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Graduate Catalog 2014-15

SOCIAL WORK


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Contact: Graduate Program Director

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Application Deadlines:
(Fall only - February 15th); NOTE: If you are a new graduate student and you intend to apply for a Competitive Graduate Award (CGA), the deadline for having all of your application materials turned in moves up to January 15th. If you apply for the CGA but your SIUE application is incomplete, your application for the Competitive Graduate Award will be removed from consideration.

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

The Department of Social Work offers a curriculum leading to the Master of Social Work degree with concentrations in Micro Practice (individuals, families, small groups) or Macro Practice (neighborhoods, organizations, communities). The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the profession's accrediting agency. The MSW program also offers a specialization for School Social Work certification in the State of Illinois.

The Master of Social Work program prepares students for entering graduate social work practice. Graduates of the MSW Program are eligible upon graduation to take the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) examination; and, after at least two years of supervised clinical practice, the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) examination through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Information concerning these examinations can be found at www.ildpr.com. The program emphasizes the educational preparation of students for advanced social work practice as community-based professionals to work with and on behalf of under-served and at-risk populations. The program's primary intended consumers are persons already working in social services without the master's degree and persons with undergraduate preparation in social work. The program seeks to admit a well-qualified and diverse group of students whose stated professional interests and goals are congruent with the program's mission of service to oppressed and under-served populations. Opportunities for effective student interaction within a diverse population are vital to preparing students for their future responsibilities with people at-risk in a highly complex environment. The variety of perspectives that emerge in the classroom from differences in racial, ethnic, cultural, and gender identity and from different life experiences enhance the ability of students to be sensitive and responsive to diversity, thus enhancing the learning of all students.

The MSW program offers both a full-time and part-time evening program. There are no weekend or online courses. Students with heavy family and work responsibilities need to be aware that the demands of full-time graduate study can be a challenge; the part-time program option is designed for these students.

ADMISSION

Prospective students must submit an application to the SIUE Graduate School for degree seeking status and application materials (described below) to the Social Work Admissions Committee.

To be considered for regular admission to the graduate program in social work, applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (A=4.0). Students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average may apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The baccalaureate degree should reflect a strong background in liberal arts and sciences with at least 30 semester hours (or equivalent) earned in liberal arts and sciences with grades of C or better in each course. Included in this total must be a 3 credit hour human biology course. Students must complete any deficiencies prior to enrollment in the MSW Program. If any deficiencies are not completed prior to enrollment, the student's file will be reconsidered the next academic year. In addition, Advanced standing students entering with a BSW from a CSWE accredited must have completed an undergraduate research methods course and an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of B or better. Advanced standing students who have not completed courses in research methods and statistics with grades of B or better must complete these requirements prior to enrollment in the MSW program, or their file will be reconsidered the next academic year, or the student may be offered admission in regular standing. Undergraduates who are nearing completion of a baccalaureate degree may submit an application for admission as a degree-seeking student when they have earned at least 88 semester hours of credit toward the undergraduate degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A=4.0).

A combination of commitment to the program's mission and sensitivity to diversity is evaluated during the admissions process through the applicant's personal statement and letters of reference. These are regarded as factors in admissions decisions, along with records of undergraduate work. Students will not receive academic credit for life experiences or previous work experiences.

The following materials must be submitted to the Social Work Admissions Committee before an application is considered complete:

  1. Graduate application to SIUE.
  2. Application to the Social Work graduate program. (Visit www.siue.edu/social or call 618/650-5758 to request an application packet.)
  3. A personal statement of approximately 750 to 1000 words that discusses the applicant's reasons for pursuing a career in social work and career plans, any special people and experiences that influenced the applicant's decision to pursue a career in social work, previous work experience, including volunteer and practicum experiences and how these experiences have shaped professional interests, evidence of commitment to social and economic justice, and personal strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Three letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant's potential for graduate level academic work, leadership and interpersonal skills, commitment to the mission and values of social work, and, if relevant, professional experience and capabilities. If previous experience includes work in a social services environment, either paid, volunteer, or practicum, at least one letter must speak to that experience. Applicants who have recently received their baccalaureate degree should request one letter of recommendation from an undergraduate faculty member. Applicants applying as transfer students from CSWE-accredited master's programs should request at least one letter of recommendation from a graduate faculty member. Letters from friends or family members that do not address the above issues will not be considered. The letters of recommendation must be submitted on the form contained in the application packet.

