The Master of Social Work program at the University of Vermont prepares students for advanced social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in the post-modern environment. The curriculum emphasizes strengths-oriented, relational practice guided by principles of social justice and human rights and a conceptual framework of critical social construction. The Master of Social Work program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The professional foundation curriculum is designed to assist students to explore and develop generalist knowledge, values, and skills for professional practice. Students take 30 credits of foundation course work, including 1 elective. The curriculum comprises course work in 5 areas: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE), Social Welfare Policy, Social Work Practice, Field Practica, and Research.
The concentration year curriculum is designed to extend and integrate student knowledge, values, and skills for advanced practice in a single concentration, Transformative Social Work. This is accomplished through focused study in a student-generated, individualized area of interest. All core curriculum courses in the concentration year are considered advanced practice courses in Transformative Social Work, in that all emphasize the application of complex social ideas and the production of transformative roles and methods.
Students select 4 focus courses to direct their studies toward a particular population or field of social work practice. In addition, the concentration curriculum consists of two advanced practice courses, a field practicum, an advanced research course, and a "capstone course" aimed at integrating the student's application of transformative social work in the area of interest.
Comerford, Susan Ann; Associate Professor, Department of Social Work; PHD, Case Western Reserve University
Fook, Jan; Professor, Department of Social Work; PHD, University of Southampton, UK
Heading-Grant, Wanda; Vice President, Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Social Work; EDD, University of Vermont
Sloan, Lacey; Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work; PHD, University of Texas at Austin
Solomon, Brenda M.; Associate Professor, Department of Social Work; PHD, Syracuse University
Velez, Christine; Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work; PHD, Portland State University
SWSS 200. Contemporary Issues. 1-6 Credits.
Content and structure may accommodate special issues not especially appropriate within the boundaries of an existing course. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission.
SWSS 212. Social Work Practice I. 3 Credits.
A comprehensive introduction to concepts and skills employed by social workers in interactions and interventions with individuals, families, and groups is provided. Prerequisite: MSW standing; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 213. Social Work Practice II. 3 Credits.
Knowledge and skills of social work practice with organizations and communities is emphasized. Prerequisite: Completion of SWSS 212; MSW advanced standing; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 216. Th Found of Hum Beh&Soc Envr I. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students to the biological, psychological, cultural/social, and economic forces that influence human behavior and their implication for social work practice. Prerequisite: MSW standing; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 217. Th Found Hum Beh&Soc Envr II. 3 Credits.
Focus is on theories regarding the nature and functioning of human service organizations and communities in relation to meeting human needs. Prerequisite: SWSS 216 or Instructor permission.
SWSS 220. Soc Welfare Pol & Services I. 3 Credits.
An introduction to history and philosophy of social work and social welfare and the structure of service programs is provided. Prerequisite: MSW standing or Instructor permission.
SWSS 221. Soc Welfare Pol & Services II. 3 Credits.
Focus is on the analysis of the economic, political, and social forces that influence the development and implementation of social welfare policy. Prerequisite: SWSS 220; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 224. Child Abuse & Neglect. 3 Credits.
An MSW foundation elective that considers child abuse and neglect from historical, cultural, sociopolitical and psychological perspectives and examines professional social work responses to them. Prerequisite: Matriculation in the foundation year of Graduate study in Social Work; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 227. Found of Social Work Research. 3 Credits.
An introduction to qualitative and quantitative methods of applied social research including program evaluation and the evaluation of practice and application to social work is taught. Prerequisite: MSW standing or Instructor permission.
SWSS 280. Perspectives on Social Work. 4 Credits.
Taking a social constructionist stance, students explore guiding concepts of the MSW curriculum and their application to social work practice, policy, human behavior and research. Pre/co-requisite: MSW standing.
SWSS 290. Foundation Yr Field Practicum. 3-4 Credits.
Supervised field-based learning of 15-20 hours per week. Students are placed in human service agencies and organizations and learn the purposeful application of generalist social work theory, ethics, and skills. Prerequisite: Permission of Coordinator of Field Education.
SWSS 314. Transformative Social Work I. 3 Credits.
Advanced practice in transformative social work will focus on developing relational, profound, and generative meanings for change across populations, fields of practice and social issues. Prerequisite: Completion of Foundation Year.
SWSS 315. Transformative Social Work II. 3 Credits.
Advanced practice in Transformative Social Work II will focus on practical applications across populations at risk, field of practice and social issues. Prerequisite: Completion of Foundation Year.
