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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Social Welfare courses

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This course provides the opportunity for experimentation with innovative course content and unique learning strategies in accordance with guidelines established by faculty. Subjects offered as topics include Training for Diversity, Organizing in Underserved Communities, etc. LEC
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An introduction to the field of social welfare and its relationship to the social work profession, charged with carrying out its primary missions. Specific social welfare policies will be analyzed, particularly as those policies affect individuals and families in need. LEC
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An introductory course which focuses on assisting students to understand their own and others' sexual development and expression, as found in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Physiological, psychological, and social/cultural aspects of human sexuality will be reviewed. The format of the course will include: lectures, discussion, value clarification exercises, and the use of explicit audio-visual materials. LEC
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Covers major stress-management techniques, helping others cope with stress, and promoting wellness. Concepts, theories, and models of stress, psychological basis for stress, relationship between personality and stress, family and social stress, job stress, dissatisfaction, and burnout are discussed. LEC
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Students learn the principles of organizing, developing, writing and revising documentation for different professional social work settings. Student will master basic writing skills and become proficient in several types of social work writing styles. LEC
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Students gain knowledge about the historical and current relationships between the definition of social problems, the development of social welfare policies, and the delivery of social services in urban settings. Students will learn to access current policies and practices as they impact local communities in the Kansas City area. LEC
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This course covers a variety of topics on a rotating basis and provides the opportunity for experimentation with innovated course content in accordance with guidelines established by faculty. These topics may include, but are not limited to, globalization and poverty, special topics in child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, etc. LEC
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Individual and supervised readings in selected areas of social welfare. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and approval by dean's office. IND
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Introduces the basic concepts of social work practice including the focus and context of practice, the nature of a social work relationship; basic skills and techniques common to practice such as interviewing, engagement, information gathering, etc. Introduction to problem solving and social work roles. Prerequisite: SW 530, SW 540, and SW 555. LEC
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A study of theoretical frameworks for understanding human behavior. The theories include the developmental stages across the life cycle, abnormal behavior compared to normal, analysis of family and societal processes and their effects on the individual, and individual behavior in relation to social class, ethnicity, and cultural background. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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An analysis of community and organizational life with emphasis on human behavior dynamics. Systems operation and change are considered and related to social functioning, especially as it impinges on social welfare objectives. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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An examination of the basic concepts and principles of scientific inquiry as applied to the social work profession's quest for and utilization of knowledge. Positivistic and naturalistic methods of inquiry are covered. Other content includes conceptualization, operationalization, sample design, ethics, and culturally sensitive research practice. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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Focus is on applying material learned in SW 540 to the critique of empirical work in the social work arena and to the development of a proposal for a practice-based research project. Emphasis on assessing relevance of research to special populations. Content on the interpretation of graphs, tables, and statistical measures provided. Prerequisite: SW 540. LEC
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This course will provide the conceptual, theoretical and empirical knowledge base related to difference, oppression, social justice and empowerment. This knowledge is necessary for culturally competent social work practice in a multicultural society. Junior social work classification required. LEC
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This course covers a variety of topics on a rotating basis. These topics may include, but are limited to, practice issues pertaining to child welfare, alcohol and other drug abuse, social work in health care settings, Study Abroad opportunities in developed and developing countries such as Costa Rica, South Korea, India and Ireland, etc. Junior Social Work classification required. LEC
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Students are assigned to social service agencies that provide generalist practice opportunities under the supervision of a qualified field instructor. This provides students with the opportunity to apply and test social work knowledge, values, and skills within an approved practice setting in order to gain competency as beginning social workers. This course is taken for two semesters (fall-spring), with credit being given only after completion of the second semester. Enrollment in this course must be concurrent with enrollment in SW 610 and SW 612. FLD
