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Required Courses Ph.D. Program


SW 620 Social Problem Analysis: Assessment Phase (3 credit hours)

First in a three course sequence. Focuses on the assessment phase of the problem solving process applied to the student's selected social problem. Emphasis on gathering the information necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the social problem. Involves examination of the major models of society and relevant cultural, historical, and policy-practice issues.

SW 621 Social Problem Analysis: Intervention Phase (3 credit hours)

Intervention phase of the social problem solving process applied to the student's selected social problem. Focus is on the development of a multi-level intervention plan based on review of empirical literature. Program theory and theories of change will be explored. Analysis of policy-level interventions and related effectiveness literature. Construction of logic models. Integration of policy and practice will be emphasized. Prerequisite: SW 620.

SW 622 Social Problem Analysis: Evaluation Phase (4 credit hours)

Evaluation phase of the problem solving process applied to social problems. Focus on evaluation of decisions and their implementation in social agencies. Multi-level monitoring (population-at-risk, programs, and client) taught as part of continuing intervention planning. Attention given to developments in client tracking, quality control, multi-level impact analysis, policy/practice outcome measurement, research design and statistical analysis. Internet search techniques and data base management techniques taught. Reformulation of problems as the outcome of evaluation to help students tie together the phases of problem solving. Prerequisite: SW 621.

SW 630 Empirical Foundations of Knowledge Building in Social Work (3 credit hours)

Course examines the assumptions and conceptual foundation of research in social work. Application of alternative research paradigms to questions important to social work. Context of community and social agency emphasized. Ethical issues of participation of vulnerable populations considered. Exploration of social implications of use of research findings.

SW 631 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Social Work (2 credit hours)

Introduces students to basic quantitative methods for applied social work research and examines the assumptions underlying quantitative methods. Experience in applying quantitative methods by developing a proposal for a social work research project. Emphasizes the appropriate use of quantitative methods, ethical and cultural issues in quantitative social work research, and application of methods at micro- and macro-levels of social intervention.

SW 632 Empirical Methods of Data Analysis in Social Work Research I (4 credit hours)

Provides preparation in the selection of research designs and statistical methods appropriate for social work research questions. Discusses descriptive and inferential statistical methods common in social work research and considers validity and reliability issues in measurement. Empirical social work studies analyzed and discussed. Includes an application and analysis laboratory. Prerequisites: SW 630, 631.

SW 633 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in Social Work (2 credit hours)

Introduces students to qualitative methods for applied social work research. Examines assumptions underlying qualitative methods and compares different qualitative traditions. Students will gain experience in applying qualitative methods in social work by developing a proposal for a qualitative research project. Emphasizes qualitative methods for understanding cultural issues and giving voice to marginalized populations. Reviews ethical considerations in qualitative research in social work. Prerequisite: SW 630.

SW 634 Empirical Methods of Data Analysis in Social Work Research II (4 credit hours)

Using existing data bases from social service agencies and studies at the Regional Research Institute, course provides substantial laboratory experience in data analysis and interpretation. Emphasis placed on strategies of analysis, including multivariate and nonparametric techniques, with comparison of findings obtained by alternative statistical procedures. Additional emphasis on interpretation and presentation of analysis to highlight policy implications. Prerequisite: SW 632

SW 640, 641, 642 Research Practicum and Research Practicum Seminar (6 credit hours total, usually 2 credit hours per term)

Participation in a research study under the supervision of appropriate faculty. Opportunity to master research skills which fit the student's learning needs. Time on site working on the project is 200 hours: this can be in a block or spread over up to three quarters, the pattern to be determined by student and Principal Investigator on the project. Portfolio of research experiences developed. Seminar designed to enable students to explore together their experiences in their respective research projects. Students will gain appreciation of the entire process as well a deepening knowledge through comparison of experiences. Pass/ no pass only. Prerequisite: SW 634.

SW 650 History and Philosophy of Social Welfare and Social Work (3 credit hours)

History, philosophy, and ethics of social welfare and social work. Focus is on the interaction of social work and social welfare developments with wider economic, social, and political forces. Major philosophical, theoretical, and political issues, the growth and impact of professionalization, and the development of social work methods. Traces historical changes in social work's identification of and response to vulnerable populations.

SW 660 Ph.D. Seminar (1 credit hour)

Discusses current research studies undertaken in the field of social work. Based on published articles, working papers, and research project materials, the seminar features presentations by social work faculty, graduate students, and community partners. Considers practical aspects of applied research, including methodological issues, cultural competency, consumer involvement, and interdisciplinary collaboration. May be repeated for additional credit.