SWSS 316. Integrative Appr Transform SW. 3 Credits.
In this course students will synthesize their exploration of their area of focus in transformative social work through scholarly reading, research and classroom presentations. Prerequisite: Completion of Foundation Year.
SWSS 320. Adv Soc Welf Policy Anyl&Prac. 3 Credits.
In depth analysis of social welfare policy with application to children and families or health and mental health is required. There is an emphasis on the skills of the policy practitioner. Prerequisite: Completion of SWSS 220 and SWSS 221; MSW advanced standing; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 327. Adv Social Work Research. 3 Credits.
An analysis of social work research from methodological and theoretical perspectives is emphasized. The application of research to the student's concentration area is required. Prerequisites: Completion of SWSS 227; a basic statistics course; MSW advanced standing; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 330. Assessment in Social Work. 3 Credits.
An advanced MSW concentration elective that analyzes competing and complementary assessment strategies and their implications in social work in health/mental health and with children and families. Prerequisite: Completion of MSW foundation course work; or Instructor permission.
SWSS 333. Social Work with Groups. 3 Credits.
An advanced MSW concentration elective that integrates professional history, conceptual overviews and direct experience with methods for group work distinctive to social work practice. Prerequisite: Completion of MSW foundation course work or Instructor permission.
SWSS 336. Addressing Substance Abuse SW. 3 Credits.
In this course, students will investigate the research on the etiological and contributing factors to substance abuse, and study gender specific and culturally responsive treatment strategies, than include trauma-focused, motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Prerequisites: Social Work majors, Concentration year status (completion of foundation year or having advancing standing status in the MSW program).
SWSS 337. Beyond Medical Models in TSW. 3 Credits.
Examines the roles and impacts of the medical model within social work and the implications for human rights and transformative practices; includes important alternative, multicultural perspectives and approaches for integrating physical, environmental and mental health. Prerequisite: Completion of the first half of the Master of Social Work foundation curriculum.
SWSS 338. TSW Responses to Violence. 3 Credits.
Considers transformative social work with adults' and adolescents' experiences of violence along a continuum from interpersonal to collective. Employs a global, poststructural/constructionist practice stance centered on human rights and social justice, safety and agency. Emphasizes collaborative practices in diverse communities. Prerequisites: Completion of all MSW foundation courses or MSW Advanced Standing status.
SWSS 339. Practitioners' Own Stories. 3 Credits.
Through weekly writing prompts, students reflect on connections between their graduate training and contexts for practice, considering organizing concepts of wellness and illness and normal and dysfunction, along with social categories of social difference. They focus on how their personal and professional subjectivities contribute to their observations and analyses of institutionally generated client concerns. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation year course work Masters in Social Work program.
SWSS 340. Trans. Change in SW Orgs. 3 Credits.
This course prepares social workers to lead transformative organizational change; change that reorients the way the organization functions through critical questioning of standing organizational discourse and practices. Topics include: futures research, change models, constructivist approaches, & social inequity and difference. Prerequisites: Completion of first year of the MSW program or Advanced Standing status in the MSW program.
SWSS 341. Social Work with Refugees. 3 Credits.
The historical construction of 'refugees', the discourses and practices that surround it, and the impact of that construction on the lives of people, particularly vulnerable populations are course foci. The geopolitical, economic, ecological discourses that give rise to human flight are examined within the context of social work practice. Service learning experiences are provided. Prerequisites: SWSS 212, SWSS 213, SWSS 216, SWSS 217, SWSS 220, SWSS 221, SWSS 227, SWSS 290, SWSS 290.
SWSS 380. Prof Issues in Social Work. 2-4 Credits.
Designed to cover selected social work issues in depth. Major emphasis on intensive and critical analysis of the literature and practice in a given area. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission.
SWSS 390. Concentration Yr Fld Practicum. 3-4 Credits.
Supervised field-based learning of 15-20 hours per week. Students are placed in human service agencies and organizations and apply advanced social work practice related to an area of concentration. Prerequisite: Completion of all Foundation Year Graduate Level Coursework; permission of Field Education Coordinator.
SWSS 396. Advanced Special Topics. 1-18 Credits.
See Schedule of Courses for specific titles.
SWSS 397. Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.
Individual work on Social Work issue(s) selected by the student in consultation with a faculty member. Prerequisite: Instructor permission required.