Master of Social Work Course Descriptions

*Please review the UNE Aca­d­e­m­ic Cat­a­log for the full and most up-to-date UNE online MSW course descrip­tions and pro­gram infor­ma­tion

The UNE Online MSW pro­gram is a ful­ly CSWE-accred­it­ed pro­gram. This pro­gram pro­vides the flex­i­bil­i­ty to choose from three spe­cial­iza­tions when design­ing your edu­ca­tion­al course plan, to best meet your spe­cif­ic per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al goals. 

Cours­es are offered 100% online with time­ly, rel­e­vant con­tent taught by dynam­ic fac­ul­ty of prac­ti­tion­ers, researchers, and edu­ca­tors. Tra­di­tion­al and Advanced Stand­ing tracks are avail­able in the online MSW.

Please note the fol­low­ing when mak­ing course selec­tions:

  • Degree require­ments, course plans, and the cur­ricu­lum frame­work vary for each track option
  • Required cours­es are offered every semes­ter
  • Elec­tives are des­ig­nat­ed as enrich­ment and advanced
  • Tra­di­tion­al stu­dents MUST com­plete their foun­da­tion field expe­ri­ence (SSW 522) before tak­ing spe­cial­iza­tion cours­es – required and elec­tives
  • Advanced stu­dents can take enrich­ment and advanced elec­tives. How­ev­er, if a stu­dent is seek­ing licen­sure after grad­u­a­tion, they should take two advanced clin­i­cal elec­tives
  • All stu­dents are asked to research the licens­ing require­ments for the state in which they intend to prac­tice

View degree plans for our two tracks:


Tra­di­tion­al Track (64 Cred­its)   Advanced Stand­ing Track (35 Cred­its)

Course Descriptions

SSWO 501 — Human Behav­ior & the Social Envi­ron­ment I

The HBSE sequence is con­struct­ed as the­o­ry for prac­tice cours­es. The­o­ries for prac­tice form a con­cep­tu­al frame­work to devel­op under­stand­ing of the impact of social con­text on health (broad­ly defined) and well-being and on social work. These the­o­ries attempt to explain how and why peo­ple live their lives as they do: how we con­struct ways to under­stand our lives; how we devel­op actions to sus­tain our­selves and devel­op as a species and as a com­mu­ni­ty (both local and glob­al). The­o­ries for prac­tice per­mit us to artic­u­late a val­ue-dri­ven, human rights and social jus­tice vision with­in which we con­struct and oper­a­tional­ize our mis­sion and our prac­tice. HBSE I begins with an exam­i­na­tion of human rights with par­tic­u­lar atten­tion paid to health as a human right. Stu­dents also con­sid­er how their own beliefs and ideas about the core val­ues of human dig­ni­ty, social jus­tice, indi­vid­ual and cul­tur­al diver­si­ty, and self-deter­mi­na­tion have been shaped, how they have con­tributed to the for­ma­tion of their iden­ti­ties and they con­tribute to stu­dents own devel­op­ing knowl­edge and pro­fes­sion­al prac­tice. The lens for reflec­tion is ground­ed in the belief that health is a human right. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 502 – Human Behav­ior & the Social Envi­ron­ment II

HBSE is designed to devel­op and refine our con­scious­ness of the con­tin­u­ous, dynam­ic and rela­tion­ship that per­sists between human beings in any social con­text. HSBE II explores dif­fer­ent the­o­ries about how human beings devel­op, under­stand, and par­tic­i­pate in social rela­tion­ships that include soci­etal struc­tures and dis­tri­b­u­tions of pow­er and resources nec­es­sary for healthy human devel­op­ment; how we for­mu­late and act on basic assump­tions about our­selves and oth­ers; and how the iden­ti­ty and expe­ri­ence of indi­vid­u­als is affect­ed by class, gen­der, race or eth­nic­i­ty, age, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, and oth­er fac­tors as these are reflect­ed in dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal-eco­nom­ic and cul­tur­al con­texts. Stu­dents explore how these dif­fer­ent con­texts are embod­ied in people¿s phys­i­cal, men­tal, and rela­tion­al lives. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 503 – Social Work Research I

Research I pro­vides an ori­en­ta­tion to the his­to­ry of sci­ence and the range of meth­ods for inform­ing evi­dence-guid­ed social work prac­tice. Knowl­edge gen­er­a­tion and its appli­ca­tion to social work research will be exam­ined crit­i­cal­ly from a par­a­dig­mat­ic lev­el. Stu­dents will explore the con­tin­u­ous rela­tion­ship between research, the­o­ry devel­op­ment, and prac­tice prin­ci­ples and will devel­op an under­stand­ing of the con­text of research, ethics and val­ues, use of research resources, prob­lem for­mu­la­tion, mea­sure­ment, sam­pling, and research design. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 504 – Social Work Research II

Research II builds upon the knowl­edge, meth­ods, and skills pro­vid­ed in Research I. Stu­dents will con­tin­ue to learn how to crit­i­cal­ly assess research from eth­i­cal, mul­ti­cul­tur­al, and social jus­tice per­spec­tives, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the con­text of agency-based research and pro­gram eval­u­a­tion. Stu­dents will con­duct a research eval­u­a­tion project. This includes 1) for­mu­lat­ing a ques­tion, 2) design­ing and imple­ment­ing a study, and 3) inter­pret­ing and pre­sent­ing the study find­ings. An expec­ta­tion is for stu­dents to col­lab­o­rate with their field place­ment instruc­tors, employ­ers, or a com­mu­ni­ty group with the aim of improv­ing indi­vid­ual or com­mu­ni­ty health (using the WHO def­i­n­i­tion). (3 cred­its)

