Course Descriptions — Master of Social Work

Foundation Curriculum
Concentration Curriculum
School Social Work Concentration
Post-M.S.W. Type 73 School Social Work Courses

Foundation Curriculum

Social Welfare

SWK6140 Social Welfare Policy and Institutions
3 semester hours
Major social welfare programs are reviewed within an overall policy analysis framework. Forces that impact on social policy such as American individualism and issues such as poverty, racism, and gender inequity are addressed. Historical forces which have contributed to the development of current social services are reviewed.
No prerequisites.

Human Behavior and the Social Environment

SWK6150 HBSE I: Theories of Human Development I
3 semester hours
This course, based in an ecological systems perspective, follows human development from infancy to adolescence in the context of family and larger environments. The course includes research-based knowledge about physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development. This course emphasizes both knowledge and application of human development theories to social work assessment and practice.
No prerequisites.

SWK6160 HBSE II: Theories of Human Development II
3 semester hours
This course, based in an ecological systems perspective, follows human development throughout the entire adult lifespan in the context of family and larger environments. The course includes research-based knowledge about physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development. This course emphasizes both knowledge and application of human development theories to social work assessment and practice.
Prerequisite: SWK6150.

Social Work Practice Theory and Methods

SWK6370 Social Work Practice I
3 semester hours
This course is the first in a sequence of five practice courses covering the foundation and concentration years in the MSW program. In Social Work Practice I, students are introduced to specific theoretical and skills-based core concepts of generalist, individual, family and couples social work direct practice.
No prerequisites.

SWK6381 Social Work Practice II: Group Work
3 semester hours
The course examines social work practice from a macro perspective introducing group work practice skills.
Prerequisite: SWK6370.

SWK6382 Social Work Practice II: Community
3 semester hours
The course examines social work practice from a macro perspective introducing community direct practice skills.
Prerequisite: SWK6370.

SWK6390 Social Work Practice with Diverse and Vulnerable Populations
3 semester hours
This course is an exploration of historical and current economic, social, cultural and political forces that affect a wide range of minorities. Focus is on development of ethnic-sensitive, culturally competent practice skills. Self-awareness and attitudes towards self, others and differences are explored.
No prerequisites.

SWK6500 Social Work Perspectives on Psychopathology
3 semester hours
This course presents psychopathology through a distinctly social work perspective. The course includes bio-psycho-social assessment and treatment models, including the use of DSM-IV-R. The course emphasizes assessment, advocacy, direct service, interdisciplinary collaboration, and use of community resources and supports. The person is not defined by diagnosis or condition. Mental illness is seen through a strengths perspective and within a social context. Persons are viewed holistically, as participating members of their families and communities.
No prerequisites.

Research

SWK6250 Research I: Methodology
3 semester hours
This course is the first in a sequence of two required research courses. Students are introduced to ethical social work research using scientific inquiry. Class material provides an overview of various research methods and design elements. The course highlights creating, performing, and evaluating outcomes of practice and policies.
No prerequisites.

Field Instruction

SSWK6730, 6740 Field Instruction I, II
3 semester hours each
Sequence of two consecutive semesters beginning in the Fall. Experience in practice in professional agency under instruction of qualified practitioner; a minimum of 450 hours over two semesters. This foundation-level field experience is designed to build transferable skills in engagement, case management, counseling, group facilitation, documentation and referral. The 10 Core Competencies of Social Work Practice are measured at the middle and end of the internship experience.
No prerequisites.

Concentration Curriculum

Research

SWK6283 Practice and Program Evaluation
3 semester hours
Students will plan, design, and conduct an evaluation study of an intervention or program. Students will choose between a single-subject design study or program evaluation. The study will relate to the student’s field practicum or another area approved by the research professor.
Prerequisites: SWK6250; completion of statistics course with “C” or better.
Social Work Practice and Policy

SWK6511 Social Work Practice III: Clinical Concentration I
3 semester hours
This course builds upon the generalist practice knowledge and skills acquired in the foundation year. Required of students in the Clinical Concentration, the course will focus on the major clinical theories and methods essential to working in all clinical arenas of the social work practice field.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6521 Social Work Practice IV: Clinical Concentration II
3 semester hours
A continuation of SWK6511, this course will further enhance and expand the clinical concentration student’s knowledge and skill in clinical social work practice with diverse clientele in all types of clinical settings and focuses on an integrative approach to clinical social work practice.
Prerequisite: SWK6511.

