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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Course Descriptions

Page address: http://sbs.mnsu.edu/socialwork/graduate/coursedescriptions.html

[PDF] SOWK 601 - Foundations of Generalist Practice (3) (449 KiB) 

This foundation social work course focuses on direct generalist practice with individuals, families, and groups; emphasizing the history, knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of the social work profession and the principles that promote social and economic justice, and human well-being. 

[PDF] SOWK 603 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3) (516 KiB)

HBSE provides an overview of human development from birth to old age in the context of family and community. Students will learn and critically analyze theories of human development and behavior with consideration of the: 1) social, cultural and economic forces affecting human development, with an emphasis on populations at-risk, 2) factors that contribute to the well-being and empowerment of individuals and families, and 3) social and economic injustices experienced by individuals and families that impact human behavior. 

[PDF] SOWK 605 - Social Welfare Policy and Services (3) (440 KiB)

Social welfare policy impacts every facet of our personal and professional lives. It is in the social welfare policy arena that issues are addressed and decisions are made regarding resource allocation. The study of social welfare services and policy and the development of policy analysis skills are fundamental attributes of social work education and advanced generalist practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. All social workers must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to engage in policy practice. SOWK 605 Social Welfare Policy and Services is designed to provide an overview of the historical and contemporary social services system and an exploration of the interconnectedness between social welfare policies, social services and social work practice, with an emphasis on oppressed populations. We will cover three main topic areas this semester. The first area focuses on understanding the social service delivery system, with an emphasis on services for diverse populations, including age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation, and populations-at-risk in the United States. The services will be examined in terms of the problems addressed, the societal and social work values that define issues as "problems", and the values and political perspectives that determine policy choices made to address problems. Examples of social service delivery systems and policies from other countries will be examined. The second area focuses on understanding the legislative policy-making process, including the role of social workers in the public policy making process. The third area focuses on learning how to analyze social welfare policy from a social work value base and perspective, with an emphasis on social and economic justice. Students will learn and apply a framework for analyzing social welfare policy to a specific policy issue of their choice.

[PDF] SOWK 611 - Macro Social Work Practice and Theory (3) (363 KiB)

This course provides students foundation knowledge, theories, values and skills for generalist social work practice with task groups, organizations and communities.  Students apply analytical frameworks for understanding and assessing task groups, organizations and communities.  Focus is on the development of knowledge and skills for identifying and framing a social problem impacting a target population, researching evidence-based interventions, and analyzing the organizational and community context to determine feasibility of creating change. 

[PDF] SOWK 615 - Foundation Practicum & Seminar I (5) (510 KiB)

SOWK 615 Foundation Practicum & Seminar I will allow students the opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values through advanced generalist social work direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and or communities. In addition, student will apply the social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values learned at a foundation level to engage in culturally competent direct social work practice with people representing diversity of age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Each student will work with the field coordinator to locate agencies with opportunities for master's level practice and supervision commensurate with their learning goals. This course is required for all students admitted into the Traditional (2-year) MSW program. Students will be placed in agencies, for a total of 460 hours during spring and summer semesters, that can provide appropriate practice experiences and supervision. Some students may seek a field placement in their place of employment and that is permissible, with approval of both the field coordinator and field supervisor and or the agency administrator, for either the foundation OR the advanced practicum, although significant opportunity must exist for new assignments that support the educational objectives of the student. Students are expected to apply the advanced generalist practice perspective to their experiences with individual clients, families, groups, agencies, and or communities while in their practicum setting. Seminar will provide an additional 27 hours for student opportunities to share with their student colleagues their experiences and challenges for problem-solving, consultation, feedback, and support. Specific foundation objectives appear in this document but will be more fully discussed in the MSW Field Practicum Manual. Students will be expected to actively engage with their field supervisor for at least one hour per week.

[PDF] SOWK 625 - Foundation Practicum & Seminar II (5) (510 KiB)

SOWK 625 Foundation Practicum & Seminar II is a continuation of SOWK 615 Foundation Practicum and Seminar I taken during the preceding Spring semester. The courses provide students the opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values through advanced generalist social work direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and or communities. In addition, students will apply the social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values learned at a foundation level to engage in culturally competent direct social work practice with people representing diversity of age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Each student will work with the field coordinator to locate agencies with opportunities for master's level practice and supervision commensurate with their learning goals. SOWK 625 Foundation Practicum & Seminar II is required for all students admitted with traditional standing to the MSW program. Students will be placed in agencies, for a total of 460 hours during spring and summer semesters, that can provide appropriate practice experiences and supervision. Some students may seek a field placement in their place of employment and that is permissible, with approval of both the field coordinator and the practicum supervisor and or agency administrator, for either the foundation OR the advanced practicum, although significant opportunity must exist for new assignments that support the educational objectives of the student. Students are expected to apply the advanced generalist social work practice perspective to their experiences with individual clients, families, groups, agencies, and or communities while in their practicum setting. Seminar will provide an additional 27 hours for student opportunities to share with their student colleagues their experiences and challenges for problem-solving, consultation, feedback, and support. Specific foundation objectives appear in this document but will be more fully discussed in the MSW Field Practicum Manual. Students will be expected to actively engage with their field supervisor for at least one hour per week.

