behavior, person-in- environment, and other multidisciplinary sciences to examine and understand human behavior, functioning, and development across the lifespan. A multidimensional lens is used to identify biological, psychological, spiritual, cultural, social, and environmental factors that impact human behavior and serve as important targets for engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. The course covers concepts and theories related to micro and macro systems, including families, small groups, organizations, communities, natural and physical environment, and social institutions. These topics are examined through the lens of cultural sensitivity and respect for persons from all backgrounds with a focus on understanding how diversity and intersectionality differentially shape human development and functioning across the lifespan.
Social Welfare Policy and Services [Course] (3)
The 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 learn about the history– foundational values– of the social work profession and gain skills in social welfare policy analysis to examine the impact of policies on programs and services. Attention will be given to the function of social welfare policy in creating, maintaining, or combating oppressive structures and circumstances affecting marginalized individuals and communities, domestically and globally. As grounded in anti-racist perspectives, this course will provide students with a clear understanding of the urgent need for transformative policies to ensure social, economic, racial, and environmental justice and equity for all.
Social Work Research [Course] (3)
This course introduces students to basic research concepts, methods, frameworks, and principles that lay the foundation for engaging in research-informed practice and practice-informed research in social work settings. Students gain familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research designs, sampling and data collection methods, measurement principles, and basic data analytical procedures. Ethical issues and biases related to research and evaluation are reviewed and critically examined. A key focus of this course is to help students become critical consumers of research evidence to make informed practice decisions and to learn how to use culturally sensitive methods to evaluate practice effectiveness.
Advanced Standing Seminar [Course] (2)
The Advanced Standing Seminar is one of the three courses designed to prepare advanced standing students and to evaluate their readiness to enter the concentration year of the MSW Program. This course introduces students to the mission, goals, and expectations of the MSW Program at Roberts. It also guides students in a review, critical reflection, and application of the generalist knowledge, values, and skills pertaining to the CSWE core competencies acquired at the BSW level. The other two courses taken prior to entering the concentration year include Spirituality and Religion in SocialWork Practice (GSWK 5600) and Psychopathology (GSWK 5650). Students must average at least a B across these three courses, with only one B- allowed, to move on to the concentration year.
Individual, Family, & Group Intervention [Course] (3)
This course provides the foundational knowledge required for generalist social work practice with individuals, families, and groups. It explores the application of a strength based ecological systems model of social work practice through a culturally responsive lens. Additional emphasis is placed on the learning and application of basic assessment tools and active listening skills. Social work values, ethics, and models that facilitate the resolution of ethical dilemmas are also explored.
Organization & Community Intervention [Course] (3)
This course builds on social work foundations as it continues to prepare students for generalist social work practice. Through a comprehensive exploration of theories of practice, this course will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and assess problems, build relationships, use critical communication tools, and create effective interventions with organizations and communities. By emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, students will understand the necessity to engage in anti-oppressive practices to promote social, economic, racial, and environmental justice through various modes of community intervention.
Spirituality and Religion in Social Work Practice [Course] (3)
This course addresses concepts of spirituality, religion, and faith and their importance in social work practice. Students will have the opportunity to explore perspectives from several world religions/faith backgrounds to gain a better understanding of human spiritual diversity and how these views may impact a person’s motivations, goals, and strengths. Tools for assessing and integrating spirituality into social work practice framed in social work values and ethics are discussed.
Psychopathology [Course] (3)
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding (both cognitive and empathic) of the various mental health disorders that social work clients may experience. It will help students assess those clinical entities, to explore natural courses, and to learn how to link diagnosis and intervention. Explore the concepts of labeling and stigmatization for clients who suffer from these disorders, with special emphasis on serving clients oppressed by racism. Consider the intersectionality of people of all races when considering the pain of mental health disorders. Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program
Field Instruction I [Course] (3)
This field seminar course is designed to support students during the first semester of their foundation year field education experience. The field seminar course will help students connect classroom learning to their field experience. Students will apply competency based practice skills in generalist social work settings. A minimum of 400 hours field hours for GSWK 5700 and GSWK 5750 combined is required.
