Close

Graduate Social Work Course Description(s)

SOWK6101 Professionalism 101 (1)

The purpose of this class is to provide students with basic knowledge about professionalism in social work settings. This includes time management, attendance and demeanor, paperwork completion, confidentiality, etc. Students can choose to take this course or they may be mandated to take it based on non-passing field grades, excessive absences or habitually late work submissions. This course may be used for elective credit at the discretion of the program director. Grade of pass/fail. Optional Requirement: Students taking this class may be required to complete 100 hours of volunteer work in a social service setting, to be identified by the Social Work program. This requirement is typically assigned when a student fails field seminar.

SOWK6500 New Student Orientation (0)

New student orientation is a non-graded course that is required of all incoming students to the Master's in Social Work program. This course will give new students information regarding the overall program, requirements for graduation, and information regarding on-campus departments with which they will interact throughout their course of study.

SOWK6520 Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Lifespan and Biopsychosocial Theories (3)

This is the first of three HBSE courses and is taken in the Generalist year of the MSW program. This course examines human behavior from a biopsychosocial perspective with consideration for the biological, psychological, cognitive, spiritual, social, economic, racial, and cultural variables that influence human development across the lifespan. Using a spiritually enriched ecological systems approach, the course is designed to present a variety of theories and knowledge about the range of social systems in which individuals live, including families, social groups, organizations, and communities. Special attention will be given to the systems that exist in rural settings and small towns.

SOWK6530 Social Welfare Policy and Services (3)

This course is designed to help students understand what drives social welfare policy, how welfare policy affects people's lives, and the ways in which social workers can influence the development and implementation of social policy. Three general areas will be covered in this course. In area one, the student will be introduced to the fundamental concepts, theories, and history of social welfare policy. In area two, a description of social welfare policies and programs that are key to both the immediate and future development of rural and small town communities in the Northwest will be discussed. Finally, in area three, social welfare policy practice techniques will be delineated with significance on the role of social workers in effecting change.

SOWK6540 Introduction to Research Methodology (2)

This course focuses on knowledge of social scientific research philosophies and methodology with respect to their evolution and application to social work theory and practice. It introduces students to content, including research ethics, literature review, development of hypotheses and research questions, problem formalization, conceptualization and operationalization of both quantitative and qualitative levels of measurement, and construction of measures, and research designs.

SOWK6551 Practice II: Organizations/Community Development (3)

This course examines current issues and methods related to organizing for change in human service organizations and communities. The special needs, challenges, and contributions of rural populations and small towns will be addressed. Students are introduced to theories of human service organizations, community organizations, organizational and community dynamics, task group leadership, and strategies for planned change. Emphasis is on understanding the role of the social worker in a macro setting and on developing the macro skills required to effectively work for organizational and community development, planning, and change.

SOWK6561 Practice I: Individuals/Families/Groups (3)

Social Work Practice I is the first course in the foundation sequence of practice courses. The course provides students with an introduction to generalist social work practice and prepares them to provide direct services to client systems of various sizes, including individuals, families, and small groups. Case studies will focus on the challenges of rural service delivery and the changing social patterns in rural areas and small towns. A spiritually enriched ecological systems model of practice will be presented.

SOWK6570 Field Instruction (1-2)

This course represents the generalist practice supervised field experience. The purpose of field instruction is to provide students with an opportunity to integrate theory with practice in a supervised setting. The course includes a concurrent field seminar that is designed to support and supplement the student's field instruction. May be repeated for credit. Fees: Additional fee required. Corequisites: SOWK6571

SOWK6570D Generalist Field Extension (1-4)

This course will be used for students who need an extension in their Generalist field placement. Most often this extension will be used for students who do not pass some portion of field placement. Grade of pass/fail. May be repeated for credit.

