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Social Work

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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Staff

  • Naomi Campos
  • Frances Rucks
  • Heather Lang

Faculty

  • Wendy Ashley (MSW
  • PsyD
  • LCSW,); Eli Bartle (MSW; PhD); Tiffani Brooks (MSW
  • LCSW); Dana Gaines (MSW); James Decker (MSW
  • PhD
  • LCSW); Jean Daniels (MSW; DSW; LCSW); Julie Gould (MSW
  • LCSW); Beth Halaas (MSW); Teresa Knott (MSW Ph.D.); Jennifer Henningfield (MSW
  • LCSW); Vanessa Hirsi (MSW,LCSW); Theresa Knott (MSW
  • PhD); Amy Levin (MSW
  • PhD); Susan Love (MSW
  • Ph.D. LCSW); Jieha Lee (MSW
  • PhD); Janis Lyons (MSW
  • LCSW); Jane Beuth Mayer (MSW
  • LCSW); Katie Mortimer (MSW
  • LCSW); Caroline Nersessian (MSW
  • LCSW); Jose Paez (MSW
  • LCSW); Hyun-Sun Park (MSW
  • PhD); Luis Pereira (MSW); Jose Ramos (MSW)

Degree Programs:

Graduate Degrees Offered:

  • Master of Social Work (MSW)

Program

The Master of Social Work degree at California State University, Northridge provides students with a strong academic program with professional skill development which provides social services to the San Fernando Valley adjacent cities as well as state, national, and global communities. This full-time program consists of two academic years, including 19 courses, equaling 60 credits of which 12 credits are in field placement. The first year or foundation year of the program consists of two semesters for all students, including core course content of social work micro and macro practice, multicultural practice, DSM-IV-TR diagnosis, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and advocacy, social research, and field placement. Other required content for professional accreditation includes social work values and ethics, populations-at-risk, diversity, and social and economic justice. The total units (minimum of 60) in the program meet the requirements for professional accreditation.

Social Work Department Program Goals:

1.  Prevent social, emotional and behavioral problems; improve the well being of individuals and families; and support the recovery process.

2.  Develop programs and policies which build on the strengths of urban families.

3.  Empower and be relevant to the needs of the multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural San Fernando Valley and its surrounding communities.

4.  Advocate for a diverse and just society.

Three-Year, Part-Time Program

The three-year, part-time program consists of three calendar years, including a minimum of twenty (20) courses (at least twelve units of which are field courses) and completion of two field internship placements.

The three-year, part-time student cohorts complete their course of study over a three-year period. Students take two or three courses per semester which are offered in compressed modules, taking place on week day evenings and some Saturdays. The field placement for the three-year, part-time program consists of a minimum of sixteen (16) hours of field internship per week during two of the three years.

Admission Requirements:

  • 1. A baccalaureate from an accredited university in Sociology
  • Psychology
  • the Liberal Arts
  • or similar bachelor’s program.
  • 2. A grade point average of 3.0.
  • 3. Submit a social work program application form which includes a personal statement.
  • 4. Submit three letters of recommendations
  • at least one from an academic institution.
Foundation Courses (30-33 units)
  • SWRK 501 Human Behavior and Social Environment I (3)
  • SWRK 502 Human Behavior and Social Environment II (3)
  • SWRK 510 Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice I (3)
  • SWRK 520 Social Work Practice in Multicultural Contexts (3)
  • SWRK 521 Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice II (3)
  • SWRK 522 Foundations of Field Education I (3)
  • SWRK 523 Foundations of Field Education II (3 or 6)
  • SWRK 525 Social Welfare Policy and Services (3)
  • SWRK 535 Research Methods for Social Knowledge and Practice (3)
  • SWRK 503 Practice: DSM-IV-TR (3)
Advanced Concentration Courses (30 units)
Focus: Advanced Practice with Urban Families
Required (24 units)
  • SWRK 601 Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families I (3)
  • SWRK 602 Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families II (3)
  • SWRK 622 Advanced Field Practicum with Urban Families I (3)
  • SWRK 623 Advanced Field Practicum with Urban Families II (3)
  • SWRK 630 Family Crisis
  • Trauma and Grief (3)
  • SWRK 635 Advanced Skills in Program Evaluation and Research with Urban Families (3)
  • SWRK 645 Urban Social Policy and Advocacy (3)
  • SWRK 698 Graduate Project (3)
Electives (6 units)
  • SWRK 650A Child Welfare Services (3)
  • SWRK 650B Addictions (3)
  • SWRK 650C Mental Health Practice (3)
  • SWRK 650D Practice in Child Welfare Settings (3)
SWRK 650G Supervision (3)
  • SWRK 650I Aging and Families (3)
  • SWRK 650J Immigration (3)
  • SWRK 650K Dreams (3)
  • SWRK 650L LGBT (3)
  • SWRK 650M Group Therapy (3)
  • SWRK 650N Couples Therapy (3)
  • SWRK 650O Healthcare Settings (3)
  • SWRK 650P Family Therapy (3)
  • SWRK 650R Social Work in Schools (3)
  • SWRK 650Q Pre-licensure Course (3)

