Social Work (GRSW, DRSW)

DRSW 700 History of Social Work and Social Work Education — 3 credits

This course will examine the history of social work and social work education. By reading and discussing influential historic social work texts, students will understand and consider the enduring tensions, achievements, and possibilities of the social work profession. The influences of socioeconomic class, race, and gender on the development of social work and social work education are considered. The longstanding tensions between theory and practice and between micro and macro practice are also addressed. The historical legacy of leadership provided by educators and other influential persons in the social work profession are examined. Students will take on the role of professor by presenting historic texts and leading thought-provoking and engaging discussions. Students will conduct a scholarly historic analysis of archival materials on a topic related to social work education that culminates in a research paper and review a peer’s final paper, as well. Students will develop a consciousness of their identity as a social work instructor and scholar and be able to identify and articulate the historic antecedents that have influenced this development.,.

DRSW 710 Social Work Education — 3 credits

This course provides a foundation for analyzing the continuum of social work education in the United States from baccalaureate to masters, through the doctoral degree. It explores the philosophy and process of accreditation both professional and regional. It examines generalist and specialized curriculum models (explicit curriculum) and context, faculty, financial resources (implicit curriculum). Special emphasis is placed on understanding the history, philosophy and values of social work education. The role of professional social work educational associations and their relationship to professional practice associations is reviewed. International social work education is explored.

DRSW 716 Obligations of Professoriate — 3 credits

The role of a faculty member traditionally based on the three major responsibilities of teaching, research and service will be explored within the context of the college/university structure and the changing landscape of higher education, nationally and internationally. This course will explore how the role of the professoriate and active participation in the educational institution bridges the divide between faculty and university administration. In particular, the social work profession offers a lens of social justice and values the importance of a thorough understanding of and active participation in organizational management at multiple levels. Students will examine the committee and governance structures at their home institution – or an alternative - through the lens of university governance structures, analyzing approaches to academic administration that reflect the institution’s history, culture and educational goals. Students will consider their own obligations and aspirations to maximize the potential of the institution, their programs and colleagues in service of educating their students and thriving as members of the professoriate.

DRSW 717 Pedagogies in Social Work Education: Theory and Practice — 3 credits

This course provides a container for discerning one’s paradigm for teaching and learning, and for selecting teaching methods that are most congruent with that paradigm. Alternative pedagogies for teaching and learning have emerged in social work education, and four pedagogies representing the most traditional to the most radical will be examined. The ontological, epistemological and axiological assumptions of each will be explored as well as other pedagogical issues such as focus of teaching/learning, role of teacher, course structure and methods of evaluation.

DRSW 718 Curriculum Development: Manifestation of Mission and Purpose — 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to explore and address the role of curriculum – implicit and explicit – in operationalizing the mission and purpose of a social work program, regardless of level – BSW, MSW, and Doctorate. Social work programs ‘live’ in larger institutional, societal and cultural contexts. Based on the grounding provided in previous courses, students will consider the influences on and the role of curriculum in the institution at large, including faculty governance structures that guide curriculum development and changes, the influences of mission and goals on curriculum development at multiple levels, and the unique role of accreditation in the development of social work curriculum. Students will demonstrate their ability to participate in curriculum development through the application of current CSWE Education Policy and Standards (EPAS) to curriculum (explicit and implicit) development activities. Students will independently, and as a team member, implement and map this process from mission and purpose through delivery to include assessment and ongoing improvement.

DRSW 719 Creating Hybrid, Online Course Formats — 3 credits

This purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the principles of teaching social work content in online and blended formats. Garrison et al.'s Community of Inquiry model will serve as the conceptual framework for this course. Students in this course will develop competence creating and communicating online policies and procedures, orienting students to online learning, developing and communicating content in an online environment, developing online learning communities, developing an online presence for learners, maintaining student engagement, blending online and face-to-face learning, and assessing learning outcomes. The course will encourage students to re-think traditional teaching practices, consider flexibility in content delivery methods, and embrace innovation in teaching practices.

