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Class Descriptions

Participatory Facilitation SW753

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Participatory facilitation is the process of increasing participation of diverse people within groups and community contexts. Emphasis will be placed on understanding theories of group work and group process. In this course, students will develop skills and techniques to strengthen participatory facilitation practices, including understanding intergroup dialogue, liberating structures, participatory planning activities, and alternative forms of facilitation including world cafes and online facilitation practices. Students will explore examples as well as practice skills. Special focus will be on the role of power, privilege, and social identities within a facilitation context.

Using Art for Social Change SW754

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course is aimed to create the following impacts on student learning: increased knowledge of the history of community based art and design in the US; increased knowledge of methods for collaborative community based art and design; develop skills in collaboration with community groups in developing community based art and design projects; Knowledge and skills to evaluate the impact of community based art and design activity. Our class is organized around principles of andragogy (adult learning), empowerment, and collaboration. We will develop a co-learning environment that will include presentations, skill building activities and exercises, speakers, and different media. Experiential activities will be central to the structure and process of this course.

Participatory Research & Evaluation SW755

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course will describe the values/ethics, processes, outcomes and dissemination strategies used in participatory research (i.e. community-based participatory research, Photovoice, digital storytelling, participatory action research, participatory evaluation). Students will learn how to develop research steering committees (or other guiding and decision-making bodies made up of stakeholders), engage partners in assessing community strengths, priorities and issues, and use research and evaluation as a tool for action. The course will include how to work with interested community partners to develop key research questions to solve (or better understand) prioritized problems. It will also explore different participatory approaches to engage community in each step of the research and evaluation process.

Community-Based Policy Advocacy SW756

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
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.

Environmental Justice Organizing SW757

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course examines environmental justice organizing in a US and global context. Students will explore the disproportional impact of environmental racism and climate change on low-income communities of color in the US and globally. The course will examine both the history of environmental justice organizing as well as contemporary US and global efforts to organize for change. A particular focus will be on grassroots and coalition building as a strategies for environmental justice and climate change organizing.

Gender-Based Violence: Community, System, and Policy Responses in the Global Context SW758

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course will examine theories, social policies and services, social movements, activism and research concerning gender-based violence, and domestic violence (intimate partner violence) in particular. While focusing on domestic violence, the course will address other forms of gender-based violence through an ongoing analysis of interlocking systems of oppression, power and control. This course is an integrative seminar designed to help students strengthen their critical analysis skills and integrate their knowledge and skills at micro, mezzo, and macro levels. The course encourages the application of these knowledge skills to various levels of practice aimed at ending domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence, especially social change activities through policy advocacy and community organizing.

Advanced Topics in Community Change SW759

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course will be a rotation elective course focused on special and contemporary topics in community change. It will be faculty-driven and focus on specific and important issues in community change, including specific issues impacting community change, contemporary organizing efforts, specific skills in community change, and/or specific issues, policy, population, or contexts for community change.

Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship SW760

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: In this mini-course, students will learn a theoretical framework for social entrepreneurship and design thinking, as well as explore the individual skills and will necessary to respond to complex social needs both locally and globally. Students will be placed on teams throughout the course to engage in hands-on activities, case studies, competitions and a leadership project. The objective of this course is to inspire and begin equipping students to become innovative leaders in the social sector. Specifically, we will address how to understand yourself as a leader within the context of a community and how to lead with moral imagination (the ability to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are serving); understand how an entrepreneurial mindset and operational skills can create and support social change; and turn theory into action by designing and carrying out a team leadership project.

Budgeting and Fiscal Management SW761

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course will present the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to develop and manage the budget of a nonprofit social service organization and its programs. Students will learn to use techniques necessary to: 1) Plan, develop, display, revise, monitor, and evaluate a program budget; 2) Evaluate past financial performance (e.g. financial statements); 3) Monitor and evaluate the cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a nonprofit program and a nonprofit organization.

Managerial Supervision in Social Impact Organizations SW762

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This minicourse, offered over two days, has two major foci. One involves a focus on competency (= knowledge + skill in implementation) in the area of Managerial Supervision. It discusses the 5 main types of supervision: Professional Supervision, Managerial Supervision, Supportive Supervision, Developmental/Career Supervision, and Reflective Supervision. The second focus is on you as a supervisor and supervisee. In about year 3 +/- after graduation, and often sooner, you will be asked to “supervise” others. There is a conflated understanding about what that means, and agencies will say they will help you, but mostly they do not. Nor do they have talent management systems which prepare you for that eventuality. Hence, it depends on you. Meanwhile you will be receiving supervision. So the goal here is to you the process of helping your supervisor be the best s/he can be as immediately helpful and as a training modality for year 3.

