Course Descriptions M.S.W. Program - Portland
Following are course descriptions for our MSW program courses. Descriptions for our frequently taught elective courses are included but electives are only offered on a term-by-term basis. Please consult the projected electives grid for a forecast of elective offerings each calendar year.
SW 500 Field Instruction I-VI (4 credits per term.)
Field Instruction provides practice experience in a field setting. Permits application of knowledge from course work and prior experience and the development and refinement of skills. Agency field instructors provide guidance for learning in cooperation with the student’s faculty advisor. Field Instruction is taken concurrently with social work practice courses.
In the first year of Field, SW 500 is concurrent with Generalist Social Work Practice courses. During the second year of Field, SW 500 is concurrent with one of the following Advanced Practices sequences: SW 533-535, SW 536-538, or SW 580-582.
SW 520 Social Work and Social Welfare Policy (4)
Course defines and describes social welfare policy and the policy-making process. Examines historical and contemporary issues and their impact on the profession of social work and the institution of social welfare. Emphasis is given to policy analysis and the development of policy- practice skills from the perspective of social and economic justice. Highlights the relationships between social problems, social policies, social programs, and social work practice.
SW 522 Issues in Child Welfare (3)
Discusses the rapid change in the goals and methods of child welfare agencies, those agencies charged with the protection of children and the provision of permanency in their lives. Analysis of the formation of policy to reflect empirically based knowledge, ever changing community forces, and developing practice wisdom. Explores major issues facing child welfare services today. Develops skills for policy change. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 523 Health Care Policies and Programs (3)
Advanced policy course analyzes the history of selected health care policies, programs, and disease categories within the context of social workpractice in health care. Contemporary outcomes in current health and service delivery systems presented from a policy perspective. Develops skills for policy change. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 524 Community Organization (3)
Presents community organizing as a well-established social work method for promoting social change and improving community life through community and institutional reform. Topics for class will include an overview of the history of community organizing, models of community change (locality development, social planning and social action), methods of social change (advocacy, mobilizing, organizing, coalition building, and partnership), examples of community-based organization, leadership development, and measuring the benefit to communities. Discussion also includes understanding the role of power and culture that exists within neighborhoods and communities. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 525/625 Poverty: Policies and Programs (3)
Examines the nature and causes of poverty and inequality in the United States and the impact of economic globalization on social work’s response to these critical social problems. Studies ways in which people in poverty cope and support each other in low-income urban neighborhoods; examines the ways in which work and welfare interact with each other and with informal social supports. Addresses policy issues, including those involved in both service and income strategies to relieve or prevent poverty; develops skills for effective practice with low-income communities, families, and individuals. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 526 Social Work and the Law (3)
Topics include an overview of the legal system, the legal basis of the professional relationship, confidentiality and legal privilege, informed consent, the right to treatment and entitlement of mentally disabled and HIV positive persons, professional malpractice and other legal liabilities—including termination and abandonment— social welfare law, family law and adoption, and unlawful discrimination. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 527 Political and Legislative Advocacy (3)
Exposes students to strategies and tactics for political and legislative advocacy. Emphasis is placed on developing skills for effective political lobbying, including the mechanics of political campaigns and working with policy-makers, citizens and issue-specific communities and political interest organizations. Students will be introduced to working with professional/community organizations and coalitions, local, state and federal level policy and decision-making processes, and methods to influence legislative process and administrative rule implementation.
Prerequisites: SW 520.
SW 529/629 International Mental Health Policy (3)
Compares mental health policies from a global perspective, emphasizing United Nations and World Health Organization perspectives. Programs and policies from various countries are compared and contrasted with those of the U.S., and Oregon in particular. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 530, 531, 532 Generalist Social Work Practice I, II, III (3, 4, 4)
Three-term sequence examines the major influences on the service delivery system with emphasis on the multiple roles of the generalist social worker, and social work values and ethics. Examines the entire change process, focusing on assessment, goal formulation, intervention, evaluation, and endings through the lenses of strengths, empowerment, and ecological systems perspectives. Focus is on multiple levels of practice: individual, family, group, organization, and community. Introduction to theory and application of theoretical concepts to guide change activities. Development of interviewing skills for engagement, development of rapport, definition of purpose, assessment, intervention, and endings, taking account of cultural considerations. Integration of attention to populations at risk. Assessing and facilitating macro-level change processes. Advocacy, collaboration and teamwork examined, with emphasis on strategies of promoting equity and social justice. Must be taken in sequence. Corequisite: SW 500.