SWK6533 Advanced Social Policy
3 semester hours
Examination of policies relevant to social work practice. Health and mental health policy. Agency-level policy within the context of state- and federal-level policy. Students will utilize a policy practice model to complete policy research projects relevant to social work practice.
Prerequisites: SWK6140, SWK 6370, SWK 6382.

Advanced Field Instruction

SWK6750, 6760 Field Instruction III, IV
3 semester hours each
Sequence of two consecutive semesters beginning in the Fall. Experience in practice in professional agency under the instruction of a qualified practitioner; a minimum of 600 hours over two semesters. Students completing specialization curriculum will complete internship in specialization area at this time. Advanced practice skills are developed, as well as completion of research study within the internship setting, during this advanced internship.
Prerequisites: Completion of the foundation curriculum, SWK6730, SWK6740.

School Social Work Concentration

The following courses are required for those who plan to be a school social worker. The courses are taken in place of the electives for those not pursuing school social work.

SWK5610 Social Work Practice with the Exceptional Child
3 semester hours
This course examines major causes and characteristics of students in the public school setting evidencing exceptionality. The psychology, identification, and methods of serving exceptional individuals and their families will be considered. While the focus of this course is an understanding of the various exceptionalities and how that impacts a student’s education, the course will provide a social work perspective for practice related to prevention, intervention and evaluation.
No prerequisites.

SWK6410 School Social Work Policy and Practice I
3 semester hours
This is the first of a two-course sequence for students doing their internships in the public school setting leading to state certification as school social worker. This course focuses on practice. It prepares students to provide school social work services to individuals, groups, families, the school system, and the community. This course covers the roles of the school social worker and the skills needed to perform the various roles. Special attention is given to assessment, prevention, and intervention across systems on behalf of school children and their families.
Prerequisites: Foundation curriculum and SWK5610.

SWK6420 School Social Work Policy and Practice II
3 semester hours
This is the second of a two-course sequence for students doing their internships in the public school setting leading to state certification as a school social worker. This course focuses on policy and legal issues related to providing school social work services to individuals, groups, families, the school system, and the community. This course covers state and federal special education mandates and other laws and policies related to public school children and their families. Special attention is given to ethical and legal implications of these laws and policies and their effect on the education of children.
Prerequisite: SWK6410.

Social Work Electives

SWK5100 Social Work Gerontology: Assessment and Intervention
3 semester hours
This course will examine the advanced study of clinical treatment of older adults. Focus will include different mental health issues presented by older adults, such as, depression, Alzheimer's disease, adjustment disorders due to relocation or loss of loved ones and chronic illness. Successful treatment models with older adults will be presented framed in the life course perspective.
No prerequisites.

SWK5110 Social Work Gerontology: Biology and Health of Aging
3 semester hours
According to Strehler*, a good definition of physical aging is one that acknowledges that aging is universal, intrinsic, progressive and deleterious. This course will begin by covering age and health demographics, along with attitudes toward aging, health and disability. Basic cellular or molecular theories of aging will be presented, along with how the human body’s organ systems typically change over time. Pathologies associated with aging and psychosocial responses to normal and pathological changes will be discussed. Such responses will be viewed within a sociocultural context where ageism, ableism, and beautyism, as well as other forms of oppression, are present. Support services and resources for older individuals and their caregivers will be addressed.
No prerequisites.

SWK5300 Forensic Social Work
3 semester hours
Introduction to social work and the criminal justice system through the study of mental health and its interaction with the law. Students review the care and treatment of offenders (who are mentally ill) in the criminal justice system.
No prerequisites.

