Social Work

School of Social Work

Social Work and Health Care: Tools for Practice

SSW CP 786

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759 & SSW CP 770 & SSW CP 771 & SSW CP 772) or permission of department chair. Designed to introduce students to social work practice in healthcare settings from a biopsychosocial perspective. Addresses central practice themes including: the subjective experience of and reactions to living with illness, social work values and ethical dilemmas in health care, communicating with patients at the end of life, the role of integrative medicine, as well as issues of economic justice and access to health services. Students learn about emerging sub-specialties in medical social work (i.e., transplant, oncology, palliative care), as well as gain a deeper understanding of the shifting role of social work in the interdisciplinary world of health care practice. Examines differences in the social work role across settings including: inpatient, outpatient clinics, and home hospice. Additionally, introduces social work students to the direct clinical practice of integrated behavioral health in primary care. Students become knowledgeable of the roles of behavioral health providers working in integrated health settings (using the medical homes model), theories and models of care, and cross-cultural issues. Addresses the impact of structural factors (i.e., racism, sexism, ableism, etc.) on a patient's experience with the healthcare system, and examines how cultural beliefs around health, healing and illness impact the clinical relationship and the service delivery system. Students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to intervene effectively in medical settings and to work with clients experiencing serious health problems. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 21-June 25)


Brief and Time-Effective Treatment

SSW CP 799

Grad Prereq: (SSW CP 759 & SSW CP 770 & SSW CP 771 & SSW CP 772) or permission of department chair. Surveys a range of brief and time-effective treatment models including crisis intervention/single session interventions, solution-focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, and stages of change/motivational interviewing. Students develop skills in brief treatment that can be used with children, adolescents, families, and adults who present with substance use, trauma, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, and other issues of concern in multi-stressed urban populations. Students acquire understanding of the theoretical and empirical bases, strengths, and limitations of each model. Use of in-class and videotaped role-plays along with small group exercises help students become more creative, flexible, and accountable in their approaches to treatment, and will direct students away from a deficit (pathology) model towards a resource (possibility) treatment model. Students learn to collaborate with clients to create well-formed treatment goals, and to measure change as it occurs over time. Finally, students explore how their own values and beliefs about change may help or hinder clinical practice in the current health care environment. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 22-June 26)


Ethics and the Social Work Profession

SSW ET 753

This required seminar is intended to inspire the moral imagination of social work students, and prepare them for competent and compassionate ethical practice as professionals. Examines the issues of social work professionalism, the process of becoming a social work professional, the tensions inherent in the goals of social work, and the ways these interrelate to produce conflicts of values and ethics in social work practice. Focuses on acquiring and practicing the skills of ethical decision-making, including values clarification, application of ethical theory, utilization of codes of ethics, and models of ethical analysis. Both clinical and macro aspects of social work are explored, with an emphasis on the contemporary challenges of practice in multicultural and urban settings. Issues of self-care, impairment, licensure, malpractice, whistle-blowing, and other professional challenges are explored. The course is set in the advanced curriculum as an integrative "capstone," designed to be concurrent with the student's final semester in the MSW program. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 21-June 20)

Summer 2 (July 2-August 6)


Adult Psychopathology

SSW HB 723

Grad Prereq: (SSW HB 720) or permission of department chair. Provides students with a framework for understanding human behavior when challenges to healthy adult functioning overwhelm coping mechanisms and resources. A biopsychosocial model of psychopathology is emphasized as we study some of the disorders classified in the DSM-5, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, PTSD, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse/addictions. Complex factors in the etiology of various disorders are considered, including genetic, neurochemical, biological, developmental, familial, sociocultural, and political variables that affect the occurrence, presentation, course, and treatment of a problem. While learning the perspective and language of the phenomenological approach outlined in the DSM-5, we also highlight weaknesses and blind spots in the traditional approach to diagnoses. In particular, we explore the impact of oppression and bias on the naming and treatment of mental disorders, including the influences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, religion, and ethnicity on the diagnostic process. Students learn to consider the DSM-5 classification system as a social construction that reveals as much about society and its views of human behavior as it does about the clients with whom social workers have contact. While this course is not designed to focus on treatment, students have the opportunity to consider how diagnoses inform treatment and review current research on both biological and psychosocial treatments for different disorders. Finally, we seek to enhance empathic understanding of our clients' experiences and the experiences of their families and loved ones, remembering that people are not their diagnoses, that what is labeled individual "pathology" may be an adaptive response to oppressive external circumstances, and that people who experience a breakdown in functioning demonstrate not only difficulties but also compelling strengths. Employs lecture, large and small group discussion, case presentations, and videotapes. Clinical vignettes from instructors and class are used to illustrate mental disorders and theoretical perspectives, and make material relevant to clinical practice, particularly with urban populations. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 23-June 27)


Racial Justice and Cultural Oppression

SSW HB 735

Grad Prereq: (SSW HB 720) or permission of department chair. Required of all students. Examines the social, psychological, and institutional causes and implications of racism as a dynamic force influencing social work. Builds on and integrates concepts presented in foundation courses. Analyzes and evaluates the social, cultural, political, economic, and interpersonal contexts of racism that bear on our current policies and institutional arrangements. 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. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 20-June 19)


Spirituality and Social Work Practice

SSW HB 744

Grad Prereq: (SSW HB 720) or permission of department chair. Acquaints 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, 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, addresses issues of transference and countertransference as they arise in the exploration of religious and spiritual material in psychotherapy. Draws heavily on case material, film, and fiction. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 2 (July 11-August 15)


Seminar: Community Planning

SSW MP 774

Grad Prereq: (SSW MP 759). Examines a variety of themes regarding program development at a community level. Opportunities for public speaking are emphasized. Topics vary according to student interest. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 2 (July 2-August 6)


Social Work Research II

SSW SR 744

Grad Prereq: satisfactory completion of SSW SR 743 (C or above) or permission of department chair. Required of all students. Introduces the concepts and procedures that are fundamental to both descriptive and inferential statistics. Explores empirical research examining the effectiveness of social work practice, particularly in the urban environment. Utilizing existing national data sets, students generate their own research hypotheses and then formulate and carry out an analytic strategy to answer these questions effectively. Emphasis is also placed on gaining skills in presenting and communicating key findings to relevant audiences and stakeholders. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 21-June 20)


Social Welfare Policy & Programs on Children

SSW WP 707

Grad Prereq: (SSW WP 700 & SSW WP 701) or permission of department chair. Analyzes emerging issues and ideas about children and how these affect social policy and practice. Reviews major social and demographic changes in the family that affect the development of national policies designed to protect and provide for the care of children. Emphasizes policies in such areas as income provisions, adoption, substitute care, neglect and abuse, social services, and employment. 3 cr. Tuition: $3198

Summer 1 (May 20-June 24)