SSWO 505 – Social Wel­fare Pol­i­cy and Pro­grams I

Pol­i­cy I course exam­ines social wel­fare pol­i­cy and prac­tice with a pri­ma­ry focus on the role pro­fes­sion­al Social Work plays in the devel­op­ment, imple­men­ta­tion and eval­u­a­tion of social wel­fare pol­i­cy and the impact social wel­fare pol­i­cy has on pro­fes­sion­al Social Work prac­tice. This course pro­vides an his­tor­i­cal overview of social wel­fare pol­i­cy and Social Work as a pro­fes­sion. Course con­tent includes the val­ues and ide­olo­gies that informed the evo­lu­tion of Social Work and social wel­fare and the con­tra­dic­tions that have his­tor­i­cal­ly plagued them. The impact of social move­ments and polit­i­cal action on social wel­fare pol­i­cy will be dis­cussed, includ­ing pol­i­cy advo­ca­cy and social protest. Social Work his­to­ry will be explored from its 17th through 19th cen­tu­ry ori­gins to its 20th and 21st cen­tu­ry con­tro­ver­sies. This course focus­es on how sys­temic oppres­sion and social jus­tice emerge in social wel­fare pol­i­cy and com­mu­ni­ty set­tings. Pro­fes­sion­al Social Work ethics, which require social work­ers to engage in advo­ca­cy prac­tice that pro­motes social jus­tice, equi­ty, and equal­i­ty will be exam­ined, as will the poten­tial for the pro­fes­sion to be used as an agent of social con­trol. Must be enrolled in one of the fol­low­ing: Mas­ter of Social Work, Non-Matric­u­lat­ed Social Work, Con­di­tion­al Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 506 – Social Wel­fare Pol­i­cy and Pro­grams II

Pol­i­cy II presents the oppor­tu­ni­ty for stu­dents to apply their knowl­edge and skills for advo­ca­cy prac­tice, pol­i­cy devel­op­ment, and pol­i­cy eval­u­a­tion either at the Fed­er­al, state, munic­i­pal, or com­mu­ni­ty lev­el. This exam­i­na­tion also includes how social poli­cies are fund­ed and how they affect the lives of peo­ple, orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ties. Pro­fes­sion­al Social Work ethics, which require social work­ers to engage in advo­ca­cy prac­tice that pro­motes social jus­tice, equi­ty, and equal­i­ty will be exam­ined, as will the poten­tial for the pro­fes­sion to be used as an agent of social con­trol. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 510 – Social Work Prac­tice I

Social Work Prac­tice I intro­duces stu­dents to gen­er­al­ist social work prac­tice defined as planned change, at every sys­tem lev­el, imple­ment­ed through col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships with clients, col­leagues, and com­mu­ni­ty part­ners. The the­o­ret­i­cal frame­work of this course is based on empow­er­ing and rela­tion­al the­o­ries for prac­tice and con­cen­trates on the inte­gra­tion and appli­ca­tion of health pro­mot­ing knowl­edge, val­ues and skills that sup­port and sus­tain client resilien­cy informed by the core social work val­ues of self-deter­mi­na­tion, diver­si­ty, human dig­ni­ty and social jus­tice. Stu­dents are encour­aged to crit­i­cal­ly exam­ine knowl­edge and to devel­op skills for cul­tur­al­ly attuned prac­tice. Stu­dents are exposed to tenets of evi­dence-guid­ed prac­tice. Stu­dents learn and apply skills for health-pro­mot­ing prac­tice with indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, and groups includ­ing assess­ment, engage­ment, inter­per­son­al rela­tion­ship build­ing and inter­ven­tion plan­ning. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 511 – Social Work Prac­tice II

This course builds on stu­dents under­stand­ing of gen­er­al­ist social work prac­tice, begin­ning with the planned change process with­in larg­er sys­tems and mov­ing into inte­gra­tive mul­ti­level prac­tice. The the­o­ret­i­cal frame­work of this course is based on empow­er­ing and orga­ni­za­tion­al change the­o­ries for prac­tice, informed by the core social work val­ues of self-deter­mi­na­tion, diver­si­ty, human dig­ni­ty and social jus­tice. Stu­dents are encour­aged to crit­i­cal­ly exam­ine knowl­edge and to devel­op skills for cul­tur­al­ly attuned prac­tice. Stu­dents are exposed to tenets of evi­dence-guid­ed prac­tice uti­lized with­in larg­er sys­tems. Stu­dents learn and apply skills for change with and with­in orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ties includ­ing assess­ment and planned change strate­gies. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 514 – Pro­gram Eval­u­a­tion

This course intro­duces stu­dents to social work research spe­cif­ic to pro­gram eval­u­a­tion meth­ods. Stu­dents will learn and dis­cuss pro­gram eval­u­a­tion assess­ment types and the research method­olo­gies con­duct­ed in research and applied in prac­tice. Stu­dents will con­cep­tu­al­ize the steps involved in a pro­gram eval­u­a­tion, for a human ser­vices orga­ni­za­tion, to demon­strate evi­dence-based prac­tices and the poten­tial for social change among clients, orga­ni­za­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties. The con­tent of this course inte­grates oth­er ele­ments of the MSW cur­ricu­lum and is designed to include resources that are rel­e­vant to direct and macro lev­els of prac­tice. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 520 – Field Practicum I/Seminar