SWK5500 Social Work Statistics
3 semester hours
Statistical methods course acquaints the student with data analysis using SPSS. Basic concepts of descriptive and inferential statistics, descriptions of central tendency, dispersion, association and difference; inference via statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, and tests of significance are covered to enable students to conceptualize, apply and interpret statistical methods in relation to problems which confront the field of social work.
Prerequisite: Social Work Research I.

SWK5550 Spanish for Social Workers
3 semester hours
This course will include the fundamentals of Spanish grammar and vocabulary that will be most beneficial to those in the field of social work. Active use of the language will be emphasized during all meeting times. Special attention will be paid to pronunciation and topics of special interest to the participants. Simple readings with a focus on culture and how it impacts social work will also be studied. It is expected that all students will work diligently in order to master the material that is covered in class and the text.
No prerequisites.

SWK5725 Effects of Trauma on Children
3 semester hours
This course will focus on children and adolescents who have been exposed to significant trauma and/or loss. Child trauma theory, impact of trauma and loss, and assessment of traumatized children will be explored. Factors such as the therapeutic relationship, working with caregivers, self-care for social workers, and the critical need for supervision will be examined. Skills will be developed to directly treat children of trauma to assist with the management of their symptoms, healing from trauma/loss memories, and increasing coping skills to prepare for future challenges.
No prerequisites.

SWK5740 Family Violence: Issues and Intervention
3 semester hours
Socio-cultural analysis of victimization in the family, with particular focus on the problems of battering and sexual abuse. The course addresses, through the examination of various theoretical perspectives, the question of violence against women, child physical abuse/neglect/sexual abuse; and the problem of elder abuse.
No prerequisites.

SWK5750 Substance Abuse
3 semester hours
Presented from an ecological and family systems perspective, this course provides current information that will enhance the student’s ability to work effectively with individuals and families who are both directly and indirectly affected by substance abuse. Emphasis is placed on current research. Relevant social policies and societal attitudes are considered.
No prerequisites.

SWK5770 Social Work with Older Adults
3 semester hours
This course consists of the study of major theories of aging and their implications for social work practice. Focus is on community services for the aged and an examination of current issues and trends related to the service delivery system.
No prerequisites.

SWK5790 Social Work Practice and Sexual Diversity
3 semester hours
Course provides students with a knowledge base critical in developing an understanding of, and appreciation for, people of diverse sexual identities and gender expressions. Intent of course is to develop social workers who are capable of working with sexual minorities from a theoretically integrative perspective.
No prerequisites.

SWK5810 Selected Topics
3 semester hours
Selected topics that support foundation social work courses and are of interest to students but are not a regular part of the curriculum.
No prerequisites.

SWK6030 Bereavement Counseling
3 semester hours
This course presents the theoretical framework for working with bereaved individuals and an examination of cultural attitudes toward death, other life losses, and what effect these attitudes have on individual grief reactions. This course highlights the therapeutic skills needed when working with the bereaved.
No prerequisites.

SWK6040 Social Work and Spirituality
3 semester hours
This course presents the knowledge and skills needed to provide social services to persons with spiritual needs and dilemmas. A person-in-environment perspective is used in understanding the meaning of spirituality for clients and appropriate methods to utilize in responding to them.
No prerequisites.

SWK6060 Fundraising for Social Work
3 semester hours
Conceptualization and implementation of soliciting and acquiring income through philanthropy and other private donations, grants, fee for service, investment and other means geared to the special needs of nonprofits.
No prerequisites.

SWK6200 Addictions Counseling I
3 semester hours
This course is the first of two courses designed to address the specific treatment approaches utilized in working with the addicted population. Specific treatment approaches as well as common assessment tools will be reviewed. Various career opportunities within the realm of the addictions field will be explored. Students will be introduced to the concept of the legal impact that drugs and alcohol have on society and will have an opportunity to experience either drug court or DUI court as part of their learning experience. Specific Illinois state rules which govern treatment will be discussed (Rule 2060) as well as rules and laws of confidentiality. Standardized treatment protocol, such as utilizing the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will be formally explained. The various levels of care and treatment settings will be explored so that students planning on pursuing certification can begin thinking of an internship placement that will be a good match.
Prerequisites: SWK6340, SWK6350.