ADMISSION IN ADVANCED STANDING

Applicants may be considered for admission in advanced standing provided the following criteria are met:

  1. The applicant holds a baccalaureate degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, and the degree was awarded in the 7-year period preceding application for graduate study at SIUE.
  2. The applicant's grade point average is 3.0 (A=4.0) or higher in undergraduate study and the applicant has completed all courses in the BSW foundation area with grades of B or better. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA who completed all course work in the baccalaureate foundation area with grades of B or better will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Advanced standing students entering with a BSW from an accredited undergraduate program must have completed an undergraduate research methods course and an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of B or better.
  4. Students must complete any deficiencies prior to their enrollment in the MSW program. If any deficiencies are not completed prior to enrollment, the student's file will be reconsidered the next academic year or the student may be offered admission in regular standing.

SOCIAL WORK ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE

The MSW Curriculum Policy and Planning Committee will review the complete packet of application materials including the applications for graduate study, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Admission to graduate study in Social Work will be based on a full evaluation of the completed application packet. A personal interview may be required. The committee cannot admit students whose packet is incomplete. The applicant will be notified in writing about the decision of the Committee.

PROGRAM OF STUDY

For students in regular standing status, the MSW Program is a two-year full time course of study in which students enroll in six consecutive semesters, including summer terms for a total of 60 credit hours. For students in advanced standing status, the MSW Program is a one-year full time course of study in which students enroll in three consecutive semesters, including the summer term, for a total of 30 credit hours. There is a part-time option which can be completed in two years for advanced standing students and in four years for regular standing students. Contact the department for more information. Students do not receive academic credit for life experience or previous work experience.

The school social work concentration courses will result in six additional credit hours beyond those needed to satisfy the requirements of the MSW degree. For students in advanced standing, school social work courses and internships will add three additional semesters to the completion of the MSW degree.

Students in regular standing status for who have deficiencies in their undergraduate liberal arts education must remove those deficiencies by satisfactory completion of appropriate courses prior to their initial year of enrollment in MSW program. Students admitted in advanced standing for whom deficiencies in BSW or other courses are identified must remove those deficiencies by satisfactory completion of the appropriate courses prior to their initial year of enrollment in the MSW program.

The program of study in the MSW program is divided into two integrated groups of courses: Foundation curricula and Concentration curricula. Foundation courses provide classroom and field experience in social work values, ethics, methods of practice, diversity, research, social welfare policy, and social work history. Concentration courses build on the foundation to develop competence necessary for advanced social work practice in Micro Practice (individuals, families, small groups) or Macro Practice (neighborhoods, organizations, communities).

The program of study for the MSW degree requires completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours for students admitted without advanced standing. These students must complete 30 credit hours in the Foundation curriculum and 30 semester hours in the Concentration curriculum.

Students who do not hold a BS in Social Work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution are admitted as "regular standing" and must take foundation courses (30 hours) before taking the advanced courses. Students who have a BS in Social Work from a CSWE-accredited institution are admitted as "advanced standing" and must complete the advanced standing courses (30 hours).

Foundation Courses-30 hours

SOCW 501 - Generalist Practice: Individuals and Families-3 hours

SOCW 502 - Generalist Practice with Organizations, and Communities-3 hours

SOCW 503 - Counseling Skills Development - 3 hours

SOCW 504 - Social Welfare Policy -3 hours

SOCW 505 - Generalist Practice with Groups - 3 hours

SOCW 506 - Research Methods and Data Analysis - 3 hours

SOCW 507 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment-3 hours

SOCW 508 - Diversity, Values, Ethics, and Social Justice Principles & Practice - 3 hours

SOCW 526 - Field Instruction I-3 hours

and

SOCW 527 - Field Instruction II-3 hours

or

SOCW 531 - Block Field Instruction I - 6 hours

Advanced Courses -21 hours

SOCW 528 - Advanced Field Instruction III-3 hours

and

SOCW 529 - Advanced Field Instruction IV-3 hours

or

SOCW 532 - Block Field Instruction II - 6 hours

SOCW 537 - Psychopathology and Diagnostic Assessment - 3 hours

SOCW 546 - Applied Social Science Research - 3 hours

SOCW 565 - Capstone - 3 hours

And two of the following:

SOCW 560 - Mental Health Services - 3 hours

SOCW 561 - Children, Youth and Family Services - 3 hours

SOCW 563 - Gerontology Services - 3 hours

SOCW 564 - Substance Abuse Services - 3 hours

Students must choose concentration from either one of the two following areas.

Micro Concentration - 9 hours

SOCW 540 - Advanced Practice with Individuals - 3 hours

SOCW 541 - Advanced Practice with Families and Groups - 3 hours

SOCW 542 - Social Welfare Policy: Micro Practice - 3 hours

OR

Macro Concentration - 9 hours

SOCW 544 - Advanced Practice with Neighborhoods and Communities

SOCW 547 - Advanced Practice with Organizations - 3 hours

SOCW 543 - Social Welfare Policy: Macro Practice

EXIT REQUIREMENTS

Enrollment in SOCW 565 is a requirement to satisfy the concluding element of the degree program. A grade of B or better must be earned in this course for the student to have satisfactorily completed all requirements for the Master of Social Work degree. The project is an integration of social work knowledge and skills across curriculum content areas and practica in regards to a social work practice issue or problem.