SW 533 Advanced Practice for Direct Human Services I (3)
Reviews the problem-solving process and introduces the process of constructing a frame of reference or model of practice. Addresses the evaluation of practice and theories for understanding individuals and how they both seek and resist change. Application of theories to the direct social work practice process with consideration of the importance of culture, strengths, and empowerment. Prerequisite: SW 532; corequisite: SW 500.
SW 534 Advanced Practice for Direct Human Services II (3)
Addresses the family of origin perspective on family systems theory. Both the worker’s and the client’s families of origin considered as sources of influence on the intervention process. Provides advanced consideration of family centered practice and integration of other theories with family systems theory. Prerequisite: SW 533; corequisite: SW 500.
SW 535 Advanced Practice for Direct Human Services III (3)
This course builds on material presented in SW 533 and SW 534 and provides students with an opportunity to integrate knowledge gained across courses and field placements. The primary purpose of integrating knowledge and experience is for students to develop and articulate a personal practice model, as this is an essential step to beginning a professional career. Additionally, post-masters professional development including supervision, self-care, and licensure will be addressed. Prerequisite: SW 534; corequisite: SW 500
SW 536 Advanced Community-Based Practice I (3)
First of 3-course concentration that emphasizes the person-environment interplay with a focus on the identification of multilevel assessment strategies in collaboration with local citizens, leaders, associations, and institutions. Utilizes assets-based, community development perspective to assist individuals, families, neighborhoods, and functional communities and organizations in identifying and meeting community social justice needs. Focuses on strategies for engaging groups, communities, and organizations using multicultural communication techniques and other qualitative assessment approaches. Identifies individual, group, and community resilience while assisting in assessing local strategies that strengthen protective factors and lower risk factors for ethnically and culturally diverse families, schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Prerequisite: SW 532; corequisite: SW 500.
SW 537 Advanced Community-Based Practice II (3)
Emphasizes the person-environment interplay with a focus on collaborative partnerships between local citizens, leaders, associations, and institutions. Builds intervention strategies based upon the asset-based, qualitative assessment techniques and perspectives utilized in identifying issues of concern that are driven by collaborative efforts. Focuses on the consumer/community perspective while assisting in implementing local strategies that strengthen protective factors and lower risk factors for ethnically and culturally diverse families, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.
Prerequisite: SW 536; corequisite: SW 500.
SW 538 Advanced Community-Based Practice III (3)
Provides integrative experiences and materials building on and supportive of SW 536/537. Emphasis is placed on skills and techniques for the evaluation of community-based practice; articulation of the student’s personal model/framework of reference for community-based practice; and strategies for post-master’s professional development and contributions to the student’s field of community-based practice. Prerequisites: SW 536, SW 537; corequisite: SW 500.
SW 539 Social Justice in Social Work (3)
Explores diversity and oppression based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, (dis)ability status, and social class; models for intergroup relations; the historical context of group relations; and cultural variables significant to ethnic, racial and cultural minority populations. Examines social, political, and cultural processes as they affect intergroup and intragroup relations. Explores the role of social worker as border crosser, cultural learner, and agent of change. Opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and content analysis and skills development. Requires examination of the meaning systems in which each of us is immersed, as well as examination of those meaning systems that social workers must strive to understand.
SW 540 Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Micro Theory (3)
Presents and critiques basic knowledge of human development from infancy to late adulthood in the context of individuals and families and identifies relationships between theoretical frameworks and the biopsychosocial environment. Considers populations at risk and the impact of racism and other forms of oppression on development. Provides students with knowledge of how developmental frameworks organize information about human dynamics, while still stressing the multi-causal nature of behavioral outcomes. Prerequisite: SW539.
