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Master of Social Work

Program Curriculum
Community Development and Administration Concentration
Foundation Curriculum
Advanced Curriculum
Graduate Course Descriptions
MSW Program Electives


The mission of the Master’s of Social Work (M.S.W.) program is to advance social and economic justice by educating students for knowledgeable and competent social work practice in urban and rurual community development and administration.  This mission affirms the profession’s historical commitment to promoting a just, social and economic order, thereby ensuring equal opportunities for all persons, particularly members of oppressed populations, to achieve their full potential. The MSW program is committed to meeting the needs of at-risk populations in both urban and rural areas of the FAMU service area, as well as in the state of Florida, the nation, and the international community.  The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Admission Requirements

In evaluating applicants, the MSW Admissions Committee considers many factors and no one criterion alone automatically determines acceptance or non-acceptance into the program.  Consideration is given to the following admission requirements:

1.     A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. 
2.     A grade point average of 3.0 or better (on A = 4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of academic work.  Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 but higher than 2.5 may be considered for "Special
        Student" Admission Status.
3.     A total Graduate Records Examination (GRE)  with a score of at least 1000 Combined Verbal and Quantitative scores are necessary to be considered for graduate financial assistance from
        the University.
4.     Three letters of recommendation from persons who can address the applicant’s ability and potential for graduate education and professional social work practice.
5.     A personal narrative statement reflecting the applicant’s academic and employment history, as well as a discussion regarding his/her interest in advanced social work practice.
6.     Proficiency in English.
7.     Completion of a Criminal Background, in accordance with the Florida Statute 943.0542 requiring that all students who work or volunteer with children, the
        elderly, and/or disabled persons complete and pass a criminal background check.
8.     A current Florida State Immunization Record.
9.     Completion of the "Certification of Eligibility Form" needed to assess the applicant’s eligibility for various University financial aid packages.
10.   A personal interview may be required of applicant to evaluate her/his potential for developing into a professional social worker.

Program Curriculum

The MSW program curriculum is carefully designed to comply with all of the accreditation standards mandated by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting body.  Students are provided with the opportunity to benefit from intensive classroom instruction, enriching field placements, involvement in the community, and social work research projects currently being conducted by faculty members.  The graduate curriculum enables students to gain the professional knowledge, values and skills necessary to become competent leaders in the field of social work.

The first year of study is comprised of social work foundation coursework, while the second year focuses on advanced practice knowledge and skills.  The curriculum infuses social work values and ethics, knowledge on human behavior and the social environment, issues of diversity, the promotion of social and economic justice, a focus on populations-at-risk, social work practice skills, social welfare policy analysis, development and implementation, social work research, and field experience opportunities throughout the two-year program.  During the foundation year, the program provides students with the generalist perspective of social work in order to ensure graduates are equipped with the knowledge, values and skills needed to address social and economic inequality, racism, classism, sexism, as well as other forms of oppression in the lives of individuals, families, groups, organizations and institutions. 

After completing the foundation year, the student continues coursework and field work in the program’s advanced concentration in community development and administration.

Community Development and Administration Concentration

In the advanced year of the MSW program , emphasis is given to the role of community-based social service administration in the social change process.  The concentration focuses on the development of administrative skills necessary to improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of organizations that serve the community.  Students are introduced to a wide range of technical and interpersonal skills designed to enhance the development, maintenance and responsiveness of social programs and service delivery systems to urban and rural communities.  It further focuses on the development of requisite skills necessary for competent social planning, mobilizing communities and human service consumer groups, program development, resource development and management, and program evaluation.  Graduates of the program are then equipped for positions as social service administrators, program designers, grant writers, program evaluators, social and economic community developers,  consultants, and directors of their own agencies.

