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Courses of Instruction

This list is correct as of September 1, 2017. For the most current and searchable catalog of all SSA courses, please visit:

Master’s Level Courses

30000. Social Intervention: Programs and Policies I, II

This two-quarter course introduces students to the issues and problems associated with social welfare interventions at the community, agency, and policy levels. Students are expected to learn and develop competencies in analyzing the components of current policies, designing programmatic alternatives, anticipating substantive, operational, and political advantages and disadvantages, weighing benefits against financial costs, and making sound choices among imperfect alternatives. While focusing on public policies, the course will include consideration of the impact of policies and programs on individuals and families. The course will give students a thorough grounding in several critical areas of social work practice, including poverty and at least two social service areas such as mental health and child welfare.

I.  W. Johnson, N. Marwell, H. Pollack, E. Waxman, M. Ybarra
II. E. S. Carr, J. Darrow, A. Garcia, J. Mosley, M. Ybarra, A. Zarychta

30100. Social Intervention: Direct Practice I, II

This two-quarter course emphasizes the design and practice of social work interventions at the individual, family, and group levels. Students are introduced to the values, theories, concepts, skills, and empirical evidence that form the base for direct social work practice and develop competencies related to this area of practice. Complementing 30000, material is presented to examine needs, resources, and potential for change at the individual, family, and group levels, as well as to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of various options for intervention. Students will develop skills in identifying and defining problems, implementing and refining intervention strategies, evaluating the impact of clinical interventions, and weighing the ethical considerations of various choices. Particular attention is given to developing intervention approaches for working with underserved groups.

A. Bouris, G. Fedock, B. Jacob, C. McMillen, S. Parikh, A. Trettin, J. Wickstrom

Field Placement: All students have supervised experiences in organizations that provide social services. These field placements afford an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills from the intervention courses. Students engage in direct intervention with individuals, families, or small groups, and may have opportunities to explore intervention at other system levels within the agency and community context.

30200. Social Intervention: Research and Evaluation

This course focuses on the generation, analysis, and use of data and information relevant to decision-making at the case, program, and policy levels. Students learn and develop skills in collecting, analyzing, and using data related to fundamental aspects of social work practice: problem assessment and definition; intervention formulation, implementation, and refinement; and evaluation. The course covers specification and measurement of various practice and social science concepts, sampling methods, data collection strategies, and statistical and graphical approaches to data analysis. This course is required of all first-year master’s students. Students with strong research skills and education may take an exam. Passing the exam would qualify them to take 44501, 44505, or 48500 in the first year. Enrollment is limited to SSA students only.

J. Darrow, R. Garthe, M. Jarpe, J. Kim, S. Parikh

32700. Human Behavior in the Social Environment

This Core course teaches biological and social science concepts concerning human development in social contexts that are fundamental to social work practice: social and ecological systems; life course development; culture, ethnicity, and gender; stress, coping, and adaptation; and major social issues related to development over the life course. Students learn a general framework and theory for integrating the concepts. Students with strong academic backgrounds in human behavior may be eligible for an advanced human behavior course. Enrollment is limited to SSA students only.

B. Borden, Y. Choi, M. Gronen, S. Hans, S. Parikh

40012. Clinical Interventions in Substance Use Disorders

This course is an introduction to substance use issues, the spectrum of substance use, associated diagnostic criteria (DSM-5), and major evidence-supported methods for treatment. Through the use of readings, lecture, class discussion, experiential learning, class assignments, and a full-day workshop on motivational interviewing, participants will become familiar with best practices in the core counselor functions of screening, assessment, treatment planning, community intervention, and counseling. While the primary focus of this course is on verbal interventions, participants will also become familiar with the pharmacology of non-medical substances, medications approved for Medication-Assisted Treatment, and opiate overdose prevention strategies. Special attention will be given to the framework of Trauma-Informed Care, techniques to engage/retain individuals in treatment, brief interventions that can be applied to a variety of settings, individual and group counseling approaches, and relapse prevention/response. This course provides an overview of the particular treatment needs of underserved populations, including LGBTQ-identified individuals, older adults, individuals with co-occurring mental illness, and women.

G. Zapata-Alma

40212. Couples Therapy

This course is designed to: 1) familiarize the student with the issues commonly encountered in couples therapy, 2) familiarize the student with the array of major approaches to treating couples, and 3) ground the student in one particular model of treatment. The first half of the course will examine: 1) the most common couples issues, 2) the major approaches to couples treatment, and 3) the research on couples and their treatment. The most commonly occurring couples issues will be examined within the framework of a couples lifecycle perspective. Students will review the major models of couples therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy, Object Relations Couples Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, the differentiation model, and short-term solution oriented approaches. The research component will focus primarily on the work of John Gottman. The remainder of the course will focus on one particular model of couples treatment, the Emotional Safety model. Students will learn the theoretical foundation of the model in modern affect theory and will explore application of the model through role-playing and other in-class exercises. The goal of the course is to have both a strong conceptual framework and a beginning repertoire of clinical skills for treating couples.


