Social Work

Program Description

The St. Catherine University Department of Social Work’s mission is: 

We prepare students for critically reflective practice to use social work knowledge, values, and skills to demonstrate the intrinsic value of all humankind in a unified purpose to serve those in need and promote social justice and human rights.

The St. Catherine University Master of Social Work (MSW) program mission is to prepare clinical social workers for critically reflective social work practice.  We collaborate with students and communities to create learning environments grounded in social justice and scholarly inquiry with a critical perspective on social work knowledge, values, and skills, in order to lead and influence change.   

Two MSW program options are available: Advanced Standing, a reduced-credit option for students with bachelor's degrees in social work; and Regular Standing, for students with bachelor's degrees in any subject. One-year and two-year tracks are available for Advanced Standing students. Regular Standing students select from two-year or three-year tracks. The advanced standing program requires 38 credits, including 600 hours of field practica. The regular standing graduate program requires 56 semester credits, including 1,000 hours of field practica.  Foundation and advanced courses include study in human behavior and the social environment, social policy and services, research, generalist and clinical social work practice and fieldwork. Courses are offered on our St. Paul, MN campus, in a blended format that includes fully on-campus as well as hybrid (on campus and online) courses—all in a convenient schedule in the late afternoon and evening designed for working adults.

The MSW program emphasizes the development of the individual student.  Its focus on clinical social work practice with individuals, small groups and families, deals with problems including poverty, discrimination, mental illness, developmental disabilities and oppression. The MSW curriculum emphasizes demonstrated mastery of knowledge and practice skills and is rooted in a philosophy of social responsibility and respect for human rights. The development of areas of expertise can be explored through selection of electives and field placements.

The goals of the master of social work program are:

  1. We prepare students for critical clinical social work practice in order to lead and influence change.
  2. We prepare students to examine, through a critical perspective, injustice and systemic barriers affecting diverse populations to promote social well-being. 
  3. We prepare students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills in critical thinking, transformative advocacy, and reflective clinical social work practice.
  4. We prepare students for scholarly inquiry and the application of research in order to develop and evaluate social work policy and practice.

Program Accreditation

The MSW program is accredited at the graduate level by the Council on Social Work Education: Commission on Accreditation. In June 2012, the Council in Social Work Education: Commission on Accreditation reaccredited the program for the full eight-year cycle. For more information on this organization, visit www.cswe.org.

This past May, St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas announced the end of their formal collaboration on their joint social work programs. We are planning for this change to take effect August 23, 2019. The St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work will continue to operate as a collaborative through the 2018–2019 academic year.  Immediately after the collaboration dissolves, the joint social work programs will transition from being accredited as a collaborative program to pursuing individual program accreditation. St. Kate’s will pursue accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which accredits the BSW and MSW programs individually. We will follow an abbreviated one-year candidacy process that CSWE has customized for independent programs following the closure of a joint program relationship.

St. Catherine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association: www.ncahlc.org.

Licensure

In 2007, Minnesota State Legislature passed a law, effective August 1, 2011, requiring 360 hours of clinical coursework in six clinical knowledge areas for everyone applying for LICSW licensure. Applicants for the independent license are subject to the new law. Students will get most of this mandated content through coursework in our MSW program.

For specific information regarding social work licensure, contact the Minnesota Board of Social Work, 2829 University Ave. SE, Suite #340, Minneapolis, MN 55414, 612-617-2100, or visit http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/social-work/.

Note: Effective August 1, 1997, all new applicants for licensure must have a criminal background check completed as part of their application.

Effective July 1990, an individual who desires to practice as a school social worker must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Education. For more information regarding school social work licensure, contact the Minnesota Department of Education, 1500 Hwy 36 W., Roseville, MN 55113, 651-582-8691, or visit http://www.education.state.mn.us/.

Degree Requirements

The regular standing graduate program requires 56 semester credits, including 1,000 hours of field practicum.  The advanced standing graduate program requires a minimum of 38 semester hours, including 600 hours of field practicum.

Years to Complete the Program

The program must be completed within four years from the initial term of enrollment in the MSW program. You may pursue program requirements during the regular academic year and summer sessions on a full- or extended-time status.

For regular standing students who do not have an undergraduate degree in social work, the MSW degree can be completed in the weekday format in a two-year, four-semester program. Students enroll in a minimum of 13-15 credits each semester, including field practicum. This two-year MSW program will allow regular standing students who carry 13-15 credits per semester to complete the 56 credits required for graduation.