SWK6340 Survey of Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment
3 semester hours
This course will address a variety of topics as they relate to addictions in a number of settings. The course is intended to serve as the foundation course for students pursuing or considering obtaining a valuable clinical credential from the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA). This will be the first in a series of four courses that will be addictions specific. Students pursuing this specialization will be required to complete an internship that documents addiction-related clinical work. Students completing this curriculum track will be eligible to test for dual credentials upon graduation: Licensed Social Worker (LSW) as well as the CADC.
No prerequisites.

SWK6350 Psychopharmacology
3 semester hours
This course is the second in the sequence of four required courses in the addictions specialization. The course will address the drugs commonly used by the addicted population. The following topics will be explored and discussed in the course: the effect of drugs on the body and specific systems within the body; the effect of alcohol and drugs on different populations such as women and the elderly; current trends of drug use; common myths about specific drugs; specific treatment approaches and complications; current controversial topics related to drugs in society; medications used to help the addicted population as well as those who suffer from mental illness(es); and changes in brain chemistry as a result of “process addictions.”
No prerequisites.

SWK6400 Addictions Counseling II
3 semester hours
This is the second course specifically designed to address specific treatment approaches utilized in working with the addicted population. In this course students will continue building their expertise of addictions through analysis and evaluation of specific treatment approaches found to have positive outcomes with the addicted population such as Motivational Interviewing and Reality Therapy. Students will study and develop an understanding of the impact that the addicted person has on their family members as well as analyze various treatment options for families. In addition, the course will address the following topics: DUI laws and implications for treatment; issues of prevention programs; examination of substance abuse from macro, mezzo, and micro levels; fundamental issues of effective treatment plans; relapse process and prevention plans; importance of working relationships with other service providers in case management function; roles of practitioners in treatment settings; and the process of addiction.
Prerequisites: SWK6340, SWK6350, SWK6200.

SWK6440 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals
3 semester hours
This advanced social work practice elective focuses on contemporary approaches to directed social work practice with individual client systems.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6450 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families
3 semester hours
This advanced social work practice elective emphasizes the ability to assess and engage families and to plan and implement effective interventions with a wide variety of families.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6460 Advanced Social Work Practice with Couples
3 semester hours
This advanced social work practice elective will focus on a variety of theories and approaches to social work practice with couples.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6470 Advanced Social Work Practice with Children
3 semester hours
This advanced social work practice elective will encompass the theory, methods and skills necessary for understanding and working with children on all levels of social work practice.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6480 Advanced Social Work Practice with Adolescents
3 semester hours
This advanced social work practice elective will examine a variety of theoretical and practical approaches to working with adolescents and their environment.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6512 Social Work Practice III: Leadership and Community Practice
3 semester hours
This course builds upon the generalist practice knowledge and skills acquired in the Foundation Year. The course will focus on management and administration in the human services. Includes decision-making and leadership styles; basic tasks, roles, skills of managers; management processes such as financial and human resource management. Use of the competing values framework (a meta-theoretical model) to integrate management skills of boundary-spanning, human relations, coordinating, and directing.
Prerequisite: Foundation curriculum.

SWK6522 Social Work Practice IV: Leadership and Community Practice
3 semester hours
A continuation of SWK6512, this course will prepare the student to do planning, administration, and organizing in social service agencies. This is a practice course that focuses on a broad range of material related to macro practice. Students will be exposed to many of the practice tasks that administrators must deal with to perform their roles effectively.
Prerequisite: SWK6512.

SWK6560 Hospital Social Work
3 semester hours
This course will synthesize principles from the social work code of ethics in the medical setting following the generalist theory of practice. An overview of the variety of medical settings and situations in which social workers practice will be explored. Students will have an opportunity to determine if the medical field is the challenge they are looking for in social work.
No prerequisites.

SWK6565 Grant Writing for Social Work
3 semester hours
Selected topics that support advanced social work practice courses and are of interest to students but are not a part of the regular curriculum.
No prerequisites.

