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Class Descriptions

Proseminar in Social Work and Social Science SW800

Credits: 2
Prerequisites: Doctoral student in Social Work & Social Science or Permission of Instructor
Course Description: This is a seminar about the nature of research and scholarship for the students in the joint program in Social Work and Social Science. The basic motivating question for the seminar is a daunting one. It concerns the nature, place and practice of scholarship in a complex multidisciplinary context that emphasizes learning about not only the requirements of developing basic knowledge as an end in itself but also the skills, processes, procedures and routines associated with the use of that knowledge to help solve problems that impinge on, or directly disrupt the quality of peoples lives. A central assumption is that similar to other forms of scholarship, expertise in scholarship in a combined professional/academic context is not automatic. Instead it involves the purposive acquisition of habits, skills and attitudes that enable people to contribute to professional and academic advances in their chosen field of inquiry. The first semester focuses on the early stages of this development. As such, it seeks to establish an orientation to the development of scholarship that will continue once the seminar is over. That is to say, it seeks to engage students in an examination of the practices, styles and domains of scholarship in the multidisciplinary contexts of social work, social welfare and social science so that they may begin to evolve an approach to scholarship suited to their own interests, inclinations and capabilities. Throughout the term, various topics pertinent to making explicit the requirements and practices of scholarship will be discussed based on focused readings on each topic. The second semester, taken at the end of coursework, is focused on identifying how the integration of social work and social science knowledge can be the basis of the social work prelim or dissertation project.

Research Internship SW801

Credits: 1 - 8
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or Permission of Instructor
Course Description: Students enroll in this course, under their advisor’s section number, when working on their research internship in the School of Social Work.

Research Internship SW802

Credits: 1 - 8
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or Permission of Instructor
Course Description: Students enroll in this course, under their advisor’s section number, when working on their research internship in the School of Social Work.

Research Internship SW803

Credits: 1 - 8
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or Permission of Instructor
Course Description: Students enroll in this course, under their advisor’s section number, when working on their research internship in the School of Social Work.

Intervention in Human Service Organizations and Social Service Networks SW813

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral standing or permission of instructor.
Course Description: This course provides a critical examination of strategies of change within human service organizations and in networks of organizations in terms of their effects on effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness to the needs of vulnerable populations. Theories and research on organizations—specifically organization‐environment relations, organization‐client relations, structure, organizational change and innovation, and inter‐organizational analysis and change—will be applied to the formulation of intervention and change strategies. The effects of current structuring of service delivery systems on accessibility, comprehensiveness, continuity, fairness, quality, and effectiveness of care, with special emphasis on populations vulnerable through their gender or ethnicity, will be detailed. Models and empirical studies of change within organizations and in networks of organizations aimed at improving the delivery of services will be analyzed and research issues and knowledge gaps will be identified. Relevant ethical and value issues will be examined.

Community Intervention SW814

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: Community interventions are examined as methodologies of planned social change and community practice. The changing context of practice, major models, methods, and the uses of empirically based research to formulate and critically evaluate general practice propositions and action guidelines will be analyzed. Models of planned change to be discussed may include mass mobilization, social action, citizen participation, political advocacy, community education, and neighborhood development. Analysis will include methods of assessing community conditions, formulating strategies, building organizations, activating people, implementing plans, and monitoring and evaluating results. Research and case studies in public and private settings, in health, housing, and other human services, and in a variety of territories from neighborhood to nation will be included. Problems and issues of the economically disadvantaged, minorities, and women, and relevant ethical issues and values will be addressed.

Policy Development and Implementation SW815

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral standing and permission of the instructor. PIP area
Course Description: Policy as an intervention process is critically examined by analyzing the phases of this process, various perspectives on policy analysis, the uses of empirical social science knowledge, the context of policy, policy’s latent functions, and social, organizational, and cultural factors that impact at each phase. Three types of substantive structures will be included: remediation, enhancement, and prevention. General and specific approaches to these goals will be compared in different content areas and auspices (public and private). Key research questions and gaps in knowledge will be identified as will roles, tasks, and tools of the researcher and policy developer. Ethical and value questions will be explored, with special attention to the effects of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and various types of social discrimination.

Racial, Ethnic and Gender Issues in Intervention SW816

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: Intervention methods are critically examined as they relate to racial, gender, and ethnic statuses of clients. Social science theory and research relevant to the identification of problems experienced by target groups and to status, effects on psychosocial interventions will be reviewed. Attention will be on the effects of status and power differentials linked to racial, ethnic and gender status's of clients on the development and implementation of interventions at various levels in the social system. Cultural assumptions and discrimination that influence the definition and nature of problems, health, and competence, and the nature of interventions will be analyzed. Although attention will be given primarily to ethnicity and gender, these issues will be explored in a way that extends their applicability to other status differences and to sexual orientation. Key literature from social work, epidemiology and the social sciences will be covered to prepare students to design, implement, and evaluate interventions which address the problems of high risk or under-served groups. Throughout, ethical and value issues will be integrated into course content.

