Master of Social Work (MSW)

MSW 530. Dual Disorders. (3 Credits)

MSW 535. Social Work and Social Welfare. (3 Credits)

This course is an elective in MSW program. It will assist students to begin the process of establishing a knowledge base for practice. Students will study the history of social work through the eyes of those who set out to change the world through the establishment of the profession of social work and their advocacy in the field of social welfare. They will be introduced to the roles and responsibilities of professional social workers, the mission of the profession as it relates to social and economic justice, and the importance of advocating for the poor and the disadvantaged. Students will learn skills of self-reflection and self-regulation in the management of personal values and professionalism. Students will learn the importance of ethical behavior. They will learn about advocacy and the importance of research and life-long learning. This course addresses the multitude of current and dynamic issues facing social workers today. It addresses the importance of professional social work in critical practice settings and how the profession is making a difference in changing the world through advocacy for social and economic justice.

MSW 545. Psychopathology in Social Work. (3 Credits)

This course provides a general introduction to the fields of clinical social work. Specifically, this course will acquaint students with the epidemiology, classification, and etiology, of the major forms of mental illness identified in the DSM 5. It is the primary aim of this course to develop the student’s diagnostic skills in clinical settings. Specific attention is paid to the ethical and social work value-related problems associated with diagnosing and labeling clients with a psychiatric disorder, and issues of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities or illness, age and national origin as they influence the manifestations of behaviors that may be diagnosed as mental illness or affect the presentation of mental illness. Case studies and videos will be used to ensure that students have an effective working knowledge of: (a) the biological and psychosocial bases of the major mental disorders; (b) the behavioral symptomatology that characterizes them; and (c) their classification according to the American Psychiatric Association system of classification of mental illness and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

MSW 555. Social Work in Groups. (3 Credits)

This course develops knowledge and skills for social work practice with groups in agency and community systems. The course prepares students to use different types of groups as a helping resource for clients, and to effectively participate as a member of committees, interagency teams, and other task groups. The practice of work with groups and natural helping systems will be presented through role-plays, lecture and discussion, readings, and other assignments.

MSW 560. Advanced Trauma: Interventions for the Healing Process. (3 Credits)

This course is designed to provide a framework for practice with individuals, families, organizations and communities who are coping with trauma. The advanced coursework presented will enhance the skills and knowledge base of all students and will be particularly useful to students interested in working with survivors of trauma. The impact of trauma is surrounded by a complex set of issues and topics that will be addressed such as survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, veterans, and individuals struggling with addictions, as well as abuse and neglect. This course will cover treatment choices, sociocultural forces that shape care provision and coping, multicultural perspectives on trauma, psychosocial challenges and secondary stresses connected with this type of work. Specific skills vital to the work of the healing process will be examined including psychosocial assessment, crisis intervention, supportive care, psychoeducation, psychosocial intervention, advocacy, program development and prevention/community organizing.

MSW 565. Drugs, Society and Human Behavior. (3 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the effects of drugs on the brain and how drugs affect cognition, personality, and behavior. Students will learn how drugs get into the body/brain and how they exert their psychoactive effects. The course will cover the role of drugs throughout history and in today's society; the biological actions of drugs and the influence on society and behavior; and drug treatments and prevention.

MSW 575. Understanding Death & Dying. (3 Credits)

MSW 592. Aging and the Social Environment. (3 Credits)

MSW 599. Special Topics. (3 Credits)

This practice course focuses on a biopsychosocial understanding of mental wellbeing and mental illness from a social work and social environment perspective. It gives special attention to the social work view in relation to the person-in-environment and other classification systems available to the practitioner. The course emphasizes an appreciation of the critical influence of culture, class, race and ethnicity, religion, and social values of the individual, family, group, and social institutions in the assessment of client strengths and vulnerabilities. The course critically reviews current classification systems and major theories regarding the nature of mental disorders, their diagnoses and etiologies, and treatment approaches available to help people in their recovery.

MSW 600. Advanced Human Behavior in Social Environment. (3 Credits)

This course examines human development from birth to death through the systemic lens of the family and larger society. It examines the development of relationships and their effect on individual development. Utilizing a systemic perspective, students will learn how diversity, culture, changes in family patterns and life-styles, and expanding life expectations have impacted individuals, families, and the larger society.