Graduates of undergraduate social work programs accredited by the CSWE will be considered for advanced standing and will be required to complete a minimum of 38 semester credits to receive the MSW degree. Full time students admitted to the advanced standing one-year program in the weekday format take four courses during the summer sessions and graduate the following May after two semesters of full time study.

The MSW program at St. Kate's also offers an extended-time curriculum for those students who are unable to enroll on a full time basis.  Regular standing students can apply to complete the program on extended-time status on either a three-year plan. Advanced standing students can apply to complete the program on extended-time status, on a two-year plan. The degree requirements are the same as the full-time programs.

Dual Degree Programs

Innovative dual degree program options are available for students through collaborative programs with the Master of Social Work are offered through the Theology Department and the Holistic Health Studies Department at St. Catherine University

These programs were developed to reinforce and support a professional perspective that serves the multiple and complex needs of clients. To participate in a dual degree option, students must be independently accepted into both graduate programs. Applicants should express their intent to complete the dual-degree program when applying for admission. Once accepted, you will develop a plan for completing both degrees with the support of an adviser from each program. For social work students, their advisor will be the MSW program director. Upon completion, students will have two degrees.

Additional Information

Advising

Upon admission to the MSW program, each student is assigned an academic advisor from among the full-time faculty. Advisors assist students in selecting appropriate elective courses and reviewing requests for changes in program sequence. Advisors also assist in developing greater understanding of the program and the profession, and in providing consultation about other issues that may arise related to the student’s participation in the program. Advisors also serve as student advocates. The MSW program does not require students to obtain academic advising as a condition of registration, but students are strongly encouraged to contact their advisors at least once a semester. Students may request a change of academic advisor by writing to the MSW program director.

Independent Study

An independent study course provides an opportunity for students who wish to undertake a well-defined research project or clearly outlined and carefully delineated course of study. Independent study courses are restricted to students of proven ability who have sufficient background in the subject and are able to complete their work under the guidance of a faculty member. They conduct the project in an independent manner without attending regular class meetings. Independent study is characterized by a reduction in formal instruction and an increase in the individual student’s responsibility and initiative in the learning process.

Approval of an independent study course by the faculty sponsor, MSW director and the dean attests to the academic value of the study and to the ability of the student to master a body of knowledge with minimal faculty guidance. Field practicum experiences may not be taken as independent study. Independent studies may not substitute for an elective course offered in the School of Social Work. Independent study arrangements are generally limited to one or two students per course and must be accompanied by an MSW Program Change form if it impacts their course sequencing.

Normally, independent studies are offered for three credits. However, independent studies are also offered for less than three credits in cases where a student is one or two credits short because of transfer of courses from another institution. Approval for an independent study is not complete until the faculty sponsor, MSW program director and the Dean have signed and approved the form.

The Independent Study Proposal and Registration form is found on the Office of the Registrar Forms page. Registration for an independent study course requires the approval of the MSW faculty member and the MSW program director, who also maintains a copy of the completed contract.

Progression Policy

Students must earn a grade of C or better in each social work course. Students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. If a student has cumulative GPA of less than 3.00, they will automatically be placed on academic probation. If a student earns more than one grade of C or lower, they may be suspended or asked to withdraw from the program.

Students must comply with the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the Minnesota Licensing Code of Ethics, as well as the Standards of the MSW Social Work program as detailed in the MSW Student Handbook.

Conditions for Probation, Suspension or Termination

There are six categories of academic standing, one related to admission status and five that are assigned at the end of each grading period.

At admission:

Provisional Admission – A student is considered a provisional admit if the student 1) has unmet prerequisites or 2) was admitted with an undergraduate cumulative GPA below 3.0. A student may move off of provisional status by 1) completing the required prerequisite coursework or 2) earning a 3.0 or higher GPA in the first 12 credits of the MSW program.

