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Graduate Catalog

Department of Social Work

(585) 395-2324

Chairperson and Associate Professor: Diane Dwyer, MSW, University of Buffalo. Associate Professors: Kenneth Herrmann, MSW, University of Buffalo; Barbara Kasper, MSW, Syracuse University. Assistant Professors: Carmen Aponte, PhD, Ohio State University; Carol Brownstein-Evans, MSW, Syracuse University; Ossie Heath Crump, PhD, Cornell University; Christian Itin, PhD, University of Denver. Visiting Assistant Professor: Warren Skye, MSW, University of Buffalo; Coordinator of Field Instruction: Mary Jo Schlecht, MSW, Syracuse University.

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Master of Social Work
(585) 327-7450
Director and Professor: Estella Norwood Evans, PhD, Yeshiva University. Professor: Susan Taylor-Brown, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. Assistant Professor: Ossie Heath Crump, PhD, Cornell University; Christian M. Itin, PhD, University of Denver.

The MSW Program is a unique collaboration between Nazareth College of Rochester and SUNY Brockport, both having a long history of social-work education in Rochester. Consistent with the missions of both schools, the MSW program affirms the tradition of promoting the empowerment of all groups of people to achieve social justice and equality. The primary goal of the program is to enhance the quality of life for individuals within the Rochester community through social-work teaching, research, scholarship, and service. The program's commitment is to prepare social workers for advanced generalist practice within an interdisciplinary and community collaborative context. Students will be taught to facilitate individual, family, group, organizational, and community change that improves the lives of people, particularly those that have been oppressed and/or disempowered. The program provides opportunities for students to be on the cutting edge of new directions for social-work practice.

Within this advanced generalist perspective, students focus within one of two concentrations: Family and Community Practice and Interdisciplinary Health Care, which are broadly defined and are based on the collaborative perspective of the program. Specifically, the two concentrations prepare students to develop advanced social-work knowledge and ethical practice skills by learning and practice within the professional value base of the profession. Collaboration skills are emphasized that prepare students to work within a community-based practice approach that involves interdisciplinary and interagency cooperative efforts. The main focus on intervention in the community context provides opportunities to assimilate and integrate cultural diversity into change efforts.

The program currently has Candidacy Status with the Council on Social Work Education and is registered with the New York State Department of Education.

Admissions Requirements
There is no single factor used to determine student admission to the MSW program, rather a combination of factors are considered as follows:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Those with a lower cumulative GPA may apply, but GPA factors heavily in admission decisions.
  • An academic record that reflects a strong liberal arts perspective, as evidenced in official transcripts. The following are required: One (three-credit) course in human biology; one (three-credit) course in statistics; three (three-credit) courses in the social sciences (including one in psychology, one in sociology and a third in another discipline); three (three-credit) courses in the humanities; and one additional (three-credit) course in the physical sciences, mathematics, or computer science.
  • Prior paid or volunteer experience and its relevance to social work.
  • Three reference forms and accompanying letters of reference that specify the applicant's ability to do graduate-level work and the applicant's commitment to social work.
  • Completion of the personal/professional statement as described in the application form. The personal statement is an essential part of the admissions file. The content and writing style provides important information about the applicant and his/her understanding of the social-work profession. Applicants should consider the personal statement as an opportunity to communicate with the Admissions Committee about their specific strengths, professional goals, and future plans.
  • As demonstrated in the personal statement, through letters of recommendation, in the applicant's academic record, and in the applicant's work history:
    • A serious commitment to the profession of social work.
    • A capacity to engage in personal and professional self-awareness.
    • The readiness and preparation to engage in graduate-level studies.
    • The personal qualifications considered essential for sound social-work practice. These include concern for the needs of others, sensitive and relationship skills, good judgement, creativity, and integrity.
    • Skills in oral and written communications, and utilizing information technology.

Advanced-standing Admission
Students who have graduated within the past eight years from a CSWE-accredited baccalaureate social-work program are eligible to apply for admission to the MSW advanced-standing program. Additional minimum admission requirements are:

  1. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  2. A copy of the applicant's field practicum application.
  3. Three letters of recommendation, including one from a social-work faculty member who can attest to the applicant's ability to do graduate-level work, and one from a social-work supervisor who can attest to the applicant's ability to engage in graduate-level practice.

Tuition
Since the MSW Program operates as a bi-institutional collaborative program, the tuition structure for this program varies from the tuition of SUNY Brockport. Applicants may contact the program directly at (585) 327-7450 for program specific information, including current tuition rates.