MSW 610. Advanced General Practice I. (3 Credits)

Students learn a variety of foundational skills, methods and theories needed to work with individuals at all systemic levels. Students will learn to use the Generalist Practice Model in assessment, planning, and implementation of services for clients, and the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of one’s own practice. They engage in discussions of the ethical framework that guides social work practice, and the tensions encountered in practice. Among the knowledge established is a solid understanding of the Strengths Perspective, Systems Theory, and Solution focused interventions.

MSW 615. Generalist Practice II: Groups, Organizations & Communities. (3 Credits)

This course uses the generalist practice model to examine groups and group processes as manifested in communities and organizations. Students will learn the skills and techniques of group practices, the process of planning, engagement, and assessment of group members and their organizations at multiple levels of practice. Students will apply knowledge and skills to assess the environment and create change at the community and organizational levels of practice. Theoretical frameworks utilized include Systems Theory and the Strengths perspective.

MSW 620. Social Policy & Advocacy. (3 Credits)

This course provides a framework for macro practice, analyzing social policy, developing and implementing policy, evaluating the effectiveness of policy, and advocating for change. The theoretical base for this class is the Strengths Perspective. Used in policy practice, the Strengths Perspective is grounded in social work values of self-determination, social justice, and respect for diversity. The text focuses on the strengths and resources of people, their environments rather than pathologies. The text focuses on developing critical thinking, applying knowledge to practice, and analyzing the potential impact of policies.

MSW 650. Research Methodologies. (3 Credits)

This basic research methods course introduces students to the important role that research holds in social work practice. This course provides basic knowledge on the differences between qualitative and quantitative research designs and when mixed methods designs are utilized. The course examines the process of proposal development, the selection of a research question/hypothesis and a design appropriate for exploration and response to the question/hypothesis. Design methods include exploratory research, explanatory research, descriptive designs, evaluative designs, and single-subject designs. The course also examines survey research and instrument development. Students learn to read research articles and identify various components of the article that represent the design.

MSW 670. Advanced Field Education I. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with Advanced Field Seminar I. This course engages the student in the practice of beginning social work skills and tasks within an agency setting over a period of one semester (15 weeks). It is designed for the master-level student and requires an average of 16 hours per week in the agency for a minimum of 225 hours.

MSW 675. Advanced Field Education II. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with MSW 685 Advanced Field Seminar II. This course engages the student in the practice of beginning social work skills and tasks within an agency setting over a period of one semester (15 weeks). It is designed for the master-level student and requires an average of 16 hours per week in the agency for a minimum of 225 hours.

MSW 680. Advanced Field Seminar I. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with Field Education I. A seminar format will provide for the sharing of practice experiences and practice issues that occur during field practicum. Discussion topics will focus on agency orientation, self-awareness issues, engagement skills, critical thinking skills, ethical dilemma awareness and the development of the professional self. The seminar will provide for the integration of field experience with classroom learning through discussion and assignments.

MSW 685. Advanced Field Seminar II. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with MSW 675 Advanced Field Education II. A seminar format will provide for the sharing of practice experiences and practice issues that occur during field practicum. Discussion topics will focus on agency orientation, self-awareness issues, engagement skills, critical thinking skills, ethical dilemma awareness and the development of the professional self. The seminar will provide for the integration of field experience with classroom learning through discussion and assignments.

MSW 700. Administration, Organization & Supervision. (3 Credits)

This course provides students with the skills and knowledge that will assist them in their ability to work with groups in administrative Social Work positions in organizations and communities. Students learn about working with groups of people at the mezzo and macro level of practice. They learn about team building, communicating, and the development of skills such as mediation and negotiation. Students will learn how to plan, implement, manage, and evaluate projects designed to meet community needs. Students will learn about the implementation of policies into practice. They will integrate social work ethics into their knowledge base as it pertains to leadership roles, accountability, and professional supervision. Students will learn about strategic planning. They will learn about risk management, understanding and managing the decision-making processes, and actions needed to improve client experiences. They will learn about the everyday politics of organizational life, the importance of respectful conduct between colleagues, and the management of a continuously changing environment.