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Focuses on learning and implementing the problem-solving and interaction models of practice to be applied to individuals, families, and small groups. Concurrent with SW 601, practicum; students bring issues with clients to class for discussion. Open only to BSW seniors. Prerequisite: SW 510. LEC
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Second of two-course sequence extends the work begun in SW 610. Examines interventive strategies applicable to practice with larger systems. Models of community organization and community development are presented. Concurrent with SW 601, practicum; students work on individualized, agency-related projects. Prerequisite: SW 610. LEC
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Conceptual models for the analysis of social welfare problems and policies are developed. The frameworks are applied to the problem of poverty and major policies and programs developed to cope with that problem. In addition the model is used to examine social welfare problems/needs being addressed in the students' practicum agencies. The focus throughout is on the understanding and application of analytic framework. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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The course builds on SW 620 using the conceptual models to examine a range of social welfare problems/needs, policies and programs. Emphasis is on advancing student's understanding and skills for using the analytic framework and building policy advocacy skills. Attention given to the role of social workers in the legislative process for shaping social welfare policies. Prerequisite: SW 620. LEC
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Seminar in the philosophy, values, and issues in contemporary social work and social welfare. Seminar will address areas such as conception of professional and professionalism, ethics and values, standards, licensing, and professional regulation, accountability and professional responsibility. Senior social work classification is required. LEC
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This course explores the theories and methods related to practice with children whose behavior is disruptive, oppositional, aggressive, or otherwise antisocial. Emphasis is placed on using protective and risk factors to design appropriate interventions. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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This course provides students with a beginning understanding of intimate partner violence including definitions, prevalence, theoretical frameworks, dynamics, and consequences for the individual, the family, the community and society. Students will develop skills required to assess, intervene, and prevent domestic violence cases. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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This course will offer BSW students a very basic understanding of concepts associated with social work practice with people who confront challenges with alcohol and other drugs. Students will learn about substance abuse problems currently prevalent, recognize behavior related to substance abuse disorders and applicability of generalist social work practice models in developing interventions. Open only to BSW seniors LEC
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This course will provide undergraduate social work students with a basic introduction to crisis intervention, including theoretical models, the evolution and use of crisis theory and the design of interventions across a broad range of crisis situations. Open only to BSW seniors. LEC
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Current topics supplementing general social work knowledge of professionals in the field. Subjects offered as topics include: Addictions and Professional Enabling, Dynamics of Change, Computer Skills for Social Services Budgeting, Short Term Social Work Interaction. LEC
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Students are assigned to social service agencies that provide generalist practice opportunities that prepare students for entry into the advanced level of either clinical social work practice or social work administration and advocacy practice. All students work under the supervision of a qualified field instructor where they have the opportunity to apply and test social work knowledge, values, and skills. This course is generally taken for two semesters, with credit being given only after completion of the second semester. Open only to first-level M.S.W. students. Enrollment must be concurrent with enrollment in SW 710 and SW 711. FLD
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The first of two-course sequence prepares students to begin to translate theory into strategies of intervention that cut across social work practice with systems of all sizes. Presents an integrating framework of generalist social work based on a strengths perspective and a person-in-environment frame of reference. Course taken concurrently with SW 701 which provides students an opportunity to integrate theory and practice in work with clients. LEC
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Second of two-course sequence and extends the work begun in SW 710. Focus in the second course is on mastery of the basics of helping relationships and the development of intervention skills for the middle and ending phases of intervention. Content is structured to prepare students to enter the advanced level of the M.S.W. program. Course taken concurrent with SW 701. Prerequisite: SW 710. LEC
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Introduces advanced standing students to the themes of the school. Special emphasis is given to the Strengths Perspective, a multicultural approach to practice, and developing the skills to critically and reflectively think about one's own practice. Advanced standing status required. LEC
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Students will be exposed to a body of knowledge and skills necessary to practice with communities and organizations. An advocacy perspective will act as the course's unifying theme with client well-being acting as the driving force behind the activities of community and organizational practitioners. LEC
