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Department of Social Work
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; Jason Dauenhauer, PhD, University of Rochester; Linda King, PhD, University at Buffalo; Richard Russell, PhD, Syracuse University; Visiting Assistant Professors: Debra Fromm Faria, MSW, Syracuse University; Sherry Nau, MSW, Syracuse University; Margery Saunders, MSW, SUNY Albany; Coordinator of Field Instruction: Mary Jo Schlecht, MSW, Syracuse University.
Master of Social Work
Program Director and Associate Professor of Social Work, Nazareth College: Carol Brownstein-Evans, PhD, Syracuse University; Chairpersons: Diane Dwyer, Associate Professor SUNY Brockport, MSW, University of Buffalo; Virginia David, Professor of Social Work, Nazareth College, MSW, Syracuse University; Assistant Professors: Linda King, PhD, University of Buffalo; Jed Metzger, PhD, New York University; Sekile Nzinga-Johnson, PhD, University of Maryland; Richard Russell, PhD, Syracuse University; Director of Field Education: Debra Fromm Faria, MSW, Syracuse University.
The MSW Program is a unique collaboration between Nazareth College of Rochester and SUNY College at Brockport, both having a long history of social work education in the Rochester area. 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 integrated 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 who 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 integrated 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 and 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 is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is registered with the New York State Department of Education.
Part-time and Advanced-standing Options
The 60-credit master's program has an option that allows part-time 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 39-credit advanced-standing option and complete the program in three semesters (full-time) or six semesters (part-time).
General Admissions Requirements
The application for admission to the GRC Master of Social Work program may be obtained by calling (585) 395-8450 or e-mailing email@example.com.
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 an accredited institution (see the Graduate Admissions section in this catalog for further details) 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 and one in sociology (preferably the introductory courses in those disciplines), and a third course in another discipline; three (three-credit) courses in the humanities; and one additional (three-credit) course in the physical sciences, mathematics or computer science. All courses must have a grade of 'C' or better.
- 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 judgment, creativity and integrity.
- Skills in oral and written communications and use of information technology.
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:
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
- A copy of the applicant's field practicum evaluations.
- A practice example rather than a personal statement
- 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.
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) 395-8450 for program specific information, including current tuition rates, or may refer to the program Web site at www.brockport.edu/grcmsw/
General Program Requirements and Curriculum
The curriculum is an advanced integrated 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. Both the 60-credit program and the 39-credit advanced-standing program have full-time and part-time options.
Foundation courses are designed to provide a generalist perspective. The following foundation level courses are required.
|Course Number||Course Name||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 524||Social Work Practice and Cultural Diversity||3|
|SWK 530||Social Work Research I||3|
|SWK 531||Social Work Research II||3|
In lieu of the above foundation courses, BSW Advanced-Standing students must complete the following bridge courses prior to taking concentration courses.
|SWK 503||Seminar for Advanced Standing||3|
|SWK 525||Integrative Cultural Competency in Social Work Practice for Advanced Standing||3|
|SWK 532||Social Work Research for Advanced Standing||3|
The second-year curriculum is designed to provide the framework for advanced integrated 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.
|Course Number||Course Name||Credits|
|SWK 610||Field Practicum III and Seminar III||4|
|SWK 611||Field Practicum IV and Seminar IV||5|
|SWK 630||Master's Project Development||3|
|SWK 631||Master's Project Implementation||3|
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:
|Course Number||Course Name||Credits|
|SWK 601||Social Work Practice III: Family and Community Practice||3|
|SWK 603||Social Work Practice IV: 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:
|Course Number||Course Name||Credits|
|SWK 602||Social Work Practice III: Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice||3|
|SWK 604||Social Work Practice IV: Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice||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 part-time 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 advanced standing and complete the program in three semesters (full-time) or six semesters (part-time).
SWK 501 Social Work Practice I (B). 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 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 (B). 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. Considers interventions 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 Integrative Seminar for Advanced Standing (B). Designed to provide the Advanced Standing student an opportunity to integrate GRC MSW core components into the generalist perspective gained in their previous BSW education. Considers the integrated practice perspective, including community-based collaboration, empowerment-based perspective, interdisciplinary teamwork, and a strengths-based approach in the preparation of the concentration year. Explores social problems from a multi-level multi-system perspective including policy, practice, research, and human behavior and the social environment theory. 3 Cr.
SWK 504 Field Practicum I and Seminar I (B). 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 (B). 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 (B). 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 (B). 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 applying the principles of community collaboration. 3 Cr.
SWK 520 Social Welfare Policy and Services (B). 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. 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. 3 Cr.
SWK 524 Social Work Practice and Cultural Diversity (B). Provides preparation for the student to engage in sensitive, culturally competent, cross-cultural and cross-ethnic social work practice. 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. 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 525 Cultural Competency in Social Work Practice for Advanced Standing (B). Offered in the summer semester of advanced standing study. Builds upon foundation-year content related to knowledge and skill building for sensitive, culturally competent, cross-cultural, and cross-ethnic social work practice. Emphasizes helping advanced-standing students deepen and broaden knowledge and skills in order to guide culturally competent interventions aimed at addressing the needs of diverse groups through empowerment, collaboration, and multi-system level practice. Stresses mastery of content related to diversity, multiculturalism, oppression, privilege, and culturally relevant practice along with emphasis on cognitive and affective processes throughout the course. 3 Cr.