SW 541 Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Macro Theory (3)
Presents and critiques basic knowledge of the development, behavior and change process of groups, communities and organizations. Uses social theory to provide students with conceptual frames for analyzing how the actions of both clients and social work practitioners are conditioned and constrained as well as enabled and empowered by broader social forces. Considers the effect of mezzo and macro level forces on the development and functioning of populations at risk. Prerequisite: SW 539.
SW 545/645 Advanced Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3)
Provides an opportunity for students to explore current theoretical developments in the social and behavioral sciences which apply to social work practice including populations at risk. Taught in different sections each of which covers social and cultural contexts for human behavior in the social environment. May be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisite: SW 540, SW 541.
SW 546 Human Sexuality and Social Work (3)
Physiological, psychological and cultural perspectives of human sexuality presented and discussed. Application of social work assessment and change strategies relevant to personal and interpersonal dynamics of sexual and intimacy concerns. Prerequisites: SW 532, 540.
SW 550 Foundation of Social Work Research (3)
Introduction to research in social work. Stresses the importance of research to social work practice and policy. Introduction to qualitative and quantitative social work research, group designs, single case studies, and evaluation of programs and of practice. Introduction to critical consumption of research, to ethics of social work research. Considers scientific method, systematic inquiry, relation of theory to research, problem formulation, measurement, sampling, design, and data collection.
SW 551 Data Analysis in Social Work Research (3)
Focuses on techniques of quantitative data analysis and introduces methods of qualitative data analysis. Considers interpreting and using results to improve social work practice including program evaluation. Covers descriptive statistics, probability theory and hypothesis testing, and inferential methods. Includes discussion of culturally sensitive research and ethical issues in social work research. Prerequisite: SW 550.
SW 554 Social Work and Health Care (3)
Presents an overview of social work across health care settings and systems. Physiological, psychosocial, and cultural components of illness considered for individuals, families, and groups. Multidisciplinary teamwork, crisis intervention, and ethical dilemmas in health care practice explored. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 555 Social Work Perspectives on Mental Health Disorders (3)
Explores the major mental health disorders from an understanding of the biological, psychological, social and cultural determinants of mental illness. Emphasis is given to the changing roles of social workers who work with people diagnosed with a mental illness. Topics include ethics of diagnosing, history and theories of mental illness, overview of classification systems including a review of six major DSM-IV diagnostic categories, biopsychosocial model of assessment which includes diagnostic interviewing, accessing evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions, and applying practice evaluation methods to EBP strategies. Prerequisites: SW 532, SW 540.
SW 558 Abuse and Trauma: Theory and Intervention (3)
Examines the impact of trauma and abuse on adults, children, and families. Acute and long-term sequelae will be identified, emphasizing the interaction of traumatic and developmental effects. An integrative biopsychosocial intervention model for working with individuals, groups, and families will be explored through crisis and trauma, psychodynamic, constructivist, narrative, and feminist theories. Policy practice and advocacy issues, ethical and ideological issues, an current clinical, research, and policy debates in the field will be identified and discussed. The relationship of clinical narrative to contemporary social discourse about abuse and trauma will set the framework for the course, including clinical and empirical knowledge regarding effects of abuse and trauma and efficacy of treatment. Prerequisites: SW 532, SW 540.
SW 560 Social Work with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Individuals, Families, and Communities (3)
Explores social work practice with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, their families, and communities. Students examine the policy context of practice as it is affected by institutional and cultural homophobia or heterosexism. Takes a lifespan approach to practice issues, covering topics such as: developmental theories of gender identity and sexual orientation, families of origin, ‘coming-out’, dating, partnering, child-rearing, defining family and community, and aging. Important topics such as gender transitioning, HIV prevention and treatment, same-sex domestic violence, and chemical dependency will be presented. Special classroom emphasis will be placed on developing practice awareness within a historical and political perspective. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 561 Clinical Social Work with Groups (3)
Deals with the theory and practice of clinical social work within the wide range of groups in which social workers participate as workers and co-workers. Articulates issues related to group process and development as to their effect on the group experience. Includes leadership strategies and diverse populations. Prerequisites: SW 532.