In SOCW 565, the student will select specific social work/social welfare problems, client populations, or field of practice experiences with an emphasis on integrating and synthesizing library and/or empirical research and field experiences with major curriculum areas. Focus is placed the examination of issues relative to social work values and ethics, social and economic justice, poverty, and diverse populations. The project highlights such central issues as urban and rural service delivery in southwestern Illinois, gender roles, social change, children and families, health, mental health and disability practice, and school social work.

COURSES FOR SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK SPECIALIZATION

The MSW Program offers course work enabling students to sit for the licensure examination for school social work in Illinois. These courses prepare current MS students and post-MSW students to take the examinations as part of their requirements for school social work at the state level. School Social Work certification requires completion of certain courses mandated and approved by ISBE in addition to the courses required for the MSW program. Students in either concentration may apply to take school social work courses. Students who have taken the school social work courses and passed the Illinois certification test for school social workers find employment primarily in the Illinois public school system. More information on school social work courses and licensure can be obtained from the Department of Social Work.

ADMISSION

Application for admission to these school social work courses should be filed with the department by January 15th of the year that candidates desire to begin the program. Candidates begin the program in August of the year admitted.

Candidates who have been admitted to the MSW program may apply for admission to the school social work courses after their initial enrollment in the MSW program.

Candidates should submit the following to the School Social Work Committee:

  1. A completed school social work application form.
  2. A one-page, double spaced (250-300 words) statement describing your interest and the qualities and attributes you will bring to school social work.
  3. Passing score on the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)

The MSW Curriculum Policy and Planning Committee will evaluate school social work applications for admissions as a separate process from admissions to the MSW program.

PROGRAM OF STUDY

Students enrolled in the School Social Work Specialization courses will complete six additional credit hours beyond those required for the MSW degree. MSW degree candidates admitted in regular standing who are admitted to the school social work courses will complete 66 hours of courses and internships to complete both the MSW degree and school social work courses instead of 60 credit hours for the MSW alone. MSW advanced standing candidates admitted to the school social work courses will complete 36 hours of courses and internships to complete both the MSW degree and the school social work courses instead of 30 credit hours for the MSW alone. For advanced standing students the school social work sequencing will add three additional semesters to the completion of the MSW degree. Upon completion of the MSW degree and school social work courses, candidates qualify for state school social work certification upon receipt of a passing score on the Illinois School Social Work Content Area Exam.

Courses for School Social Work Specialization

SOCW 533-Social Work Practice in Schools-2 hours

SOCW 567-Seminar in School Social Work-2 hours

SOCW 568-Advanced Field III School Social Work-4 hours

(replaces SOCW 528 Field Instruction III in the MSW curriculum. SOCW 568 requires one additional credit hour compared to SOCW 528 due to more required internship hours)

SOCW 569-Advanced Field IV School Social Work-4 hours

(replaces SOCW 529 Field Instruction IV in the MSW curriculum. SOCW 569 requires one additional credit hour compared to SOCW 529 due to more required internship hours)

EXIT REQUIREMENTS

In addition to the MSW degree exit requirements, students taking school social work courses must complete all required social work courses with grades of B or better. Upon completion of the MSW degree and school social work courses, the student takes the State of Illinois Content Area Exam for School Social Work Personnel to qualify for certification as a school social worker in Illinois.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEQUENCE IN SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK

This PDS is to prepare post-MSW social workers for School Social Work Type 73 Certification by the Illinois State Board of Education.

ADMISSION

Admission requirements are: 1) MSW degree from a CSWE accredited program; 2) good academic and professional standing; 3) completed applications to the Graduate School and the Department of Social Work; 4) a 250-300 word personal statement; 5) official graduate degree transcript(s); 6) two professional letters of reference, and 7) a passing score on the Illinois Certification Testing System Basic Skills Test.

Application for admission to the PDS should be filed with the department by January 15th of the year that candidates desire to begin the program. Candidates begin the program in August of the year admitted.

PROGRAM OF STUDY

This Professional Development Sequence requires completion of three courses including a supervised internship of a minimum clock 600 hours in a primary and/or secondary Illinois school setting. The school social work seminar (SOCW 533-2) and the one semester school internship (SOCW 572-7) must be completed at SIUE. SPE 400-3 (the Exceptional Child) or its equivalent may be taken elsewhere and must be taken within five years of enrollment in SOCW 533 and SOCW 572.

EXIT REQUIREMENTS

Successful completion of the Professional Development Sequence in School Social Work requires earning a minimum grade of B in each of the courses in the Program of Study, and demonstrated professionalism and ethics in school social work practice.

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