Advanced Concentrations

We offer the following 4 advanced concentrations. All concentrations will focus on the knowledge, values and skills of advance practice with specific populations. Students in any concentration will be eligible to pursue clinical social work licensure after graduation and information about that process will be provided to all students in the final term. In addition to the 3-course advanced sequence, students will take 6 electives, some of which may be required for a specific concentration.
 
Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations (FAQsvideo)
The Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations concentration builds on the foundation year and provides advanced learning opportunities that are grounded in community and organizational practices and perspectives, values and ethics.  Students are prepared for working with individuals, communities and organizations in various settings which are focused on addressing disparities, community responses to social problems, policy practice and leadership.  The theoretical models put forth will be grounded in strength based, critical race theory, structural social work, anti-oppressive, feminist, empowerment and collaborative perspectives.  Engagement in multi-dimensional assessment processes such as racial equity, community and organizational assessment will be explored, with specific attention to community voice, hierarchical structures, and cultural humility and responsiveness.  The three term sequence will familiarize students with intervention modalities that make use of evidence based practice and practice based evidence.  The approaches explored and enacted in this concentration will be grounded in the principles of racial, economic and social justice practices and will include policy practice, advocacy, activating community members and community and organizational leadership practices.  A Human Services Management Certificate is available to students who have completed the Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations concentration.  Courses throughout the year will provide the following content:

  • Community practices that mobilize empowering community responses to individual and social problems
  • Individual and group level interventions that adhere to community practice and anti-oppressive practice principles
  • Fiscal Assessment
  • Classic leadership, organizational, and community theories, ethical frameworks, and skills, in the context of a deep commitment to operating in empowering and just relationship to the communities served
  • Group work
  • Organizational and community assessments
  • Organizational and community action planning including building coalitions, popular education, increasing equity, and reducing disparities
  • Strategic action planning to address community/organizational needs and strengths
  • Culturally responsive practices, and the meaningful inclusion of marginalized/colonized staff, clients and communities
  • Social transformation, at both the organizational and community level, with heightened focus on improving public policy
  • Skills for practicing policy advocacy from inside and outside the system

      Required Elective - SW 559  Community & Organizational Research  OR  SW 553  Racial Disparities


Health Across the Lifespan (FAQsvideo)
The Health Across the Lifespan concentration builds on the foundation year and provides advanced training in health care and aging practice that is grounded in social work perspectives, knowledge, values, and ethics.  The concentration will have a lifespan focus that prepares students for the advanced practice with individuals, families, and groups in various health care and aging settings.  The sequence will begin with general adult practice, moving to work with older adults, and ending with a focus on children, youth and families.  The theoretical models put forth will be grounded in strength-based, trauma-informed, and collaborative perspectives that support students to develop engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation competencies for practice with diverse populations.  Intervention modalities will make use of evidence-based principles and include motivational interviewing, brief counseling, crisis intervention, client-centered advocacy and case management across multiple care settings.  Ongoing consideration of health disparities, health literacy, the social determinatnts of health, health reform, diversity, and access and utilization in healthcare will be infused across the sequence.  The Health Across the Lifespan concentration's approach to practice is informed by principles of social justice and recognition of the systemic contexts of practice and thus includes advocacy, activism, and policy-practice with, and on behalf of, individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.  Courses throughout the year will provide the following content:

  • Self Awareness
  • Chronic disease management
  • Teamwork; Navigating team dynamics
  • Social determinants of health; Addressing health disparities
  • Health literacy, terminology and basic pharmacology
  • Health and wellness theories
  • Intervention, assessment and evaluation of practice – evidence informed interventions
  • Analysis of health policy and impact on access
  • Health care reform; Policy related to systems of care
  • Integrated medicine
  • Critical thinking about the medical model
  • Bias, privilege and oppression
  • Pain management
  • Legal issues; Ethics and ethics committees
  • Harm reduction

      Required Elective - SW 555  SW Perspectives on Mental Health Disorders


Social Work with Children, Youth and Families (FAQsvideo)
The Children, Youth and Families (CYF) concentration builds on the foundation year and provides advanced training in practice, intervention and advocacy for children, youth and their families.  CYF prepares MSW students to advance their clinical skills and competency in delivering theory-informed best practice models to engage, intervene, collaborate and advocate with and on behalf of children and youth.  While the primary identified clients will be children and teens, students will learn skills for partnering with adults, such as parents, caregivers, caseworkers, therapists and teachers.  The theoretical models examined will be grounded in strength-based, trauma-informed, and collaborative perspectives.  Students will develop a systemic and family-focused understanding of the developmental and contextual factors affecting youth.  This sequence will examine micro practice as well as key macro influences to prepare students for practice in various settings, including schools, early intervention, child welfare, juvenile justice, community-based mental health, integrated healthcare and direct practice.  Courses throughout the year will provide the following content:

  • Impact of the social worker’s self-identity and social location on practice
  • Ethics and ethical dilemmas in multi-system; multi-disciplinary practice contexts
  • Culturally responsive and developmentally grounded interpersonal skills to engage effectively and collaboratively with children, youth and families; and their communities.
  • Critical analysis of social, political, and historical influences on social inequities and disparities
  • Effective engagement with diverse communities and organizations to promote culturally responsive, equitable, and transformational social work practices with children, youth, families; and their communities.
  • Service user collaboration to analyze, select, and apply social work practice methods aimed at enhancing social, emotional, and physical well-being of children, youth, families, and their communities.
  • Secondary trauma, burn out and self care
  • Policy development to address barriers to services that promote service user influence
  • Research and evaluation methods to select and evaluate impact of advanced social work practice with children, youth, families, and their communities
  • Consumer advocacy

      No Required Elective


Clinical Social Work Practice (FAQsvideo)
The clinical concentration builds on the foundation year and provides advanced training in clinical practice that is grounded in social work perspectives, values, and ethics.  Students are prepared for clinical work with adults in various agency settings addressing a range of emotional, behavioral, mental health, and addiction concerns.  The theoretical models put forth will be grounded in strength-based, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and collaborative perspectives.  Engagement and multi-dimensional assessment with individuals, groups, and families will be explored with special attention to relational self-awareness, cultural responsiveness and the "common factors" associated with positive therapeutic outcomes.  The sequence will familiarize students with intervention modalities that make use of evidence-based principles and that include brief and long-term psychotherapy/counseling, crisis intervention, client-centered advocacy and case management.  This social work approach to clinical practice is informed by principles of social justice and recognition of the systemic contexts of practice and thus includes advocacy, activism, and policy-practice with, and on behalf of, clients.  Courses throughout the year will provide the following content:

  • Theories for clinical practice
  • Development of intentionality and relational self awareness
  • Legal issues; Ethics and ethical dilemmas in clinical practice
  • Development of a therapeutic alliance and the impact of contextual factors on it
  • Multidimensional bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment
  • Development of responsive therapeutic treatment plans and contracts with clients
  • Culturally response and informed engagement, assessment, and intervention processes
  • Cultural context of practice
  • Collaborative organizational change to address client and community needs
  • Family centered practice using family theory and family of origin perspectives
  • Evidence based practice principles and modification of practices to meet the needs of differing populations
  • Collaboration with colleagues and clients to advocate for policy action that promotes social and economic justice
  • Issues regarding clinical supervision

      Required Elective - SW 555  SW Perspectives on Mental Health Disorders