General Program Requirements and Curriculum
The curriculum is an advanced generalist model delivered within the framework of collaborative community-based practice. The theoretical underpinnings of the curriculum are knowledge and skill development from a systems and ecological perspective. The core first-year courses and field practicum integrate the problem-solving process through a strength-based empowerment model as the main theme of the generalist perspective. There are full-time, part-time, and advanced-standing options within the curriculum. The full- and part-time programs require 60 credits. The advanced-standing program is 39 credits, including a summer session.

Foundation-year Courses
Foundation courses are designed to provide a generalist perspective. The following courses are required during the first year.

 
Credits
SWK 501 Social-work Practice I
3
SWK 502 Social-work Practice II
3

SWK 504 Field Practicum I and Seminar I

3
SWK 505 Field Practicum II and Seminar II
3
SWK 506 Human Behavior/Social Environment I
3
SWK 507 Human Behavior/Social Environment II
3
SWK 520 Social-welfare Policy and Services
3
SWK 530 Social-work Research I
3
SWK 531 Social-work Research II
3
SWK 524 Social-work Practice and Cultural Diversity
3

Concentration-year Courses
The second-year curriculum is designed to provide the framework for advanced generalist practice and consists of two concentrations: Family and Community Practice and Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice. Students choose a concentration at the time of application. The following courses are required for both concentrations.

 
Credits
SWK 610 Field Practicum III and Seminar III
5

SWK 611 Field Practicum IV and Seminar IV

5
SWK 630 Master's Project Development
1
SWK 631 Master's Project Implementation
3
SWK 640 Special Topics
1
Electives
6

Family and Community Practice
The Family and Community Practice concentration prepares students to plan, develop, and implement family-focused services from a collaborative, community-based perspective. The following are required courses in the concentration:

 
Credits
SWK 601 Family and Community Practice
3
SWK 603 Family and Community Empowerment, Advocacy and Development
3
SWK 620 Advanced Social-welfare Policy: Families and Communities
3

Interdisciplinary Health Care
The Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice concentration prepares students for practice in diverse health-care settings. A public health model of community intervention is emphasized. The following are required courses in the concentration:

 
Credits
SWK 602 Social-work Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice I
3
SWK 604 Social-work Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice II
3
SWK 621 Advanced Social-welfare Policy: Interdisciplinary Health Care
3

Part-time and Advanced-standing Options
The program has a part-time option that allows students to complete the course of study over nine semesters. Students who have graduated from a CSWE-accredited BSW program are eligible to apply for the advanced-standing option and complete the program in three semesters.

MSW Course Descriptions

SWK 501 Social-work Practice I. Prepares students for generalist social-work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Introduces students to the history of social-work practice, the place and purpose of generalist practice, and the beginning phases of practice relationships. Considers assessment and developing relationships are from a cross-cultural, strength-based, community collaborative perspective across the five client systems. Develops a practice perspective focusing on empowering client systems to address issues of economic and social justice. 3 Cr.

SWK 502 Social-work Practice II. Prepares students for generalist social-work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Emphasizes practice with communities and organizations. Introduces students to the work and termination phases of practice. Interventions are considered from a cross-cultural, strength-based, community collaborative perspective across the five client systems. Emphasizes interventions that focus on empowerment of client systems to address issues of economic and social justice. Considers roles such as conferee, enabler, broker, advocate, mediator, and guardian. 3 Cr.

SWK 503 Social-work Integrative Practice Seminar. Provides the advanced-standing student an opportunity to review the theoretical foundations and application of social-work practice skills. Emphasizes the processes involved in individual, family, group, organizational, and community interventions. 3 Cr.

SWK 504 Field Practicum I and Seminar I. Provides the foundation-year, first-semester, agency-based field and seminar internship experience. Provides the required 448 hours of field practice in the first year through completion of two days of field instruction per week over 14 weeks. Uses educational learning objectives developed by the student, field instructor, and faculty liaison to provide student learning opportunities in interaction with individuals, groups, organizations, and larger community systems. Integrates course work and field instruction experiences in the foundation year. Uses assignments and student generated discussions to enhance knowledge and skill development based on practice situations. Seminar faculty serve as the first- and second-semester field liaison for students in the practicum. 3 Cr.

SWK 505 Field Practicum II and Field Seminar II. Provides the foundation-year, second-semester, agency-based field and seminar internship experience. Provides the required 448 hours of field practice in the first year through completion of two days of field instruction per week over 14 weeks. Uses educational learning objectives developed by the student, field instructor, and faculty liaison to provide student learning opportunities in interactions with individuals, groups, organizations, and larger community systems. Integrates course work and field instruction experiences in the foundation year. Uses assignments and student-generated discussions to enhance knowledge and skill development based on practice situations. Building on the previous semester's field practicum, requires acquisition of progressively more advanced skills. 3 Cr.