SOWK6571 Field Instruction Seminar (1-3)

Emphasis in the generalist field instruction seminar will be on the organizational context of practice, the community context of practice, the planned change process, the strengths perspective, and the professional context of practice. May be repeated for credit. Corequisites: SOWK6570

SOWK6571D Generalist Field Seminar Extension (1-4)

This course will be used for students who need an extension in their Generalist field seminar. Most often this extension will be used for students who do not pass some portion of field placement. Grade of pass/fail. May be repeated for credit.

SOWK6591 Social Work Electives (1-2)

Two or three elective topics will be offered each semester. Elective offerings will be assigned one or two credits. One-credit support classes offered as part of a concentration may be taken as electives by students completing other concentrations. Students may complete as many as desired during the course of their program. A certain number of credits are required for each student, which varies based on concentration.

SOWK6592 Trauma (2)

This course explores the impact of trauma through the lifespan. Trauma theory, assessment, and intervention are emphasized. The connection between the mind and body in regards to both the impact and healing of trauma are integrated into a comprehensive theory of practice.

SOWK6593 Medical Terminology & Pharmacology (2)

The first half of this course is designed to give social work students a basic understanding of medical terminology as it relates to best practice in medical and clinical settings. Students will learn the practical uses of medical terminology and the way it is used to tell a patient’s story. The students will review how medical words are formed and practice those connections in an applied clinical situation. The second half of this course focuses on preparing students to understand the physical and mental effects of psychoactive drugs. Topics such as neurochemistry and physiology, “Uppers,” “Downers,” “Synthetics,” drug use and prevention, treatment, and co-occurring disorders will be addressed. Throughout the course, students will be challenged to communicate thoughts effectively in oral and written form.

SOWK6594 Grant Writing (1)

This course covers the basics of grant writing. During this session, we will examine the basics of grant writing; we will explore sources for finding grant makers, and you will learn the basic skills needed to write a grant. Writing grants is only one of many methods of developing resources for your organization. At the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of how to navigate through the world of grants. You will be able to identify the critical sections of successful grant proposals, how to respond to various grant guidelines, and so on. The basic components of grant writing include such things as having a “need” statement, knowing the mission, goals, objectives, and activities, of your organization, and understanding the role of evaluation, key personnel, and budgets. The course is designed to provide a hands-on grant writing opportunity through various online exercises, lectures, and classroom discussions.

SOWK6595 Social Work and the Law (1)

Social workers in Idaho often work with or in collaboration with legal processes, and their practice often intersects with legal mandates and concerns. Social workers must be aware of the many laws, policies, regulations, and ethical considerations that affect their practice and the lives of their clients. This course will familiarize students with the many laws and legal processes applicable to social work practice in the state of Idaho. Students will learn about basic legal principles and about American and Idaho systems of jurisprudence. They will come to understand the legal underpinnings of privileges and confidentiality and of social work licensing and malpractice in the state. Students will explore ethical considerations that will underpin their practice. Students will learn practical information about working in court and with attorneys. Finally, students will learn about certain specific areas of Idaho law with which social workers deal directly, including child welfare laws, laws that are key in medical social work, and the criminal justice system.

SOWK6596 Domestic Violence (1)

Domestic violence, or intimate violence, is becoming more prevalent and reported in our communities. This course will discuss theories behind intimate violence in families, possible causes or different types of intimate violence, as well as discuss intervention strategies for master’s level social workers when working with families, individual victims, or alleged perpetrators around intimate violence. In addition, students will have the opportunity to further understand intimate violence and how to treat victims, families, and advocate for policy changes on the community and state levels. We will begin with sociological and social-psychological theories of aggression and violence in general, including social learning theory, the frustration-aggression hypothesis, and violence as catharsis. Because intimate violence is so often entangled with issues of gender, we will be focusing on the contributions of gender socialization to the problem. We will explore the facilitative effects of social structure, with a special focus on race and socioeconomic status. We will consider two factors popularly considered to be contributors to intimate violence: pornography and alcohol abuse. Finally, we will investigate specific forms of intimate violence: partner abuse, elderly abuse, child abuse, and sexual aggression (including “date rape”); with each topic, we will examine the empirical studies conducted to date and will interpret the results of this research in light of the theories of intimate violence that guided them.

