Foundation Curriculum: The foundation curriculum (30 hours) promotes a generalist perspective in which the simultaneous impact of many systemic levels (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities) on clients’ lives is critically analyzed and recognized.  The foundation builds upon a liberal arts base that fosters an understanding of society as a complex organization of diverse people and ideas.  Social problems are understood as occurring within the nexus of culture, conflict, development, ecology, and systems and as such, efforts to help or intervene must include consideration of these forces.  Students will be able to critically identify and assess social problems, specifically attending to 1) how such problems are maintained, 2) how they impact the quality of people’s life, 3) a cultural sensitivity and appreciation of marginalized people, and 4) how to actively promote social and economic justice.  In the foundation year, the focus is on the development of critical thinking skills in all the areas mentioned.

Foundation Coursework

SW 601 Human Behavior & the Social Environment I (3)
SW 619 Human Behavior & the Social Environment II (3)
SW 602 Social Welfare Institutions, Policies & Services (3)   
SW 622 Issues in Policy and Service Delivery (3)
SW 603 Social Justice Practice (3)               
SW 626 Research Methodology & Design (3)
SW 604    SW Practice I (3)                   
SW 605    SW Practice II (3)
SW 670    Foundation SW Practicum I (3=16 hrs/wk field)
SW 671 Foundation SW Practicum II (3=16 hrs/wk field)       

MSSW Foundation Course Descriptions

Advanced Curriculum/Advanced Social Work Practice: The advanced curriculum (30 hours) seeks to develop the utilization and application of critical thinking on all levels—reading, professional writing and research, students’ practicum, the classroom, and in the students’ own thinking.  Consistently monitoring practice ethically, evaluating theoretical principles and epistemologies, and utilizing technological advances become basic practice patterns.  Specific skill sets developed include:   1) Creating, organizing and integrating ideas and action on engaging diverse client systems effectively in change; 2) Assessing, conceptualizing and analyzing theoretical, practice and research problems from multiple perspectives and utilize critical thinking skills to formulate impressions based upon the data; 3) Analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating the evidence available to guide advanced social work practice; 4) Synthesizing, formulating and implementing a plan of action for social work practice that addresses complex issues and problems, builds consensus and incorporates multiple-level forces on client systems; 5) Analyzing and evaluating data of client progress and outcomes and assess implications and consequences of this progress and outcomes; 6) Synthesizing, creating, and organizing ideas from theory, research and practice for social justice; and 7) Demonstrating the ability to integrate culturally competent skills into all aspects of social work practice.

These skills will be used to actively pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed client systems.  Students will learn how to become leaders in social change efforts focused primarily on issues of poverty, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice.

To assist graduates in their future professional careers, these skills are organized around three practice foci: 1) children and families, 2) health and mental health, and 3) community and international practice.  These domains give opportunity for students to focus on clustered learning within the context of these fields of practice.  Recognizing that the employment of students after graduation is often a function of geography and personal circumstance, the school allows students the programmatic option of combining interests among focus areas.  

While curricular options do exist for students to develop a certain subject-matter expertise, the recognition of the School that it needs to prepare students more broadly places the principal focus of the concentration work on a high-level critical thinking about social work engagement and also on the translational knowledge and skills that support the graduates’ movement from one field of practice to another.  Once students learn how to learn and how to think about social work practices, and they understand the components of ethical practice and the responsibility to increase specific field-of-practice expertise, they will be better equipped to practice in a world where knowledge changes and transforms what we do on a rapidly accelerating curve.

Advanced Coursework
SW 641 Advanced SW Practice I (3)SW 668 Advanced Research Practice I (3)
SW 640 Advanced SW Practice II (3)
SW 669 Advanced Research Practice II (3)
SW 677 Advanced SW Practice III (3)Elective 1 (3)
SW 672 Advanced SW Practicum I (3=16 hrs/wk field)Elective 2 (3)
SW 673    Advanced SW Practicum II (3=16 hrs/wk field)Elective 3 (3)

MSSW Advanced Course Descriptions

Kent has a wide variety of Full-time and Part-time Regular 60-hour and Advanced Standing 30-hourCurriculum Plans