Field Instruction II [Course] (3)
This field seminar course is designed to support students during the second semester of their foundation year field education experience. The field seminar course will help students connect classroom learning to their field experience. Students will apply competency based practice to generalist social work settings in preparation for advanced practice. A minimum of 400 field hours for GSWK 5700 and GSWK 5750 combined is required. Prerequisite: GSWK 5700
Field Instruction I & II Summer Block [Course] (6)
This field seminar course is designed to support students during their summer block field experience following completion of all other foundation year courses. The field seminar course will help students connect classroom learning to their field experience. Students will apply competency based practice to generalist social work settings in preparation for advanced practice. A minimum of 400 field hours for GSWK 5800 is required. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation year coursework and permission from the Field Director.
Justice, Values and Ethics [Course] (3)
This course examines principles, concepts, and theories that influence and define justice and social action. Theories of justice are analyzed along with their relationship to Judeo-Christian value perspectives, social work values, attitudes, and principles. Students will reflect on their own value systems, beliefs and experiences, and how they inform their personal views of concepts such as optimal health and wellbeing, the common good, and social, racial, and environmental justice. Ethical standards and ethical decision making frameworks for use in social work practice are explored. Specific current social challenges and issues are introduced with special attention to the impact of structural and institutional racism, and the needs of marginalized populations. Prerequisites: GSWK 5750 or 5800, or Advanced standing.
Child-Family Multidimensional Assessment [Course] (3)
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 and a strengths oriented ecological framework, this course prepares students for assessment in the field. Issues of discrimination and oppression and the role of values and ethics related to assessment will be explored. GSWK 6510 – Child and Family Theories is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Mental Health Multidimensional Assessment [Course] (3)
This course is designed to provide students with differential assessment knowledge and skills utilized with advanced practice theories in mental health settings. In preparing students to work with persons needing mental health services, this course teaches the biopsychosocial-spiritual-cultural model of assessment and addresses a variety of issues related to assessment including diversity, the impact of discrimination/oppression, and the role of social work values and ethics. GSWK 6610 Mental Health Theories is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Child and Family Policy [Course] (2)
This course examines the roots of contemporary family policy and the construction of national family policy. It also explores prominent theoretical perspectives to understand and challenge institutional oppression within the child welfare system. It provides students with critical tools for legislative advocacy to navigate the political arena, defend the rights of children and families– nationally and internationally–, and foster greater equity and inclusion. It applies policy analysis skills in examining current policies and the impact of these policies on service delivery to children and families within the context of social, economic, racial, and environmental justice. Lastly, in this course, students will evaluate the effectiveness of service delivery for equitable outcomes while focusing specifically on services provided to marginalized and oppressed populations. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Mental Health Policy [Course] (2)
This course reviews the historical context and construction of contemporary policies in the area of mental health. 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 identifying barriers to services experienced by marginalized and oppressed populations. The various levels where policy is forged through debate, enacted, and implemented are examined. Prerequisite: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Applied Social Work Research [Course] (2)
This course helps students learn how to engage in evidence-based practice (EBP) in social work settings. The course has an individualized focus, giving each student an opportunity to select a practice issue that is in need of intervention in their field setting. Advanced strategies on how to locate the best evidence are reviewed along with how to critically assess the quality, relevance, and cultural sensitivity of the identified evidence. Students also learn how to identify strengths and barriers that may impact the successful implementation of interventions and programs, and how to engage in the evaluation of interventions, programs, and services, using culturally sensitive and anti-oppressive methods. Prerequisite: All foundation courses or taken during last year in the advanced standing program.
Child and Family Theories [Course] (3)
This course explores theoretical perspectives informing direct social work practice. This course focuses on how theoretical orientation informs practice including our understanding of typical vs. maladaptive behavior; risk factors vs. protective factors for health, mental health, and relationship challenges; effective assessment; case-conceptualization; appropriate intervention choice; and goals of treatment. Theoretical approaches are examined and analyzed from culturally-sensitive, LGBTQIA+, feminist, religious, trauma-informed, and anti-oppression perspectives. In-depth comparisons and critiques of these perspectives are made with an emphasis on identifying theoretical and value orientations underlying service approaches, assessment, and interventions in one’s own practice. GSWK 6250 Child/Family Multidimensional Assessment is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Child and Family Interventions [Course] (3)
This course explores advanced theory and intervention approaches for social work practice with children and families using a biopsychosocial-spiritual-cultural model as an integrative framework. Application of theories to practice is emphasized. Students identify and conduct a training presentation on an evidence-based intervention used in treating a specific problem experienced by children, adolescents, or families. Students construct a comprehensive, culturally sensitive treatment plan for a case study and prepare a personal progress report on professional use of the self including self-awareness, personality and personal style, countertransference issues, and burnout prevention. Prerequisites: GSWK 6250 and GSWK 6510.
