College of Letters & Sciences
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Social Work

Contact Information

Sarah Hessenauer
MSW Program Coordinator & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-1203
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201
Deanna Guthrie
BSW Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor
Phone: 262-472-1881
Location: Laurentide Hall 5214
Lori Trimble
Academic Department Associate 
Phone: 262-472-1137
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201

MSW Course Descriptions

This is a tentative list of the MSW courses and course descriptions made available for those applying to the new MSW program this fall. This page will be replaced with a link to the course catalog once the Fall 2018 course catalog is published in March 2018.

Required Social Work Course Descriptions

SOCWORK 511 Human Behavior and the Social Environment [4 credits]

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the processes of bio-psycho and socio-cultural development from infancy to older age. Material is also presented on the social systems (families, groups, organizations, and communities) in which individuals live.

SOCWORK 571 Social Work Practice 1 [3 credits]

Social Work Practice I is designed to introduce knowledge and teach beginning skills for generalist social work practice, especially those skills needed for practice with individuals. It is a required course for all social work majors and the primary emphases of this course are developing self-knowledge in order to effectively use oneself as an agent for change, understanding social work values, understanding oppression and strategies for combating it, developing problem-solving skills, and developing good interviewing and interpersonal skills.

SOCWORK 572 Social Work Practice 2 [3 credits]

This is the second of three required social work practice courses. Social Work Practice 2 is designed to help students build upon the skills and knowledge from Practice I, including further development of interviewing and interpersonal skills. In particular, this course will study the dynamics of how to work with various types of groups. Emphasis will be placed upon the application of social work problem solving strategies to small groups, communities, and organizational systems.

SOCWORK 573 Social Work Practice 3 [3 credits]

This course is designed to further develop and fine tune generalist social work skills at all levels of intervention (including individuals, families, organizations, and communities). Course content will focus on difficult situations in micro practice, understanding and working with families, and working in and with organizations and communities. Advocacy, striving for social and economic justice, and macro level change will be stressed.

SOCWORK 602 Social Work Research [4 credits]

This course is designed to familiarize the student with basic concepts of social work research methodology and statistics, computer usage, to develop competence in evaluating research literature and to develop skills in evaluating social work practice.

SOCWORK 662 Social Welfare Policy [3 credits]

This course is designed to provide students with knowledge about the process of social welfare policy formulation and implementation and with policy analysis skills. The effects of social welfare policies and organizations on both clients (especially the poor and minorities) and on workers will be emphasized.

SOCWORK 712 Social Work Psychopathology [3 credits]

This course builds upon undergraduate human behavior and the social environment class by taking a closer examination of psychopathology which affects how clients function. The concept of diversity is addressed as it relates to psychopathology. Students learn to use the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), which is implemented in social work internship experiences.

SOCWORK 720 Advanced Social Welfare Policy Analysis [3 credits]

This course focuses on advanced policy practice knowledge and skills for enhanced client functioning and social justice. Students will learn to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate social welfare policies and programs. Students will also critically examine social work policies on a global level and compare/contrast with policies of the United States.

SOCWORK 733 Social Work Practice with Groups, Communities, and Organizations [3 credits]

This class builds on undergraduate classes and the first year SOCWORK 571 Advanced Social Work Practice class by further examining the impact of the community as a major element that influences an individual and/or system. The course also includes theories and methods of working with groups and communities, including methods of change, advocacy, planning, respect for diversity, and understanding social justice.

SOCWORK 771 Research and Program Implementation and Evaluation [4 credits]

Students will utilize practice experience and theory to inform research. Students will examine more in-depth quantitative and qualitative research designs and apply critical thinking skills to analyze research. Students will develop an ethical plan, design, and conduct one evaluative study of an intervention or program which will be concluded in the Research Integrative Capstone project.

SOCWORK 776 Advanced Practice: Intervention and Evaluation [3 credits]

This class teaches students to assess clients and implement culturally competent, evidence-based, advanced-level social work interventions to enhance client’s lives. This course presents advanced methods involved in the completion of assessments, practice interventions, therapeutic processes, and evaluation. Pulling from examples from field placement experience, students will be required to select appropriate interventions for clients.