DRSW 720 Social Work Theoretical Perspectives — 3 credits

The intent of this course is for students to gain a mastery in the selection and application of theories, concepts and frameworks that serve as the grounding of social work and social work teaching. This course will provide the opportunity for students to identify their own bias in the selection and application of theory and the factors that contribute to this process. This course serves to inform the teaching of all social work practice courses (micro through macro), providing students the opportunity to develop skills in deconstructing and reconstructing key theories and frameworks that are utilized in both practice and classroom settings. This course will provide opportunities for students to critically analyze and compare theories from a variety of frameworks including ethics, diversity and social justice. These critical thinking skills will be exercised through students selecting potential theories and/or frameworks for use in their banded dissertations.

DRSW 721 Teaching Social Work — 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to understand the “living” nature of a teaching philosophy across a career, particularly as it applies to the education of social work practitioners. Students will identify and develop a variety of specific, concrete strategies for teaching and evaluating the practice of teaching. Several considerations for developing these strategies to address the complex system of concerns will be covered throughout the course, including: multiple learning styles; developmental needs of students, and diversity. Evaluating teaching will be addressed as a strategy for scholarship.

DRSW 722 Using Mixed Methods in Social Work Research — 3 credits

This course will provide an overview of mixed methods research, with an emphasis on its application in social work research. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods prior to beginning this course. "Mixed methods" refers to the intentional mixing of quantitative and qualitative approaches within one study or across a program of research. Engagement in mixed methods research is intended to enhance the researcher’s ability to study complex social phenomena holistically, while minimizing some of the limitations posed by mono-method (qualitative or quantitative) designs. The foundation for conducting mixed methods research in social work is laid by exploring the historical, philosophical, and epistemological, roots of this emerging research methodology. Methods for collecting, analyzing and presenting data will also be discussed.

DRSW 723 Engaged Scholarship — 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to engage directly with scholarly activities such as writing for publication, peer-review, and ongoing assessment of a scholarship agenda as the grounding for a student's development of an identity as a scholar. The work of this course is grounded in the student’s Banded Dissertation Plan. Strategies and techniques for establishing, improving and maintaining types of scholarly activities are examined, discussed and implemented. Emphasis in this course is on the development and creation of a ready to submit for publication article. Each student will develop an outline for a proposal for a peer-reviewed presentation at professional conference(s), based on the topic of the manuscript. Professional ethics in scholarly activities such as writing for publication are addressed. Grant writing is described within the context of writing for publication. Students are expected to come to this course with a plan for writing based on their Banded Dissertation Plan.

DRSW 724 Interprofessional Education/IPC Experiential — 3 credits

Social Work has a critical role in the development and practice of Interprofessional Education (IPE) grounded in its historical roles in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary practice settings. In this course, students will explore and analyze the relationship of social work competencies with those currently articulated in IPE in both medical and non-medical settings. Students will consider these intersections in community settings such as the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services (IPC) at the University of St. Thomas where faculty, staff and students from law, psychology and social work collaborate to address the needs of underserved clients. Students will analyze the challenges and opportunities provided by Interprofessional education and practice in the academy, the profession and practice.

DRSW 725 Career Development Practicum — 3 credits

In this course, students will articulate the dimensions of their social work educator identity to prepare for seeking a teaching position in higher education. Grounded in their experience and previous coursework and input from students, classmates and Master Teachers, students will develop and analyze their teaching skills through in vivo teaching opportunities. Students will articulate their educator identity through seminar-based consultations with peers, faculty development and other career-focused experts. Students will develop updated teaching and scholarship statements; formulate a curriculum vita presenting teaching, scholarship and service/leadership accomplishments; and practice colloquium presentations that define their scholarship agenda and teaching philosophy.

DRSW 726 Writing for Publication — 3 credits

This course serves as a project-focused seminar with the goal of preparing students to write for scholarly publication. Building on previous coursework, the seminar takes the form of a writing group and emphasizes later parts of the writing process (i.e. writing as rewriting, refining, and finalizing). The seminar will give attention to topics such as ways to strengthen one’s methodology and considerations in choosing and writing with a journal’s focus and specifications in mind. The seminar focuses on one paper, offers a social context for writing, and culminates in the finalization of a manuscript, suitable for publication, that can serve as one of the three scholarly products required for the banded dissertation.

