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Class Descriptions

Interpersonal Practice with Children and Youth SW625

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 521/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course will examine practice theories and techniques for working directly with children, adolescents, and their caretakers. This course will emphasize evidence-based interventions that address diverse groups of children or adolescents within their social contexts (e.g., peer group, school, family, neighborhood). Special attention will be given to issues of diversity as it relates to building therapeutic relationships and intervening with children, adolescents and their families. The interaction between environmental risk factors, protective factors, promotive and developmental factors as they contribute to coping, resiliency, and disorder, as well as how these might vary by child or adolescent diversity factors, such as race, ethnicity, disadvantage, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity and culture will also be covered.

Interpersonal Practice with Adult Individuals SW628

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 521/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course will approach work with individual clients from a person-in-environment perspective and build on the content presented in course 521. The stages of the treatment process (i.e. engagement, assessment, planning, evaluation, intervention, and termination) will be presented for work with individual adults. The relevance and limitations of various theoretical approaches will be reviewed as they apply to assessment, planning, and intervention methods. This course will focus on empirically evaluated models of intervention and will teach students how to monitor and evaluate their own practice. Special attention will be given to issues of the key diversity dimensions such as "ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation" including identification of one's own social and cultural identities and group memberships, and how these relate to working with clients, colleagues, and other professionals. The course will emphasize time-limited treatment methods, and practice with involuntary clients.

Children and Youth Services and Social Policies SW633

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 530
Course Description: This course will critically analyze the various social services and policies that provide developmental, preventive, treatment, and rehabilitative services aimed at children and youth and their families. The role of social services in the broad context of both formal and informal systems that influence the life course of children and youth will be addressed. This course will examine how services are articulated at various levels of intervention and in policies and regulations and how this affects the ethical practice of social workers and other family and child serving professionals. Particular emphasis will be placed on services provided by community-based agencies, child welfare services, and the juvenile justice system. Students will develop critical frameworks for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the policies and organization and delivery of child-oriented social services based on behavioral and social science research and through the lens of multi-culturalism and social justice values. In addition, illustrative cross-national comparisons of services and policies for families with children and youth will be examined. The course will address the key diversity dimensions "ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation."

Health Care Policies and Services SW634

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 530
Course Description: This course will examine the strengths and limitations of the U.S. health care system, including health indicators and the state of health care delivery in the United States, with selective international comparisons. The role of the public and private sectors in health care and health policy will be presented, with special attention to the financing of health care and the role of the government in health care. The course will focus on the organization of services (i.e., public health, prevention/ promotion services, primary care, acute care, chronic care, and long-term care). Alternative and complementary medicine and services will also be examined. The pharmaceutical and medical devices industries will be examined, as will the health care workforce. Access to care, utilization, and quality of care will be covered. A major focus of the course will be on disparities in health care and on health care for the underserved, including racial/ethnic minorities, women, sexual minorities, and the poor. The role of social workers in health care will be addressed throughout.

Mental Health Policies and Service SW636

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 530
Course Description: This course will cover the various mental health services and programs for adults, children, and youth, and the roles that social workers perform. Promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services to the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, learning disabled, and substance abuse populations will be surveyed. Contemporary policy issues, legislation, ethical issues, controversies, social movements, and trends affecting services to those with mental illness and mental disorders will be discussed. The historical context of services and how the mentally ill have been historically stigmatized and conceptualized will be reviewed, so that students will be able to develop critical thinking about mental health services. The impact of differences in the key diversity dimensions such as ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression) marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation will be examined , as these relate to various mental health policies and services. This course will also survey the various self-help, mutual aid, and natural/informal helping systems.

Policies and Services for Older Adults SW644

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 530
Course Description: This course will examine social policies, problems, and trends in social programs and services for older people. It will focus major attention on the strengths and limitations of existing policies and programs related to health, mental health, income maintenance, income deficiency, dependent care, housing, employment and unemployment, and institutional and residential care. This course will provide a framework for an analysis of the services provided to older people. This analysis will include the adequacy with which needs are met in various subgroups of the elderly population and across core diversity dimensions (including ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation). It will also include proposals for change in policies, programs and services. Programs will be compared in terms of access to benefits and services provided to older people.