SWK6570 Counseling Theories in Social Work
3 semester hours
This course is geared toward teaching the social worker about the various therapy techniques commonly used in a therapeutic/clinical setting/relationship. As a social worker, we find ourselves in various levels of practice: micro, mezzo, and macro. This course is designed and focused on the micro level of practice; helping an individual move from one point to another.
No prerequisites.

SWK6580 Fundraising
3 semester hours
Conceptualization and implementation of soliciting and acquiring income through philanthropy and other private donations, grants, fee for service, investment and other means geared to the special needs of nonprofits. (Note: This course does NOT cover grant writing in depth. Grant writing is covered in the macro practice sequence.)
No prerequisites.

SWK6710 Expressive Therapy for Children
3 semester hours
This course is designed to explore the expressive therapies, such as, art, clay, dance, drama, music, sand and writing. Through the creative therapies, social workers will become self-aware of the use of imagination, mind, body and emotions. Students will understand the effect of expressive therapy on children from diverse populations with diverse needs. Assessment and intervention of such treatments will be examined. The intermodal treatments will allow the social worker students to alter their approach based on the clients’ needs, or through using multiple forms of expression with the same client to aid with deeper exploration.
No prerequisites.

SWK6720 Social Work with Vulnerable Children and Families
3 semester hours
This course will focus on the practice implications for social workers within the juvenile justice system and substance abuse treatment programs. Current and historical policies and research specific to the juvenile justice system will be examined. Coursework and lectures will investigate all phases of the contemporary juvenile justice system and examines juvenile rights, the nature and explanation of delinquency, truancy, classifications of juvenile offenders, juvenile courts and corrections, as well as effective treatment programs. Students will gain an understanding of the legal process, including due process, adjudication, alternatives to incarceration and forensic evaluation. Collaboration with protective services, treatment programs and court services will be evaluated.
No prerequisites.

SWK6725 Child Welfare Services
3 semester hours
Theory, principles, issues, and trends in social work with children and youth; common and special needs. Case management, treatment planning, case monitoring. Exploration of authority-helper role and problems of working with non-voluntary clients.
No prerequisites.

SWK6810 Selected Topics
3 semester hours
Selected topics that support advanced social work practice courses and are of interest to students but are not a part of the regular curriculum.
No prerequisites.

SWK6830 Directed Study

SWK6980 Independent Study

Post-MSW School Social Work Endorsement/Licensure Courses

SWK5610 Social Work Practice with the Exceptional Child
3 semester hours
This course examines major causes and characteristics of students in the public school setting evidencing exceptionality. The psychology, identification, and methods of serving exceptional individuals and their families will be considered. While the focus of this course is an understanding of the various exceptionalities and how that impacts a student’s education, the course will provide a social work perspective for practice related to prevention, intervention and evaluation.
No prerequisites.

SWK6430 School Social Work Endorsement Course
3 semester hours
This course is designed for post-MSW graduate students seeking school social work certification from the Illinois State Board of Education. It provides an orientation to social work practice in the public school setting. It covers important historical, legal, and political developments that affect the modern day roles and functions of the practitioner in the school setting. The course provides a basic understanding of the types of students served, resources and knowledge needed to deliver services and an overview of the public school system. This course is a requirement for state endorsement/ licensure as a school social worker.
Prerequisites: MSW post-graduate and approval by School Social Work Coordinator.

SWK6670 Field Instruction: Post-Master’s School Social Work
3 semester hours
This course is designed for students in the post-graduate program leading to state endorsement/licensure for school social work. This field course is designed to integrate the prior professional experiences of students who have practiced social work outside of the public school setting with the unique knowledge and skills required by this setting. Students, in conjunction with the school of social work and their field instructors, design a unique learning experience that allows them to transfer skills developed in other settings to the public school arena and to learn addition knowledge and skills necessary for providing school social work services. Instruction limited to post-master’s students.
Prerequisite: Consent of School Social Work Coordinator.

Open House and Visit Days
Monday, October 13, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014