DRSW 727 Research and Scholarship — 3 credits

In this course, students will review the fundamentals of research and research methodologies and apply this knowledge to the development of their Banded Dissertation proposal. Students will evaluate a continuum of methodological approaches to research inquiry that are both congruent with social work practice realities and representative of models of inquiry that incorporate multiple world views of knowing and understanding the human experience. Students will engage in a critical review of the fundamental principles and methods of quantitative and qualitative research including design, sampling, measurement, data collection, analysis and dissemination. Students will identify their primary area of scholarship and research inquiry as a context for critical thinking about the methodological approaches that are most congruent with their scholarship. Students will be introduced to the Banded Dissertation process and begin work on their Banded Dissertation proposal.

DRSW 730 Designing and Implementing a Field Education Program — 3 credits

This course introduces you to the foundational requirements of any accredited field education program, a review of field education program models, and practices in implementing those models with students, community partners, and faculty.

DRSW 731 Grant Writing — 3 credits

Developing effective grant writing skills is essential to acquiring competitive funding from internal institutional resources, government agencies or private foundations for research or program evaluation/ development. The ability to write grants is a highly marketable skill that is a blend of both science and art. It requires content knowledge, writing proficiency, strong research skills, creativity, organizational ability and patience. The purpose of this course is to address the essential knowledge and skills of grant writing and provide the experience of writing a grant application from the development of an idea through the submission process for either an academic research proposal or a community-based collaboration. Students will learn and demonstrate the basics of grant writing including identifying and analyzing potential funding sources, creating project goals/ study aims, choosing study designs and evaluation plans, addressing budgets and timelines, and responding to grant reviews.

DRSW 732 Program Evaluation and Assessment — 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to address the essential knowledge and skills of program evaluation and assessment needed for faculty to actively participate in assessment in their university, college and program. This course also addresses the application of this knowledge and skill set to guide evaluation of programs in the community. Programs of all types are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate their effectiveness and accountability to a variety of internal and external constituencies and stakeholders. They need to demonstrate how they are meeting specific performance objectives and program outcomes, the achievement of which may be linked to continued program funding. This course will provide an overview of approaches and essential skills to participate in program evaluation and assessment for programs in higher education and in the community.

DRSW 733 Program Administration — 3 credits

Social work programs operate in the context of a rapidly changing higher education environment. In order to remain responsive to environmental changes, organizational structure and function must have sufficient flexibility to adapt, while maintaining a consistent focus on institutional and program mission. Designing and administeringprograms which have these qualities requires a knowledge and value base which, while drawing on traditional management theories, is in many important ways unique to social work. This course is designed to enable students to understand the knowledge base required for program management and to apply it in a manner consistent with social work values.

DRSW 734 Supervision, Mentoring, and Faculty Development — 3 credits

This course provides opportunities for students to conduct independent explorations of each of three areas that are integral to developing leadership roles: Supervision, mentoring, and faculty development. Using resources provided and those identified through their own research, students will continuously examine their competencies and demonstrate preparation for supervision, mentorship and faculty development in the academic setting. Applications may focus on work with students, colleagues, and/or self-development.

DRSW 735 Independent Study — 3 credits

Independent study refers to a type of learning contract in which a registered student and/or professor have the responsibility for defining, organizing and evaluating a special project of limited scope (limited in content and in the time designated for its completion). independent study provides an opportunity for students to receive one-to-one instruction and guidance, while pursuing a subject of special interest. This work is completed independently under the professor's personal direction.

DRSW 736 International Social Work and Global Perspectives — 3 credits

This course is designed for students interested in teaching about international social work, developing study abroad courses, and engaging in faculty exchanges. It is designed to prepare students for international social welfare practice abroad, for transnational work in the United States with immigrants, foreign students, international adoption, etc., and international social work research This course is also relevant for international social work students who wish to apply social work principles to practice and education in their own countries.

DRSW 790 Research: Fundamentals to Advanced Perspectives — 3 credits

The topics course will vary each semester and provide an in-depth study of particular issues, concerns and trends in social work practice at all levels and in social work education. Topics may address areas such as emerging trends; the roles and responsibilities of social work educators in leadership in the profession, community, and academy; and the development of scholar-practitioner identity.