Issues in Global Social Work Practice SW648

Former Curriculum

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This class is for students who will be going abroad at the end of the Winter semester (e.g., students who will be completing a global field placement, global independent study, or Peace Corps service). This course is designed to help prepare social work students for professional practice during a global social work experience, as well as to help integrate that experience into the broader educational experience at UM-SSW. Students will critically examine the impact of their positionalities, assumptions, values, theories and practice models and begin to develop a practice framework that is ethical, relevant and effective in a global setting.

Community Development SW650

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 560/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course examines methods of community development as a process in which people join together and develop community-based programs and services at the local level to create community change, with or without assistance by outside agencies. It emphasizes ways in which residents can take initiative, contribute to collective action, and help themselves through community-based business and economic development, health and human services, popular education, and housing and neighborhood revitalization projects. It includes innovative examples of community development in urban and rural areas, as well as examples that involve diverse communities of interest taking into account ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation. Special emphasis is placed on initiatives which involve individuals and families in positive pluralist and multicultural efforts to integrate human, social, economic, and community development to build upon their strengths and assets rather than focus solely on their problems and needs.

Planning for Organizational and Community Change SW651

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 560/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course examines planning as a systematic process for community change that promotes social justice and empowerment. The course critically analyzes the sociopolitical and organizational contexts in which planning occurs, as well as major models and methods of planning practice. It presents practical tools for engaging community members, assessing community strengths and needs, setting goals and developing action plans, fostering support and partnerships for implementation, and evaluating and monitoring results. Emphasis is placed on participatory planning processes with marginalized and oppressed groups (including ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation).

Organizing for Social and Political Action SW652

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 560/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course examines methods of organizing people for social and political action on their own behalf or on behalf of others. Students will analyze different approaches to bringing people together for collective action, building organizational capacity, and generating power in the community. The course includes the study of skills in analyzing power structures, formulating action strategies, using conflict and persuasive tactics, challenging oppressive structures, conducting community campaigns, using political advocacy as a form of mobilization, and understanding contemporary social issues as they affect oppressed and disadvantaged communities. Special emphasis will be placed on organizing communities of color, women, LGBT populations, and other under-represented groups in U.S. society.

Concepts and Techniques of Community Participation SW654

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 560/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course examines concepts and techniques of community participation for diverse democracy. It analyzes the changing context and core concepts of participation, major models and methods of practice, and practical techniques for involving people in organizations and communities. It assesses formal efforts by agencies to involve people in their proceedings, indigenous initiatives by groups to influence institutions and decisions, and their potential for community empowerment and civic engagement in democratic societies which value diversity as an asset. Special emphasis is placed on increasing involvement of underrepresented groups located in economically disinvested and racially segregated areas worldwide.

Neighborhood Planning (Urban Planning) SW655

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: The course focuses on concepts and issues that characterize community planning for neighborhoods and explores interdisciplinary approaches to neighborhood analysis and intervention.  The initiatives of community development corporations, city agencies, and the federal government are examined through lectures, readings, and guest speakers.  The central questions the course examines are: Why do neighborhoods experience prosperity and decline? Which approaches (e.g. economic development, urban design, social service delivery, housing rehabilitation, community organizing and empowerment) are likely to be most effective in revitalizing neighborhoods?  How do we assess existing approaches to neighborhood revitalization?  Emphasis is placed on discovering appropriate information sources, learning to ask relevant planning questions, and formulating program alternatives and recommendations.

Multicultural, Multilingual Organizing SW657

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 560/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course will examine multicultural, multilingual organizing as a process of promoting intergroup relations and social development at the community level. Included will be content on efforts by diverse groups ( inclusive of the following dimensions: ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation, as well community of residence) to maintain their identities while also interacting and cooperating across cultural boundaries. Students will apply existing practice to multicultural situations and develop emergent skills for the future. This course will examine concepts and techniques of multicultural, multilingual organizing. Relevant strategies and tactics that promote positive intergroup relations and pluralism at the community level will be analyzed (e.g., interethnic planning and multigroup coalition-building). Students will be prepared for the roles that social workers can expect to serve in building a racially, ethnically, and religiously heterogeneous society.