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This course provides a broad social context for identifying and analyzing social problems and social policy/program responses. Economic and social justice issues are exemplars for understanding societal dynamics and evaluating related policies. Emphasis is given to the development of conceptual sills in identifying and analyzing needs addressed by programs and policies. LEC
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Course provides foundation knowledge about bio-psycho-social aspects of individual and family behavior. Theoretical perspectives on well being dysfunction, and developmental processes are critically analyzed, especially concerning applicability to social work practice that supports client strengths, diversity, and social justice. A holistic conceptual framework is used to integrate these micro-system perspectives with larger environmental socio-political concerns. LEC
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An examination of professionally relevant aspects of the nature of science: the nature of knowing, a constructed reality, the logic of explanation and inquiry, the nature of concepts, hypotheses, and assumptions. The content will include such issues as sampling, measurement reliability and validity, developing survey questions, types of qualitative and quantitative research, and an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics. LEC
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This course provides the opportunity for experimentation with innovative course content in accordance with guidelines established by faculty. Subjects offered as topics include Social Work with AIDS, Family Mediation, Family Violence. LEC
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Students are assigned to social service agencies that provide opportunities for advanced level clinical social work practice. All students work under the supervision of a qualified field instructor where they have the opportunity to integrate theory and practice and develop beginning competence in clinical social work practice. This course is generally taken for two semesters, with credit being given only after completion of the second semester. Open only to Advanced-level M.S.W. students. Enrollment must be concurrent with enrollment in SW 810 and SW 811. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. FLD
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Students are assigned to social service agencies that provide practice opportunities in social work administration. All students work under the supervision of a qualified field instructor where they have the opportunity to develop beginning competence in social work administration. This course is generally taken for two semesters, with credit being given only after completion of the second semester. Open only to Advanced-level M.S.W. students. Enrollment in fall semester must be concurrent with enrollment in SW 840, SW 841, and SW 849 and in Spring semester enrollment must be concurrent with enrollment in SW 842, and SW 843. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. FLD
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Clinical social work practice occurs in a variety of settings, from large public and private agencies and institutions through many types of individual and group private practice situations. This course is designed to teach advanced knowledge and skills that transcend contextual factors in order to produce a variety of positive client outcomes in a range of practice situations. In addition, this course focuses on the commitment of social work practitioners to provide services to those groups who, by reason of class, race, sex, or other characteristics, are not ordinarily well served by the many institutions in this society. Course taken concurrently with SW 801 which provides an opportunity to integrate theory and practice in work with clients. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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The organizing theme of the advanced clinical selective emphasizes application of advanced theoretical and practice principles to client systems. This advanced selective provides students with the opportunity to critically consider the themes of the school as they relate to the need for assessment, diagnostic, and process evaluations with a variety of client systems. Every student will engage in activities designed to solidify their professional identity as clinical practitioners as they enter the workforce. Topics offered may include strengths-oriented, solution-focused brief therapy; narrative therapy; ego-psychology from a strengths perspective; social work practice and families. Prerequisite: Completion of SW 810. LEC
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An in-depth examination of social work in child and family settings. Students demonstrate the capacity to integrate research, policy, direct practice, and human behavior in considering the issues central to this area of practice. Students will also be able to explain how diversity issues manifest themselves at both the policy and direct practice levels. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Content as in SW 830 focused on health care and mental health. LEC
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Content as in SW 830 focused on aging. LEC
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Content as in SW 830 focused on schools. LEC
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Introduction to client centered human service management, including the variety of tasks, roles, and functions of managers. Majority of the course is devoted to design and analysis of social programs within a specific analytic framework. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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The focus is on the development of skills to stay abreast of and knowledgeable about critical federal and state policies, regulations, and funding structures and streams in students' chosen field of practice. Students will also learn how to research the literature on best practice and effective programs. All of these skills and consequential knowledge will be used to inform program design, resource acquisition, financial management, personnel management, outcome management, and other administrative functions. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Emphasis is on the use of information to improve human service program performance. Includes content for the design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Builds knowledge and skills in effective supervision and human resource management with emphasis on maximizing client and community well-being by increasing job satisfaction, enhancing staff morale, and creating and maintaining workplaces that reflect, contribute to, and celebrate diversity in the larger community. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Focus on the development and practice of strategies to influence agencies and programs to be client centered; identify client centered program enhancements, plan change efforts, and practice interpersonnel strategies to implement changes. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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This course is designed to build on the content of the foundation course on community and organizational practice by further developing the theories, methods, and skills of community and advocacy practice. The course will help students know and further develop the analytical and empirical skills needed to effectively manage and advocate with and on behalf of different human service communities. Throughout the course, skill-based exercises are presented to aid in understanding theoretical concepts. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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This course is designed to acquaint students with the knowledge and skills necessary for human service programs to acquire resources through grantwriting and fundraising. Focus is on prospect research for public and private funding, the preparation of a fundable grant proposal, and other fundraising techniques used by agencies to support their client-centered mission. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation requirements. LEC
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Focus on the use of resources needed to operate a client centered program. Includes budgeting techniques and their application; use of budgets for decision making, and problems of reallocation. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Theory and practice of social work in the wide range of groups in which social workers participate as workers and co-workers. Focus on the social worker's tasks and behaviors in establishing group services and in facilitating work in the group from the time of its formation to its termination as a service entity. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation requirements. LEC
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Course provides opportunity for experimentation with innovative content in accordance with guidelines established by faculty. Topics include Spiritual Aspects of Social Work Practice, Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse, Study Abroad opportunities in developed and developing countries such as Costa Rica, South Korea, India and Ireland, and other timely subject areas. LEC
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Examines the multiple faces of loss and grief throughout the human life cycle. Examines personal and societal attitudes toward death and dying and the processes of dying and grieving. Course includes exploration of assessment and interventions that enable individuals and their families to cope with loss. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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This course will focus on sexual misuse that occurs within the family system. Students will obtain a comprehensive understanding of sexual misuse that occurs within the family system and develop assessment and helping skills needed when working with abusive families. Theoretical, assessment, and helping aspects of intrafamilial sexual abuse will be examined. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Theories of mental health and psychopathology are compared concerning etiology, classification, assessment, and treatment of distress and mental disorders. Theories and practices are evaluated critically for their usefulness in a strengths approach to social work in mental health settings. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Developmental norms and processes in childhood and adolescence and related implications for assessment and intervention methods in work with children and adolescents. Topics include countertransference issues in work with children, working with parents and children, intervention tools, stress in childhood, special issues, and concerns in adolescence, sexual abuse of children. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Principles of planned short-term intervention generally and of crisis intervention specifically are addressed. Empirical evidence bearing on crisis theory and outcomes of crisis intervention are examined. Anticipated and unanticipated crises, including disaster, are considered as they may affect individuals, families, or larger groups. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Focus is on developing value consciousness and multidimensional understandings in relation to drug use and abuse. Patterns of drug use, sociocultural attitudes toward drug use and definitional issues in the drug field will be examined. Explanatory theories and contemporary interventions, including the applicability of generalist social work practice models are presented and critically assessed. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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This course provides a framework of knowledge, values, and skills for spiritually-sensitive social work practice. In order to prepare students to respond competently and ethically to diverse spiritual perspectives, a comparative, critically reflective approach to content is employed. The role of religion and spirituality in supporting or impeding individual strengths and social justice is considered. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Provides students with a framework of knowledge, values, and practice methodology for culturally competent social work practice. Emphasizes themes of oppression and empowerment, culture-specific strengths and resources, and multicultural/transcultural perspectives. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic knowledge, values, and skills needed to work effectively with people who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual. The course will reflect a person-environment perspective, focusing on strategies that empower lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to develop personal and environmental resources from a strengths perspective. Throughout the course, attention will be given to issues of diversity within the lesbian and gay population. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Expands knowledge and practice skills in working with women in diverse social work practice settings. Critical examination of traditional and feminist practice approaches to problems that frequently confront women. Prerequisite: Completion of foundation requirements. LEC