DRSW 800 Banded Dissertation — 3 credits

Candidates for graduation will have completed three scholarship products which are subject to peer review processes. These scholarly works will be linked by issues, theme, pedagogy, or population. One publishable article will be research-based and all products will be completed while the student is enrolled in the DSW Program.

GRSW 5000 History and Philosophy of Social Work — 3 credits

This course provides a foundation for the graduate social work and includes some texts that will be used across the curriculum. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the history, legacies, philosophy and values of social welfare and social work. This course provides students the opportunity to explore the historical development of the ethics, purposes, and sanctions characteristic of professional social work practice.

GRSW 5010 Theory and Practice of Social Work I — 3 credits

This course provides the first year MSW student with the knowledge and skills needed for generalist social work practice. Students develop communication and interviewing skills, which are used in work with client systems of all sizes. It is taken concurrently with a field placement, which serves as a practice lab for applying theory and skills learned in the classroom. This first course in a year long sequence (students are expected to stay in the same section both semesters) focuses on understanding the generalist and integrative models of practice, social work values and ethics, the strengths perspective, empowerment principles and basic principles of ethical reasoning. Student self-awareness and self-assessment are especially important since they facilitate the development of an authentic style of practice.

GRSW 5020 Theory and Practice of Social Work II — 3 credits

This course is a continuation of GRSW 5010 and is also taken concurrently with a field placement which serves as a practice lab for theory and skills learned in the classroom. This course focuses on several practice applications: group theory and process (both task and treatment groups), agency change, and understanding the dynamics of unintended discrimination and oppression. As with the first course, student self-awareness and self-assessment are critical to developing a solid foundation for authentic practice.

GRSW 5050 Field Practicum and Seminar I — 3 credits

The field practicum is an educationally directed on-site experience under the supervision of an agency-based social work field instructor and a campus based faculty liaison. Students complete a total of 400 hours during the first practicum. On-campus seminars (I and II) taken concurrently with the practicum, assist the student in the integration and application of practice theory to their placement learning activities. The first practicum is taken concurrently with GRSW 5010 and GRSW 5020: Theory and Practice of Social Work I and II.

GRSW 5060 Field Practicum and Seminar II — 3 credits

The field practicum is an educationally directed on-site experience under the supervision of an agency-based social work field instructor and a campus based faculty liaison. Students complete a total of 400 hours during the first practicum. On-campus seminars (I and II) taken concurrently with the practicum, assist the student in the integration and application of practice theory to their placement learning activities. The first practicum is taken concurrently with GRSW 5010 and GRSW 5020: Theory and Practice of Social Work I and II.

GRSW 5150 Social Work And The Law — 3 credits

This course integrates social work and the law issues which affect social workers in practice. The course addresses legal regulation of social work; licensing standards; professional liability; ethical issues and sanctions. The course focuses social worker involvement in legal processes; preparing for court; testimony and cross-examination. Students will learn substantive law affecting social work practice in selected areas such as: child protection, mental health, family law, domestic violence, housing law, government benefits, legal research, and child welfare.

GRSW 5160 Child Welfare — 3 credits

This course traces the history and legal framework of national and state child welfare policy over the last century, concentrating on recent legislative issues and reforms. Topics include the role of the child in different family constellations and a diverse American society, maltreatment, foster care, adoption, family preservation and family-centered services, kinship care, and the impact of the most recent national legislation, the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act. The course is conducted seminar style, with discussion of readings and writing assignments with the instructor and guest experts as the predominant classroom methodology.

GRSW 5230 Practice with Older Adults and Their Families — 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to, and overview of social work knowledge, skills, and values for working with older adults and their families. Content includes an examination of theories such as: “activity theory”, “substitution theory”, “continuity theory”, “labeling theory,” “transpersonal theories” and the “transition model” as well as the “strengths perspective and empowerment principles” as they apply to an elderly population. Students are expected to examine their own and societal attitudes about aging, risk factors of aging, the nature and limitations of gerontological social work, forces shaping the delivery system, major bio-psychological and spiritual dimensions in practice, and differential models of intervention.