SW 562 Social Work with Grief and Loss (3)
Examination of death at different stages of the life cycle. Review of theory and research about death and dying, loss, and grief resolution. Unique cultural and religious differences are emphasized. Examines social service assistance for persons, families and communities that face acute, chronic and terminal illnesses. Prerequisites: SW 532, 540.
SW 563 Social Work with Children, Adolescents, and Their Families (3)
Explores clinical social work practice with children, adolescents, and families. Emphasizes a collaborative and contextual approach that, in addition to child-focused interventions, includes work with parents, families, and groups in a variety of settings. Delineation and demonstration of specific clinical strategies and techniques with opportunities to practice and apply to field work. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 564 Social Work in Schools (3)
Uses a policy/practice perspective to prepare students for effective and culturally sensitive social work practice in early childhood and K-12 education. Presents multiple roles of school social workers and educational policies that provide context for practice. Emphasizes collaboration among families, schools, and communities. Prerequisites: SW 520; SW 532.
SW 566 Social Work Practice in Child Welfare (3)
Designed for students who are either considering a career or are interested in public child welfare. Explores selected areas of child welfare related to child maltreatment. Emphasis on the critical examination of empirically based case management intervention strategies and their appropriate use with children and their families.
SW 567 Evidence Based Interventions for Community Mental Health Practice (3)
Reviews and critiques evidence-based interventions for community-based mental health populations. These interventions include supported employment, assertive community treatment/case management, psychosocial rehabilitation, psychopharmacology, recovery and consumer perspectives, and integrated treatment for co-occurring substance use disorders. Theoretical frameworks include harm reduction, transtheoretical/readiness to change, and health promotion. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 571 Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction and Social Work Practice (3)
Designed to provide students with a foundation in both direct and indirect social work practice issues with clients, families and communities challenged by substance abuse and addiction. The primary goal is to assist students in further developing and integrating their social work practice frameworks with deeper understanding and skill regarding the psychodynamic, biological and ecological nature of substance abuse disorders, as well as the range of evidence-based practices available to address them. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 574 Social Work with Frail Older Adults (3)
Mental and physical frailties experienced by older adults are examined for their implications for adaptation and intervention. Mental disorders as they are uniquely characterized in late adulthood are reviewed, with special emphasis on age appropriate assessment. Psychosocial interventions for both community and institutionalized populations will include individual, family, group, and environmental approaches. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 575 Multicultural Social Justice Work in Action (3)
Examines current perspectives on multicultural practices for children and families marginalized due to vulnerable social status such as; ethnicity, culture, race, economic status, sexual identity and other forms of bias in the larger service systems and society. Specific assessment and intervention strategies include ethnically sensitive practice, cultural awareness and effective approaches for intervening with children, families and the social service providers. Students will examine international perspectives on effective practice with vulnerable groups and will gain an enhanced appreciation for how values and customs of the larger society shape experience and life chances for ethnically and culturally diverse people.
SW 578/678 Social Work in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems (3)
Analyzes current controversies concerning the origin and meaning of criminal and delinquent behavior; the socio-economic and multicultural characteristics of contemporary life contributing to delinquency and crime; social work’s role in the “people processing system”; the major current modalities and inquiry into their effectiveness; social policy issues confronting the juvenile justice system; and current policy and practice trends toward incarceration and away from rehabilitation. Prerequisite: SW 520.
SW 579 Working with Involuntary Clients (3)
Course examines legal, ethical and effective practice with involuntary clients, often members of oppressed groups. Will also address research regarding “involuntary practitioners,” self-care, client advocacy, value conflicts, and reform efforts. Prerequisites: SW 532, SW 550.