MSW 710. Advanced Practice: Individuals & Families. (3 Credits)

This course addresses the challenges individuals and families face in contemporary society. The primary emphasis is social work practice with families. Students learn and apply family theories as a framework for practice, and a lens through which to objectively engage, assess, intervene, and terminate practice with families. Students examine and reflect on the importance of evaluating practice, knowing what worked well and where professional change and growth need to occur. Students examine the importance of faith in the social environment. They explore, examine, discuss and reflect on the role of larger systems in society and the impact on family life.

MSW 715. Advanced Practice: Diverse and Vulnerable Populations. (3 Credits)

This course addresses issues of vulnerability and social justice experienced by individuals and families in today’s world. Readings and class discussions will cover serious life issues such as AIDS, Alcoholism, Personality Disorders, and Depression; and life circumstances and events that create vulnerabilities such as immigration, refugees, returning veterans, terrorism, homelessness, children in foster care, bullying, and others. Students will explore and discuss the problems facing social work professionals who work with vulnerable populations. The course presents social work theories and practice that support engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation of practice. Issues to be discussed will include the increasing difficulties social workers experience when providing services, changes in society, and what to expect in the coming years.

MSW 750. Research Project I. (3 Credits)

This is the first in a series of three research classes designed for an agency-based evaluation of a social work program. The research will take place over three semesters through a series of three research classes. Using the specialization year of the MSW program, students will work with their field agency to identify an appropriate social work program to evaluate. During this first class students will identify a social work program to evaluate and conduct a literature review to educate themselves on the issues addressed by the social work program, providing a solid foundation for the development of a methodology. Students will also develop the research question.

MSW 752. Research Project II. (3 Credits)

This is the second in a series of three research classes designed for an agency-based evaluation of a social work program. The research will take place over three semesters through a series of three research classes. Using the specialization year of the MSW program, students will work with their field agency to identify an appropriate social work program to evaluate.

MSW 754. Research Project III. (3 Credits)

This is the third Research Project course in a series of three courses. Students will collect data for their study. They will analyze the data and write the research report to be disseminated to the agency. They will develop a poster to be presented at the CUW student research poster presentation event.

MSW 770. Advanced Field Education III. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with Advanced Field Seminar III. This course engages the student in the practice of beginning social work skills and tasks within an agency setting over a period of one semester (15 weeks). It is designed for the master-level student and requires an average of 16 hours per week in the agency for a minimum of 225 hours for the semester.

MSW 775. Advanced Field Education IV. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with MSW 785 Advanced Field Seminar IV. This course engages the student in the practice of beginning social work skills and tasks within an agency setting over a period of one semester (15 weeks). It is designed for the master-level student and requires an average of 16 hours per week in the agency for a minimum of 250 hours.

MSW 780. Advanced Field Seminar III. (3 Credits)

This is the third in a series of three research classes designed for an agency-based evaluation of a social work program. The research will take place over three semesters through a series of three research classes. Using the specialization year of the MSW program, students will work with their field agency to identify an appropriate social work program to evaluate. During this first class students will identify a social work program to evaluate and conduct a literature review to educate themselves on the issues addressed by the social work program, providing a solid foundation for the development of a methodology. Student will also develop the research question. Syllabus may be subject to change as deemed by the instructor.

MSW 785. Advanced Field Seminar IV. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with MSW 775 Advanced Field Education III. A seminar format will provide for the sharing of practice experiences and practice issues that occur during field practicum. Discussion topics will focus on agency orientation, self-awareness issues, engagement skills, critical thinking skills, ethical dilemma awareness and the development of the professional self. The seminar will provide for the integration of field experience with classroom learning through discussion and assignments.

MSW 790. SW Ethics & Christianity. (3 Credits)

This course will provide students with the ability to balance their own morals and values and Christianity with those of the social work profession using the NASW Code of Ethics as a foundational document. The study of social work values and ethics allows student to enhance the quality of services that are provided to clients and communities. Students will learn to reflect on their own values, analyze case situations, role-play social work-client interviews, and ponder over challenging ethical dilemmas. Students will learn that the correct response to an ethical dilemma is not always clear and that ethical decisions often are guided by existing policy, and practices, and balanced with one’s own morals and value system. Students will study the NASW Code of Ethics, theory, decision-making frameworks, and the applicability of the Code of Ethics across all levels of practice, and balanced within the framework of the Christian faith.