Course List

SWRK 501. Human Behavior and Social Environment (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate admission and acceptance to the MSW Program.This course provides understanding of human behavior and social environment from an eco-systemic and value-based perspective as applicable in social work practice. Content includes theories and knowledge of human, bio-psycho-social development, and that of the range of social systems, (families, groups, organizations, institutions and communities) in which individuals live. This course looks at the larger view of the interaction of human behavior and the social environment across the life span from the human ancestor and family genetic inheritance to birth, childhood, youth, adult life, old age, and death. (Offered during Fall semesters).
SWRK 502. Human Behavior and Social Environment II (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate admission and acceptance to the MSW Program.This is the second of two human behavior and the social environment courses, which provides understanding of human behavior and social environmental relationships from an ecological perspective. It will focus on the developmental dynamics of larger social systems, specifically groups, organizations, and communities, and their influence on individuals and families. The systems’ interdependence with political, social, cultural, and economic and natural environments is explored. Content emphasizes multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice in relation to social systems. (Offered Spring semesters).
SWRK 510. Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice I (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW Program.This is an introductory course in generalist social work practice methods and skills of social work intervention with individuals. Attention is given to the historic development of social work practice, the nature and application of social work values and ethical principles, the theoretical framework of helping methods and the helping process of assessment, planning, intervention, termination and evaluation. Emphasis is on a generalist approach to helping within an ecosystem approach for understanding the person-in-situation.
SWRK 520. Social Work Practice in Multicultural Contexts (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW program.This course is designed to assist graduate social work students in understanding and interacting in a culturally competent manner with the multitude of groups that are identified by race, culture, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, and regional and national origins that compose the diverse cultural mosaic of the U.S. The course will also cover issues relating to international social work practice and the increasingly interconnected global economy.
SWRK 521. Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice II (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW program.This course is designed to help students understand organizations, institutions and communities, and the knowledge bases of social work generalist practice for interventions at this level. It provides an opportunity to explore selected macro models of practice, and learn about human service organizations that often serve as an immediate context for community practice.
SWRK 522. Foundations of Field Education I (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW program.Field education in the professional foundation year is designed to permit the student to apply the knowledge, skills, and values learned in courses in the liberal arts, social work practice, social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, and social research in an educationally supervised experience. Students are required to complete approximately 200-250 hours of supervised practice during the course in an assigned social service agency. Agency assignments are made by the field coordinator after consultation with the student. Letter grade only.
SWRK 523. Foundations of Field Education I (3-3-3)
Prerequisites: SWRK 522. Field education in the professional foundation year is designed to permit the student to apply the knowledge, skills, and values learned in courses in the liberal arts, social work practice, social welfare policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, and social research in an educationally supervised experience. Students are required to complete approximately 250-300 hours of supervised practice during the course in an assigned social service agency. Agency assignments are made by the field coordinator after consultation with the student. Letter grade only.
SWRK 525. Social Welfare Policy and Services (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW program.This course examines economic, historical, political, intellectual, socio-cultural, leadership, values, ideologies, and other such factors shaping social welfare, economic policy, programs and services. It addresses various frameworks for studying social welfare policy, programs and services, and examines the roles of policy-makers, the processes of social change, and the roles of social workers as facilitators of positive social change. Special emphasis is placed on effects of social and economic policy decisions on impoverished and oppressed people.
SWRK 535. Research Methods for Social Knowledge and Practice (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW program.This course provides an overview of social science research methods useful for social work practice. It provides the foundation knowledge and skills that enable students to be intelligent consumers of information, to conduct social research, and to critically evaluate social work practice. The application of social research methods to social work practice in various size systems is a primary emphasis.
SWRK 601. Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families I (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.This course emphasizes theories, concepts, and skills of social work practice with urban families. The application of advanced practice skills used in working with individuals, families, and small groups is the central content of the course. Special attention is given to practice with special populations who face the social and personal problems of urban community life. Family practice methods are a major focus of the course. This advanced year course concentrates on what is unique about various individuals, couples, and families and how to deal with these unique issues.
SWRK 602. Advanced Social Work Practice with Urban Families II (3.