Women in Leadership SW763

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Evidence suggests that women face unique leadership challenges. Marginalization based on gender, family and work priorities, and societal expectations create a system that hinders the maximization of leadership potential. In addition, women bring diverse capabilities and hold unique characteristics in the work world today. Community benefit organizations must leverage this diversity of leadership to improve decision making, tap into diverse points of view, and inspire social change. This course will examine the social, structural and personal dynamics that differentially impact women and men as leaders. It will prepare all students to identify and harness the specific needs and capabilities of women. It will provide the knowledge and skills to succeed and contribute added value in their roles as leaders at any level.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities SW766

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: The seminar examines health disparities and inequities as reflected in: higher incidence or prevalence of disease (e.g., earlier onset or more aggressive progression), premature or excessive mortality from specific conditions, higher global burden of disease (e.g., disability adjusted life years), poorer health behaviors and clinical outcomes, and worse outcomes on validated self-reported measures (e.g., daily functioning or conditions-specific symptoms). The seminar aims to develop a rigorous critical analysis of health disparities and inequities and the potentials and limitations of different approaches to addressing them (e.g., behavioral strategies, community change, and policy interventions). Weekly seminar activities focus on discussion, critique and analysis (theory, content and methods) of readings and media on racial and ethnic health disparities/inequities. Readings and media include a variety of disciplinary and professional frameworks and perspectives (e.g., epidemiology, sociology, urban planning).

Sexuality and Social Work SW767

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Everyone has a sexuality, and so social workers need to be prepared to support clients and communities across a variety of sexual identities, experiences, and behaviors. This course integrates a basic introduction into the spectrum of human sexuality along with foundational pieces supporting the theory and practice of social work. By viewing many facets of sexuality from a social work perspective, students will be prepared to assume serve individuals, groups, and communities regarding various issues connected to human sexuality. We will focus definitions surrounding sexuality, the ethics of sexuality and social work, ways to integrate sexuality information into different types of social work practice, and conversations on how complex feelings around controversial topics may impact both practitioners and their clients. Much of this class will include a more in-depth view on communities often marginalized around sexuality, including LGBTQIA+ individuals, older adults, people with disabilities/impairments, youth, people of color, those who have experiences sexual abuse, those who participate in kink/BDSM practices, and those who chose to be consensually non-monogamous. No previous sexuality education experience required, but an open mind and willingness to engage in the grey areas outside of binaries is strongly encouraged.

Advanced Topics in Management & Leadership SW769

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course presents advanced topics in Management & Leadership. The topics may include emerging practice issues and advanced application of specific methods.

Therapy with Couples SW770

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This mini-class offers students an overview of the field of couple therapy. This course will teach students indications for working with couples in a variety of clinical settings. An array of evidence-based models are introduced. There is a major focus on the John Gottman method given this model is based on research findings and integral to the field of couple treatment. The course reviews other evidence-based models (CBT, behavioral, emotion focused therapy, etc) relevant to working with specific clinical situations (i.e. depression, substance use disorders, medical illness, trauma). Theories will be taught and critiqued. Evidence-based models will be emphasized and models that do not have a research base will be assessed in terms of their efficacy and appropriateness. This five-week class has a goal of teaching students about the field of couple therapy including discussing indications and contraindications, the essential facets of completing an evaluation and basic treatment techniques (handling of conflict, communication skills training, improving connection, addressing sexual problems, handling the aftermath of infidelity). State of the art, evidence-based practice will be emphasized as related to different settings (i.e. psychiatric, medical, community, substance abuse, geriatric, etc). The course will address barriers that affect client’s access to care (insurance, health care constraints, other access problems). Poverty, unemployment, illness negatively impact family functioning and seriously erode relationships. Ethnicity, gender, race, class will be addressed as important factors in the models and case presentations. The foremost clinical models will be reviewed with an emphasis on evaluation. The class content will include non-traditional couples, samesex and transgender couples, interracial/inter-ethnic couples. There will be an emphasis on 2 life-cycle and case vignettes and clinical presentations will reflect the life-span. Interviewing techniques will be practiced in some role plays. Lectures, video-tapes, guest speakers will be integrated throughout the mini-class.

Assessment and intervention with preschool children SW771

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Students will learn about comprehensive assessment and evidence based interventions with pre-school children (ages 3-5). This course aims to increase developmentally relevant and effective practice with preschool children and their families. A particular lens will be assessment and intervention in the context of school, however, assessment and intervention strategies within other settings will also be discussed. Special attention will be paid to the needs of preschool children most likely to be under-served by, or expelled from, preschool (e.g. children with behavior problems, children of color, children impacted by trauma, and children with developmental delays.)