[PDF] SOWK 629 - Applied Social Work Research (3) (353 KiB)

The purpose of this course is to enable students to understand the rationale for and application of a variety of quantitative and qualitative research techniques commonly used in generalist social work practice. The content in this course presumes that students are in an applied social service field as all examples and activities will be based on Social Work practice. Students will become more skilled at reading and critically evaluating research studies, including studies that are designed to empirically test theory, as well as in conducting independent research. Students will understand how issues of diversity, including age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation, is applicable to conducting and evaluating research and to engaging in effective, culturally competent social work practice. Students will also recognize the values, ethical issues, and social and economic justice issues that underlie research in general and Social Work research in particular. Research at the macro level into community needs and agency effectiveness can provide powerful data needed by populations-at-risk and groups experiencing oppression to change agency and governmental policies in order to promote social and economic justice. Research on practitioner effectiveness at the micro level with individuals and families and at the mezzo level with groups can facilitate client growth and achievement of objectives, as well as ensure that social work practitioners are engaging in effective, evidence-based social work practice.

[PDF] SOWK 650 - Advanced Standing Preparation Seminar (3) (422 KiB)

This seminar is required for all students admitted to the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) Program at Minnesota State Mankato. Such students have already attained an undergraduate degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program, thereby completing their “foundation” content. This seminar is designed to review and extend these students’ preparation for advanced generalist graduate-level social work, while also building a strong cohort of classmates. The Advanced Standing Preparation Seminar helps students refine their professional self-identity as advanced generalist social workers while ensuring that they are ready to enter the concentration year of the advanced generalist MSW program. The course content will focus on the CSWE foundation areas: 1) Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 2) Social Welfare Policy, with an emphasis on social and economic justice and systems change 3) Values and Ethics, 4) Diversity distinguished by age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation, 5) Micro, Mezzo, and Macro level Practice, and 6) Research. SOWK 650 will also provide students with an introductory orientation to issues impacting advanced generalist social work practice in rural and small communities.

[PDF] SOWK 651 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3) (432 KiB)

SOWK 651 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals presents knowledge and skills for competent and ethical advanced generalist social work direct practice with individuals - children, adolescents, and adults — from diverse backgrounds. As an advanced direct practice course, content centers on assessment of psychosocial functioning of individuals. Students will examine psychosocial problems and their causes, processes, consequences, and clinical presentation. Emphasis will be placed on current, evidence-based models of psychosocial intervention used in clinical social work practice. The course utilizes ecological as well as strength-based perspective to help students develop an advanced understanding of individual problems, including mental illness, within a social context. Issues facing populations at risk will be covered with consideration of the diverse factors involved. This course presents information on intervention and treatment approaches to broaden the student's repertoire regarding children, adolescents, and adults. The course presents a framework for comparing, contrasting, and differentially applying these models to direct practice in various field settings, particularly in the rural context. Students are expected to learn to select and apply theories and approaches with regard to the unique characteristics of micro-systems within their contexts.

[PDF] SOWK 655 - Social Welfare Policy Practice (3) (426 KiB)

SOWK 655 Social Welfare Policy Practice builds upon the knowledge and skills learned in SOWK 605 Social Welfare Policy and Services. Social welfare policy impacts every aspect of our personal and professional lives. It is in the social welfare policy arena that issues are addressed and decisions are made regarding resource allocation. The study of social welfare policy and services, the development of comparative policy analysis skills, and knowledge of agency and governmental policy practice are fundamental attributes of social work education and advanced generalist social work practice. This course is designed to provide students with knowledge, values and skills to engage in macro level advanced policy practice in organizations and communities in order to promote social and economic justice. This course will focus on issues adversely impacting populations-at-risk, with an emphasis on rural and small community issues. Students will examine in greater depth several of the social welfare policy issues covered in the foundation policy course, with an emphasis on understanding issues of diversity, including age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation, within a rural and small community context. Examination of issues and policies from other countries will be infused throughout the course. Students will research and conduct a comparative policy analysis of an issue of significance to rural and small community advanced generalist social work practice. In order to develop competencies for becoming an effective policy advocate, students will learn, analyze, design and implement strategies for promoting policy change within an organization, community, or public policy making body. Students will learn how research, in particular collecting data to support effective, evidence-based practice, can be utilized to influence policy makers and enact policies that promote social and economic justice. Finally, students will examine the values and ethical issues related to policy practice.