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.In this course students develop knowledge, skills, and values for several models of group and organization practice to help families. The emphasis is on practice dealing with meeting the needs of urban families through working with larger systems and through advocacy and organization. The theme of strengths-based practice is carried through from the foundation courses. The major focus is on developing skill in working with those larger systems in addressing the issues faced by urban families. Special attention is given to group methods for working with urban families and family members.
SWRK 603. Practice DSM-IV-TR (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and acceptance to the MSW program.This course will expose students to multiple perspectives in assessing and diagnosing adults, adolescents and children implementing culturally sensitive theories and practices founded on social work values and ethics that incorporate a strengths based approach to social work practice. Students will learn how to assess a client system within the framework of the social work system which relies upon the DSM-IV-TR.
SWRK 622. Advanced Field Practicum with Urban Families I (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.Advanced Field Practicum I is the first semester of the advanced concentration field practicum courses. In the advanced field practicum, students continue to build upon the knowledge and skills gained during the foundation program. The course provides field education about the advanced concentration curriculum, which focuses on social work with urban families. The first practicum is designed to provide experience in direct work with families or subsets of families, offering an opportunity to put classroom learning into practice. Students are required to complete approximately 250-300 hours of supervised practice in their assigned social service agency and attend the field practicum course designed to integrate classroom learning and field experience. Letter grade only.
SWRK 623. Advanced Field Practicum with Urban Families II (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.Advanced Practice with Urban Families Field Practicum II is the second semester of the advanced concentration field practicum courses. The course provides field education about the advanced concentration curriculum, which focuses on social work with urban families. This second practicum is designed to provide experience in larger system work with and on behalf of families, coordinating with the content classroom learning. During the second semester of field practicum, students continue at their first semester assigned placement site while continuing to enhance their social work practice skills. Students are required to complete approximately 300-360 hours of supervised practice in their assigned social service agency. Letter grade only.
SWRK 630. Family Crisis, Trauma and Grief (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.This course examines the complex issues of family crisis, trauma, and grief for social workers working with urban families and individuals who have experienced these conditions. Several theoretical approaches are examined, with an emphasis on crisis intervention in traumatic and stressful situations, as well as issues of death and dying and the grief and loss that are associated with them. In the modern urban environments, many people experience traumatic events in their daily lives. The purpose of the course is to acquaint social work students with the nature and impact as well as some of the concepts, theories, and principles for dealing with client systems of all sizes when they face crisis, trauma, and grief. The significance of crisis, trauma, and grief for fields of practice such as mental health, hospital social work, child welfare, gerontology, and other social services and in community violence and terrorism are explored.
SWRK 635. Advanced Skills in Program Evaluation and Research with Urban Families (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.This course provides a more in-depth view of social science research methods useful for social work practice. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable students to be intelligent consumers of information, to conduct social research, to critically evaluate social work practice and policy. Students will also learn how to use research to scientifically evaluate their own practice. The current socio-political climate is increasingly focusing on assessing the costs, quality, and effectiveness of social services. Therefore, this course is based on the assumption that as a practicing social worker, you will be engaged in applying research findings in your clinical work and using research methods to monitor and evaluate clinical interventions and services to urban families.
SWRK 645. Urban Social Policy and Advocacy (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.This course is designed to help students gain knowledge and skills of policy practice (including both analysis and advocacy) to effectively participate in the development and advancement of policies that support and effect change at multiple levels of diverse client systems in urban environments. This course helps build skills in both formal and informal policy analysis, identifying underlying values, and communicating and organizing to effect policy formation and change.
SWRK 650A-Z Selected Topics in Social Work (3)
Prerequisite: Second Year standing.In-depth study of a selected theme or issue in Social Work. Topics offered may change from semester to semester. Critical writing and reading is required. (A) Child Welfare; (B) Addictions; (C) Mental Health; (E) Practice DSM-IV-TR; (G) Supervision; (I) Aging and Families; (J) Immigration Issues and Practice in Urban Settings; (K) Dream Work/Interpretation; (L) Social Work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals, Families, and Communities; (M) Group Therapy in Mental Health Settings with Urban, Multicultural Clients; (N) Couples Therapy: A New Research-Based Approach; (O) Social Work in Healthcare Settings; (P) Family Therapy for Social Workers; (Q) LCSW Preparation Course; (R) Social Work Practice in Schools.
SWRK 698. Graduate Project (3)
Prerequisites: Second Year standing.Offered as the culminating experience of the graduate program, students complete an individual or group research project reflecting the students’ interest and needs in working with urban families (SWRK 698). This project meets the culminating experience requirements.
SWRK 699A-C. Independent Study (1-3)
Prerequisites: Second year standing.This course may be taken to develop expertise in areas not included in the regular curriculum, or as preparation for the Comprehensive Examination.