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Class Descriptions

Adventure/Experiential Based Therapy SW744

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This one credit course will focus on the use of an experiential and adventure practice approach (theories, models, tools and techniques) for therapeutic purposes with individuals, groups and families. Students are expected to come with a foundational understanding of clinical work (in particular, some knowledge of clinical group facilitation), and experiential learning. Theoretical models of clinical experiential and adventure practice will be offered and discussed in tandem with clinical social work theories and models of practice. Evidence-based literature will be reviewed that promote nature-based, experiential and adventure interventions that build on strengths and resources of individuals and their families, and that integrate components of other evidence-based practices into the experiential and adventure methodologies. Inclusive and accessible practices will be discussed and demonstrated, especially due to the outdoor and natural setting involved and the physicality of many of the tools used in the approach.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy SW745

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: ACT is an evidence-informed approach that utilizes acceptance, mindfulness strategies and commitment to engage clients in behavioral change strategies. This approach has been established as effective in treating clients with a variety of clinical diagnoses. This course will explore foundational ACT concepts as they apply to clinical assessment and clinical interventions with clients including self-acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self as context, values clarification and committed action.

Attachment Theory in Clinical Practice through the Lifespan SW746

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Understanding the implications of childhood relationships on adult functioning can provide a powerful framework for creating goals and intervention in adult psychotherapy. Using attachment theory as the foundation, this course will address relationship-based intervention with adults. Students will learn the role of attachment in the development and maintenance of strategies that adults use to manage needs for autonomy and connection, in social, family and romantic relationships.

Social Work Practice in Higher Education SW747

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This mini course will provide an overview of social work practice in higher education settings and will cover micro, mezzo, and macro practice. Content will include how social work values, concepts and interventions are able to be applied in campus based settings. Course participants will explore the various opportunities to practice social work competencies using the interdisciplinary approach within the post-secondary education culture. Special attention will be given to the ways social workers are uniquely trained to respond to emergent issues and populations on college campuses including students in recovery, first generation college students, under-represented students, sexual misconduct policy and response and implementation of diversity equity and inclusion initiatives. This interactive course will use lecture, guest speakers/panelists, and group discussion to explore the roles social workers may hold on college campuses and how they adhere to social work values and ethics while also translating their skills to this unique setting.

HIV/AIDS Programs, Policies, Services SW748

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This mini-course will acquaint students with the basic and advanced facts about HIV/AIDS and sensitize students to the multitude of public health, social policy and social service delivery issues that AIDS presents, and provide US and global perspectives to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Students will be sensitized to the special challenges AIDS presents for social work practice. Students will be presented with an approach to evidence based practice, and will review the state of HIV related evidence based prevention practice from national and global perspectives.

Advanced Topics in Policy & Political Social Work SW749

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course presents advanced topics in Policy & Political Social Work. The topics may include emerging practice issues and advanced application of specific methods.

Photovoice SW750

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Photovoice is a process in which people typically those with limited power due to poverty, language barriers, race, class, ethnicity, gender, culture, or other circumstances use video or photo images to document their environment and experiences and share them with others. It uses visual methods to communicate lived experience and to create a basis for discussion and action. The images are often used, with captions composed by the photographers, to bring the realities of the photographers lives home to the public and policy makers and to spur change. However, PhotoVoice can also be a method used direct practice, evaluation, and management settings. This course will cover basic methods for using Photovoice methods with individuals, groups, and communities. The course will provide an overview of the method and its application in different contexts, both domestic and intergenerational, and how visual images can be a powerful form of communication. This section of the class will include a walk through the School of Social Work's collection of documentary photography. The ethical dimensions of this method will also be covered. The remainder of the class will teach methods for photovoice and engage students in their own photovoice project. We will end with an exhibit of photos from the course that will take place in our School of Social Work.

Social Media & Social Change SW751

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course teaches participants to use social media as a tool for community organizing. Participants will use the internet and social networks as easily integrated spaces designed to share information with peers and provide quick ways to organize communities and increase the reach of a group's voice. This minicourse covers the following topics: (1) Relationship building via Facebook & Twitter; (2) Facebook content for organizers; (3) Blogging hosts and content ideas; (4) Twitter content for organizers; (5) Use of video; (6) Mobile social networking; (7) Location-based social networks; (8) Online safety; (9) Discussions of: "safe" spaces online, online dialogue, and traditional organizing methods. Core competencies including critical thinking, social justice, and social equity are also examined and discussed in detail.

Intergroup Dialogues/Diversity, Dialogues & Social Justice SW752

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course is designed to increase students awareness, knowledge, and understanding of issues related to diversity and social justice, including race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability status, and the intersections between these social identity groups. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of dialogue as a method for peacefully resolving conflict that may emerge due to cultural misunderstandings or oppressive dynamics, as well as skills for effectively engaging in dialogue. The topics of this course include social identity development; difference and dominance and the nature of social oppression; our personal and interpersonal connections to power, privilege, and oppression; understanding and resolving conflicts or resistance; the process of dialogue and coalition building across differences; and its applications in multicultural social work settings.

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.

New Leaders in African-Centered Social Work capstone course SW759

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: SW 659
Course Description: This course is designed for students in the New Leaders in African-Centered Social Work (NLACSW) scholars program. Using a portfolio model offered by the School of Social Work, students will integrate knowledge gained from NLACSW-required courses, their field placement, and support and consultation meetings with other coursework and learning experiences related to their method and practice area concentration. Participating students will consult with faculty advisors, instructors, agency staff, and/or peers in developing the portfolio. Before the end of the term in which the capstone course is offered, students will present their e-portfolios in class, at their field placement agency, or in another School of Social Work/ University venue.

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: 1-3
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.)

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