Social Work Graduate (SWG)

College of Education and Social Work

How to Read Course Descriptions

SWG 501. Social Work Practice I. 3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to generalist social work practice including its models, purpose, method, values, and ethics. It incorporates a problem-solving framework and ecological systems perspective and stresses the influence of diversity on practice.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 502. Social Work Practice II. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on change theories, intervention strategies, and extended knowledge and skills for working with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 503. Integrative Bridge Course. 3 Credits.

This course, required of all advanced-standing students, provides preparation for entry into the second year concentration in direct practice with individuals and families. It integrates foundation values, knowledge, and skills from the content areas of social work practice, the dialectic of oppression and liberation, social welfare policy, and social work research. It also sets the stage for framework of the curriculum: recovery, resiliency, and capacity building, grounded in human rights and social and economic justice.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 503 prerequisite - Advanced Standing MSW students only.
Typically offered in Summer.

SWG 511. The Dialectic of Oppression and Liberation. 3 Credits.

Within the context of a diverse and stratified society, this course examines the impact of discrimination and oppression on members of special groups, i.e., ethnic minorities, women, elderly, disabled, gays, and lesbians while considering the effects of diversity on human behavior and attitudes. It also considers the richness of human diversity.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 533. Methods of Social Work Research. 3 Credits.

This course provides students with a theoretical foundation in the method of social work research. The characteristics of scientific inquiry, the structure of theories, problem and hypothesis formulation, models of research design, sampling, measurement, and the logic of casual inferences are taught.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 534. Advanced Research Methods: Program Evaluation. 3 Credits.

This advanced research methods course focuses on the exploration of the techniques, methods, and issues relevant to ethical practice in evaluation research. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of social service agency programs will be discussed. Topics covered include history, philosophies and conceptual approaches in program evaluation; design and conducting needs assessment; the analysis and management of program data using computer software; and the measurement of program goals/objectives through process and outcome evaluations. Participation in hands-on individual and/or small-group projects to experience all phases of the evaluation process will be a central pedagogical approach.
Typically offered in Fall & Summer.

SWG 541. Social Welfare Policies and Services. 3 Credits.

This course emphasizes the historical, economic, political, and philosophical foundations of American social welfare policy.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 542. Advanced Policy and Community Practice. 3 Credits.

This course emphasizes advanced level critical and comparative analysis of social policy. Theories of social and organizational change, administration, and legislative advocacy also are reviewed and applied to policy implementation.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 554. Human Development across the Lifespan. 3 Credits.

This course uses a developmental and ecological perspective to explore the interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural systems, and the influence of human diversity and economics as determinants of human behavior of individuals and families.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 555. HBSE: Groups - Organizations - Communities. 3 Credits.

Utilizing both critical and systems approaches, this mezzo/macro level course focuses on assessing the impact of diversity, culture, and oppression on group, organizational, and community development. Multicentric models of group, organizational, and community behavior will be explored and implications for social work practice examined.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 555 requires prerequisites of SWG 511 and SWG 541.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 560. Mental Health: A Recovery Approach. 3 Credits.

Using a bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual and recovery/resiliency/capacity building template for analysis; this course examines major childhood, adolescent and adult mental health disorders. The impact of the medical model, the DSM 5, managed care and the recovery movement is evaluated in light of social work values, ethics and practice, particularly human rights and social and economic justice.
Typically offered in Spring & Summer.

SWG 561. Advanced Practice I: Individuals. 3 Credits.

Building on the strengths-based, collaborative model of social work practice covered in SWG 501 and 502 (or 503 for Advanced Standing students), this course focuses on theory driven and evidence-based practice with individuals with particular attention to enhancing recovery and building resiliency. Theories and models of practice to be covered in this course include attachment theory, object relations theory, cognitive-behavioral theory, humanistic/feminist theories, relational theory, social constructivist theory (which underlies the narrative approach) and the crisis intervention model.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 562. Advanced Social Work Practice With Families. 3 Credits.

This course will explore advanced theories, models, and skills for social work practice with families (including families with children and older adults). The strengths and needs of diverse family cultures and structures will be explored. Regardless of the theoretical perspective utilized in assessing family strengths and needs, the students in this class will be required to consider the family a full partner in assessment and intervention, thereby empowering the family for lasting and constructive change to work toward recovery and build resiliency, while mitigating the effects of trauma. The role of social workers in permanency planning, family preservation and family support services across the lifespan will be explored. Practical assessment and intervention tools arising from the major theoretical approaches will be learned experientially.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 563. Advanced Practice II: Integrative Seminar. 3 Credits.