Foun­da­tion Practicum I pro­vides stu­dents with a super­vised prac­tice expe­ri­ence in a social ser­vice agency/organization. The practicum includes expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing in social work prac­tice skills in a spe­cial­ized set­ting. A week­ly sem­i­nar pro­vides stu­dents with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss and reflect on pro­fes­sion­al social work issues from their practicum expe­ri­ence regard­ing assess­ment, spe­cif­ic inter­ven­tions with client sys­tems, and the appli­ca­tion of prac­tice the­o­ries. The sem­i­nar intro­duces the UN Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights and the WHO Def­i­n­i­tion of Health into dis­cus­sions of how resource equi­ty, social jus­tice, and uni­ver­sal health care across the life spans impacts work with client sys­tems. (4 cred­its)

SSWO 522 – Field Practicum II/Seminar

Foun­da­tion Practicum II pro­vides stu­dents with a super­vised prac­tice expe­ri­ence in a social ser­vice agency/organization. The practicum includes expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing in social work prac­tice skills in a spe­cial­ized set­ting. A week­ly sem­i­nar pro­vides stu­dents with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss and reflect on pro­fes­sion­al social work issues from their practicum expe­ri­ence regard­ing assess­ment, spe­cif­ic inter­ven­tions with client sys­tems, and the appli­ca­tion of prac­tice the­o­ries. The sem­i­nar intro­duces the UN Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights and the WHO Def­i­n­i­tion of Health into dis­cus­sions of how resource equi­ty, social jus­tice, and uni­ver­sal health care across the life spans impacts work with client sys­tems. (4 cred­its)

SSWO 526 – Inte­grat­ing Clinical/Community Prac­tice Frame­works

Inte­grat­ing Clin­i­cal / Com­mu­ni­ty Prac­tice Frame­works (SSW 526) is a required course for stu­dents enrolled in the MSW/MSWO pro­gram as Advanced Stand­ing. It is designed to intro­duce social work schol­ar­ship, val­ues, and skills embed­ded in the UNE School of Social Work vision and mis­sion that envi­sion a world where social work­ers are at the fore­front of advo­cat­ing with indi­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties for human dig­ni­ty, social inclu­sion, and efforts to end inequities, exploita­tion, and vio­lence. Course con­tent ful­ly inte­grates clin­i­cal (micro) and com­mu­ni­ty (macro) per­spec­tives and prac­tices with an empha­sis on cul­tur­al, rela­tion­al, and evi­dence-based com­pe­ten­cies. This course serves as a bridge to the Con­cen­tra­tion Year of the MSW pro­gram by prepar­ing new stu­dents for the advanced cur­ricu­lum. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 552 – Con­tem­po­rary The­o­ry of Social Work Prac­tice: Indi­vid­u­als and Fam­i­lies (Clin­i­cal & Inte­grat­ed)

Build­ing on the foun­da­tion year prac­tice con­tent, this course fur­ther pre­pares stu­dents for direct prac­tice with indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and groups. Stu­dents crit­i­cal­ly exam­ine social work the­o­ry and meth­ods for direct prac­tice with atten­tion to how clin­i­cal social work val­ues inform the­o­ry to pro­mote social jus­tice, human dig­ni­ty, capac­i­ty build­ing, and indi­vid­ual empow­er­ment. Life course and devel­op­ment the­o­ries are crit­i­cal­ly exam­ined with­in the con­texts of socioe­co­nom­ics, mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and human diver­si­ty. Meth­ods of prac­tice to be explored include ther­a­peu­tic, sup­port­ive, edu­ca­tion­al, advo­ca­cy and com­mu­ni­ty-based strate­gies and also the dynam­ic rela­tion­ship that occurs across and between these inter­ven­tions. Teach­ing meth­ods encour­age stu­dents to devel­op intel­lec­tu­al curios­i­ty, self-aware­ness and skill­ful use of per­son­al val­ues, the­o­ret­i­cal ori­en­ta­tions, and prac­tice approach­es in work­ing with a range of client sys­tems in var­ied social work set­tings. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 553 – Advanced Social Work Prac­tice with Fam­i­lies (Clin­i­cal & Inte­grat­ed)

This sec­ond semes­ter course crit­i­cal­ly ana­lyzes how con­tem­po­rary clin­i­cal the­o­ries explain the inner dynam­ics and exter­nal expe­ri­ences of fam­i­ly sys­tems. Prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions of fam­i­ly the­o­ry are explored through case exam­ples, role play and self-reflec­tive writ­ing that includes both self-analy­sis and cri­tique of how socio­cul­tur­al fac­tors influ­ence how we assess and work with fam­i­lies. Stu­dents are exposed to a range of fam­i­ly struc­tures and care­giv­ing sys­tems and also to the larg­er social con­texts of race, social class, age, abil­i­ty, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, and cul­ture, which influ­ence the dis­tri­b­u­tion of resources made avail­able to these fam­i­lies. The role of the clin­i­cian as activist is explored as stu­dents reflect upon what their pro­fes­sion­al roles will be as com­mu­ni­ty prac­ti­tion­ers. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 564 – Pro­gram Dev & Com­mu­ni­ty Prac­tice (Com­mu­ni­ty & Inte­grat­ed)