GRSW 5340 Practice with Service Members, Veterans and Their Families — 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to and overview of military social work knowledge, skills, and values for working with service members, veterans, and their families at the foundation level. Content includes an examination of topics relevant to a foundation in military social work practice such as military culture, at-risk populations, as well as risk and resilience among deployed service members and their families. Students are expected to examine their own and societal attitudes about social work with military-impacted populations. Students will demonstrate competency through integrative, multi-level applications grounded in literature, current initiatives and resources for military-impacted populations, and current research and policy.

GRSW 5400 Human Behavior and the Social Environment — 3 credits

This foundation course will explore the dynamics of human behavior and prepare a foundation of knowledge on which to build clinical practice skills. Through a study of systems theory, psychodynamic theory and the identification of the biological, psychological and sociological variables influencing development, students will gain a theoretical base for application to the assessment of client systems. Special emphasis in the course is on the important factors of human diversity (ethnic minorities of color, racism, ethnocentrism, aging, sexism, sexual orientation, and religion/spirituality) as they affect the dynamics of human behavior.

GRSW 5410 Family Resilience and Diversity: Immigrants and Refugees — 3 credits

This course presents the family resilience framework as a foundational context for working with diverse populations, focusing on strengths and adaptive capacity. Specifically, this course explores critical issues, theory and skills related to social work practice with immigrants and refugees. Consideration is given to the macro context of immigration including related policy responses. Key factors in resettlement and transition, such as migration trauma, the social work delivery system, and the role of the social worker with clients, communities and organization will be addressed.

GRSW 5800 Social Work Research Methods — 3 credits

This course focuses on learning generalist social work research methods and skills. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of research, allowing them to be both critical consumers and novice producers of research. Skills emphasized include critiquing and analyzing research literature, searching for relevant scholarly articles, writing literature reviews, developing research design, and understanding quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Discussed in the class are frameworks regarding evidence-based practice, diverse client systems, ethical research practice, and social justice.

GRSW 5903 Topics — 3 credits

Topics courses vary each semester and provide an in-depth study of particular issues, concerns and trends in social work.

GRSW 6030 Methods of Clinical Social Work I — 3 credits

This course is part one of a year-long sequence requiring students to keep the same instructor over the academic year. This course provides an overview of theories and intervention methods for social work practice. The course focuses on the clinical interview, both with regard to the philosophy and theoretical constructs of the approaches and to the application of those approaches in work with clients from various cultural, ethnic and class backgrounds. Emphasis is placed on differential aspects of assessment and diagnosis of clients of all ages, the formulation of a treatment plan, the therapeutic relationship and the process of treatment. This course is taken concurrently with GRSW 6070.

GRSW 6040 Methods of Clinical Social Work II — 3 credits

This course is part two of a year-long sequence requiring students to keep the same instructor over the academic year. This course provides an overview of theories and intervention methods for social work practice. It is a continuation of GRSW 603. The course focuses on the clinical interview, both with regard to the philosophy and theoretical constructs of the approaches and to the application of those approaches in work with clients from various ages, cultural and ethnic and class backgrounds. Emphasis is placed on differential aspects of assessment and diagnosis of different age groups throughout the lifespan, the formulation of a treatment plan, the therapeutic relationship and the process of treatment. Emphasis is placed on theories and methods of practice with individuals and groups. This course is taken concurrently with GRSW 6080.

GRSW 6070 Field Practicum and Seminar III — 4 credits

This course provides advanced learning and practice in settings conducive to clinical social work practice under the instruction of an agency-based social work supervisor and campus-based faculty member. Students complete a minimum of 600 hours during the practicum. Campus seminars (III and IV) taken concurrently with the practicum provide guidance for learning, continued application of theory and prior experience, and further refinement of social work skills. The clinical field practicum is taken concurrently with GRSW 6030 Methods of Clinical Social Work I and GRSW 6040 Methods of Clinical Social Work II.

GRSW 6080 Field Practicum and Seminar IV — 4 credits

This course provides advanced learning and practice in settings conducive to clinical social work practice under the instruction of an agency-based social work supervisor and campus-based faculty member. Students complete a minimum of 600 hours during the practicum. Campus seminars (III and IV) taken concurrently with the practicum provide guidance for learning, continued application of theory and prior experience, and further refinement of social work skills. The clinical field practicum is taken concurrently with GRSW 6030 Methods of Clinical Social Work I and GRSW 6040 Methods of Clinical Social Work II.