Mental Health Theories [Course] (3)
This course explores theoretical perspectives related to social work practice in mental health settings. Students will critically examine each theory’s socio-historical context, value orientations, motivational constructs, orientation to wellness, and the mechanisms of change. A multicultural lens is used to evaluate the application of each perspective to diverse populations. GSWK 6260 Mental Health Multidimensional Assessment is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Mental Health Interventions [Course] (3)
This course builds upon the content of the GSWK 6610 course and has the overall goal of developing an awareness of the evidence-based interventions that represent a number of theoretical perspectives currently used in the treatment of adults with mental health disorders. Through the use of case studies, students will apply case conceptualization methods in the development of holistic and comprehensive treatment plans that can be utilized in advanced social work practice in mental health settings. Culturally sensitive and anti-discriminatory approaches to treatment will be explored. Prerequisite: GSWK 6260 and GSWK 6610.
Group Work [Course] (2)
This course examines group leadership and process in a wide range of group settings, including intensive group therapy. Variables such as gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are analyzed in relation to effective utilization of group work. Students develop skills to facilitate groups within the context of advanced social work practice. Validating the experience of oppression and racism is a focus of attention. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.
Field Instruction III [Course] (3)
This field seminar course is designed to support students during the first semester of their concentration year field education experience. The field seminar course will help students connect classroom learning to their field experience. Students will practice applying advanced knowledge, values, and skills in all of the competency areas. A minimum of 500 field hours for GSWK 6700 and GSWK 6750 combined is required. Prerequisite: Advanced standing or GSWK 5700 and GSWK 5750 or GSWK 5800
Field Instruction IV [Course] (3)
This field seminar course is designed to support students during the second semester of their concentration year field education experience. The field seminar course will help students connect classroom learning to their field experience. Students will apply competency based practice skills in advanced social work settings. A minimum of 500 hours field hours for GSWK 6700 and GSWK 6750 combined is required. Prerequisite: Foundation year coursework including GSWK 5700 and GSWK 5750 or GSWK 5800
Field Instruction for Summer Block Placement [Course] (6)
This field seminar course is designed to support students during their summer block field experience following completion of all other concentration year courses. The field seminar course will help students connect classroom learning to their field experience. Students will apply competency-based practice to advanced social work settings in preparation for advanced practice. A minimum of 500 field hours for GSWK 6800 is required. Prerequisite: Completion of all other concentration year coursework and permission from the Field Director.
Aging:Individual &Social Perspectives [Course] (3)
This course explores theories of aging, and the physiological, psychological, and social changes that occur through the process of aging. Specifically, we examine how social, political, economic, and spiritual factors impact the aging individual and society. Current public policies related to older adults will be examined to determine their impact on the delivery of service. Particular emphasis is placed on exploring demographic trends, specifically of high-risk underrepresented populations, and the challenges of an aging world from a global perspective.
Understanding and Treating Substance Misuse [Course] (3)
This course introduces students to evidence-based practice theories and techniques used with individuals to treat a substance use disorder, with a particular emphasis on motivational interviewing and appreciation of 12-step mutual aid groups. Students in this course relate theory and evidence to individual intervention strategies. Students will also explore their own practice beliefs related to substance misuse, substance use disorders, and treatment approaches, as well as the impact of stigma on individuals’ intervention engagement. Students will develop beginning-level practice application skills for intervening with individuals regarding their substance misuse. The challenges of engaging clients suffering from substance use disorders is addressed, particularly regarding outreach to clients of diverse backgrounds.
Seminar:Evid Based Practices Mental Hlth [Course] (3)
This course is aimed at developing the knowledge and skills necessary for working with individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness using recovery-oriented, evidence-based practices within the context of a changing service delivery environment. Students will learn to examine research literature to determine the various levels of support for specific interventions and essential principles for translating research into practice. In addition, they will identify the appropriate treatment outcomes that reflect effective, quality mental health practice. Each evidence-based practice presented will also be examined for its utility with diverse groups.