This course builds upon the foun­da­tion year and intro­duces stu­dents to the chang­ing con­text of com­mu­ni­ty and inter- orga­ni­za­tion­al link­ages across human ser­vice sys­tems. Major con­tent focus­es on com­mu­ni­ty and orga­ni­za­tion­al needs assess­ment, com­mu­ni­ty build­ing, under­stand­ing and work­ing in mul­ti-sys­tem ser­vice envi­ron­ments. Client empow­er­ment, col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ship build­ing across var­i­ous sys­tem lev­els, includ­ing coali­tion build­ing, and across prob­lem areas and set­tings are empha­sized. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 565 – Admin­is­tra­tion and Super­vi­sion (All Spe­cial­iza­tions)

The sec­ond semes­ter course is con­cerned with roles and func­tions of social work­ers in var­i­ous admin­is­tra­tive and super­vi­so­ry capac­i­ties, and how the work of the human ser­vice pro­gram is done through the efforts of its staff. Stu­dents gain an under­stand­ing of the finan­cial man­age­ment process, human resource issues, board lead­er­ship devel­op­ment, and task group lead­er­ship. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 571 – Social Work Prac­tice with Groups

This course teach­es the con­cep­tu­al base, pro­fes­sion­al val­ues, ethics, and prac­tice skills of social group work. Empha­siz­ing social work with groups as inte­gra­tive prac­tice, this course encom­pass­es the con­tin­u­um from ther­a­py groups to task-ori­ent­ed groups. Course con­tent high­lights the health pro­mot­ing, empow­er­ment, and rela­tion­al aspects of social group work and its poten­tial for mutu­al aid, com­mu­ni­ty build­ing, and social jus­tice. The use of groups to achieve indi­vid­ual and social change goals is empha­sized. Group dynam­ics and devel­op­ment will be assessed with atten­tion to agency, com­mu­ni­ty, cul­tur­al, and soci­etal con­texts. This course empha­sizes eth­i­cal group work prac­tice and evi­dence-based group approach­es. Group work with diverse pop­u­la­tions and the use of groups with client pop­u­la­tions expe­ri­enc­ing the struc­tur­al and per­son­al impacts of inequity and cul­tur­al oppres­sion is a uni­fy­ing course theme. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 580 – Field Practicum III/Seminar (All Spe­cial­iza­tions)

Advanced Practicum III pro­vides stu­dents with a super­vised advanced prac­tice expe­ri­ence in a social ser­vice agency/organization. The practicum includes expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing in advanced social work prac­tice skills in a spe­cial­ized set­ting. A week­ly sem­i­nar pro­vides stu­dents with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss and reflect on pro­fes­sion­al social work issues from their practicum expe­ri­ence regard­ing assess­ment, spe­cif­ic inter­ven­tions with client sys­tems, and the appli­ca­tion of prac­tice the­o­ries. (4 cred­its)

SSWO 582 – Field Practicum IV/Seminar (All Spe­cial­iza­tions)

Advanced Practicum IV pro­vides stu­dents with a super­vised advanced prac­tice expe­ri­ence in a social ser­vice agency/organization. The practicum includes expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing in advanced social work prac­tice skills in a spe­cial­ized set­ting. A week­ly sem­i­nar pro­vides stu­dents with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss and reflect on pro­fes­sion­al social work issues from their practicum expe­ri­ence regard­ing assess­ment, spe­cif­ic inter­ven­tions with client sys­tems, and the appli­ca­tion of prac­tice the­o­ries. The sem­i­nar intro­duces the UN Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights and the WHO Def­i­n­i­tion of Health into dis­cus­sions of how resource equi­ty, social jus­tice, and uni­ver­sal health care across the life spans impacts work with client sys­tems. (4 cred­its)

SSWO 585 – Sub­stance Abuse

His­to­ry of drug use in the U.S., trends in treat­ment of drug abuse, mod­els of addic­tion, basic addic­tion approach­es, and socio­cul­tur­al per­spec­tives on addic­tion are pre­sent­ed. Inter­ven­tions and lev­els of treat­ment, envi­ron­men­tal influ­ences of sub­stance abuse, and gen­der dif­fer­ences in treat­ment and recov­ery are dis­cussed. Expec­ta­tions for addic­tions recov­ery are explored. Cur­rent addic­tions poli­cies and ser­vices are cri­tiqued. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 597 – Advanced Psy­choso­cial Assess­ment (Clin­i­cal & Inte­grat­ed)

APA pro­vides stu­dents advanced knowl­edge and skills in the assess­ment of client con­cerns. The course empha­sizes the impact of the struc­tur­al and per­son­al effects of inequity and cul­tur­al oppres­sion on assess­ment and on psy­chopathol­o­gy. APA pro­vides sub­stan­tial con­tent on under­stand­ing psy­chopathol­o­gy while plac­ing this under­stand­ing with­in the con­text of social work’s his­tor­i­cal empha­sis on the per­son in envi­ron­ment. Stu­dents tak­ing this course will be pre­pared to under­stand the major con­cepts and pre­sen­ta­tions of psy­chopathol­o­gy, and have skills in the diag­nos­tic process. They will also be able to exhib­it advanced skills in assess­ing the full psy­choso­cial con­text and to bring a social work per­spec­tive to inter­ven­tive plan­ning. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 605 – Social Deter­mi­nants of Health: Inequal­i­ty, Health, and Heal­ing

