Courses

  • SSW HB 727: Child Psychopathology
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720; Or permission of department chair.
    Grad Prereq: SSW HB 720 or permission of department chair. *This course uses a developmental psychopathological model to explore complex psychological disturbances in children, adolescents, and families with a focus on the urban family experience. It addresses multiple research and theoretical perspectives that promote a way of understanding ?normal? and ?pathological? child and adolescent behaviors that change over time in the context of their genetic make-up, biological processes, interpersonal relationships, culture, and available community resources and support. In this course, developmental, systemic, psychodynamic, neurobiological and behavioral theoretical perspectives inform students? understanding of children and adolescents? adaptive and maladaptive patterns of behavior, which evolve over time in the context of their complex developmental histories and socio-cultural relational experiences. The course promotes the importance of assessing in children and families both the historical and present risks for disturbed behavioral development and the historical and present protective factors that promote healthy and resilient behavioral development. Implied throughout the course curriculum is the perspective that a deep understanding of children?s adaptations to stress and trauma is central in the social worker?s role of making informed and accurate assessments and diagnostic evaluations of children, adolescents, and families. Discussion of clinical case material and relevant research assists students in learning to assess children and adolescents? current, unique developmental needs and strengths with a goal of empowering them to find pathways of behavior that better meet these developmental needs and give freedom to the deepening of these strengths. 3 cr.
  • SSW HB 735: Racial Justice and Cultural Oppression
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720 or permission of department chair. Required of all students.
    This course examines the social psychological, and institutional causes and implications of racism as a dynamic force influencing social work. The course builds on and integrates concepts presented in foundation courses. It analyzes and evaluates the social, cultural, political, economic, and interpersonal contexts of racism that bear on our current policies and institutional arrangements. The course is designed to familiarize students with 1) theoretical overviews of race and racism; 2)historical accounts and contemporary experiences of racism; 3) the formation of racial identity; 4) multicultural contexts and fundamentals of cultural competency; and 5) effective social change efforts based on organizational analysis.
  • SSW HB 743: Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720; Or permission of department chair.
    Social workers and other mental health and social service practitioners find themselves increasingly called upon to work with refugees and immigrants from around the world. Social workers are also becoming sought after by international development agencies and non-governmental organizations. In this course we gain an understanding of the refugee and immigrant experience and of the continuum of the acculturation process. We examine the potential problems facing these individuals and families as they seek to rebuild their lives; we learn to recognize and utilize their strengths, cultural resources and natural support systems; and we increase our cultural competence by learning skills for culturally appropriate relationship-building, clinical assessment, and intervention.
  • SSW HB 744: Spirituality and Social Work Practice
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720; Or permission of department chair.
    The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with current theories regarding religion and spirituality and their role in clinical work. Particular attention is given to the function of spirituality and religion in bridging internal and external adaptations throughout the life cycle. Utilizing psychodynamic and narrative frameworks, this course addresses ways of assessing and working with an individual?s spiritual and existential belief systems and attending to the ways in which spiritual beliefs and practices provide a window into a client?s inner world. In addition, the course addresses issues of transference and countertransference as they arise in the exploration of religious and spiritual material in psychotherapy. The course draws heavily on case material, film, and fiction.
  • SSW HB 746: Resilience Across the Lifespan
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720; Or permission by department chair
    Humans have an amazing capacity to adapt well to adversity?a phenomenon known as resilience. This course uses a resilience framework to explore development across the lifespan, with implications for social work practice. The approach presumes that resilience results from dynamic interactions between individuals and their environments, and that every person has the potential to overcome significant challenge at any point in the life course. The construct of resilience has become well-used in social science fields, perhaps as a reaction to deficit models of development, or as part of a renewed focus on human strengths. As a result, greater attention is paid to those who do well ?despite the odds,? and on the environmental contexts that support these adaptations. The course examines conceptual, empirical, and applied work on resilience, including new and sometimes controversial applications of resilience theory to social work practice with individuals, families, and communities.
  • SSW HB 749: Social Perspectives on Health and Illness
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720; Or permission by department chair.
    This course is designed to orient students toward major contemporary health issues and to foster an understanding of the way that social, environmental, and cultural contexts can contribute to either health or illness. The course is premised on the notion that understanding how context influences these outcomes is of direct importance to social work practice in a variety of domains. The course is organized into three modules. The first introduces students to important historical, theoretical, and current perspectives on health and illness and provides the groundwork for the rest of the course. The second module focuses on health and illness using the social ecology of health model. The last module focuses on emergent issues in health and illness, integrating the knowledge from the first two modules in order to demonstrate to students the multitude of ways in which social contexts can jointly promote health-related outcomes.
  • SSW HB 750: Organizational Behavior and Culture
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720.
    This course familiarizes the student with basic concepts related to organizational behavior and culture in human service organizations. The primary focus is on how human service organizations function, with a particular focus on the influence of internal and external factors, and methods for achieving change within these settings.
  • SSW HB 751: Human Neuropsychology
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720.