After each semester and final grading period:

  • Good Standing – To maintain good standing in the MSW program a student must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and successfully complete all field practicum requirements 
  • Probation (academic or disciplinary) – A student who is not maintaining the requirements of Good Standing will be placed on academic probation. Disciplinary probation may be assigned for conduct or other non-academic related behaviors 
  • Suspension – A student on academic probation for more than two semesters may be placed on suspension. A student who earns more than one grade of “C” or lower may be suspended from the program. A suspended student is not allowed to register for future terms or seek field placement until the conditions of the suspension have been addressed in a satisfactory manner
  • Academic Dismissal (termination) – Any student who fails a required course twice or receives more than one “F” and/or “R” on their transcript may be terminated from the MSW program 
  • Non-Academic Dismissal (termination) - Any student who fails to meet the non-academic standards as addressed in this handbook may be terminated from the MSW program

Terms for readmission to the program after suspension or dismissal are outlined in the Retention in the MSW Program policy section and communicated, along with specific conditions, to the affected student in the academic standing notification letter.

Readmission to the Program

Students who have been dismissed are not eligible to register for courses or seek field placement, but may apply for readmission after the lapse of at least one semester or as specified in the dismissal letter. To be readmitted, students must submit a petition to the dean of the School of Health via the MSW program director describing why they will be successful if readmitted and address the conditions of the probation, suspension or termination. 

If readmitted, students are automatically placed on probation, and the terms of probation will be provided in writing to them. A readmitted student must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the next 12 credits of course work taken. Should the student fail to achieve a 3.0, she or he will be terminated from the program with no option for readmission. If a student is placed on probationary status, dismissed or terminated, she or he may use the institutional grievance policy and procedures of St. Catherine University to appeal any decision. This policy does not supersede or replace any applicable Institution-wide process or policy.

There may be circumstances that warrant immediate discipline including termination from the program. The Department of Social Work has the right to discipline or terminate a student during the course of or in lieu of the processes described.

St. Kate's Master of Social Work (MSW) program prepares clinical social workers for critically reflective social work practice. In this clinical program, students and faculty collaborate in an environment grounded in social justice, with a critical perspective on social work knowledge, values, and skills.

Which program option is for me?

The Regular Standing (RS) MSW program requires 56 semester credits, including 1,000 hours of field practicum. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in any field other than social work are eligible to apply for this program.

The Advanced Standing (AS) MSW program requires a minimum of 38 semester hours, including 600 hours of field practicum and comletion of a clinical research project. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program (and regionally accredited institution) are eligible to apply to this program.

RS Curriculum

Required Foundation and Clinical Courses:
GRSW 5000History and Philosophy of Social Work3
GRSW 5010Theory and Practice of Social Work I3
GRSW 5020Theory and Practice of Social Work II3
GRSW 5050Field Practicum and Seminar I3
GRSW 5060Field Practicum and Seminar II3
GRSW 5400Human Behavior and the Social Environment3
GRSW 5800Social Work Research Methods3
GRSW 6030Methods of Clinical Social Work I3
GRSW 6040Methods of Clinical Social Work II3
GRSW 6070Field Practicum and Seminar III4
GRSW 6080Field Practicum and Seminar IV4
GRSW 6250Social Policy and Program Development3
GRSW 6450Psychopathology and Human Behavior3
GRSW 6500Clinical Supervision and Program Management3
GRSW 6810Social Work Practice Research3
Select a minimum of nine credits from:9
Clnical Practice with Couples and Families
Cognitive Interventions
Integrative Psychotherapy
Clinical Practice with Adolescents
Clinical Practice with Older Adults
Clinical Practice for the Treatment of Trauma
Clinical Practice with Immigrants and Refugees
Clinical Social Work Practice in Integrated Healthcare
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Total Credits56

AS Curriculum

Required Foundation and Clinical Courses:
GRSW 5000History and Philosophy of Social Work3
GRSW 6030Methods of Clinical Social Work I3
GRSW 6040Methods of Clinical Social Work II3
GRSW 6070Field Practicum and Seminar III4
GRSW 6080Field Practicum and Seminar IV4
GRSW 6250Social Policy and Program Development3
GRSW 6450Psychopathology and Human Behavior3
GRSW 6500Clinical Supervision and Program Management3
GRSW 6810Social Work Practice Research3
Select a minimum of nine credits from:9
Clnical Practice with Couples and Families
Cognitive Interventions
Integrative Psychotherapy
Clinical Practice with Adolescents
Clinical Practice with Older Adults
Clinical Practice for the Treatment of Trauma
Clinical Practice with Immigrants and Refugees
Clinical Social Work Practice in Integrated Healthcare
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Total Credits38

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.