This course is designed to intro­duce stu­dents to the var­i­ous com­po­nents of the social deter­mi­nants of health and how those com­po­nents con­tribute to the inequal­i­ty in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of health and its fun­da­men­tal social caus­es. This course will pro­vide an intro­duc­to­ry exam­i­na­tion of the health dis­par­i­ties among vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions. Fur­ther explo­ration through evi­dence-based research, stu­dents will be able to devel­op a basic under­stand­ing of the wealth/health rela­tion­ship, how class and eth­nic­i­ty has an impact on mor­bid­i­ty and mor­tal­i­ty. The goal of this course is to under­stand the pat­terns of inequal­i­ty in health and health care as a social struc­ture that con­tributes to the rel­e­vance of under­stand­ing social deter­mi­nants of health and shap­ing appro­pri­ate inter­ven­tions for clients. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 608 – Grant Research & Pro­gram Writ­ing (Com­mu­ni­ty)

This course dis­cuss­es the con­cepts and prac­tices of the dis­ci­pline of grant research and pro­pos­al writ­ing; the tech­niques and strate­gies of grant research and pro­pos­al writ­ing and track­ing of pro­pos­als once sub­mit­ted, and fol­low up on sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als. We will also explore the types of finan­cial assis­tance avail­able to agen­cies and indi­vid­u­als. Using the Inter­net and rel­e­vant pub­lished mate­ri­als as well as lec­ture and dis­cus­sion, stu­dents will devel­op the skills to devel­op and sub­mit grant pro­pos­als. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 610 – Social Work in Polit­i­cal Are­na

This course exam­ines the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment of the pol­i­cy process through sev­er­al sets of lens­es. We will exam­ine the motives of actors, insti­tu­tion­al con­straints and how these pol­i­tics are altered at dif­fer­ent stages of the pol­i­cy process. This is not an exam­i­na­tion of any sin­gle stage or actor in the pol­i­cy process, but rather it is a cal­cu­lat­ed effort to pro­vide you with an under­stand­ing of the crit­i­cal issues involved in pol­i­cy mak­ing. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 611 – SW Prac­tice and Inti­mate Part­ner Vio­lence

This course will exam­ine pol­i­cy, vary­ing ser­vice deliv­ery sys­tems, fund­ing and the role of social work­ers in the areas of part­ner abuse, child abuse and elder abuse. This course will help stu­dents under­stand the con­text in which domes­tic vio­lence prac­tice occurs. The course will also focus on the role of the social work­er in assess­ing for domes­tic vio­lence with their clients. Cul­tur­al­ly sen­si­tive prac­tice issues will be dis­cussed and their impact on indi­vid­u­als seek­ing ser­vices. The course will also focus on devel­op­ing student’s abil­i­ties in assess­ment and inter­ven­tion tech­niques with both sur­vivors and indi­vid­u­als that bat­ter. The course focus­es on devel­op­ing stu­dents’ abil­i­ties to iden­ti­fy and explore eth­i­cal issues in domes­tic vio­lence prac­tice. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 613 – Advanced Trau­ma-Based Prac­tice

This course explores work­ing with sur­vivors in a trau­ma-based prac­tice which val­i­dates the expe­ri­ence, respects the sur­vivor, and helps her/him to become empow­ered. An exam­i­na­tion of per­son­al beliefs and def­i­n­i­tions of trau­ma will serve as a first step toward the study of advanced trau­ma based prac­tice. Using Trau­ma The­o­ry as a foun­da­tion, stu­dents will learn prac­tice meth­ods and approach­es that may be help­ful in work­ing with sur­vivors. Case pre­sen­ta­tions will allow stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss alter­na­tive prac­tice approach­es, under­stand the trau­ma survivor’s expe­ri­ence, and sup­port & cri­tique peers. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 615 – Con­tem­po­rary Con­tro­ver­sies

This sem­i­nar pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty for stu­dents to engage in crit­i­cal exam­i­na­tion of con­tro­ver­sial issues that impact the pro­fes­sion of social work today. The course focus­es on devel­op­ing stu­dents’ abil­i­ties to research, exam­ine and crit­i­cal­ly eval­u­ate a vari­ety of posi­tions on con­tro­ver­sial issues and to devel­op and defend, both ver­bal­ly and in writ­ing, a per­son­al posi­tion that is eth­i­cal and con­sis­tent with the student’s val­ues and beliefs. Course con­tent will be deter­mined to a large extent by issues of inter­est to stu­dents in the class. Issues to be exam­ined will also include con­tro­ver­sial issues of inter­est to the instruc­tor and oth­er fac­ul­ty mem­bers, who will present on con­tro­ver­sial issues rel­e­vant to their own prac­tice and research inter­ests. Con­tro­ver­sial Issues in social pol­i­cy, social wel­fare pol­i­cy, mul­ti­cul­tur­al prac­tice, child wel­fare, social work ethics and pro­fes­sion­al prac­tice may all be addressed. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work(3 cred­its)