SOWK7561 Micro Practice Across Systems (3)

This is the first practice course in the Integrated Clinical and Community Practice track. Content is focused on individual and family practice in the areas of child welfare, healthcare, and criminal justice. A primary focus will be on in-depth assessment and crisis intervention with time spent on each of these areas of practice. Students will learn clinical skills for working in settings which typically include brief or short-term interactions with clients.

SOWK7562 Mezzo Practice Across Systems (3)

This is the second practice course in the Integrated Clinical and Community Practice track. This course focuses on social work practice with groups and teams within social welfare systems. Attention will be given to three primary foci in mezzo practice. The first area of focus will be group dynamics and development as might be important for clinicians in child welfare or other settings. The second area of focus will be interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary teams as might be important primarily in child welfare, healthcare, and criminal justice settings. The final area of focus will be team dynamics and development as might be important in leadership and advocacy settings.

SOWK7563 Macro Practice Across Systems (3)

This is the third practice class in the Integrated Clinical and Community Practice track. Content will focus on four major components: program development, program evaluation (outcomes-based practice), leadership, and policy analysis and implementation. These components will be explored using general best practice ideals, but each student will identify one or more areas of practice (child welfare, healthcare, criminal justice) within which to complete course assignments. In addition to classroom content, the students will be expected to implement a macro project in the community based on one or more components of the class.

SOWK7611 Clinical Social Work with Individuals (3)

Students will explore the four waves of mental health theory: psychodynamic, behaviorism, humanism and post-modern. Students will learn to work from an integrative frame of reference tying together theory and practice. Students will learn specific therapeutic assessment, intervention and evaluation tools to work with individual clients within each of the four paradigms.

SOWK7612 Clinical Social Work with Families (3)

Students will explore the four waves of mental health theory: psychodynamic, behaviorism, humanism and post-modern. Students will learn to work from an integrative frame of reference tying together theory and practice. Students will learn specific therapeutic assessment, intervention and evaluation tools to work with dyads and family systems within each of the four paradigms. Prerequisites: SOWK7611, Program admission required.

SOWK7613 Community Mental Health in Rural Settings (3)

Students will learn specific assessment, intervention and evaluation tools applicable to the community mental health care system. Students will learn the systemic connection between micro, mezzo, and macro level practice within rural mental health settings.

SOWK7616 Beyond the DSM (2)

The neurological basis of attachment will be explored. Students will examine the role neurology plays in relationship development and maintenance and how ecological factors influence both.

SOWK7618 Clinical Social Work with Groups (2)

Students will explore group therapy theory and fundamentals of group development and process. As participant learners, students will experience group dynamics through a modified group experience facilitated by the instructor. Students will expand on that learning by leading or co-leading a community group during required internship hours.

SOWK7619 Play Therapy (2)

The Play Therapy course serves as a supplemental course for students in the Clinical Mental Health and Addictions track. It is designed to introduce students to the world of play therapy and provide a foundation for continued education in the use of play when working with children, adolescents and their families. It will give students a basic understanding of play therapy theories, concepts, techniques, as well as introduce them to the founders of play therapy.

SOWK7620 HBSE: Diversity: Exploring the Isms (3)

This is one of three required HBSE courses and is usually taken during the specialized portion of the MSW program. The purpose of this course is to expose students to various aspects of diversity and the ways that intersectionality of identity influences the human experience. It is designed to provide students with a positive environment in which to explore their attitudes, beliefs, and values with regard to human diversity and to enhance their ability to practice social work from the perspective of cultural humility. The sociohistorical, familial, economic, and political roots of racism and privilege are discussed, along with an analysis of current racism. This course will also include content related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and the role of media in how society understands experiences of people with diverse identities. The purpose of this course is to go beyond a basic understanding of particular groups of people to focus on the role that discrimination, oppression, and privilege play in how society, and we, respond to issues of diversity.