Women and Community Organizing SW658

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 530/permission of instructor
Course Description: Contemporary feminist thought challenges us to identify and analyze the connections between our day-to-day experiences and social patterns of gender inequality. In this course, we will explore the theory and practice of community organizations using a feminist lens. This lens brings into focus persistent patterns of inequality; it also reveals the persistence of community-based women organizers efforts to create positive change. This course will examine concepts and techniques for organizing women at the community level. Students will learn about major models and methods of practice, intersectional and analytical skills, and roles of women as organizers and constituents of community organizations. Students will identify forces that facilitate and limit organizing of women in the community and will develop action principles for work with women in the community. Critical value and ethical issues for women and men concerned with women's issues and organizing will be explored, in addition to ways to develop alternative approaches to address these issues.

Analytic Methods for Social Policy Practice SW670

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 522/permission of instructor
Course Description: Understanding the major analytic and quantitative tools used by practitioners engaged in assessing or evaluating human service systems is an essential component of social policy practice. This course will emphasize quantitative program analysis, and students will be asked to analyze an area related to a particular social problem. Students will acquire beginning level skills in the use of a wide variety of analytic and quantitative tools, while gaining in-depth skill in a more limited number of tools and techniques. Competence in these skill areas will be gained by completing a major analysis of a social problem area relevant to social welfare policy. The underlying theme of this course will be how to increase the rationality of the choice process when applied to complex and rapidly changing human service systems. In short, scientific analysis opposed to political analysis or advocacy is emphasized.

Social Policy Development and Enactment SW671

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW560/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course will review the overall design of human service systems, how to plan for and design such systems, how to develop the legislative mandates and regulations that operationalize these designs, and how to facilitate their formal enactment. Students will learn the analytic skills associated with the development of policies that give specification to human service systems, as well as the more interactional skills associated with facilitating the enactment of these policies.

Statistics in Policy Analysis and Evaluation SW673

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 522
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to statistics and statistical methods. It is intended and designed for students who have little or no familiarity with statistics and who may want to learn at a relatively slow pace so that their knowledge base is built on a solid foundation. The course content will integrate the core themes related to multiculturalism and diversity; social justice and social change; promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation through the data sets and examples that are used to highlight statistical concepts. Students in this course will acquire the skills to comprehend simple statistical reports related to social policy and program evaluation. Students will be able to assess the value and limitations of rates, measures, and statistical estimates. This course will help students develop the ability to use simple quantitative methods to describe real world situations in social work settings and to make ethical inferences and decisions based on the statistical results. Students will learn to choose methods of statistical analysis to improve social policy decisions and service delivery programs. Students will learn to understand and use appropriate language with their statistical analyses to clarify meaning and to explain the inferences that can be appropriately made from specific data. Finally, students will learn to construct basic reports that include meaningful charts, tables, and graphs for various audiences and that provide text that is appropriate for different audiences.

Community-Based Policy Advocacy SW674

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 560/permission of instructor
Course Description: Community-based policy advocacy will be presented as an empowering process that helps to strengthen intra-group and inter-group solidarity as it challenges and attempts to change oppressive structures, systems, and institutions. In contrast to viewing advocacy in the traditional sense -- as a means by which experts represent group interests in legislative, judicial, and executive settings -- this course will explore ways through which traditionally excluded groups advocate for themselves and, in so doing, help build organizations and develop communities.

Evaluation in Social Work SW683

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 522
Course Description: This course will cover beginning level evaluation that builds on basic research knowledge as a method of assessing social work practice and strengthening clients, communities and their social programs as well as the systems that serve clients and communities. It addresses the evaluation of promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services. Students will learn to assess and apply evaluation methods from various perspectives, including scientific, ethical, multicultural, and social justice perspectives.

Methods of Program Evaluation SW685

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW522/permission of instructor
Course Description: This course will focus on the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods to monitor and evaluate social services. Students will develop skills in choosing and implementing appropriate evaluation strategies and designs to answer policy and practice questions. Emphasis will be placed on how to select and construct measures and assess their reliability and validity. Students will assess service needs of target populations and communities, monitor the implementation and operation of social welfare programs, and evaluate their impact. Opportunities will be provided to obtain practical experience in data collection, interpretation, presentation and dissemination of evaluation results.