SW 580 Introduction to Social Service Administration, Leadership and Management (3)
Introduces the student to theoretical and practical elements of social work administrative and management roles to develop and manage the conditions, processes and mechanisms that support evidence-based service delivery systems that benefit consumers, families and communities. Topics include analysis of contemporary organizational leadership task environments, internal and external assessment skills and tools, building strong coalitions and developing strong cross-sector collaborations for dynamic social problem impact and understanding theoretical underpinnings of a variety of organizational leadership approaches. Prerequisite: SW 532.
SW 581 Issues in Social Service Administration, Leadership, and Management (3)
Emphasizes critical leadership and management skills relevant to a variety of for-profit, nonprofit and government social service agency environments including managed care principles, internal advocacy, hiring processes and procedures, staff supervision and discipline, staff ethics, sexual harassment, and equal employment opportunity laws. Analyzes management philosophy in complex organizations, team building, work with governance boards, participation in organizational planning, and program quality and development of accountability systems. Prerequisites: SW 520, SW 532.
SW 582 Social Service Program and Policy Development (3)
Focuses on the conceptual and behavioral skills related to planning and designing programs, program/policy evaluation, and understanding the analysis and design of agency policy and the role of policy in the change process. Students learn ways to compose statements of need, goals, objectives, interventions, action plans, evaluation approaches, and policy changes. Prerequisites: SW 532, 520.
SW 585 Fundraising, Grantwriting, and Human Services Entrepreneurship (3)
Concrete fundraising strategies, grant writing, and creation of innovative programs, business plans, and marketing strategies for social service agencies. Program development and budgeting, case statement, grant strategies and application, and donor cultivation and solicitation.
SW 589 Advanced Standing Seminar (2)
Seminar orients students accepted into the advanced standing program to the School of Social Work and the MSW program, provides a connection between BSW curriculum and advanced MSW curriculum, discusses core values and ethics associated with social work, reviews the assessment process at five levels of social work practice, introduces incoming students to social work practice in Oregon, and assists students with successful entry into their advanced field education placement. Prerequisite: admission to advanced standing program.
SW 590 Advanced Topics in Applied Research Methods for Social Work (3)
Builds on foundation research methods and data analysis courses. Courses offered under this number present an evidence-based framework for social work practice and methods for analyzing quantitative data (e.g., multiple linear regression) and/or qualitative data (e.g., ethnography). Emphasizes application of methods to build knowledge in a specialized area relevant to a student’s field of practice and/or to complete an evaluation of program(s) or practice. Emphasizes interpretation of results to inform effective social work practice in community and agency-based settings. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: SW 551.
SW 590 Advanced HBSE: Relationships in Interventions with Children and Adolescents (3)
Drawing from theory and research across several disciplines, this course will present and evaluate conceptual frameworks for understanding the nature and course of relationships between young people and the important adults in their lives. The emphasis will be on the interpersonal processes involved in these relationships and the mechanisms by which the relationships influence youth development. As an advanced research course, there will be a strong focus on research methodologies and analytical techniques for studying relationships and interventions.
SW 591 Child and Adolescent Behavior and Development in the Social Environment: Advanced Theory and Research (3)
Builds on foundation courses on micro and macro Human Behavior in the Social Environment and on foundation courses on research methods. Presents ecological-developmental framework and empirically-supported and culturally sensitive theories for understanding individual, family, peer, school, community, and societal influences on child and adolescent behavior and development. Presents a prevention framework for building and using research based knowledge of behavior and development. Emphasizes integration of theory and research to guide social work practice. Prerequisites: SW 541 and 551.
SW 596 Development and Utilization of Collaborative Partnerships to Support Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families (3)
Understanding of the family and cultural contexts in which child development occurs; identify cultural, political, and socioeconomic biases within which mainstream research and theory have emerged; and understand and apply system-of-care concepts and values as they engage in relationship-based consultation. Content includes information about the roles and knowledge bases of specific disciplines as they apply to infant/toddler social/emotional development (e.g., child care, pediatrics, nursing, early intervention, mental health, allied health, child welfare). Students will learn about the roles and knowledge bases of informal family and community supports as they apply to infant/toddler social/emotional development. Students will gain knowledge and training related to infant/toddler key transitions from one setting to the next (e.g., from home to community child care, child care to preschool).