SOCWORK 783 Social Work Experience ("Field Placement Internship") [3-5 credits]

The field practicum course in the MSW program builds upon the undergraduate field experience by providing an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students. Students complete this practicum courses under the practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor and the academic guidance of a faculty field liaison. Field experience offers students the opportunity to test and demonstrate their abilities and knowledge in a supervised educational setting. Students are placed in a variety of agencies, commensurate with their expressed interests and educational needs. Grades are based upon the application of knowledge and skills, in addition to the performance of expected tasks, role performance, and so forth. Three distinct options exist for field placement (all require the same number of hours in the practicum and the same demonstration of skills and learning). These options are:

  1. A two-semester placement with the intern spending two days (16 hours per week) at an agency and earning 6 credits/semester. Days of the week are flexible at an agency. (Total hours required: 980; 500 for advanced standing).
  2. A block field placement in a regular semester in which an intern spends four full days at an agency, earning 12 credits that semester. (Total hours required: 980; 500 for advanced standing).
  3. During the summer, a block field placement has been offered where an intern spends five full days at an agency for at least 12 weeks, earning 12 credits. This would need to be combined with option 1 or 2 to meet the total required hours (Total hours required: 980; 500 for advanced standing).

Students are placed at an agency within a seventy-five mile radius of this campus. Examples of agencies accepting students for field placement are: County social services departments Nursing homes Mental health clinics Probation and parole departments Juvenile probation departments Prisons Correctional schools for juveniles Group homes Rehabilitation centers Medical hospitals Runaway centers Policy/macro practice settings Pupil services departments in schools Residential treatment programs Alcohol and other drug treatment centers Shelters for battered women Agencies serving disabled Veterans services

SOCWORK 784 Social Work Field Research Integration Capstone [3 credits]

The course continues to provide an in-depth advanced practicum experience for MSW students, under the practice supervision of an approved agency field instructor. Students will be required to implement their research project developed in SOCWORK 771 Research and Program Implementation and Evaluation within their field experience and create a portfolio based on the students’ master’s level social work courses and final research project.

Elective Courses 

COUNSED 746 Counseling and the Chemical Dependency Process (Semester 2)

This course is a study of alcohol and other drug abuse, the process of chemical dependency, its impact on the family and its importance in the area of counseling. This course will enable the counselor to identify and assess the substance abuser and examine the counselor¿s role in the prevention and intervention process. Students will develop knowledge of the behavioral, psychological, physical health, and social effects of psychoactive substances and addictive disorders on the user and significant others. It will examine the history, philosophy and trends in addiction counseling. The student will learn to identify the various symptoms of progressive stages of chemical dependency and counseling modalities for treatment.

SOCWORK 741: Treatment of Substance Use and other Addictive Disorders (Semester 3)

Social, legal, political, psychological, biological (including neuroscience research), spiritual, and ethical factors related to substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other behavioral addictions will be examined. Assessment and intervention models with an emphasis on harm reduction, stages of change, medication assisted treatment, and strengths perspective will be studied.

SOCWORK 750: Social Work with Military (Semester 2)

This course explores military culture and stressors associated with military lifestyle Ethical issues for working in this environment are considered. Students completing this course will have a more in-depth understanding of theory-based and research-informed strategies to work with the military, veterans and their families in a variety of settings.

SOCWORK 752: Advanced Intervention with Military Members (Semester 3)

Theoretical and practical approaches to advanced clinical practice with individuals in the military, military families, and groups. Examines the demands of military service on the family and studies group dynamics, composition, and common social issues in the military system. Implementation of appropriate treatment plans and interventions will be examined.

SOCWORK 760: Social Work with Individuals with Physical Disabilities (Semester 2)

The focus of this course will be on demystifying disability by examining the lived experiences of people with physical disabilities. Students will explore disability from bio-psycho-social and cultural perspectives. They will gain knowledge of the disability community’s common language, norms of conduct, economic concerns, political issues, and struggles with stigmatization.

SOCWORK 762: Social Work Interventions with Individuals with Physical Disabilities (Semester 3)

Theoretical and clinical approaches to working with individuals with a disability and families who have a family member with a disability will be examined. Students will practice assessing, intervention, writing treatment plans, and evaluation in relation to physical disability cases in social work.

Created 6/30/2017, Updated 3/27/2018