Special Seminars in Practice, Intervention, and Policy SW818

Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: Content varies, in keeping with faculty and student interests in emerging issues relating to practice, intervention or policy, and covers theoretical and empirical underpinnings, key research questions and gaps in knowledge, ethical and value issues, and ethnic, gender, minority, and social‐class factors. For example, the seminar may focus on a critical analysis of a developing intervention or of a new social welfare policy initiative.

Special Seminars in Evidence-Based Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups SW819

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: Content of these seminars vary, in keeping with faculty and student interests in emerging issues relating to evidence based practice with individuals, families, and groups on the macro or micro level of intervention. These seminars can cover theoretical and empirical underpinnings, key research questions and gaps in knowledge, ethical and value issues, and ethnic, gender, minority, and social-class factors.

Comparative Cross National Analyses of Social Service Systems SW823

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This course focuses on exploring and applying a structure for the comparative cross-national study of social services. It is intended to provide a common basis for developing comparisons and providing students with the opportunity to explore how a particular area of social services has developed and been implemented in a country of their choosing. The course will start with an exploration of the parameters for understanding and comparing national approaches to social services. These parameters include, but are not limited to, the resources/wealth of a country, the role of national/local government, cross-national influences, and the relevant religious and societal values in a country. In developing comparative perspectives on the realities of social service provision, emphasis will be placed on understanding challenges of implementation and gaps between policies and practice. Examples of social service areas that students will be encouraged to pursue include income security, protecting vulnerable populations, criminal justice, child care/adoption, health care, disability policy, and employment/labor rights.

Historical and Contemporary Issues in Social Work and Social Welfare SW825

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This course centers on the examination of the purposes of social welfare and social work and how they have reflected different philosophical and ideological positions, diverse class, racial, ethnic, and cultural perspectives, and the particular historical contexts in which they emerged. It covers long standing conflicts and tensions in the field such as the role of social responsibility vs. social control, how needs are recognized and determined, the nature of helping, perspectives on social justice and charity, the professional role of social workers, and organizational arrangements for social work and social welfare. The focus of this course is on the development of U.S. social welfare and social work with a comparative, cross-national and multicultural lens.

Special Seminars in Social Service Systems SW829

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: These seminars cover variable topics related to faculty and student analysis of critical and emerging issues. Related to specific social problems and to social services systems established to address these problems. Possible topics include: care-giving in post industrial society; privatization of social service system; social control and the social services; special problems and/or populations; deinstitutionalization and the development of community-based care; women, work, and welfare; and comparative analysis of social service systems.

Research Methods for Evaluating Social Programs and Human Service Organizations SW831

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing, one grad level stats course, and a basic understanding of bivariate analysis, including correlation, or permission of instructor. Also recommended is a rudimentary understanding of instrument construction and data collection procedures.
Course Description: This course focuses on the theoretical and strategic issues in designing and implementing formative or summative evaluations. The scope will include methods of evaluation appropriate for the study of social programs, human service organizations, inter-organizational relationships; and similarities and differences from methods used for basic knowledge development. The analysis of alternative evaluation models, procedures, and techniques and issues in the design, implementation, and utilization of evaluation research will also be addressed. Topics may include: the sociopolitical context; ethical issues; the planning of evaluations; specification of variables, with emphasis on definitions of effectiveness and on operations of service technologies; the formulation of evaluation objectives; issues in sampling procedures, measurement, and data collection; alternative models for designing programmatic and organizational evaluations, including network analysis; analysis of findings; feedback at different stages of program evaluation; and reporting, dissemination, and utilization of results.

Research Methods for Social Policy Analysis SW832

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing and one grad level stats course or permission of instructor
Course Description: This course covers research methods for assessing the nature and extent of needs for social intervention, evaluating the success or failure of existing social welfare policies, and determining the anticipated consequences of alternative policies and interventions. Also considered will be values and assumptions underlying policies and research, similarities and differences between methods for developing social policy knowledge and those for basic knowledge development, strategies to promote utilization and dissemination of research results, and methods of studying community, regional, national, and comparative international policies. Possible topics will be: community needs assessment techniques; subjective and objective measures of program and policy consequences; aggregation problems within and across communities, regions, or countries; analysis of time series data; archival and other historical methods of research; case study techniques; analysis of cross‐sectional, panel, and comparative international data as natural experiments; the design and analysis of formal social experiments; meta‐analysis of existing research results; and benefit‐cost analysis and other related methods.

Special Seminar: Applied Research in Aging I SW835

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This seminar is designed to develop research competence in applied issues of aging. The seminar is primarily designed for pre‐ and post‐doctoral fellows from the NIA project on Social Research Training on Applied Issues of Aging. Other participants are welcome after prior consultation with one of the instructors.

