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Foundation Level Courses

SWK400 Foundations in Human Behavior in the Social Environment

This course, for foundation-year graduate students in social work, teaches students to critically evaluate and apply biological, psychological, and social theories to client situations across the lifespan. Effects of the interplay of biological, psychological, social, economical and cultural elements of the social environment on human functioning are examined. Systems promoting or deterring people in the attainment and maintenance of optimal health and well-being are explored with particular attention on the effects over the life course of these systems on populations at risk, ethnic and racial minorities, sexual minorities, women, and persons with disability. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK450 Foundations in Social Work Practice with Individuals

Students will learn a problem-solving process that includes relationship building, prevention, planning, interviewing techniques, case recording, termination and evaluation. Attention to the evolution of social work practice from an historical and international perspective will establish the context for this introduction to contemporary practice. Students will be expected to participate in a laboratory experience involving a helping relationship project. Knowledge and skills relevant to practice with populations at risk including women, people of color, people who are gay and lesbian, and people who are economically impoverished will be emphasized. Issues of oppression, diversity, social justice, values, and ethics will be integrated throughout the course. This course is required of all Master's of Social Work students. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK455 Foundations of Social Welfare Policies

This course, for foundation-year graduate students in social work, provides an historical perspective for understanding current issues in social work and social welfare. The policy-making process is critically examined and the major actors associated with it are identified. A significant part of the course will be spent in the study of major welfare policies and the groups affected by them. Strategies and involvement of people for policy change are examined. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK460 Foundations of Social Work Research Methods

This course, for foundation-year graduate students, uses the scientific inquiry model for social and behavioral science research in social work practice. Students develop skills in formulating research problems and questions, conducting a comprehensive literature review, establishing hypotheses and choosing research designs, both quantitative and qualitative. Data collection instruments, analysis techniques and report writing are emphasized. Ethical issues related to human subjects, as well as sensitivity to the diversity of research participants are included. Emphasis is placed on social work practice evaluation techniques, including single-subject as well as experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Computers and information technology for social work practice are introduced. The use of appropriate statistical techniques in data analysis is covered. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK465 Foundations of Social Work Practice with Groups and Families 

This course for foundation level graduate students in social work continues the study of the problem solving approach with multi-level client systems (individual, groups, families, communities, organizations). The course focuses on concepts, methods, and skills in social work practice with groups and families. Family development and dynamics will be studied and social work intervention techniques with emphasis on problem solving will be examined. Through class discussions, exercises and group projects, students will apply their understanding of group dynamics and family assessment, and demonstrate social work practice skills with groups and families. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK480 Foundations of Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities

This course for foundation level graduate students in social work continues the study of the problem solving approach with multi-level client systems (individual, groups, families, communities, organizations). This course reinforces and applies social work knowledge, values, and skills using the problem solving approach and focuses on intervention strategies with communities and organizations. Students practice generalist social work within a systems theory framework. A policy practice emphasis is applied for advocacy and change strategies with agencies and communities. Particular attention will be given to strategies of change with populations at risk. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK481 Foundation Internship I

This internship is the first of two foundation-level, graduate semesters (total 480 hours) of field instruction in social welfare agency settings, which are required under the supervision of a professional social worker. Students apply foundation knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of professional generalist practice. Through supervision, students enhance their awareness of self, develop written and oral communication skills necessary for analysis of professional practice, and apply critical analytic skills for implementing and evaluating agency policies and programs. Students operationalize the unique values, functions and roles of professional social work practice and develop competency in identifying and assessing situations where the relationship of people and their social environment needs to be enhanced or changed. The professional responsibility of advocacy toward change and recognition of the impact of policy and programs on oppressed groups is an integral part of the applied learning, as is development of professional identity. A grade of "C" or better is required in this course to enter SWK483, Foundation Internship II. Must be taken concurrently with SWK 482, Integrated Professional Generalist Social Work Practice Seminar I. Prerequisites: SWK400, SWK450, SWK460 (or can be taken concurrently). 4 S.H., 4 C.H.

SWK482 Integrated Generalist Social Work Practice Seminar I

This seminar, the first of two for foundation-level MSW students, begins an effective bridge to align the liberal arts perspective expected of entering graduate-level students and the advanced level family-in-environment content. The following concepts will be introduced and reinforced: the history and philosophy of the social work profession, social work values and ethics, the Generalist Intervention Model of Social Work, populations at risk, cultural diversity, promotion of social and economic justice, and fields of social work practice. The seminars complement the Field Instruction and provide a structured learning opportunity where students process their practice experiences and integrate the common base of social work values, skills, and knowledge of generalist social work in a systems theory perspective. The seminars also assist students to expand their knowledge of the human services field beyond the confines of their own placement. Topics and policies of social work and social welfare are discussed, based in large part, on the experiences of students in the field through written logs, client summaries, and classroom discussions of experiences including feelings about their social work practice. Must be taken concurrently with SWK 481. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.

SWK483 Foundation Internship II

This is the second semester of field instruction (a total of 480 hours) in social welfare agency settings which is required under the supervision of a professional social worker. Students apply foundation knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of professional generalist practice. Through supervision, students enhance their awareness of self, develop written and oral communication skills necessary for analysis of professional practice, and apply critical analytic skills for implementing and evaluating agency policies and programs. Students operationalize the unique values, functions and roles of professional social work practice and develop competency in identifying and assessing situations where the relationship of people and their social environment needs to be enhanced or changed. The professional responsibility of advocacy toward change and recognition of the impact of policy and programs on oppressed groups is an integral part of the applied learning. An agency-based research project is required in this semester of fieldwork. Must be taken concurrently with SWK 484, Integrated Social Work Practice Seminar II. Prerequisites: SWK 481 and SWK 482. 4 S.H., 4 C.H.

SWK484 Integrated Generalist Social Work Practice Seminar II

This seminar, the second of two for foundation-level MSW students, continues aligning the liberal arts perspective expected of entering graduate-level students and the advanced level family-in-environment content. The following concepts will be integrated: professional use of self, social work values and ethics in the context of the mandate of the setting, the Generalist Intervention Model of Social Work, populations at risk, cultural diversity, promotion of social and economic justice, and fields of social work practice. The seminars complement the Field Instruction and provide a structured learning opportunity where students process their practice experiences and integrate the common base of social work values, skills, and knowledge of generalist social work in a systems theory perspective. The seminars also assist students to expand their knowledge of the human services field beyond the confines of their own placement. Must be taken concurrently with SWK 483. 3 S.H., 3 C.H.