GRSW 6090 The Spiritual Dimension of Social Work Practice — 3 credits

This course conceptualizes social work practice as consisting of seven interrelated elements: use of theory, goals of practice, context for practice, nature of helping relationship, assessment, intervention and ethical guidelines. These interrelated elements will be explored in the context of religion, spirituality, and various practice settings. Social Work assists people in achieving their full potential within their environmental contexts by adopting a holistic, person-in-environment perspective. Since its inception, the profession has recognized that a holistic perspective requires attending to biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual human needs. Current trends in social work education support the inclusion of content on religion and spiritual diversity. In accordance with professional policy, this course is an elective that provides an introduction to the spiritual dimension of social work practice.

GRSW 6120 Grief Counseling and Therapy — 3 credits

The course provides theoretical and applied frameworks for understanding grief and loss as they relate to social work practice. The perspectives and skills taught in the class can be used in recognizing and addressing grief and loss with persons of diverse backgrounds, who are facing a variety of different losses, in a variety of practice settings. The course is designed to be relevant for social work practice in any setting, not just those focused on death and dying. A broad view of the concept of loss will be taken. Students will be able, by the conclusion of the course, to recognize, identify, and respond to losses with those with whom they work. Students will also address matters of self and team care when addressing grief issues with clients.

GRSW 6140 Clinical Practice with Children — 3 credits

This class will be focused on the normal developmental trajectory from birth through adolescence, with an emphasis on the early formative years. Because pathological development can only be evaluated through the lens of normative development, the first half of the semester will be dedicated to understanding what happens in the normal developmental sequence and what developmental milestones must be reached. The second half of the semester will look at various pathologies found in children with a goal of discovering the causes of these pathologies and the most useful interventions to help development get back on track. During all of the semester we will also be reading clinical stories, including effective interventions when development goes awry.

GRSW 6150 Clnical Practice with Couples and Families — 3 credits

This course provides an overview of theory and models of social work intervention with couples and families. Students will learn the philosophy and theoretical constructs of a variety of methods as well as how to apply those methods to clients. In addition, the course will focus on a few common clinical issues which families face, allowing students the opportunity to apply the methods to particular problem areas. Emphasis is placed on both cultural and gender issues, as well as on working with families with both traditional and non-traditional structures.

GRSW 6160 Clinical Practice with Groups — 3 credits

This theory-based course develops knowledge and skills for the application of research-informed models of clinical social work with groups. It focuses on the therapeutic factors in group process and the tasks and skills of the clinical social worker in composing groups, facilitating group process on behalf of members, and the skills and techniques for responding to group members' special needs. Special emphasis is placed on cultural and gender-sensitive application of the practice models promoting empowerment processes in groups and their application with special populations at risk. Attention is also given to integrating research in the practice of clinical social work with groups.

GRSW 6180 Cognitive Interventions — 3 credits

This course will introduce students to the effective practice of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Students will be introduced to and will have the chance to practice techniques from CBT such as activity scheduling, thought records, and guided discovery. Students will learn how to conceptualize and to treat broadly from a cognitive behavioral perspective, with attention to forming a cognitive conceptualization, including concepts such as automatic thoughts, intermediate thoughts, core beliefs, and how to work at each of these levels. Students will also learn how to modify and tailor treatment to specific diagnoses such as mood, anxiety, personality, psychotic, and substance-related disorders.

GRSW 6190 Integrative Psychotherapy — 3 credits

This course on integrative psychotherapy uses a bio/psycho-social/spiritual perspective applied to clinical social work practice. Based on Mindfulness-based Meditation principles and practices, students will explore the mind-body connection informed by neuroscience research, emotional intelligence and mindfulness-based approaches, body-oriented, and contemplative approaches from other east/west disciplines of study. Integrative psychotherapy draws from a range of expressive/healing arts. Through both theoretical and experiential practices students will learn effective and appropriate applications of integrative processes in clinical work with individuals, couples, families and groups. Integrative therapy with diverse mental health issues and client populations will be taught through case examples, classroom activities, discussion and assignments. A strong ethical foundation for practice and the prevention of compassion fatigue will be established throughout the course.