Faculty

Chairperson: Langley, Merlin R.
Associate Professors: Haile, Barbara;  Jarmon, Brenda; Langley, Merlin R.; Perry, Robin
Assistant Professor:  Kelly, Sandra; McKendrick, Wachell
Field Director:  Spencer, Gwendolyn

Foundation Curriculum

The following courses are required for all students enrolled in the MSW program:
  Credits
SOW 5106 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
SOW 5235 Social Welfare Policies and Programs I 3
SOW 5404 Social Work Research I 3
SOW 5341 Social Work Practice I 3
SOW 5629 Dynamics of Oppression 3
SOW 5107 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SOW 5236 Welfare Policies and Programs II 3
SOW 5343 Social Work Practice II 3
SOW 5425 Social Work Research II 3
SOW 5534 Field Practicum I 3
SOW 5545 Field Seminar I 1
SOW 5535 Field Practicum II 3
SOW 5546 Field Seminar II
 1
  35
 Advanced CurriculumThe following advanced courses are taken after all requirements of the foundation year have been successfully completed: 
   Credits
SOW 5334 Theories of Communities & Organizations 3
SOW 5344 Community Development in Social Work Practice 3
SOW 5386 Program Design and Development 3
SOW 5433 Program Evaluation 3
SOW 5538 Field Practicum III 3
SOW 5547 Field Seminar III 1
SOW 5387 Resource Development and Management 3
SOW 5241 Advanced Social Welfare Policies and Programs 3
SOW 5539 Field Practicum IV 3
SOW 5548 Field Seminar IV1
SOW XXXX Social Work Elective Course 3
SOW XXXX Social Work  Elective Course
 3
 32