SWK 506 Human Behavior and Social Environment I. Examines major social-science theories that inform the social-work profession's understanding of human behavior in social systems, primarily focused on groups, families, and individuals. Uses an ecological/systems framework together with a developmental approach and a diversity perspective to provide an interactional understanding of human behavior. Emphasizes relationships among biological, social, psychological and cultural systems. 3 Cr.

SWK 507 Human Behavior and Social Environment II. Examines major social-science theories that inform the social-work profession's understanding of human behavior in social systems, primarily focused on communities and organizations. Uses an ecological/systems framework together with a developmental approach and a diversity perspective to provide an interactional understanding of human behavior. Explores principles of community development and organizational analysis. Examines linkages between the five social systems with the principles of community collaboration. 3 Cr.

SWK 520 Social-welfare Policy and Services. Introduces students to philosophical and historical perspectives of social-welfare services and social-work practice, and attempts to foster the development of not only descriptive, but also analytical and critical understanding of social-welfare programs, policies, and services. Studies historical aspects and the current nature of major programs of social welfare, develops skills in analyzing social-welfare policies and programs, and explores strategies for influencing policy at various levels. 3 Cr.

SWK 524 Social-work Practice and Cultural Diversity. Focuses on processes of oppression in society, and the experiences, needs, and responses of people who have been subjected to institutionalized forms of oppression because of their particular collective characteristics. Provides preparation for the student to engage in sensitive, culturally competent, cross-cultural and cross-ethnic social-work practice. Emphasizes social-work theory, knowledge, and practice skills in order to guide culturally competent interventions aimed at addressing the needs of diverse groups. Stresses cognitive and affective processes throughout the course. 3 Cr.

SWK 530 Social-work Research I. Introduces basic concepts of social-work research process and methods. Studies the basic skills required to formulate a researchable problem, design a research project, and develop a research proposal. Requires that students produce a research proposal, which they implement in Research II. 3 Cr.

SWK 531 Social-work Research II: Data-analysis Designs. Elaborates on basic concepts of social-work research process and methods. Introduces data gathering, data analysis, and presenting research findings. Studies basic skills required to conduct research, analyze data, and present research. 3 Cr.

SWK 532 Social-work Research for Advanced Standing. A special research course for advanced-standing students that begins with an intensive overview of content covered in Research I, and provides a comprehensive overview of content covered in Research II. 3 Cr.

SWK 600 Independent Study. Arranged in consultation with the instructor/sponsor and in accordance with procedures of appropriate academic offices prior to registration. 3 Cr.

SWK 601 Social-work Practice III: Family and Community Practice. Develops knowledge and advanced skills in approaches that effectively enhance, preserve, and restore family functioning within a community context. Focuses on the knowledge base for work with families (and the communities within which they live) who face the challenges of poverty, mental illness, minority status, family violence, sexual abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, and major losses. Emphasizes developing advanced skills in assessment, intervention, and evaluation. Integrates the influence of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, developmental stage, organizations, the community and the wider societal context throughout the course. 3 Cr.

SWK 602 Social-work Practice III: Social-work Interdisciplinary Health-Care Practice I. Emphasizes the delivery of health services in a community context from a public-health perspective. Examines the roles of social workers in the current model of health-care delivery and focuses on the collaborative nature and new directions for health-care organizations and services. 3 Cr.

SWK 603 Social-work Practice IV: Family and Community Empowerment, Advocacy and Development. Develops knowledge and advanced skills in approaches that effectively enhance, preserve, and restore communities and their capacity to support families. Focuses on the knowledge base for work with communities within which families live, who face the challenges of poverty, mental illness, minority status, family violence, sexual abuse, and substance abuses. Emphasizes empowerment and advocacy skills to help families create just and compassionate communities. 3 Cr.

SWK 604 Social-work Practice IV: Social-work Interdisciplinary Health Care II. Continues the examination of interdisciplinary health care and delivery emphasizing practice knowledge and skill development necessary to function within the managed care and integrated health-care systems. Provides theoretical approaches to practice in the collaborative context of community-based interdisciplinary service-delivery systems. 3 Cr.