Forensic Interviewing SW772

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This is an advanced methods mini-course focused on forensic interviewing of children. The mini-course is particularly relevant to interviewing children alleged to have been sexually abused, but also relevant to gathering information from children about a spectrum of traumatic maltreatment experiences. This mini-course will provide a critical review of the research evidence that is relied upon in forensic interviewing of children, and will provide information about best practice. The course takes child-centered, social justice, and culturally responsive approaches that is inclusive of the child’s needs, developmental stage, and level of cognitive – emotional functioning, throughout the forensic interview process. Documenting the child’s disclosure about the specifics of the allegations will also be discussed.

Evidence Based Parenting Interventions SW773

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course focuses on a specific parenting issue - the use of discipline and punishment in child-rearing. This course examines research on the effectiveness of wide range of parental disciplinary approaches, and introduce numerous evidence-based parenting interventions, and their recommendations and approaches to child discipline. The course content will be embedded within a child development framework that considers the child’s age and development stage, in conjunction with family and community-level factors. We will discuss how cultural norms and beliefs may influence parents’ discipline choices and how social workers can best dialogue with parents help them achieve their parenting aims. This one credit course addresses micro- and macro- social work issues.

Disability Issues: Obstacles and Solution in Today's World SW773

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course will examine the topic of disability from various perspectives, including the historical development of civil rights, the legal framework, the medical model, and how disability is viewed across various cultures. It will examine different types of disabilities, how people with disabilities are treated and denied equal access to programs and employment, and what political/legal recourse is available to address these inequities. The course will also review progress that has been made in the United States regarding the integration of people with disabilities by removing attitudinal and architectural, barriers that they face in daily life. The course will also address how to interact with individuals who have disabilities, the differences between visible and non-visible disabilities, and how disability can affect individuals depending on whether they are children, teenagers or adults. Issues pertaining to dimensions of diversity (e.g., 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 given special attention, particularly in areas of policy development and service delivery for people with disabilities.

Philanthropy, Evaluation, and Performance Measurement SW774

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This minicourse focuses on trends and issues of contemporary philanthropy and their approaches to evaluation to inform allocation models. The ways in which both philanthropic entities and their grantees evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the programming will be explored.

GIS and Spatial Analysis SW775

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: The goal of the GIS minicourse is to provide a general introduction to the use of GIS software for social work practice. Students will learn the basics of practical mapping of data and information using a range of GIS software. Student will learn the basic strategies of securing data, securing map images, and integration of maps and data to create single and multi-layered data maps. Students will be presented with real time applications of this mapped information in clinical and community practice.

Report Writing for Public Consumption SW776

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: In this mini course, students will learn about communication strategies and how reports are used in social work practice. Students will learn how to develop a variety of report formats for different purposes and audiences. Students will be exposed to numerous technologies and applications to assist with report writing and formatting. Students will construct basic reports, meaningful charts, tables, and graphs, text and narration for various audiences and purposes.

Animal Assisted Therapy Interventions SW777

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course provides an experiential opportunity for students to explore an array of animal assisted therapeutic activities specifically designed to further a wide range of therapeutic goals with children, adolescents, families and adult clients. Like play therapy and art therapy, animal assisted interventions, when integrated with evidence-based methods including (but not limited to) CBT and mindfulness, trauma recovery, family systems, cultural-relational and psychodynamic approaches, offer opportunities for people to work through a variety of issues and insecurities related to attachment, trauma, self-esteem and identity concerns, dysregulation, behavioral difficulties, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and family and relational problems. With selected animals as therapy partners, the therapeutic team helps people of all ages and positions foster new alliances, understand more fully existing problems and build practical life-skills to enhance confidence, effectiveness and joy. Presently, animal assisted therapy is gaining acclaim in the field of mental health intervention and there is a growing body of evidence supporting its efficacy to be explored. This course specifically teaches the theoretical foundations, standards, ethics, evidence, certifications, integration of methods, case examples, evaluation and practical skills involved in partnering with a variety of animals – dogs, cats, goats, pigs, horses and chickens (yes, chickens!)- to provide engaging and effective interventions.

Social Work with Military Service Members, Veterans and their Families SW778

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course was designed to increase the knowledge base and competency level of social workers who plan to work with (or are interested in) military service members, veterans, and their families. This will be accomplished by introducing students to basic military background and structure, the common problem-areas experienced by this community, and the diverse subgroups that exist within this unique population. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate improved cultural competency in the areas of the military, veteran and family populations. Students will also be able to identify specific evidence-based interventions for engaging this population in a community-based or clinical setting. The practice area of this course will be identified as Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health.

Advanced Topics in Program Evaluation and Applied Research SW779

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course presents advanced topics in Program Evaluation and Applied Research. The topics may include emerging practice issues and advanced application of specific methods.

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