[PDF] SOWK 660 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Couples and Families (3) (360 KiB)

This course provides students with advanced generalist theories, knowledge, values, and skills for evidence-based practice with couples and families.  Students will develop, analyze, and apply advanced knowledge and skills in the assessment and application of interventions with couples and families. 

[PDF] SOWK 661 - Advanced Social Work Administration (3) (352 KiB)

SOWK 661 Advanced Social Work Administration provides students with advanced generalist social work practice knowledge, values, and skills for mezzo and macro level administrative practice. It is expected that students who successfully complete this course will understand the role of social workers as supervisors, managers, administrators, policy makers, and leaders in developing, enhancing, promoting and administering effective, culturally competent, and ethical social services to diverse groups, including diversity of age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation, and populations-at-risk which promote social and economic justice. Students develop knowledge of and skills in personnel management and professional development, grant writing, resource development, budgeting, leadership, and other aspects of administering effective, evidence-based social service agencies. Students develop an understanding of how organizational theories and social welfare policy practice are applicable to social service administration and service delivery. Students examine strategies for maximizing the use of agency personnel and other resources to achieve agency mission. This course also focuses on strategies for maximizing client involvement, strengths, and empowerment in social service delivery and for ensuring the delivery of culturally competent social services within a rural and small community context.

SOWK 663 - Advanced Practice with Groups (3)

This course provides students with advanced generalist theories, knowledge, values, and skills for evidence-based practice with treatment groups.  Students will develop, analyze, and apply advanced knowledge and skills in the assessment and application of interventions with treatment groups.  

[PDF] SOWK 665 - Advanced Practicum and Seminar I (4) (554 KiB)

SOWK 665 Advanced Practicum & Seminar I experiences will allow students the opportunity to integrate and apply at a more sophisticated level social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values through advanced evidence-based direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In addition, student will apply the social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values learned at an advanced level to engage in culturally competent direct social work practice with people representing diversity of age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation and populations-at-risk in order to promote social and economic justice. Each student will work with the field coordinator to locate agencies with opportunities for advanced generalist social work practice and supervision commensurate with their learning goals. Advanced Practicum & Seminar I is required of all students admitted to the MSW program. Some students may seek a field placement in their place of employment and that is permissible, with approval of both the field coordinator and the agency administrator, for either the foundation OR the advanced practicum, although significant opportunity must exist for new assignments that support the educational objectives of the student. Students will be placed, for a total of 500 hours during the spring and summer semesters, in an agency where they can demonstrate advanced generalist social work skills and practices with some balance between clinical engagement and administrative functions, with an emphasis on rural and small community practice (where applicable). Seminar will provide 27 additional hours for the opportunity for students to share with their student colleagues their experiences and challenges for problem-solving, consultation, feedback, and support. Specific concentration objectives appear in this document but will be more fully explored in the MSW Field Practicum Manual. Students will be expected to actively engage with their supervisor for at least one hour per week.

[PDF] SOWK 669 - Advanced Social Work Evaluation (3) (274 KiB)

SOWK 669 Advanced Social Work Evaluation builds upon previous research and practice coursework. Social and behavioral research and evaluation is an integral part of advanced generalist social work practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The purpose of SOWK 669 Advanced Social Work Evaluation is to teach the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of both direct practice evaluation and program evaluation at the advanced generalist social work level. Approximately half of the course will focus on each of these two areas. This course focuses on understanding and utilizing systematic research methods, both quantitative/positivist and qualitative/interpretive, to inform social work practice. This course explores research within the context of the social work profession and the delivery of social welfare services to diverse populations and populations-at-risk. Further, the course requires students to develop a capstone project that integrates content from foundation and concentration course and is designed to be taken in conjunction with their final practicum. Advanced generalist social work practice is informed by theory, data, experience, observation, critical thinking, creativity, empathy, and reflection-in-action all based in the core values and ethics of the social work profession. The purpose of direct practice evaluation is to evaluate the effectiveness of direct social work interventions at the micro level with individuals, couples and families and to develop evidence-based, culturally competent practice. Direct practice evaluation is broadly defined as the collection and analysis of data for the purposes of 1) problem assessment of the client system, 2) monitoring client progress, 3) understanding the processes of direct practice, and 4) evaluating the client outcomes of interventions. The purpose of program evaluation in social work is to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of social work interventions. In this part of the course, students will learn about the important elements of a social welfare program's logic model derived from the mission, goals, objectives, and activities of the program. Students will also learn how to utilize various research methods to carry out both formative and summative program evaluations with particular consideration of the measurement of client outcomes and the delivery of services in rural and small communities.