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Opportunity for scholarly investigation in an area of special interest. Students pursue independent study in an area of social work practice through the guidance of a selected faculty member. RSH
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The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic knowledge, values, and skills needed to work effectively with African American clients and their families. Critical examination of issues such as racism, oppression, and the historical context and their impact on African American families. Prerequisite: Completion of all foundation requirements. LEC
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Course provides opportunity for innovative course content designed for the social work professional. Subjects offered include: Psychopathology: A Biopsychosocial Approach, Ethics and the Social Worker, Mediation, Solution Focused Practice, Strengths-based Management, Outcome-based Measurement of Practice. LEC
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This course provides the opportunity for exploration of innovative content under the guidance of Ph.D. faculty, including Study Abroad opportunities in developed and developing countries such as Costa Rica, South Korea, India and Ireland. LEC
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This class is an in-depth introduction to the process of conducting research. This introduction provides the essential context for the qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research courses. LEC
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This course provides a detailed overview of knowledge and skills in qualitative inquiry. It examines issues in the philosophy of science and paradigms for qualitative inquiry in social work. It emphasizes principles and procedures for qualitative inquiry design, including an introduction to data collection, analysis, report writing, while attending to criteria for establishing trustworthiness. LEC
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This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to examine the underlying conceptual frameworks of social work practice-their history and present manifestations. This course rests on the definition of social work practice that includes the interaction of knowledge, value, and skill around professional purpose and in the context of professional sanction. LEC
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This course, which includes a lab, focuses on quantitative research methodology and related inferential statistics, emphasizing mastery of specific methodological and statistical knowledge and skills. The course will address the following topics: the framing of research questions; the selection of appropriate research methods and designs; the selection of appropriate statistics for data analysis; the principles of analysis; interpretation of findings; and the presentation of results. LEC
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This seminar helps doctoral students learn to analyze social welfare policies and programs. After comparing and contrasting various policy analysis frameworks, students learn to analyze the ways in which social conditions, values, and ideologies shape the definitions of social problems as well as the development, implementation, and evaluation of social welfare policies that impact those problems. LEC
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The purpose of this advanced research methods course is to help equip professionals to design and carry out research with direct implications for social work practice and social welfare policy. Building on the experience in SW 978 and SW 981, this course will focus on more advanced topics in research design and both experimental and correlational statistical analyses. LEC
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The main focus of this seminar is on developing skills for conduction multi-dimensional, value critical inquiry about "best practices" relevant to social work practice, and applying the results of that inquiry toward extending and improving current "best practices". LEC
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This course provides an introduction to interdisciplinary theory for applied social research, focusing on: (1) the roles and uses of theory in social inquiry (2) theory building and theory testing (3) induction and deduction (4) the articulation of common or related theoretical traditions in various social science disciplines. LEC
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The purpose of the course is to prepare doctoral students for effective teaching of Social Work courses at all levels of higher education. Doctoral students need practical skills, a theoretical base, experience, and confidence in order to improve their teaching performance. LEC
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The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of mixed methods research, consisting of the history and philosophy of mixed methods research, the emerging literature on it, purposes and characteristics of mixed methods research, types of research problems addressed, the specification of mixed methods purpose statements and research questions, types of major mixed methods designs, data collection and analysis strategies, and reporting and evaluating results. LEC
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Individual research preparatory to defense of dissertation prospectus. (By arrangement with doctoral chair.) RSH
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This course provides the opportunity for doctoral students to learn about research or teaching through direct application of research or teaching skills under the mentorship of faculty. RSH
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