40403. Fundamentals of Behavioral Therapy: Contemporary Approaches

Many persons seeking treatment present with problems more extreme than individuals described as the “worried well,” yet they do not display the symptom profile of persons diagnosed with a “severe mental illness.” Typically, these individuals experience chronic distress; they present with impulsive coping styles, chaotic relationships, and affective dysregulation. Psychotherapy for persons presenting with chronic distress presents a unique set of challenges. Most research in psychotherapy outcomes suggests that one of the most important factors associated with successful treatment is the relationship between the client and therapist. Traditionally, focus on the therapeutic relationship has been the purview of experiential and psychodynamic therapies. However, three behavioral models of psychotherapy have been introduced that focus on the relationship in the therapy session. To varying degrees, these therapies are based on a large body of knowledge developed over the past several decades in the study of verbal behavior. In this class, participants will be introduced to a behavioral conceptualization of phenomena, such as emotion, memory, cognition, and beliefs. Discussion of these private behaviors will conclude in a presentation of a behavioral theory of the “sense of self.” For the remainder of the course, participants will revisit these concepts as they apply to discussion of three influential behavioral therapies. First, participants will become acquainted with specific clinician behaviors that foster the curative role of the therapist as articulated in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) developed by Robert Kohlenberg. Second, participants will discuss the role of verbal behavior in human suffering and the “recontextualization” of painful private experience presented in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) developed by Steven Hayes. Finally, participants will be introduced to the therapeutic dialectic of acceptance and change as outlined in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) developed by Marsha Linehan. The goals of the course will be to briefly introduce participants to FAP and ACT; and to provide an overview of the principles and strategies of DBT that explicitly address the diffuse, troubling experiences presented by most chronically distressed individuals.

N. Gier, J. Wickstrom

40404. Cognitive and Behavioral Approaches: Children and Families
Behavioral and cognitive theories form the bases for many of today's evidence-supported clinical interventions for children and families. This course helps students understand these theoretical bases and how they are applied in (a) parent-management training programs for children with behavioral problems, (b) interventions for children and youth who have experienced trauma, and (c) clinical approaches for youth with severe emotional dysregulation. The course prods students to think about what children and youth need from their environments in order to develop healthy thinking and behavior. The course also emphasizes the purposeful and necessary use of relationship in cognitive and behavioral practices in ways that demonstrate respect, challenge children and youths' cognitions about themselves, and help children and youth approach new relationships in healthier ways. Within these larger intellectual contexts, the course explores the substantial cultural challenges of these approaches.

L. Dal Pra

40532. Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an empirically supported way of being with clients in an empathic, open, non-judgmental, and collaborative manner. The clinician practicing MI helps those with whom they are working acknowledge and explore ambivalence in regards to behavior change. Furthermore, once a client decides to make (or not make) changes, the MI clinician collaborates in determining a course of action. MI, though simple at first glance, is complex and requires ongoing training and practice. This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of MI and how to practice it within various treatment settings. Through lectures, open discussions, readings, written assignments, and practice exercises, students will be able to gain insight, knowledge, and skills related to person-centered clinical practice, the human condition, and behavior change.

N. Turner

40800. Family Systems Approaches to Practice

This course provides a systems-based conceptual and technical foundation for social work practice with families, considering multi-generational family life-cycle development, socio-cultural context, and family diversity. We examine social constructions of the “normal family” with particular attention to changing family forms and gender roles, addressing the challenges facing diverse couples and families in a changing world. An overview of foundational models of family practice and recent developments in strength-based collaborative approaches highlights core concepts and methods in brief problem-solving, post-modern, and intergenerational, growth-oriented models. Discussion focuses on: 1) assessment of family strengths and vulnerabilities; 2) intervention objectives; and 3) the process of change. A research informed, integrative Family Resilience Framework is presented, identifying key family processes and intervention/prevention guidelines to foster resilience of at-risk children and distressed families by strengthening family functioning as presenting problems are resolved. Special topics include: working with child and adolescent concerns, family diversity, the role of culture and spirituality/belief systems in families, and disenfranchised/multi-stressed families. A broad range of practice issues and guidelines are illustrated with videotape and case examples.