Building on the strengths-based, collaborative model of social work practice covered in foundation practice courses and the theories and models of advanced practice in SWG 561: Advanced Practice I - Individuals and SWG 562: Advanced Social Work Practice with Families; this seminar focuses on a number evidence-based and theory driven practice models with individuals and/or families. In the true spirit of a graduate seminar; the approach will be one of collegial and critical examination and reflection on the material, with application in the field of paramount concern. The seminar is organized to into three main areas of learning that will help advance student competencies in advanced practice skills, knowledge and values: 1) the impact of complex trauma and the strength and resiliency of individuals and families within the context of a recovery model; 2) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; and 3) mind/body integrative health approaches including mindfulness and other meditative techniques with emphasis on the use of these techniques in self-care. Special attention will be paid to the social determinants of health and the crucial role of the social work perspective. The latest findings in neuro-science research will be emphasized. The DSM 5/ICD 10 and the pros and cons of the latest diagnostic schema in that manual will be examined and critiqued.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 570. Substance Use Disorders: Assessment and Intervention. 3 Credits.

This course reviews the major theoretical approaches to understanding substance use disorders and to assessment and treatment with individuals, families, groups and communities. The pharmacology of drugs and alcohol and the nature of addiction are included, as are the influence of culture, ethnicity, gender, the peer group, and mental health disorders. The principles of self-help and therapeutic communities are applied.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

SWG 571. Social Work With Older Adults. 3 Credits.

This course reviews the status and position of older Americans in society, the community, and the social service delivery system. There is a focus on social work assessment and intervention with elderly clients regarding issues of health, chronic illness, intellectual and emotional status, depression and dementia, relations with the family, care-giving social networks, poverty, retirement, death, and bereavement. Specific approaches to working with older adults are reviewed.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 571 requires a prerequisite of SWG 502 or SWG 503.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 573. Advanced Thry - Prac Severe Mental Ilness. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on diagnostic theories and principles of assessment and intervention with the severely mentally ill.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 573 requires prerequisite of SWG 502 or SWG 503 and SWG 560.

SWG 574. Micro Practice Occup - Indus Social Work. 3 Credits.

This course covers theory, knowledge, and skills necessary for conducting micro-level practice in workplace settings.

SWG 576. Child Welfare: A Resilience and Trauma-informed Approach. 3 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the core concepts (theory, knowledge, and skills) informing evidence-based assessment and intervention for traumatized children and adolescents who are in the child welfare system. Trauma is broadly defined and includes children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events including abuse, neglect and witnessing interpersonal crime (e.g. domestic violence), community violence and other traumatic events who have come into contact with the child welfare system. The course will highlight the role of development, culture and empirical evidence in trauma-specific assessment, referral, and interventions with children, adolescents and their families within a child welfare context. It will address the level of functioning of primary care-giving environments and assess the capacity of the community and the child welfare system to facilitate restorative processes. It examines issues and builds practice skills related to assessing risk to safety in families, child maltreatment, family preservation services, substitute care including kinship care, foster care, and residential treatment facilities, and permanency planning including adoption. The connections between child maltreatment and family violence, substance abuse and mental illness will be studied and discussed. As child welfare practice is inextricably linked to the legislative and judicial systems in this country, this course will also explore the latest state and federal policies as they relate to making decisions about families served.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 576 requires prerequisite of SWG 501 or SWG 503 or permission of instructor.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 577. Social Work in Disasters. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the characteristics, strengths, and service needs of individuals, families, and communities that have experienced a disaster (whether natural or man-made) with resultant mass trauma, deaths, and extensive loss of housing and infrastructure. The course considers individual and family events within their ecological context (including global context) and works to build sensitivity to and acceptance of various family forms, community alliances, and cultural patterns. This course will cover all aspects of disaster relief work including mental health services, psychological first aid, critical incident stress management, community recovery, and policy development for disaster preparedness and community rebuilding.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 577 requires a prerequisite of SWG 502 or SWG 503 or permission of instructor.
Typically offered in Summer.

SWG 578. Soc Work w/ Veterans & Military Families: A Resilience and Trauma-informed Approach. 3 Credits.