SSWO 618 – Home­less­ness and Social Work

Home­less­ness and Social Work: Voic­es from the Street. This course is aimed at increas­ing stu­dent aware­ness of con­tem­po­rary social wel­fare poli­cies, pro­grams and prac­tice issues rel­e­vant to pro­vid­ing social work ser­vices to home­less and oth­er poor peo­ple. The home­less expe­ri­ence is exam­ined in the con­text of soci­etal oppres­sion and polit­i­cal resis­tance. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 624 – Legal and Eth­i­cal Issues

This course focus­es on basic legal and eth­i­cal con­cepts as they apply to human ser­vices poli­cies and prac­tices with vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions. Stu­dents are intro­duced to: 1) his­tor­i­cal overview of the rela­tion­ship between law and prac­tice; 2) issues per­tain­ing to con­fi­den­tial­i­ty, due process, and oth­er com­mon agency/ work­er lia­bil­i­ty and mal­prac­tice issues; 3) legal reg­u­la­tion of prac­tice; 4) case record keep­ing; and 5) prepar­ing for and tes­ti­fy­ing in court. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its) *This course has been sus­pend­ed and is not being offered at this time.

SSWO 627 – Psy­chophar­ma­col­o­gy: Drugs/Behavior

This course exam­ines con­cepts in psy­cho- phar­ma­col­o­gy, neu­ro­phys­i­ol­o­gy, psy­choac­tive drug clas­si­fi­ca­tion. Phys­i­o­log­i­cal, and psy­cho­log­i­cal aspects of psy­chophar­ma­co­log­i­cal agents used in the treat­ment of psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders are pre­sent­ed. Psy­chophar­ma­col­o­gy with the geri­atric pop­u­la­tion are explored. The parts of the brain affect­ed by alco­hol, mar­i­jua­na, opi­ates, cocaine, and oth­er street drugs are dis­cussed. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 628 – Use of Cre­ative Arts in SW Prac­tice

This course relates the appli­ca­tion of cre­ative arts, includ­ing music, lit­er­a­ture, the­atre, art, poet­ry, move­ment, and dance, to increas­ing self-aware­ness, work­ing direct­ly with clients, enhanc­ing social aware­ness of core social issues, and enhanc­ing civic dia­logue. Includes pre­sen­ta­tions by diverse com­mu­ni­ty artists. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 629 – Pol­i­cy Analy­sis

This course exam­ines the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment of the pol­i­cy process through sev­er­al sets of lens­es. It exam­ines the motives of actors, insti­tu­tion­al con­straints and how these pol­i­tics are altered at dif­fer­ent stages of the pol­i­cy process. It pro­vides stu­dents with an under­stand­ing of the crit­i­cal issues involved in pol­i­cy mak­ing, and empha­sizes the rela­tion­ship between the leg­isla­tive and exec­u­tive branch­es of gov­ern­ment, and how they inter­act with each oth­er and the oth­er exter­nal play­ers in the pol­i­cy process – most promi­nent being inter­est groups and the media. Many of the exam­ples and the­o­ret­i­cal devel­op­ments pre­sent­ed in this course are drawn from an exam­i­na­tion of the fed­er­al pol­i­cy process, which is exclu­sive­ly con­nect­ed to the bud­get­ing and resource allo­ca­tion process. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its) *This course has been sus­pend­ed and is not being offered at this time.

SSWO 633 – SW Pract w/Child, Ado­les­cent, Par­ent

This con­cen­tra­tion year elec­tive focus­es on the chal­lenges and capac­i­ties of chil­dren, ado­les­cents, par­ents and care­givers that come to our atten­tion in clin­i­cal social work prac­tice across diverse set­tings. Stu­dents explore and crit­i­cal­ly ana­lyze a range of the­o­ries used to explain child and ado­les­cent devel­op­ment and care­giv­ing struc­tures. Par­tic­u­lar atten­tion is giv­en to the­o­ries of attach­ment, care­giv­ing, rela­tion­ship and neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy. Focus is also placed on the social and insti­tu­tion­al poli­cies and dom­i­nant cul­tur­al atti­tudes that deter­mine the dis­tri­b­u­tion and access to social resources that affect child and fam­i­ly well-being. Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary mod­els of prac­tice, includ­ing the devel­op­ment of net­works and part­ner­ships between social work­ers and oth­er child-cen­tered pro­fes­sion­als are cov­ered. Meth­ods of build­ing rela­tion­ships with chil­dren, ado­les­cents and care­givers are explored as are spe­cif­ic child-cen­tered tech­niques includ­ing art and play ther­a­py. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work(3 cred­its)

SSWO 635 – Aging & Health

This course is a pro­gres­sive overview of the field of aging begin­ning with the his­to­ry and the­o­ries of geron­tol­ogy and tran­si­tion­ing to the meth­ods providers use with old­er con­sumers to main­tain well­ness and high func­tion­al lev­els in the lat­er years. The lat­est research on exer­cise, nutri­tion and alter­na­tive and com­ple­men­tary health care for an aging pop­u­la­tion is empha­sized. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 638 – Mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and Social Work

This advanced course intends to devel­op a frame­work for under­stand­ing and respect­ing cul­tur­al­ly diverse pop­u­la­tions in which we work. This course estab­lish­es the foun­da­tion for the infu­sion of cul­tur­al diver­si­ty issues through­out the MSWO cur­ricu­lum. The ini­tial premise of this course rec­og­nizes that North Amer­i­ca is a mul­ti­cul­tur­al soci­ety and asserts that com­pe­tent social work prac­tice can­not occur with­out under­stand­ing how diver­si­ty strength­ens and enrich­es the prac­tice of Social Work. In this course, we will look at oppres­sion and mar­gin­al­iza­tion and how it shapes var­i­ous cul­tur­al norms and groups. This course is com­mit­ted to dis­man­tling all forms of oppres­sion and mar­gin­al­iza­tion; it will advance the prac­ti­tion­ers lens and expand the client-cen­tered prac­tice. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 641 – Con­flict Medi­a­tion