SOWK7622 HBSE: Spirituality and Religion (3)

This is one of three required HBSE courses and is usually taken during the specialized portion of the MSW program. It is designed to build upon a student's liberal arts undergraduate education and to offer a more in-depth examination of faith, world religions, spirituality, and social work practice. Religion and spirituality often have a profound influence on the lives of clients, as well as on social workers themselves. This course considers the role of religion in the socialization process of both the client and the professional. It will examine spiritually-based values, ethics, and principles of justice as influences on personal, societal, and professional interactions.

SOWK7630 Policy Issues in Rural America (3)

This course prepares advanced social work practitioners to examine contemporary policy issues, especially as they relate to future development of human services in rural and small town communities in the Northwest. Public policy and legislative issues that are affecting the rural Pacific Northwest (particularly Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) will also be addressed. Different perspectives and models for interpreting and analyzing social policy will be presented in an effort to enhance understanding of the American societal responses to social, economic, political, and health needs within the context of a Christian worldview.

SOWK7640 Advanced Research Design (3)

This course is designed to support students in identifying a research topic within their area of concentration, initiating a literature review on that topic, determining the feasibility of continuing with the selected topic, and establishing a finalized research question or hypothesis, and review both qualitative and quantitative research designs to determine which will best fit the student's research project. Note: It is expected that students will have completed a solid working draft of chapters one and two of their project by the completion of this course.

SOWK7641 Advanced Research Methodology (2)

This course provides students with an opportunity to continue working on a research problem within their area of concentration, complete their literature review, identify a sample population, design a research tool, select an appropriate data analysis approach, collect, measure, and establish a "decision plan" related to accepting or rejecting their hypothesis (or research question), and complete a formal written research proposal. Note: It is expected that students will have completed a solid proposal document, which includes Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of their thesis proposal, by the end of this course. Prerequisites: SOWK7640, Program admission required.

SOWK7642 Completion of Thesis (1-3)

Students may choose to complete a thesis in lieu of the MSW Capstone course - SOWK7690. The proposal (first 3 chapters) will have been written in SOWK7640 and SOWK7641. The student will now gather data, analyze the data, and discuss the research findings in the final two chapters. Grade of pass/fail. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: SOWK7640, SOWK7641, Program admission required.

SOWK7670 Field Instruction (1-2)

This course represents the specialized field placement. Building upon the content and skills learned in the generalist/ baccalaureate program in social work, this course is designed to guide students in an evaluation of their mastery of specialized knowledge and theory, values, ethics, and practice skills. May be repeated for credit Fees: Additional fee required. Corequisites: SOWK7671

SOWK7670D Specialized Field Extension (1-4)

This course will be used for students who need an extension in their specialized field placement. Most often this extension will be used for students who do not pass some portion of field placement. Grade of pass/fail. May be repeated for credit.

SOWK7671 Field Instruction Seminar (1-3)

Seminar will require students to begin the process of integrating social work knowledge and skills from their earlier experiences in practicum or employment with the advanced knowledge, theories, and skills they are currently gaining and apply this learning (with supervision) to the provision of human services in their community. In this process emphasis is placed upon assisting students in identifying with the profession of social work and increasing their awareness of the professional use of self. Students will attend a seminar designed for their area of concentration. May be repeated for credit. Corequisites: SOWK7670

SOWK7671D Specialized Field Seminar Extension (1-4)

This course will be used for students who need an extension in their specialized field placement. Most often this extension will be used for students who do not pass some portion of field placement. Grade of pass/fail. May be repeated for credit.

SOWK7690 MSW Capstone (1)

The capstone course provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate competency in their respective area(s) of concentration through weekly discussions and the writing of a final narrative project. The University values of Transformation, Truth, Community, and Service are integrated into the program's curriculum and must be visibly present in each student's final written project. Prerequisites: Students must have completed advanced field in the chosen concentration(s), Program admission required.

SOWK7699 Independent Study (1-4)

Study of an assigned topic or guided research as directed by a graduate faculty member. Approval of department director required.