GRSW 6210 Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy — 3 credits

This course will focus on teaching the theory and practice techniques of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. Major emphasis will be on one model of brief dynamic psychotherapy being, “Time Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy.” The course will focus on the application of this dynamic theory to clinical social work practice. The course will focus on techniques utilized to effect change.

GRSW 6220 Clinical Practice with Adolescents — 3 credits

This course will focus on teaching clinical social work interventions with adolescents emphasizing a developmental, psychodynamic perspective. The course will focus on developing clinical skills that assist adolescents in dealing with derailed development.

GRSW 6230 Clinical Practice with Older Adults — 3 credits

Emerging from what has been learned through the Hartford Geriatric Enrichment Grant, this course has been designed as a graduate level specialty course on the clinical issues of aging. The course is an examination of aging and the interaction of the biological, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and social/economic factors. By focusing on clinical practice and case management with older adults and their families, the course will provide in-depth knowledge about assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation. In counterpoint to the application of various psychological and cognitive measurement tools, students will discuss the clinical and ethical implications in relation to diversity and populations at risk. Theories of aging and models of intervention will be discussed and critiqued. The role of the clinical social worker will be examined in the various settings and agencies serving aged populations. The course is based on the strengths based perspective and will provide a variety of viewpoints and case examples of best practice with older clients and their families.

GRSW 6240 Mental Illness: Clinical Issues and Practice — 3 credits

This course is designed to increase knowledge and practice skills when working with adult clients who have mental illness. Various treatment models will be explored, with particular emphasis being placed on service models that are strengths-based and systems-oriented. The course will build on content from GRSW 645: Psychopathology and Human Behavior and will expand learning relative to what are considered the serious and persistent mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and major depression, recurrent. Classroom experiences will include lecture and discussion, guest speakers (professionals and consumers), videos, and group presentations.

GRSW 6250 Social Policy and Program Development — 3 credits

This course focuses on current social welfare policy, policy analysis and advocacy, connections between policy and practice, and social welfare program development. The content and effects of current social welfare policy are examined in the course, and policy analysis and the skills for policy advocacy are emphasized. The course carefully considers the connections between policy and clinical practice. A major focus of the course includes learning the stages of program development, which culminates in a group program proposal and presentation. Emphasized in the course are the frameworks of social justice, diversity and cultural contexts, and the application of research skills to all parts of policy and program practice.

GRSW 6260 Clinical Practice for the Treatment of Trauma — 3 credits

This course will focus on an understanding of the psychophysiology of trauma and address clinical work with trauma clients. The course will explore trauma’s impact on the organization of the self and its implications for treatment.

GRSW 6270 Clinical Practice in Schools — 3 credits

This course examines the school as a social institution charged with educating and socializing children into American society (Allen-Mears, Washington & Welsh, 2000); and the role of the social worker in such a host setting. Attention is placed on clinical social work with children and adolescents in a school setting, including differential diagnosis and special education mandates. This course examines specific handicaps to learning and the differences between diagnosis and special education labeling. This course emphasizes roles and tasks of the social workers in helping students, schools and families adjust to and cope with special needs. We will explore the process of integrating social work values into a school setting. Emphasis will be placed on evaluation of the effectiveness of school social work interventions.

GRSW 6280 Clinical Practice with Immigrants and Refugees — 3 credits

This course provides an in-depth study of issues related to clinical social work practice with immigrants and refugees. It is set in the macro context of understanding global trends in immigration, immigration to the U.S. and related public policy responses in terms of their influence on the lives of persons coming to this country and on the service delivery systems intended to serve them. Specific clinical skills and strategies for engaging immigrant and refugee clients in various practice settings are emphasized, along with research findings on service utilization of immigrants and refugees. The role of acculturation processes, issues and problems will be addressed in relation to common social service workers' cultural and ethnic heritage may affect their clinical practice and work with social work colleagues who themselves have immigrant or refugee backgrounds will be addressed.

