Course Descriptions

Courses numbered 100-199 are open to freshmen; 200-299 to sophomores; 300-399 to juniors; 400-499 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 200 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 499 is a graduate course.

NOTE:
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.

GSWK 5200
Social & Cultural Diversity [Course] (3)

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.

GSWK 5250
Human Behavior and Social Environment I [Course] (3)

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.

GSWK 5300
Social Welfare Policy and Services [Course] (3)

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.

GSWK 5400
Social Work Research [Course] (3)

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. Prerequisities: MATH 2400 Course.

GSWK 5450
Advanced Standing Seminar I [Course] (3)

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 SWK557 Advanced Standing Seminar II, guides students in a review of generalist knowledge, values, and skills as well as acquaints them with foundational readings relevant to the mission and goals of the program at Roberts Wesleyan College. Prerequisites: Advanced Standing Admission.

GSWK 5500
Individual, Family, & Group Intervention [Course] (3)

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.

GSWK 5520
Organization & Community Intervention [Course] (3)

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. Prerequisites: GSWK 5500.

GSWK 5570
Advanced Standing Seminar II [Course] (2)

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 general knowledge and skills required to participate fully in the advanced level of social work education at Roberts Wesleyan College. Prerequisites: GSWK 5450.

GSWK 5600
Social Work Practice & Religion [Course] (3)

This course addresses 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. Emphasis is given to the integration of Christianity and social work practice.

GSWK 5650
Psychopathology [Course] (3)

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding (both cognitive and empathic) 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 of the mental/emotional and physical selves will also be explored.

GSWK 5700
Field Instruction I [Course] (3)

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 help make the connection between the classroom and field. A minimum of 400 hours for GSWK 5700 and GSWK 5750 combined is required. Prerequisite: Permission of Field Director

GSWK 5750
Field Instruction II [Course] (3)

The objectives for the field experience 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, Field Experience. Prerequisite: Permission of Field Director.

GSWK 6150
Justice, Values and Ethics [Course] (3)

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. Prerequisites: GSWK 5750, or Advanced standing.

GSWK 6250
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 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. GSWK 6510 – Child and Family Theories is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: All foundational courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6260
Mental Health Multidimensional Assessment [Course] (3)

This course is designed to provide students with differential assessments knowledge and skills suitable for use with advanced practice theories in physical and mental health settings. In preparing students to work with persons needing physical and 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. GSWK 6610 Physical and Mental Health Theories is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: All foundational courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6300
Child and Family Policy [Course] (2)

This course reviews the roots of contemporary family policy and the construction of national 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 forged through debate, enacted, and implemented will be examined and experienced. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6350
Mental Health Policy [Course] (2)

This course reviews the roots and construction of contemporary policies in the area of physical and 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 services provided to low-income at-risk populations. The various levels where policy is forged through debate, enacted, and implemented are examined. Prerequisite: All foundation courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6420
Applied Social Work Research [Course] (2)

Applied Social Work Research 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 practice situations students encounter in their field placements. Prerequisite: GSWK 5400.

GSWK 6510
Child and Family Theories [Course] (3)

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. GSWK 6250 Child/Family Multidimensional Assessment is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6520
Child and Family Interventions [Course] (3)

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 progress report on professional use of the self, including self-awareness, personality and personal style, countertransference issues, and burnout prevention, and construct a personal model integration statement. Prerequisites: GSWK 6250 and GSWK 6510.

GSWK 6610
Mental Health Theories [Course] (3)

This course explores theories related to normal and maladaptive behavior of clients in physical and mental health settings. The socio-historical context, value orientations, motivational constructs, orientation to heath 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 and physical health practice theories will be explored. GSWK 6260 Physical and Mental Health Multidimensional Assessment is to be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6620
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 a variety of brief therapy-oriented techniques from a number of theoretical perspectives and of synthesizing these techniques into an interlocking model that can be utilized in advanced social work practice in physical and 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 is addressed. Prerequisite: GSWK 6260 and GSWK 6610.

GSWK 6640
Group Work [Course] (2)

Diagnostic and treatment procedures in intensive group therapy are examined. Variables such as gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are analyzed in relation to effective utilization of group therapy. Prerequisites: All foundation courses or advanced standing.

GSWK 6700
Field Instruction III [Course] (3)

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 students during the beginning and middle phase of their experience and to help consolidate the learning that has taken place. A minimum of 500 hours for GSWK 6700 and GSWK 6750 combined is required. Prerequisites: GSWK 5750 or advanced standing and permission of Field Director.

GSWK 6750
Field Instruction IV [Course] (3)

This course is the second part of the advanced practice supervised field experience giving the students 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 students 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 GSWK 6700 and GSWK 6750 combined is required. Prerequisites: GSWK 6700, permission of Director of Field Education.

GSWK 6800
Field Instruction for Summer Block Placement [Course] (6)

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 470 hours is required as well as weekly seminars. No other courses may be taken concurrently.

GSWK 7010
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 the social, political, economic, and the spiritual impact the aging individual and society. Current public policies will be examined to determine their impact on the delivery of service. Particular emphasis is placed on exploring demographic trends and the challenges of an aging world from a global perspective. This course is provided in an online format.

GSWK 7020
Understanding and Treating Substance Misuse [Course] (3)

This course introduces students to evidence-based, evidence-supported, and evidence-informed strategies and techniques used with individuals to treat a substance use disorder. 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.

GSWK 7030
Seminar:Evid Based Practices Mental Hlth [Course] (3)

This elective 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. It is designed for MSW students and MSW mental health practitioners. Students will become familiar with evidence-based practices, within a recovery-oriented paradigm, as a general approach to practice as well as specific evidence-based interventions to use for individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness. 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. Providing assessment and treatment to a diverse group of individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness is the focus of this course and will be discussed in detail.

GSWK 7050
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.

GSWK 7150
Integration of Social Work and Christian Theology [Course] (3)

This course is designed to build upon the foundation of the First Year Social Worker 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 apply this knowledge to social work within the context of a variety of practice settings. This is offered as an elective course for students in the Roberts Wesleyan MSW program.

GSWK 7210
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.

GSWK 7240
Play Therapy Techniques [Course] (1)

This is a practice course for mental health professionals. Participants should have their masters or be in pursuit of their masters in a mental health related field. This course will provide participants with a variety of play therapy techniques that can be used to engage children in the healing process. The techniques fall under a variety of theoretical approaches and can be tailored to the child. Participants will enhance their skills in working with children and realize the power of play.

GSWK 7300
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.

GSWK 7330
Family Violence [Course] (3)

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.

GSWK 7340
Play Therapy [Course] (3)

This course is a practice elective. The purpose of this course is to provide 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.

GSWK 7360
Working with Trauma: Theory & Intervention Social Work [Course] (3)

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the theoretical frameworks that define and assess the types of trauma, explain its biopsychosocial effects, and inform current best practice interventions. Attention is also given to understanding vicarious trauma and trauma informed care. Finally, trauma will be looked at through a variety of specific circumstances and demographic variables.

GSWK 7630
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.

GSWK 7670
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.

GSWK 7900
Cross-Cultural Experience in Social Work [Course] (1 - 3)

Cross-Cultural Experience in Social Work will introduce 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. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor

GSWK 7950
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.