SWK 530 Social Work Research I (B). First of a two-course sequence that presents the basic concepts of the social work research process as well as the methods that are employed. Introduces the basic aspects of research design. Provides students with the basic skills required to formulate a researchable problem, design a research project, and develop a clear research proposal. 3 Cr.
SWK 531 Social Work Research II: Program Evaluation and Data Analysis Designs (B). Second in a two course sequence that introduces the basic aspects of data gathering, analysis, and presentation of research findings. Also explores single subject research design, critical analysis of existing research, and the examination of fundamental concepts of program and practice evaluation. 3 Cr.
SWK 532 Social Work Research for Advanced Standing (B). Provides a thorough review of all basic research concepts for advanced standing students with a particular emphasis on concepts related to program and practice evaluation. Includes basic knowledge of required computer skills, including library search and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. 3 Cr.
SWK 540 Social Work and Family Law (B). Examines the impact of family law on social work and the daily activities of the social worker. Provides the social worker with a basic knowledge of concepts in jurisprudence and specific understanding of family court and its enabling legislation The Family Court Act. Includes lectures by experts in the fields of juvenile delinquency, persons in need of supervision, custody, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, adoption and criminal justice. Emphasizes the role of the social worker in court, including responding to subpoenas, confidentiality and testifying effectively. Stresses the practical and realist philosophy of law. 3 Cr.
SWK 542 AIDS and Social Work: Policy and Practice Issues (B). Considering the pandemic of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which has implications for social workers in all practice settings, provides in-depth knowledge about HIV disease to produce social workers to provide community leadership. Helps students become more aware of the 1) medical realities of HIV disease; 2) psychosocial implications of the illnesses related to treatment issues; 3) policy issues relevant to the illness; 4) methods of prevention; 5) issues related to professional practice with persons who test antibody-positive to HIV; and 6) program planning issues, from program design to implementation. Assists students to provide culturally sensitive services to those infected/affected. 3 Cr.
SWK 600 Independent Study (B). Arranged in consultation with the instructor/sponsor and in accordance with procedures of appropriate academic offices prior to registration. 1-6 Cr.
SWK 601 Social Work Practice III: Family and Community Practice (B). 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, including clinical 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: Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice (B). Develops knowledge and advanced skills necessary to restore or enhance an individual and/or family’s adaptation to a physical or mental health condition or illness. Teaches practice models and multi-level methods for effective social work practice in mental health and health care, including clinical diagnostic assessment, intervention, skill development, and implementation. Applies a strengths-oriented, family-centered approach through interpersonal, organizational, and environmental interventions. Explores the intersections between and among public, physical and mental health conditions. 3 Cr.
SWK 603 Social Work Practice IV: Family/Community Empowerment, Advocacy and Development (B). 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, and skills to address the challenges of poverty, mental illness, minority status, family violence, sexual abuse and substance abuses. 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 social context. Emphasizes empowerment and advocacy skills to help families create just and compassionate communities. 3 Cr.
SWK 604 Social Work Practice IV: Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice (B). Continuation of the Interdisciplinary Health Care Practice course sequence. Builds on the direct practice content with individuals, families, and groups. Affords students deeper knowledge and skills in the application of an integrated practice model. Teaches practice models and multi-level methods of intervention for population-based, community collaborative services for populations at-risk with an emphasis on further development of clinical skills in the context of service development and delivery of community health and mental health services. Prepares students to critically examine the complex health and mental health environment and social work’s role in service delivery. 3 Cr.
SWK 610 Field Practicum III and Seminar III (B). 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 fall and spring semesters for a total of 560 hours. Builds on the previous semesters 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-semester field liaison for students in the practicum. 4 Cr.
SWK 611 Field Practicum IV and Seminar IV (B). 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. Integrates course work and field instruction. 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 (B). 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 (B). Studies federal, state and the private organization of health care services and financing. Focuses on health care studies trends, current policy shifts and challenges for the study of policy implications for current and emerging health care organizations. Examines specific policy options for current community-oriented health care delivery systems in collaborative models. 3 Cr.
SWK 630 Master’s Project Development (B). Requires students to develop, implement and evaluate a master’s project. May be developed independently or within a small group. Assists students in formulating a master’s project proposal. 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. 3 Cr.
SWK 631 Masters Project Implementation (B). Requires students to develop, implement and evaluate a master’s project. May be developed independently or within a small group. 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 (B). Provides an opportunity for in-depth class exploration of special topics in social work. Topics vary from year to year depending on the interests of students and faculty. 3 Cr.
SWK 642 Contemporary Issues (B). Provides an opportunity for students and faculty to explore contemporary issues outside of the regular course offerings. 3 Cr.
SWK 644 Case Management (B). 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 (B). 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 (B). 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 (B). 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.
Course Database Error: Undergraduate or graduate?