GRSW 6290 Clinical Social Work Practice in Integrated Healthcare — 3 credits

The objective of this course is to educate social work students in the direct practice of integrated behavioral health in primary care. Students will become knowledgeable of the roles of behavioral health providers working in primary care settings, theories and models of care, and cross-cultural issues. They will develop skills in engagement, assessment, intervention planning and implementation, and practice evaluation. Because the populations served in primary care settings span the spectrum of severity in both the physical and behavioral health dimensions, students will develop competencies in engaging and supporting patients across a range of health conditions. This includes the essential practice skills needed to effectively address the challenges of integrating services, care, and support for persons with health, mental health, and substance use problems.

GRSW 6330 Dialectical Behavioral Therapy — 3 credits

This course provides a detailed understanding of the theoretical perspectives, empirical foundations, and treatment strategies of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is an Empirically Supported Treatment (EST) approach for working with clients who have difficulty managing symptoms associated with Depression, Anxiety, Personality Disorders and Personality Disorder – Trait Specified Disorders (PD-TS), addictions, and dual diagnosis. DBT assists clinicians in expanding their expertise and effectiveness working with and supporting clients with dramatic interpersonal styles, difficulty regulating their reactions to external triggers, suicidal issues, and self harm potential. It is a therapeutic approach that originated from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Students will explore the theoretical basis of this approach, specific DBT interventions, and how to effectively with high-risk, complex, multi-need clients. Students will be encouraged and challenged to assess and critique how DBT aligns and conflicts with clinical social work practice and values.

GRSW 6340 Clin Pract in Military Soc Wrk — 3 credits

This course assumes that students have a basic understanding of the military, service members, veterans, and their families. The focus of the work in this course is the development of clinical competencies and use of professional self in military social work practice. This elective draws on theory and research informed strategies for military social work interventions with service members/veterans, couples, family members, and groups. Throughout the course, students will be expected to address their learning in the context of application to practice and leadership in the field.
Prerequisite: GRSW 5340 or SOWK 4340.

GRSW 6450 Psychopathology and Human Behavior — 3 credits

This course will explore the dynamics of psychopathology in human behavior. Through the identification of the biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual variables influencing behavior, students will gain a theoretical foundation for understanding and assessing psychopathology. The impact of diversity, social justice and ageism on behavior and the experience of mental illness will be explored. Special emphasis in this course is on the complexity of psychopathology and the use and practical limitations of diagnostic systems, especially the DSM-IV-TR.

GRSW 6500 Clinical Supervision and Program Management — 3 credits

This course identifies and examines central concepts, theories and models of clinical supervision and program management. Strategies and techniques for establishing, improving and maintaining the supervisory relationship as a mechanism for maximizing service to clients are considered. Special attention is given to organization dynamics and structure, to delineating the management function, and to issues of power and authority. Emphasis is on the dynamics of supervision, ethical and value principles, professional boundaries and supervision as a leadership function.

GRSW 6810 Social Work Practice Research — 3 credits

This course focuses on research in all areas of social work practice. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are studied in research designs from single-subject designs through group designs to systematic evaluation. A major focus is to develop the knowledge and skills of the student to be an objective evaluator of social work practice as well as to be an active participant in adding to the knowledge base of social work.

GRSW 6820 Applied Research Seminar (Clinical Research Paper) — 4 credits

Candidates for the MSW degree must satisfactorily conduct a clinical research project, present the findings, and complete a final written and bound report. The purpose of the clinical research project is to provide the student with an opportunity to independently conceptualize a research problem, formulate a research design, implement the research, analyze the data, address ethical and cultural considerations, and disseminate the findings. The project is a logical extension of required research courses (GRSW 5800 and GRSW 6810) and requires application, integration, and further development of previously acquired skills and knowledge. The research must be relevant to clinical social work practice. The project must demonstrate an original and clear contribution to the body of social work knowledge in the student’s selected area of focus. It should demonstrate the student’s ability to integrate social work theory with research findings.

GRSW 6903 Topics — 3 credits

The topics course will vary each semester offered and provide an in-depth study of particular issues, concerns and trends in social work. GRSW 6903 is a clinical level elective.