SWK 610 Field Practicum III and Seminar III. Provides concentration-year, first-semester, agency-based field-instruction experience and classroom seminar for advanced-learning and practice opportunities relevant to the specific concentration of students. Requires completing three days of field instruction per week over 14 weeks each semester for a total of 672 hours. Builds on the previous semester(s) and is progressive in knowledge and skill development. Integrates course-work and field-instruction experiences. Uses assignments and student-generated discussions to enhance knowledge and advanced skill development based on practice situations. Seminar faculty serve as the first- and second-gsemester field liaison for students in the practicum. 5 Cr.

SWK 611 Field Seminar Practicum IV and Seminar IV. Provides the concentration-year, second-semester, agency-based field-instruction experience and classroom seminar for advanced-learning and practice opportunities relevant to the specific concentration of students. Integrates course-work and field-instruction experiences. Uses assignments and student-generated discussions to enhance knowledge and advanced skill development based on practice situations. Field seminars in the concentration year are taken each semester concurrent with field practicum. Seminar faculty serve as the first- and second-semester field liaison for students in the practicum. 5 Cr.

SWK 620 Advanced Social-welfare Policy: Families and Communities. Builds upon the basic foundation-year, social-policy course. Focuses on problems, policies, and planning from the perspective of their impact on families and communities, an understanding of the American social-welfare system, human behavior and social systems, and advanced generalist social-work practice. Recognizing the fundamental duty of the social-work profession to promote social equity and justice, focuses on policy practice geared towards helping oppressed and stigmatized families within a community context. 3 Cr.

SWK 621 Advanced Social-welfare Policy: Interdisciplinary Health Care. Presents federal, state and the private organization of health-care services and financing. Focuses on trends, current policy shifts, and challenges for the study of policy implications for health-care delivery. Examines specific policy options for current and future community-oriented health care-delivery systems in collaborative models. 3 Cr.

SWK 630 Master's Project Development. Requires students to formulate a proposal for the master's project. May be developed independently or within a small group. Uses a seminar format with specific tasks and topics to be covered coming from the interests of the class. Requires students to read and critique each other's proposals before they are submitted to faculty. 1 Cr.

SWK 631 Master's Project Implementation. Supports students in the implementation and evaluation of their master's project. Uses a seminar format with specific tasks and topics to be covered coming from the interests of the class. Requires students to read and critique each other's proposals before they are submitted to faculty. Also requires students to develop a research colloquium to present their work. 3 Cr.

SWK 640 Special Topics. Provides an opportunity for in-depth class exploration of special topics in social work. Topics vary and change from year to year depending on the interests of students and faculty. 1 Cr.

SWK 642 Contemporary Issues. Provides an opportunity for students and faculty to explore contemporary issues outside of the regular course offerings. 3 Cr.

SWK 644 Case Management. Provides a theoretical and practical understanding of case management. Critically examines the role of case management and how it relates to both advanced generalist practice and each of the two program concentrations (Family and Community Enhancement and Interdisciplinary Health Care). Explores the historical evolution of case management and its relation to various social-work perspectives, functions, practice principles, and current issues. 3 Cr.

SWK 646 Management and Fiscal Administration in Human Services. Examines the structure and functions of nonprofit organizations and agencies. Explores concepts and theoretical constructs of administration and financial management, along with the value of administration and management skills in agencies and organizations. Covers budgeting and accounting principles in the context of cost-effectiveness of service delivery. 3 Cr.

SWK 647 Supervision and Consultation. Identifies and examines central concepts, theories and models of supervision and consultation. Considers strategies and techniques for establishing, improving, and maintaining supervisory and consultative relationships as mechanisms for improving service to clients. Gives special attention to organization dynamics and structure, delineating the management function, and to issues of power and authority. Emphasizes the dynamics of supervision and consultation, ethical and value principles, professional boundaries, supervision and consultation as leadership functions, and the importance of collaborative processes. 3 Cr.

SWK 648 Community Collaboration and Organizational Leadership. Examines the concepts, principles, and related theories of organizational behavior and leadership, and collaborative planning. Focuses on building a knowledge base for understanding approaches to management of organizational internal and external environments. Examines interprofessional, organizational, and interdisciplinary community collaboration as an emerging direction for human services. 3 Cr.

Additionally, the department offers the following graduate courses, which can be applied as requirements and/or electives in degree programs as determined through the advisement process.

SWO 576 Gerontology. Examines the older person as an evolving individual; bio-psycho-social elements in the aging process; major issues related to the older person, the aging process and the society. Compares the needs of the elderly with the service system's response and discusses methods of intervention specifically needed for the older person. 3 Cr.

SWO 578 Developmental Disabilities. Examines and analyzes developmental disabilities in individual, family and group practice experience; and policy and planning in the development, coordination, and impact on delivery systems. 3 Cr.