Graduate Course Descriptions

The following directory lists the graduate courses which the University expects to offer, although the University in no way guarantees that all such courses will be offered in any given academic year, and reserves the right to alter the list if conditions warrant. Click on the links below for a list of courses in that subject area. You may then click “View Classes” to see scheduled classes for individual courses.

5300. Human Oppression: The African-American and Puerto Rican Perspective

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open to Social Work MSW and non-degree students.

Grading Basis: Graded

Examines economic, political, social and cultural forces operating at global, national and local levels, which generate and maintain oppression based on race and ethnicity in the United States. Focuses on the oppression of the Black and Latino populations in the United States, highlighting the African-American and Puerto Rican experiences and perspectives. It will provide a framework for analyzing and understanding oppression. A historical perspective will be utilized to explore past and current oppression related to race and color, culture and ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual/emotional orientation and religion. Intercultural, intracultural, psychosocial, social and political responses to oppression will be addressed throughout the course. Required course for students in the M.S.W. program.

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5301. Special Populations

1.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

The goal of the course is to provide an opportunity for students to understand and to critically analyze human oppression and issues that are relevant to social work practice methods. The course will examine demographic, economic, political, social and cultural forces operating at national and local levels highlighting the African-American and Puerto Rican experiences and perspectives. The focus of the class is the application of the knowledge of special populations to the social work practice methods. The course will combine lectures by the instructor and invited speakers, and class discussions. At times, small groups will be used to encourage students to examine their personal and professional interactions with oppression, and to discuss their implications for social work practice. Required course for students in the Advanced Standing Option and must be taken in the summer prior to the beginning of full time study for the M.S.W. degree.

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5333. Research Methods for Social Work Practice

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open to students in the MSW program (RG599).

Grading Basis: Graded

Provides an understanding of the basic foundation of social work research. Students will learn to: 1) develop critical thinking and knowledge of the principles and methods of research as tools for evaluating their practice; 2) become acquainted with the process and function of research in the advancement of social work theory, knowledge, and practice; 3) value ethical practices in conducting research with diverse individuals and vulnerable populations; 4) judge the adequacy and value of research findings in social work by the use of generally accepted criteria; 5) incorporate computer-based technology in accessing information; and 6) understand the researcher/evaluator role in social work practice.

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5350. Analysis of Social Welfare Policy and Social Service Delivery Systems

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open to Social Work MSW and non-degree students.

Grading Basis: Graded

Provides a critical analysis of the historical roots of American social welfare policy, the formulation of policy, and the economic and political determinants of contemporary policy development. Examination and analysis of the inter-relationship between social welfare policy, the service delivery systems, and practice implications for private and public agencies and programs. Also includes the examination of international issues in social welfare policy and social service delivery. Students will analyze and apply the results of policy research relevant to social service delivery; understand and demonstrate policy practice skills in regard to economic, political and organizational systems; use them to influence, formulate, and advocate for policy consistent with social work values, and identify financial, organizational, administrative, and planning processes required to deliver social services. Required course for students in the M.S.W. program.

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5362. Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Macro and Micro Theories

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open to Social Work MSW and non-degree students.

Grading Basis: Graded

Emphasizes social work's "person in environment" frame of reference from both micro and macro perspectives. Content areas stressed throughout the course include theories and research about the interdependence and impact of social, political, economic, and cultural contexts on societal and individual well-being. Micro content areas include theories related to the biopsychosocial functioning of individuals, small groups and families in transaction with social, economic, political, and cultural contexts and forces. Cultural and ethnic diversity, institutional prejudice, especially racism and sexism, issues of social, economic and political justice and the process of social change as they impact micro and macro systems will be stressed. Values and ethical issues relevant to macro and micro social work will also be considered.

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5390. Macro Foundation Practice

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite or corequisite: BASC 5362. Corequisite: BASC 5391; FED 5301 and 5351.

Grading Basis: Graded

Focus on macro practice foundation knowledge and skills associated with generalist practice in administration, community organizing and policy practice. Explores the history and place of macro methods in the evolution of the social work profession. Students are introduced to the unique language and perspective of macro practice as a capacity building and strength based intervention. Definitions of and ways to analyze communities, organizations and policies. Emphasis is given to strategies and tactics for achieving change in communities, organizations and policies, to improving services for populations at risk, and promoting diversity and distributive justice, including an international context. Particular ethical and value mandates and dilemmas associated with macro practice are identified throughout. Required course for students in the M.S.W. program. One of the two foundation practice courses taken the first semester of the first year of field placement.

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5391. Micro Foundation Practice

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite or corequisite: BASC 5362. Corequisite: BASC 5390 and FED 5301 and 5351.

Grading Basis: Graded

Provides a history of and a foundation for micro social work theory and practice emphasizing ecological, strengths and capacity building perspectives. Knowledge, values and skills associated with generalist practice with individuals, families and groups within the context of organizations and communities. Examines the mission of the social work profession and its value and ethical base, including its commitment to diversity, populations-at-risk and social and economic justice. Strategies for helping client-systems will include preparing for practice; developing mutual working agreements; engaging, assessing and formulating goals; implementing interventions; monitoring and evaluating progress; and terminating services. Emphasizes integration of course content with field experience. One of the two foundation practice courses taken the first semester of the first year of field placement. Required course for students in the M.S.W. program.

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