We are now accepting applications for Advanced Standing only!
Application and materials deadline: Committee decision deadline:
February 02, 2015 March 23, 2015
The School of Social Work is committed to the ongoing development of social work education which instills a core commitment to building a society based on social and economic justice and enhancing opportunities for human well-being. The School engages students in the acquisition of critically assessed knowledge and practice skills focused on working collaboratively and therapeutically with people.
The School prepares social work professionals for practice in the public sector or in those private agencies which address the needs of oppressed and disadvantage populations. Students are provided with the necessary values, knowledge and skills to practice within a rural/regional/small urban service delivery system environment.Graduates assume key professional practice roles in human service agencies, community organizations, collaborative networks and change focused coalitions.
The curriculum prepares students to engage in processes aimed at empowering individuals to improve their life situation and to modify the organizational, community and societal conditions that prevent oppressed populations from obtaining a basic quality of life. Through the combined commitment of the practice community and faculty, the School prepares students at the undergraduate and graduate levels for professional social work practice; serves place-bound individuals by providing structured part-time, off-campus, programs; responds to the needs of practitioners through the provision of continuing education, staff development and consultation; and undertakes research activities which contribute to the creation and dissemination of knowledge relevant to the profession.
The MSW program prepares professional social workers to engage in advanced generalist practice across multiple systems and provide leadership for social justice. The curriculum consists of a foundation for generalist practice and an advanced curriculum for advanced generalist practice.
The foundation curriculum focuses on social work practice, social welfare policy and theories of human behavior in the social environment. Courses include Foundations of Professional Social Work Practice, Social Work Assessment and Practice with Individuals and Families, Societal Context of Practice and Human Development in Contemporary Environments. Biopsychosocial Bases for Human Development provides a holistic framework for understanding the ways in which biological factors interact with psychological and sociocultural processes to influence human development. Social Work Practice in a Diverse Society develops knowledge of diverse populations with whom and on behalf of whom, social workers practice. The course also explores practice principles for working with people of difference and for working in an increasingly diverse society. Social Work Intervention and Evaluation with Individuals and Families and Social Work Groups continue the development of practice knowledge and skills.
The foundation continues to prepare students for generalist practice with systems of different sizes through the course Organizational and Community Contexts of Practice. Students learn to critically evaluate and use research in their practice in the course Research Methods for Program and Practice Evaluation. Students also begin the first quarter of a six-quarter field practicum and integrative seminar near the end of the foundation curriculum.
The MSW program requires a total of 968 hours of field practicum and 80 hours of integrative seminar sequenced over the course of the program. Each student is placed in a social service agency or other public or private organization related to the welfare of people. In the placement, the student performs social work tasks in the role of a student learner. Direction and instruction are provided by a faculty member of the School, working collaboratively with a designated agency supervisor in the organization. The faculty member, the agency supervisor and the student negotiate a contract specifying student learning goals, potential field learning experiences and the means for evaluating the field learning. Agencies and organizations throughout the state of Washington in rural, urban and regional settings are used as field placements.
Students who wish to complete practicum requirements within their current or former workplace must indicate this desire to the School at the time of admission. This indication does not automatically ensure a practicum in the workplace. Consideration will be given to each request individually. Practicum placements in the workplace must conform with all of the School's existing field practicum requirements.
Courses in the advanced portion of the curriculum prepare students for advanced generalist practice with systems of all sizes. Students develop leadership skills working with clients and communities to advance social justice, particularly for socially excluded, at-risk or marginalized populations. Two required courses in SOWK 602, 603 Advanced Generalist Practice I, II present theoretical models and specific skills in engagement, assessment and intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. A required SOWK 568 Proseminar in Social Welfare Policies and Programs examines the political context for decision that affect the lives of clients. One required course, SOWK 526 Research Methods II, is also part of the advanced portion of the curriculum. Students also choose 12 credits of elective courses to help focus their learning to meet their professional goals. The required Practicum and its related seminar continue throughout each quarter of the advanced portion of the curriculum.
The plan for delivering the curriculum is shown below.
The MSW curriculum comprises sequenced foundation and advanced coursework. Off-campus, part-time students complete the program in a sequenced manner over the course of three years or 12 quarters.
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