Graduate Course Descriptions

SOW 5106 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (HBSE) (3) Prerequisites:  Admission to graduate school or the permission of the instructor.  This course lays the theoretical groundwork for social work practice with individuals and families.  It provides the conceptual framework for the analysis of individuals and families using systems, developmental, cultural, and interactional frameworks in considering healthy and problematic functioning.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5107 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3) Prerequisites:  SOW 5106 or the permission of the instructor.  This course focuses on macro social work practice with an emphasis on social systems theories and the person-in-environment perspectives as frameworks for understanding how larger systems such as groups, organizations, and communities behave.  Organizational and institutional responsiveness to the needs of oppressed populations is examined.  Offered only in the spring semester.
SOW 5260 Dynamics of Oppression (3) Prerequisites: Admission to graduate school or the permission of the instructor.  Theories of racism and oppression and how they relate to issues of social and economic justice are examined.  Attention is specifically given to the various ways in which historically oppressed populations are impacted by discrimination in America.  Offered in Fall and Summer semesters.
SOW 5235 Social Welfare Policies and Programs I (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to graduate school or the permission of the instructor.  The course introduces students to the historical development of social welfare policies and programs.  The course also examines the historical development, mission, values, and ethics of the social work profession in addressing social problems.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5236 Social Welfare Policies and Programs II (3)  Prerequisites:  SOW 5235 or the permission of the instructor.  This course provides content on social welfare policy formulation, frameworks for policy analysis, and the current status and accessibility of social welfare programs and their impact on historically oppressed populations.  Examines the intended and unintended consequences of public and organizational policies on such major social problems of poverty, racism, and gender inequality.  Offered only in the spring semester.
SOW 5341 Social Work Practice I (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW Program and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5106.  Focuses on social work practice with individuals and families.  Emphasis is placed on generalist practice models of intervention, including case management, advocacy, brokering, brief counseling, education, solution-focused issue management, and crisis/trauma management within a diverse and multicultural society.  Issues of social justice, social policy, ethical responsibilities, assessment and evaluation are integrated into practice models.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5343 Social Work Practice II (3)  Prerequisites: Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW Program, SOW 5341, and completion or concurrent enrollment in SOW 5107. Fundamentals of macro social work practice aimed at eliminating barriers to enhanced social functioning.  Examines principles, theories, and skills of social work practice in groups, communities, organizations and large systems.  Principles of social planning, community development, and social action are incorporated.  Offered only in the spring.
SOW 5404 Social Work Research I (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to graduate school or consent of the instructor.  This course focuses on the basic concepts and methods of scientific inquiry as utilized in building knowledge for social work practice.  The course is intended to reinforce the objectives of the foundation curriculum by preparing students to follow the beginning steps of the generalist research process, including the development of a research question, conducting an exhaustive literature review, defining variables and their inter-relatedness, problem formulation, and report writing.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5535 Field Practicum II (3)  Prerequisites:  SOW 5534 and the written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  Continuation of the foundation-year MSW-supervised field experience in an approved social work setting.  The field practicum must be taken concurrently with Field Seminar II [225 clock hours].
SOW 5425 Social Work Research II (3)  Prerequisites:  SOW 5404.  This course focuses on introducing the student to statistics commonly used by social workers in their practice, analyzing how statistical procedures can be used for decisions that are directly relevant to effective social work practice, policy, and research.  Offered only in Spring.
SOW 5534 Field Practicum I (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program, successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in first year foundation coursework, and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  MSW-supervised field experience in an approved social work setting at the foundation-year level.  The field practicum must be taken concurrently with Field Seminar I [225 clock hours].
SOW 5545 Field Seminar I (1) Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program,successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, first year foundation coursework and Field Practicum I, and written consent of the MSW Field Coordinator.  Focus on integrating knowledge, values, and skills in relation to the field experience.
SOW 5546 Field Seminar II (1) Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program, successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, first year foundation coursework and Field Practicum II, and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  Focus on integrating knowledge, values and skills in relation to field experience.
SOW 5334 Theories of Communities and Organizations (3)  Prerequisites:  Successful completion of all foundation year coursework or the consent of the instructor. Examination of advanced theories of community and organizational development, including the analysis of community and organizational functioning, its capacity to change, its bases of power, the enhancement of community and organizational effectiveness, and the building of organized efforts aimed at bringing about social and economic justice.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5344 Community Development in Social Work Practice (3)  Prerequisites:  Successful completion of all foundation year coursework, admission into the MSW program, and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5334.  Focus on the utilization of community strengths in rebuilding at-risk urban and rural neighborhoods and communities.  Students learn how to combine and mobilize community strengths in building stronger, more self-reliant and economically powerful communities.  The course also focuses on how to incorporate public and private sectors in social and economic community development strategies in urban and rural areas.  Offered only in the fall.
SOW 5386 Program Design and Development (3)  Prerequisites:  Successful completion of all foundation year coursework, admission to the MSW program, and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5334.  Examines program design and development of social service agencies and organizations.  The course addresses the components of designing an effective program in a human service organization, conducting a needs assessment, planning, designing and tracking the intervention, and calculating the costs and values of the intervention.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5433 Program Evaluation (3)  Prerequisites:  Successful completion of all foundation year coursework or consent of the instructor.  Provides students with the knowledge, values and skills required to measure and monitor the outcomes of social service programs and organizations.  Students learn how to generate reports that can be effectively used by administrators and funding sources to determine the program’s efficiency and effectiveness, as well as ways to enhance its performance.  Offered only in the fall semester.
SOW 5538 Field Practicum  (3) Prerequisites:  SOW 5535 and SOW 5546, completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5334, SOW 5344, SOW 5386, and  SOW 5433, and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  Students are placed in approved MSW-supervised placement where they are engaged in a wide range of community development and administrative tasks where their advanced knowledge, values and skills may be applied [225 clock hours].
SOW 5387 Resource Development and Management (3)  Prerequisites:  Successful completion of all foundation year coursework, admission to the MSW program, and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5334.  Application of theories related to writing and procuring grants, managing fiscal resources, budget evaluation, and fund-raising methods.  Particular attention is given to developing and applying resources to underserved urban and rural populations, particularly women, people of color and other historically oppressed groups in an empowering manner.  Offered only in the spring semester.
SOW 5241 Advanced Social Welfare Policies and Programs (3) Prerequisites: Completion of all foundation year coursework or consent of instructor. Examination of the utilization of policies and programs by social service administrators to empower groups, communities and organizaations. Students apply judicial and legal actions to a chosen social welfare issue, develop a policy to address it, and devise strategies to bring the policy to change through organizational and potential channels.
SOW 5547 Field Seminar III (1)  Prerequisites:  SOW 5535 and SOW 5546, successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5334, SOW 5344, SOW 5386, and SOW 5433, and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  Integration of advanced knowledge and skills applied in the field placement.
SOW 5539 Field Practicum IV (3)  Prerequisites:  SOW 5538 and SOW 5547, completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5433, and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  Students continue with their advanced MSW-supervised placement where they engage in community development and administration tasks [225 clock hours].
SOW 5548 Field Seminar IV (1) Prerequisities: SOW 5538 and SOW 5547, completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, SOW 5539, and written consent of the MSW Field Coordinator. Integration of advanced knowledge and skills applied in the field placement.