Advanced Field Instruction SW691

Former Curriculum

Credits: 4
Prerequisites: SW 515 and SW 531
Course Description: This advanced Field education course will build on the pre-requisite SW 515 foundation field placement education. Students will engage in tasks and assignments that reflect a higher level of immersion, independence, and competence than at the foundation level. Acquisition of such development occurs through a field placement involving integration of classroom learning and experiential learning opportunities. Students will receive regular field supervision with a field instructor and learning that may be supplemented by other educational resources.

Seminar in Jewish Communal Leadership SW692

Former Curriculum

Credits: 2
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: The professional seminar in Jewish communal leadership provides a critical space within the Jewish Communal Leadership Program curriculum in which students can integrate the very different approaches to knowledge, skills and experience – acquired in their SSW and Judaic studies courses and in their board and field placements – into a coherent whole. It provides opportunities for participants to meet with relevant professional and lay community leaders, to explore the relationship of personal and professional identities, to work collaboratively on soliciting and addressing communal problems gathered from the field, to participate in generating public programming related to Jewish communal issues, to consult with SSW faculty about the application of Social Work approaches to Jewish communal problems, and to gather peer feedback and establish relationships with each other. The seminar also serves as a setting for the exploration of general societal concerns from the perspective of Jewish communal interests and traditional values, and for bringing the perspectives and skills that are a part of Social Work study and practice to addressing Jewish communal concerns. The seminar serves as the intellectual home for the Jewish Communal Leadership Program, providing the forum in which students will grapple with understanding the Jewish community within its broader societal context. It provides a space for students to engage with issues of pluralism – addressing the place of Jewish community in a diverse society and the challenges of diversity within the Jewish community. The seminar will also provide a setting for students to apply their Judaic training and their practical skills in evaluation, data analysis, and social relationships to developing analytical approaches to current problems that will be presented by communal agencies for the consideration of JCLP students.

Geriatric Integrative Seminar SW693

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: The University of Michigan School of Social Work Geriatric Fellowship Integrative Seminar is a multimethods course designed to supplement the Aging concentration curriculum with further information (a didactic component) and indepth case studies/field examples (a practice-based component). The course will cover several thematic Units (successful aging, diversity, physical health, mental health, end of life issues, and health care system/health policy issues), each of which will include a discussion of practice-based interventions from the four concentration methods: Interpersonal Practice (IP), Management of Human Services (MHS), Community Organizing (CO), and Social Policy and Evaluation (SPE). The seminar will also provide a forum in which Geriatric Fellows can receive practical feedback as well as guidance in networking/job search strategies as they near graduation.

Social Work with Older Adults SW694

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: SW 521 and SW 560
Course Description: This methods course focuses on intervention with older people at micro and macro levels. The course will build upon foundation coursework theory about human development, personality, and social environment. This content will be integrated with intervention strategies directed toward aging adults, including evidence based interventions and practices. Major areas to be discussed are: coping with age-related changes, caregiving demands, advance directives, guardianship, managed care, elder abuse, case management and advocacy. An emphasis will be placed on addressing participation within the diverse dimensions: including ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation.

Advanced Proseminar in Jewish Communal Leadership SW695

Former Curriculum

Credits: 2
Prerequisites: SW 692
Course Description: The professional seminar in Jewish communal leadership serves as the academic home for the Jewish Communal Leadership Program (JCLP). It provides a critical space in the JCLP curriculum for students to integrate different approaches to knowledge, skills and experience -- acquired in their SSW and Judaic studies courses and in their board and field placements -- into a unified and meaningful experience. Within the seminar, Jewish Communal Leadership students are given opportunities to meet with local, national, and international professional and lay community leaders, to explore the relationship of personal and professional identities, to engage with historic and current approaches to Jewish community challenges, to work collaboratively on soliciting and addressing communal problems gathered from the field, to participate in generating public programming related to Jewish communal issues, to consult with SSW faculty about the application of Social Work approaches to Jewish communal problems, and to gather peer feedback and establish relationships with each other. The seminar also serves as a setting for considering general societal concerns from the perspective of Jewish communal interests and values, and for bringing the perspectives and skills that are a part of Social Work study and practice to Jewish communal concerns. Social Work 695 is intended for second- year Jewish Communal Leadership Program students. It provides them with a space to interact with first-year JCLP students and to focus on group projects in response to the needs of relevant Jewish agencies.

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