Con­flict Res­o­lu­tion and Trans­for­ma­tion is a one-semes­ter elec­tive course, designed to pro­vide a con­cep­tu­al frame­work for under­stand­ing the nature of con­flict and the process­es for resolv­ing con­flict with dig­ni­ty, respect and empow­er­ment. This course empha­sizes rebuild­ing and restor­ing indi­vid­ual, orga­ni­za­tion­al and com­mu­ni­ty rela­tion­ships. Con­flict is com­mon­ly asso­ci­at­ed with such destruc­tive out­comes as war and vio­lence, but it also has the poten­tial for trans­for­ma­tion­al out­comes such as per­son­al, orga­ni­za­tion­al and com­mu­ni­ty growth and change. The results pro­duced from con­flict depend in large part on how the con­flict is man­aged and on the readi­ness and will­ing­ness on the part of the con­flict­ing par­ties for res­o­lu­tion. This course will explore conflict’s the­o­ret­i­cal under­pin­nings, dynam­ics and process­es, as well as the man­age­ment and trans­for­ma­tion of con­flict. The scope of the course will range from inter­per­son­al to large group con­flict. Pro­fes­sion­al ethics require that as social work­ers, we exam­ine our own expe­ri­ence and beliefs and their influ­ence on the the­o­ries, con­cepts and prac­tices we hold about oth­er human beings. This elec­tive course will con­sid­er how our own approach to con­flict has been formed, how it has con­tributed to our con­flict com­mu­ni­ca­tion and how it may influ­ence our emerg­ing under­stand­ing and prac­tice of con­flict trans­for­ma­tion. The social work mod­el is that of “bridge builder.” As reflex­ive prac­ti­tion­ers, before we can begin this type of prac­tice, we must first exam­ine our own per­son­al con­flict style, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, team and group work and oth­er forces that trig­ger con­flict. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 642 – Nar­ra­tive Ther­a­py

This advanced prac­tice course pro­vides stu­dents with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn the the­o­ry and prac­tice of Nar­ra­tive Ther­a­py. The UNE School of Social Work Mis­sion and Val­ues state; “the School embraces a com­pre­hen­sive def­i­n­i­tion of health as a state of com­plete phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al, social, and spir­i­tu­al well-being… teach­ing empow­er­ing the­o­ries for prac­tice and devel­op­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships based on mutu­al­i­ty and respect”. Nar­ra­tive Ther­a­py is one such empow­er­ing the­o­ry. Stu­dents will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the his­tor­i­cal devel­op­ment of this con­tem­po­rary the­o­ry and to observe and prac­tice Nar­ra­tive Ther­a­py through inter­ac­tive role-plays and video­taped ses­sions with class­mates and the instruc­tor. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 646 – Social Work Prac­tice in the Caribbean

The focus of the course will look at the chal­lenges the Caribbean faces in improv­ing the lives of their cit­i­zens giv­en their cur­rent eco­nom­ic and social cir­cum­stances. The course will iden­ti­fy numer­ous strate­gies and skills social work­ers have used to col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly build inter­ven­tions with­in the social wel­fare, edu­ca­tion, health­care, and sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment are­nas. Cou­pled with these strate­gies will come an aware­ness of the sim­i­lar­i­ty of social chal­lenges faced by nations through­out the world. Among these are human rights, rapid and unplanned urban­iza­tion, war, pover­ty, hous­ing, gen­der inequal­i­ty, inabil­i­ty to care for the com­plex needs of chil­dren, racial and/or eth­nic dis­crim­i­na­tion, and cul­tur­al con­flicts. (3 cred­its)  *This course has been sus­pend­ed and is not being offered at this time.

SSWO 652 – Moti­va­tion­al Int/SW Prac­tice

Moti­va­tion­al Inter­view­ing is a way of col­lab­o­rat­ing with clients emphat­i­cal­ly and in a per­son-cen­tered way that helps clients to find their own moti­va­tions for change. In this course stu­dents will learn the fun­da­men­tals of Moti­va­tion­al Inter­view­ing and will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prac­tice inten­sive­ly with­in the con­text of the social work pro­fes­sion. Stu­dents will learn core prin­ci­ples of moti­va­tion­al inter­view­ing includ­ing express­ing empa­thy and avoid­ing argu­ing, devel­op­ing dis­crep­an­cy, rolling with resis­tance and sup­port­ing self-effi­ca­cy. We will explore enhanc­ing strate­gies for pro­mot­ing indi­vid­ual change in pri­ma­ry health­care set­tings and the use of moti­va­tion­al inter­view­ing in achiev­ing bet­ter health out­comes. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 670 – Grief, Loss, Death & Dying in Social Work