MSW Program Electives

SOW 5123 Psychopathology (3) Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program or consent of instructor.  A course designed to prepare social workers to understand the medical model of mental health practice (e.g., DSM IV, mental health diagnoses, psychiatric treatment, medications, etc.) in order to communicate effectively with the multidisciplinary treatment team.  Reviews psychodynamic personality theories and concepts of psychopathology which stem from them.  Develops a frame of reference for critically analyzing mental health practice with oppressed populations and addressing the mental health needs of people of color, women, and other oppressed populations.
SOW 5372 Supervision, Staff Development and Consultation (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program or consent of instructor.  Emphasis on the supervisory, consultation and staff development theories and skills necessary to nurture staff so they can function creatively, productively, independently and effectively.  Comparative study of supervisory techniques with professionals, paraprofessionals and volunteers is undertaken.
SOW 5336 Rural Social Work (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program or consent of instructor.  An overview of theory and practice issues related to disadvantaged individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in rural settings.  Particular attention is given to addressing the needs of vulnerable populations living in small and rural areas.
SOW 5335 Empowerment (3) Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program or consent of instructor.  Theory, methods and skills necessary for building collaborative alliances with consumer/community systems in order to increase access to, and control of, needed individual, family, group, community and organizational resources.  Emancipatory interventions and multicultural practice methods at the micro, mezzo and macro levels are emphasized.
SOW 5621 Women, Power, and Change (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program or consent of instructor.  Designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of women’s issues in relation to changing roles, sexism, racism, and empowerment at the individual, family, group, community, and organizational levels.
SOW 5349 Case Management (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program or consent of instructor.  Provides knowledge regarding the historical development, processes and models for case management in the social services.  Examines the comprehensive enhancement practice model of case management, establishment of case management programs in social service systems, and methods for evaluation of case management program designs.
SOW 5540 Field Practicum Elective I (1)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  A one-credit practicum elective in which the MSW student is given the opportunity to extend, advance, and concentrate learning beyond the tasks required in the MSW field sequence.  Requires 75 clock hours of field work in an approved MSW-supervised social work setting.
SOW 5541  Field Practicum Elective II (2)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  A two-credit practicum elective in which the MSW student is given the opportunity to extend, advance, and concentrate learning beyond the tasks required in the MSW field sequence.  Requires 150 clock hours of field work in an approved MSW-supervised social work setting.
SOW 5542  Field Practicum Elective III (3)  Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program and written consent of the MSW field coordinator.  A three-credit practicum elective in which the MSW student is given the opportunity to extend, advance, and concentrate learning beyond the tasks required in the MSW field sequence.  Requires 225 clock hours of field work in an approved MSW-supervised social work setting.
SOW 5000  Directed Independent Study (1 - 6) Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program, written consent of the sponsoring faculty member,  and written consent of the MSW program director.  An individualized research study of a social work issues conducted under the direction and supervision of graduate faculty.  Requires a carefully planned contract between the student and the sponsoring faculty member showing what will be studied, how the study will be carried out, the expected outcomes of the study, and the timetable for completion of the study.
SOW 5550  Special Topics in Social Work (1 - 6) Prerequisites:  Admission to the MSW program and consent of the instructor.  A variable content graduate course focusing on selected topics in social work and social welfare.
SOW 6428  The Professional Paper (1 - 6)  Prerequisites:  Written consent of a sponsoring faculty member and the approval of the MSW program director.    A research paper involving the systematic investigation and critical analysis of a social work or social welfare-related issue.  Requires a carefully planned contract between the students and the sponsoring faculty member showing what specific topic is to be systematically investigated, the framework for analyzing the topic, the format for the research paper, and a timetable for completion of the investigation, analysis and paper.