Special Seminar: Applied Research in Aging II SW836

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This year-long seminar is designed to develop research competence in applied settings. During the fall term, the seminar will focus on research related to substantive and theoretical issues involved in exploring the relationship between aging and health and health care. This seminar is primarily designed for pre and post-doctoral fellows on the NIA project on Social Research Training on Applied Issues of Aging. Other pre- and post- doctoral participants are welcome after prior consultation with one of the instructors. During the Winter term, each student develops a product using applied research concepts

Special Seminars in Research Methods for Practice and Policy SW838

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or Permission of Instructor
Course Description: These seminars cover variable topics related to faculty and student analysis of critical and emerging issues in research methods for social work policy and practice. These topics may include research strategies, designs, techniques, and skills needed to develop knowledge of human services or research methods relevant to: the advancement of knowledge about practice interventions, the organization of service delivery, and social welfare policies; evaluation of practice, programs, and policies; the formulation and development of innovative practice interventions, service delivery systems, and social welfare policies.

Social Equality and Equity SW842

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This course focuses on variations in the structure of opportunity and outcomes within the United States and between the United States and other countries. The forms inequality may take and changes over time in conceptions of inequality and inequity will be examined. Attention will be given to: effects of diverse values, perspectives, and ideologies on conceptualizations of social equality and equity; operational definitions of these conceptualizations; the antecedents and consequences of equality/inequality and equity/inequity as variously defined; and the implications of the above for social work and social welfare. Current levels of inequality in the United States will be assessed by critically reviewing the literature on differentials in opportunities and outcome. Comparative analysis of empirical work on inequality within the United States and between the United States and other countries will be used as a basis for examining debates about the relative costs and benefits of particular levels of inequality and about the trade‐off’s between equality and other social goods. Key research issues and gaps in knowledge will be identified.

Special Seminars in Social Context for Practice and Policy SW849

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This seminar covers particular aspects of individual and family well being, social participation, social equity and equality,responses to social trends, or other human conditions that may influence social work and social welfare. The seminar will consider the influences of diverse ideologies and values on conceptualizations of these conditions, operational definitions of the variables considered, an analysis of antecedents and consequences of the conditions, and implications for social work and social welfare of the above. Students will analyze how social units are affected by and respond to current or emerging social trends. Selected trends will provide the substantive theme, addressed with five foci: the trend's nature and antecedents, its consequences for particular social units, social problems/opportunities created by it, responses of various social units to those problems/opportunities, and implications for social work and social welfare in responding to the trend through innovative policies, programs, and treatment methods. Differential effects of the trend on subgroups such as minorities, women and the elderly will be of special interest. Topic selection criteria will include: timeliness, relevance to problems/opportunities of importance to social work/social welfare, and congruence with faculty scholarly work.

Special Seminar: Poverty and Inequality (Public Policy) SW858

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing and permission of instructor
Course Description: This course analyzes the conditions and causes of poverty within the United States and the variety of economic, social, and political responses to it. The first part of the course explores the problems of poverty, including a discussion of various causal theories of poverty and the underlying implications of these theories. The second part of the course analyzes specific problems and policy proposals, with particular attention to the most recent round of legislative reforms since the mid‐1990’s.

Anthropology & Soc Work Seminar SW871

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This seminar is a foundation course for students in the joint Anthropology/Social Work Program. The readings bring together social theory and ethnographic accounts of contemporary social issues. Topics, chosen to illustrate the intersection of the two fields and to bring together faculty from both schools, may include medicine and health, human and civil rights, urban neighborhoods, immigration, race, ethnicity, and gender. Beyond the joint Anthropolgy/Social Work students, the course is expected to attract joint Social Work/social science students from other disciplines, as well as graduate students in anthroplogy, political science, sociology, psychology, economics, and other fields. The course will include events such as guest speakers, works in-progress discussions, reading group, etc.

Theories of Change SW873

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This course focuses on change, particularly social change, with an emphasis on examining its characterization, explanation and perpetration. The objectives of the course are to deepen and broaden theoretical and empirical understanding of change, and to enhance capacity to pose and address analytic questions about change as well as critically considering the viability of analyses for suggesting policy adjustments or initiatives, or plans of intervention. The objectives will be achieved through readings, class discussions and presentations, and written work.

Social Work and Sociology SW874

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This seminar provides a foundation and overview for students interested in understanding the intersection between social work and sociology. The readings bring together sociological theory and scholarship as they relate to contemporary social work and social welfare issues. Topics, chose to illustrate the intersection of the two fields and to bring together faculty from both schools, may include poverty, social stratification, and health. Beyond the joint Sociology/Social Work students, the course is expected to attract joint Social Work/social science students from other disciplines, as well as graduate students in economics, public policy, political science, psychology, and other fields. The course will include activities such as guest speakers, works in-progress discussions, readings, and presentations.

Social Work and Economics SW875

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing or permission of instructor
Course Description: This seminar provides a foundation and overview for students interested in understanding the intersection between social work and economics. The readings bring together economic theory and scholarship as they relate to contemporary social work and social welfare issues. Topics, chosen to illustrate the intersection of the two fields and to bring together faculty from both schools, may include poverty, education, and health care. Beyond the joint Eonomics/Social Work students, the course is expected to attract joint Social Work/social science students from other disciplines, as well as graduate students in economics, political science, sociology, psychology, and other fields. The course will include activities such as guest speakers, works in-progress discussions, readings, and presentations.

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