An inter­dis­ci­pli­nary course on death and dying, we will explore the death sys­tem, funer­als, eco­nom­ic con­sid­er­a­tions of death, care of the dying and the bereaved of all ages, psy­cho­log­i­cal dynam­ics deal­ing with the death, and ulti­mate ques­tions in rela­tion­ship to death and bereave­ment. The course will exam­ine the basic prin­ci­ples of pal­lia­tive care, bereave­ment and grief in all age groups, sui­cide and grief, issues around refugee and immi­grant expe­ri­ence with death, var­i­ous philo­soph­i­cal and reli­gious under­stand­ings of death, mean­ing of life, eth­i­cal issues relat­ed to the care of the dying and the bereaved. We will explore the nature of grief and loss, the per­son­al char­ac­ter­is­tics of effec­tive prac­ti­tion­ers, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills used in prac­tice, the goals and tech­niques of prac­tice with peo­ple who are griev­ing, approach­es to help­ing those who are dying, and spe­cif­ic inter­ven­tions that are help­ful to bereaved clients in cas­es of pro­longed grief, mourn­ing a child or those whose deaths were stig­ma­tized or unan­tic­i­pat­ed. Stu­dents will explore their own per­son­al, cul­tur­al, and spir­i­tu­al expe­ri­ences, beliefs and val­ues around death and dying. Must be enrolled in: Mas­ter of Social Work. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 673 – Social Work and the Law

This course is designed to intro­duce stu­dents to the var­i­ous com­po­nents of law and how the exchanges between legal pro­fes­sion­als and a social work­er coin­cide when an indi­vid­ual, fam­i­ly, or group is faced with legal issues. It pro­vides an intro­duc­to­ry exam­i­na­tion of his­tor­i­cal frame­works of both law/social work and how the two sys­tems inter­act with one anoth­er with­in all of the legal and social work domains. This course show­cas­es the sys­tems per­spec­tive as well as prac­tice tech­niques in com­mu­ni­cat­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing across pro­fes­sion­al fields. The goal of this course is to under­stand the con­text of law, social work, and their con­tin­u­ing rel­e­vance to under­stand­ing and meet­ing a client’s legal needs. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 675 – Social Work Prac­tice in the Rur­al Envi­ron­ment

This elec­tive course is designed to pro­vide stu­dents with an overview of micro, mez­zo, and macro social work prac­tice in rur­al envi­ron­ments. Stu­dents will be intro­duced to the unique char­ac­ter­is­tics of rur­al envi­ron­ments with atten­tion to var­i­ous pop­u­la­tions, geo­graph­ic fac­tors, local resources, and issues spe­cif­ic to diver­si­ty, health, and social exclu­sion, envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice, and com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment. Stu­dents will learn empow­er­ing prac­tice skills need­ed to pro­vide ser­vices in the rur­al envi­ron­ment and the crit­i­cal impor­tance of estab­lish­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ships with indi­vid­u­als and pri­vate, gov­ern­men­tal, and not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions. (3 cred­its)

SSWO 685 – Comm Organizing/Comm Build­ing

This course presents con­tent about the the­o­ry and prac­tice of com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing. Com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing is a means of bring­ing peo­ple togeth­er to address prob­lem­at­ic social con­di­tions such as health inequities. As a pur­pose­ful col­lec­tive effort, orga­niz­ing requires sound ana­lyt­i­cal, polit­i­cal, and inter­ac­tion­al skills. Com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing is root­ed in the reform tra­di­tion of pro­fes­sion­al social work and in such val­ues as self-deter­mi­na­tion, self-suf­fi­cien­cy, empow­er­ment, and social jus­tice. There­fore this course is par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant to direct prac­tice with and advo­ca­cy for mar­gin­al­ized groups. This meth­ods course is aimed at stu­dents who seek to expand and refine their skills in orga­ni­za­tion-build­ing and col­lec­tive action. (3 cred­its)

Learning Outcomes

Regard­less of spe­cial­iza­tion, all grad­u­ates of the UNE School of Social Work will demon­strate knowl­edge, skills, and lead­er­ship in the fol­low­ing:

  • Prac­tice social inclu­sion to enable peo­ple, pop­u­la­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties to ful­ly par­tic­i­pate in soci­ety, enhance human bonds in the con­text of cul­tur­al diver­si­ty and ensure improved qual­i­ty of life and equi­table resource dis­tri­b­u­tion.
  • Engage in cul­tur­al­ly-informed rela­tion­ship build­ing respect­ful of the com­plex­i­ty and diver­si­ty of con­texts and cir­cum­stances.
  • Uti­lize the­o­ries of human behav­ior, social sys­tems, and social inclu­sion when offer­ing inter­ven­tions with peo­ple and their envi­ron­ments.
  • Pro­mote eth­i­cal reflec­tion, crit­i­cal con­scious­ness and shared deci­sion-mak­ing based on social work val­ues and with con­sid­er­a­tion of the broad­er con­texts of the world in which we live.
  • Bal­ance the roles of helpers, activists, and advo­cates through col­lab­o­ra­tion with com­mu­ni­ties to build healthy and sus­tain­able resources.
  • Engage as crit­i­cal con­sumers and pro­duc­ers of research and eval­u­a­tion applied to clin­i­cal and com­mu­ni­ty prac­tices.
  • Prac­tice per­son-cen­tered and col­lab­o­ra­tive com­mu­ni­ty part­ner­ships across diverse set­tings.

Defining academic success

Mea­sure­ment of stu­dent learn­ing out­comes will be accom­plished through a com­bi­na­tion of exams, writ­ten papers, and authen­tic real-world projects.

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