[PDF] SOWK 675 - Advanced Practicum and Seminar II (4) (554 KiB)

SOWK 675 Advanced Practicum & Seminar II is a continuation of SOWK 665, taken the previous semester, which provides students the opportunity to integrate and apply at a more sophisticated level social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values through advanced evidence-based direct practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. In addition, student will apply the social work theory and practice knowledge, skills, ethics and values learned at an advanced level to engage in culturally competent direct social work practice with people representing diversity of age, class, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation and populations-at-risk in order to promote social and economic justice. Each student will work with the field coordinator to locate agencies with opportunities for master's level practice and supervision commensurate with their learning goals. The SOWK 675 Advanced Practicum & Seminar II is required of all students admitted to the MSW program. Some students may seek a field placement in their place of employment and that is permissible, with approval of both the field coordinator and the agency administrator, for either the foundation OR the advanced practicum, although significant opportunity must exist for new assignments that support the educational objectives of the student. Students will be placed, for a total of 500 hours during the spring and summer semesters, in an agency where they can demonstrate advanced generalist social work skills and practices with some balance between clinical engagement and administrative functions, with an emphasis on rural and small community practice (where applicable). Seminar will provide 27 additional hours for the opportunity for students to share with their student colleagues their experiences and challenges for problem-solving, consultation, feedback, and support. Specific foundation objectives appear in this document but will be more fully explored in the MSW Field Practicum Manual. Students will be expected to actively engage with their supervisor for at least one hour per week.

SOWK 679 - MSW Capstone Project (2)

The MSW Capstone Project is an integrative applied project carried out under the supervision of the Academic Advisor, implemented at the concentration year practicum setting in conjunction with SOWK 665/675: Advanced Practicum and Seminar I & II, and culminating in a poster presentation conducted in conjunction with SOWK 661: Advanced Social Work Practice Administration. Students work with their academic advisor and in consultation with agency field instructor or task supervisor, SOWK 665/675 field liaison, and SOWK 661 faculty, to develop, implement and present a feasible Capstone Project in the practicum setting. The Capstone Project is designed to meet the learning needs and interests of the students, as well as make a contribution to the practicum agency. The Capstone Project may take an advanced direct practice focus or an advanced indirect practice focus. The Capstone Project is written into each student’s concentration year practicum Learning Contract.

Elective Courses

Students in the MSW program must take one 3-credit elective course. It can be taken when a student can fit it into their schedule, usually in the fall of the Concentration/AS Year or during the summer. While only one of these courses is required, students may take more than one if they so choose. Courses may be selected by the student to enhance their education in a particular area of practice. Students interested in becoming licensed independent clinical social workers (LICSW) are encouraged to take clinical content courses.

The Department of Social Work offers several of the elective options, but courses may be selected from other departments as long as the course is on the list approved by the MSW program faculty. Furthermore, while these courses are approved for use electives in the MSW program, they are subject to enrollment caps, availability, and scheduling conditions that may change. Additionally, not all of these courses will have the same per-credit tution rate. Some will cost less and those in the College of Business will cost more. For descriptions of these specific courses you need to contact the department offering the courses. For a listing of all graduate course offerings, go to the Graduate Studies Bulletin.

Social Work, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • SOWK 515: Child & Family Welfare (3)
  • SOWK 517: Co-morbidity of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Social Work (3)
  • SOWK 519: Social Work & Aging (3)
  • SOWK 522: Social Work & Chemical Dependency (3)
  • SOWK 525: Social Work in Health (3)
  • SOWK 527: Social Work & Domestic Violence (3)
  • SOWK 530: Social Work in School Settings (3)
  • SOWK 532: Social Work & Disabilities (3)
  • SOWK 653: Advanced Child Welfare Practice (3)
  • SOWK 667: Advanced Clinical Practice with Infants, Children and Adolescents (3)

Counseling & Student Personnel, College of Education

  • CSP 647: Crisis Intervention Strategies (3)
  • CSP 650: Child/Adolescent Counseling (3)

Ethnic Studies, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • ETHN 650: Helping Across Cultures
  • ETHN 660: Cross-Cultural Training & Diversity Management

Gerontology

  • GERO 600: Gerontology Theory and Practice (3)

Business Administration, College of Business

  • MBA 642: Management of Human Resources (2)
  • MBA 651: Managing Behavior in a Changing World (2)
  • MBA 665: Leadership (2)
  • MBA 667: Organizational Development and Change (2)

Non-Profit Leadership

  • NPL 673: Survey of Nonprofit Leadership and Management

Political Science and Public Administration, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • POL 628: Public Management (3)
  • POL 662: Human Resource Management (3)

Psychology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • PSYC 507: Advanced Behavioral Analysis (4)
  • PSYC 555: Abnormal Psychology (4)
  • PSYC 576: Behavior Therapy (3)

Sociology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • SOC 517: Program Administration (3)
  • SOC 566: Program Planning (3)

Urban and Regional Studies, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • URBS 553: Grants Administration (3)
  • URBS 602: Urban Planning Process (3)