Death and Bereavement [Course] (3)
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the dying process, associated issues, and their meaning to 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. Disparities in accessing end of life and bereavement care along with strategies for advocacy and addressing the needs of the underserved will be explored.
Integration of Social Work and Christian Theology [Course] (3)
This course is designed to build upon the foundation of the Spirituality and Religion in Social Work Practice course and to offer a more in-depth examination of the integration of the Christian faith and social work practice. Students will be able to deepen and broaden their knowledge of basic theological doctrines and principles and apply this knowledge to social work within the contexts of a variety of practice settings. Students will create a model of social work practice that includes addressing the needs of the underserved, strategies for fighting injustice, and healing from human brokenness while honoring client differences and self-determination.
Human Rights and Social Work Practice in a Global Context [Course] (3)
This course seeks to help students “think globally and act locally.” Toward this end, the course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of human rights and social work practice in a global context. Course content areas include values, ethics, policies, and institutions that may contribute to, or help alleviate, human rights and social issues such as globalization, environmental degradation, poverty, discrimination and oppression, armed conflict, and forced migration. The course will provide an overview of social work across the globe and help prepare students to apply a global perspective to social work practice in the United States with specific focus on populations such as migrant workers, immigrants, and those who came as asylum seekers or as refugees.
Marital Therapy [Course] (3)
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.
Family Violence [Course] (3)
This course is a comprehensive review of the etiology of family violence based on current evidence in the field of child and family welfare. In-depth analysis will provide clarity in the definitions, concepts, and theories around family violence including child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, stalking, exploitation and human trafficking, and special issues for at-risk populations. An overview of the legal, medical, and social perspectives to addressing family violence are examined and information for resources provided. Emphasis is on creating informed practitioners who can identify at-risk clients, navigate complex relevant services, and advocate for public policy change.
Working with Trauma: Theory & Intervention Social Work [Course] (3)
This course begins with an exploration of the history of traumatology and examines the theoretical frameworks that help identify and describe the different types of trauma and its effect on individuals, families, groups, and communities utilizing developmental and multicultural perspectives. Trauma-informed care as well as vicarious traumatization are also reviewed. The latter part of the course is devoted to a review of current evidence-based treatments utilized in the field.
Environmental Social Work [Course] (3)
This course introduces students to the emerging field of environmental social work. Students learn about historical roots, key concepts, definitions, theories, values and ethics, and religious/spiritual/faith perspectives related to environmental social work and environmental justice. The course examines how to engage in environmental social work and promote environmental justice at the micro, mezzo, and macro level with diverse populations. A range of special topics in relation to the natural environment is covered with risks and opportunities identified in each area to further the well-being of people and the Earth. The eclectic nature of this course makes it a good fit for students in both concentrations who want to explore how to integrate environmental social work principles and elements of the natural environment into their practice or who want to pursue environmental social work as their main passion.
Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions [Course] (3)
This course covers the use of behavioral and cognitive interventions with individuals, groups, families, and couples in a variety of social work practice settings. Theoretical frameworks underlying cognitive and behavioral treatment are examined, and a variety of intervention skills are learned. Variables such as gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are analyzed in relation to effective utilization of cognitive and behavioral interventions.
Personality Theory [Course] (3)
This course examines the theories of personality including psychoanalytical, trait, existential, and behavioral. Theorists' histories, concepts of personality structure and development, and related research are explored.
Cross-Cultural Experience in Social Work [Course] (1 - 3)
This course introduces students to the field of social work in a country or territory other than the United States. As an on-location intensive and immersive learning experience, students are exposed to and learn about social work topics as they relate to the host nation’s programs, services, and policies in social welfare, mental health, education, and other interdisciplinary sectors. Students develop a global mindset and a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, diverse perspectives and strategies of addressing various needs and issues at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Students also gain interpersonal skills that can be effective tools when working with culturally, ethnically, and/or racially diverse groups. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.
Independent Study [Course] (1 - 3)
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 individual manner. The independent study is arranged with and supervised by a graduate faculty member.