This course will explore the latest innovations in behavioral health and social services to Veterans and military family members including: building resiliency, trauma-informed assessment and intervention with individuals and families, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, psychological first aid for military families, suicide risk assessment and prevention, assessment and treatment of military sexual trauma, assessment of family violence and child maltreatment in military families and other research informed assessment and intervention tools. Services for military family members including children, during and post-deployment will also be explored. The wide array of services available within the Veterans Administration and in the community will be discussed. The course is a hybrid course; about 15% of the course is web-based training. Each student will be required to complete an online training and certificate in Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 578 requires prerequisite: SWG 501 and SWG 502 or SWG 503.
Typically offered in Summer.

SWG 579. Social Work in Health Care. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the role of social workers and the social work profession in varied health care settings. Particular attention is given to examining social determinants of health, working within an interdisciplinary team, health policy/payer sources, ethical concerns, and ethno-cultural awareness and competency. This course also provides students with a framework to understand and apply appropriate theoretical models to work with individuals, families, and groups within the health care settings. The importance of evidence-based practice, evaluation, and self-care will also be explored.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 579 requires a prerequisite of SWG 501 or SWG 503.
Typically offered in Summer.

SWG 580. Social Work in End of Life Care. 3 Credits.

This course examines the issues of death, dying, grief and loss. The field of end of life and palliative care will be reviewed. The course will discuss attitudes towards death and dying and additional top-ics such as death with dignity acts within the U.S. The course will also introduce students to dying and grief loss stages, models and theories; coping with dying and loss; self-care: grief and loss during different developmental stages; and cultural responsiveness during end of life and bereavement care.
Typically offered in Summer.

SWG 581. Loss and Grief Through A Life Cycle. 3 Credits.

This course will explore the latest innovations in behavioral health and social services to individuals and families facing losses of all kinds. Together we will explore: contemporary grief theory, assessment and intervention with grieving individuals and families, differences between living and death related losses, building resilience, and creative healing techniques.
Typically offered in Spring & Summer.

SWG 583. The Human-Animal Dynamic. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the role of domestic animals in the lives of the individuals and families, with a focus on four primary dimensions of the human-animal dynamic: animal-assisted interventions, pet loss, animal hoarding and animal cruelty. Social workers have long recognized the importance of human-animal interactions. A strong bond can support resilience and recovery, while a lack of empathy towards animals is associated with anti-social behaviors. Domestic animals play an important role in the lives of many people, to the extent that some make important decisions based on their relationship with pets. This may include their willingness to get inpatient care or seek out-of-home support. Animal-assisted therapies (AAT) are rapidly becoming mainstream in medical and therapeutic settings. This course will provide students with the history and evidence behind AATs, as well as hands-on experiences.
Typically offered in Summer.

SWG 590. Seminar in Social Work. 3 Credits.

In-depth topics in social work offered to complement the program's concentration and not offered in required courses.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

SWG 591. Independent Study in Social Work. 1-3 Credits.

An independent project developed by a student under the guidance of a specific faculty member.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

SWG 596. Field Practicum I. 3 Credits.

This course is a structured field experience at an approved social agency for 224 hours during the semester. Students learn the beginning application of the generalist model of practice and professional social work roles.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 596 requires a co-requisite of SWG 501.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 597. Field Practicum II. 3 Credits.

This course is a structured field experience at an approved social agency for 224 hours during the semester. Students learn the beginning application of the generalist model of practice and professional social work roles.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 597 requires a co-requisite of SWG 502.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 598. Practicum III. 3 Credits.

This course involves a structured field experience at an approved social agency for a total of 300 hours for the semester. Students incorporate advanced-level intervention into their professional roles.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 598 requires prerequisite of SWG 597 or SWG 503 and co-requisites of SWG 561 and SWG 562.
Typically offered in Fall.

SWG 599. Field Practicum IV. 3 Credits.

This course involves a structured field experience at an approved social agency for a total of 252 hours during the semester. The student's experience in field practice culminates through coordination within the professional role: integration of theory to practice with individuals, families, and communities; knowledge of the impact of social policy; the role of research in practice; and the influence of diversity and oppression.
Pre / Co requisites: SWG 599 requires a co-requisite of SWG 563.
Typically offered in Spring.

SWG 999. Transfer Credits (Graduate). 3-9 Credits.

transfer credit.