    Students develop foundational knowledge in the structure and function of the nervous system with special emphasis on processes underlying common neuropsychological disorders. The course is designed to make basic neuroscience accessible and interesting for students with a minimum of basic science background.We cover basic neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and nervous system development in the context of neuropsychological disorders to provide a clinical context for material that might otherwise seem overwhelming.
  • SSW HB 752: Exploring Ethnicity, Race, and Culture through Narratives: Clinical and Human Behavior Perspectives
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW HB 720 and SSW CP 759.
    A major purpose of this course is to deepen students' knowledge of the role of culture in lifespan development and human behavior. Building on knowledge and skills from the foundation courses Human Behavior, HB 720 and Clinical Practice, CP 759, that apply ecological and systems frameworks to themes of identity formation, risks and resiliency, loss and death. In addition, through narrative stories themes such as dual cultural identity, oppression and diaspora are explored, and students will leave the class able to (1) identify various expressions of cultural identity, (2) articulate the strengths of cultural affiliation, (3) distinguish between behaviors that represent psychopathology and behaviors that are expressions of cultural values and/or traditions, and (4) describe the distinct experiences of individuals living in the context of diaspora; (5) determine the role of systemic oppression on individuals whose experiences are not part of dominant cultural perspectives in the United States, and (6) recognize the value of cross-cultural theoretical and research literature that describes how to approach work with groups discussed in the narratives presented in the course.
  • SSW HB 755: Ferguson is Everywhere: Lessons for Racial Justice
    The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement offers an opportunity for political and moral inquiry about social justice, democracy and social welfare in the 21st century. The purpose of this course is to provide students the opportunity to engage in this inquiry and explore its implications for racial justice practice. Learning experiences will include analysis and discussion of primary and secondary sources written and electronic sources, small and large group activities, multimedia presentations and an out-of-class activity.
  • SSW IS 100: Intgrtve Sem
  • SSW KC 902: Proseminar in Social Work
    The PhD program doctoral proseminar is a 14 week course designed for first year or early social work students. The purpose of the proseminar is to facilitate socialization to contemporary academic and research environments in the field and the practice of interdisciplinary social work research. A primary modality for the course will include faculty presentations and discussion with students related to current research and invited guest speakers from across the university.
  • SSW MP 759: Communities and Organizations: Analysis and Intervention
    Graduate Prerequisites: Required of all students.
    This course familiarizes the student with basic concepts and strategies related to large system, or macro, practice. The primary focus is on community and agency analysis, along with methods of achieving change within those settings. Students acquire a basic framework for problem solving and an understanding of the opportunities and limits in the role of change agent.
  • SSW MP 773: Human Services Management
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW MP 759; Or permission of department chair.
    This is an advanced methods course in social administration/management covering topics in planning, supervision, performance appraisal, budgeting, and organizational theory. It is an ideal course for both clinical and macro students who want to develop management skills that they can use in their professional practices. The course examines the ethical dilemmas of administering social programs and managing human service agencies in the context of a market economy where federal and state budget cuts have created competition for scarce resources. Students are introduced to basic management theories, organizational structure, supervision, performance appraisal, leadership, and conflict resolution. This is a prerequisite to all subsequent courses in the Human Services Management Program.
  • SSW MP 774: Seminar: Community Planning
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW MP 783.
    This course examines a variety of themes regarding program development at a community level. Opportunities for public speaking are emphasized. Topics vary according to student interest.
  • SSW MP 775: Strategic Management
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW MP 759 and SSW MP 773; Or permission of department chair.
    This course integrates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned in the preceding management courses and field experiences. It focuses on the general manager's role in organizational change. Topics include the impacts of changing federal, state, and local public policies on the nonprofit sector, and the strategic planning and implementation skills needed to bring about long-term change at the agency level. Using the case study method, the course examines significant current issues and emerging themes in social administration. Actual strategic plans are prepared.
  • SSW MP 776: Financial Management in Human Service Organizations
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW MP 759; Or permission of department chair.
    This course provides an in-depth examination of management control systems, including fund accounting, operating, and cash budgets; line-item, program, and zero-base budgeting; cost accounting; and account structures. Students develop an understanding of financial statements, cash flow analysis, cost/benefit analysis, and break-even analysis.
  • SSW MP 778: Directed Study
    Directed Study. Approval of instructor needed.
  • SSW MP 781: Community Organizing
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW MP 759; Or permission of department chair. Required of all Macro Social Work Practice students.
    This course includes three interrelated modules. It begins with an examination of community organizing principles, empowerment theory, and the role of staff as a facilitator of individual and collective empowerment. The course next considers methods and skills for building and developing effective organizations in undervalued communities. Organizing models, outreach and recruitment, leadership development, creating participatory structures, and establishing democratic decision-making processes are examined. Finally, students focus on conducting social change campaigns, with an emphasis on issue selection, action research, strategic analysis, implementation of action plans, utilization of tactics, and assessment of outcomes.
  • SSW MP 783: Planning and Program Development
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW MP 759; Or permission of department chair. Required of all Macro Social Work Practice students.
    This course introduces students to planning theory, planned social change, organizational development, program development, proposal writing, and leadership. Specific emphasis is placed on basic concepts, principles, skills, and knowledge necessary to effect change at the organizational and community levels.