J. Flom

40922. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Theory and Practice

Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) is a major practice theory that integrates the theoretical perspectives and therapeutic techniques of Cognitive Theory and Behavioral Theory. As such, CBT focuses on changing cognitions, changing behavior, and supporting clients to develop coping skills. This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of CBT and to assist students with implementing CBT perspectives and techniques in their own practice. Lectures and course readings will review different considerations and applications of CBT with children, adolescents, adults, and vulnerable populations. Through lectures, readings, and assignments, students will learn skills to conduct assessment, intervention, and evaluation of clients from a CBT perspective. The relationship between theory and practice is emphasized, as is the empirical evidence supporting the use of CBT to effectively address a range of emotional and behavioral problems with diverse populations. Critiques of CBT will be discussed. Course assignments will emphasize the practical application of CBT techniques in practice. Students will be expected to implement CBT methods with a selected client and to record the therapeutic process. This course is for clinical students completing a concentration requirement.

J. Chapman, M. Yasui, M. Novak

41000. Psychodynamic Practice Methods I (also HDCP 41250)

This course provides an introduction to contemporary psychodynamic thought and social work practice. The first part examines the defining features of the psychodynamic tradition and explores the growing emphasis on relational and social domains of concern in recent theory, research, and psychosocial intervention. Readings trace the development of psychodynamic understanding and social work practice, present the core concepts and essential concerns of the major schools of thought, and describe the empirical foundations of contemporary relational perspectives. The second part, which is focused on clinical practice, introduces principles of treatment and methods of intervention from an integrative relational perspective. Readings examine approaches to assessment, establishment of the therapeutic alliance, formulation of goals, representative forms of communication, use of interactive experience, and termination procedures. Presentations of clinical perspectives encompass a range of vulnerable groups and emphasize realistic, flexible use of strategies in view of varying levels of functioning, coping capacities, support systems, and social environments. Critical pluralism is introduced as an orienting perspective that sponsors dialogue among multiple theoretical traditions and helps social workers consider differing approaches in light of the pragmatic concerns and core values of the profession.

B. Borden, A. Levy

41100. Psychodynamic Practice Methods II

This course provides an opportunity for continued exploration of psychodynamic practice begun in the earlier methods class. This practice has a rich history and tradition, extending back to the pioneering groundwork of Sigmund Freud. However, practice literature and the helping professions in general have paid little attention to developments in psychodynamic treatment since Freud’s era, failing to acknowledge more contemporary challenges to and elaborations on classical psychoanalysis. These developments include the emergence of attachment theory and related research, advancements in understanding of the role of neuroscience, and socio-cultural-political forces reshaping notions of hierarchy, power, and authority. A particularly pernicious and recurring criticism of psychodynamic therapy is that it pays limited attention to issues of race, ethnicity, and culture. In addition, psychodynamic therapy is widely—and erroneously—characterized as heterosexist, homophobic, and anti-feminist. This course will identify key developments in the evolution of psychodynamic theory from Freud’s time until the present, reviewing representative traditions that moved further away from drive theory toward more relational ways of organizing our understanding of human behavior. Among these developments are a new emphasis on social constructivism; the idea of “self” as fluid and shaped by changing influences; a new appreciation for the role of culture, race, gender, religion, and sexuality; and the introduction of ‘relationality’ and ‘intersubjectivity’ into the treatment paradigm—including the function of self-disclosure on the part of the therapist. Therefore, contemporary psychodynamic therapy has shifted its focus from untying intrapsychic “knots” to examining the centrality of relationships. In other words, it has shifted away from “one-person” to “two-person” psychology. Prerequisite: SSAD 41000.

C. Ganzer

41212. Intersectional Approaches to Social Work with LGBTQIA Individuals and Communities

A social justice and intersectional framework is used to examine social work and social welfare issues relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual populations. This course covers basic knowledge and history related to gender and sexuality, and provides a lifespan and systems approach to individual, group, community, policy, and administrative practice. Emphasis is placed on analyzing power and privilege and the intersection of LGBTQIA identities with race, gender, ability, class, age, and immigration status.

J. Messinger

41500. The Practice of Group Work

This course explores elements of group work practice in clinical and educational settings, and includes experiential activities to build the group worker’s skill/competence in leading groups. Students will participate in a brief, personal-growth small group to grasp important aspects related to becoming skilled group leaders. These aspects include: planning and preparing to lead the group; understanding leaders’ roles and responsibilities; facilitating group dynamics to promote positive changes in participants; co-leading; designing group work curricula; and considering the ethical issues inherent in therapeutic group work.

B. Donohue

41600. Public School Systems and Service Populations

This course familiarizes students with the origin and history of school social work, the organization of American public schools, the current role of the social worker in a variety of public school settings, and the populations served by school social workers. Students address such issues as working with parents and the community, crisis intervention, group treatment, child neglect and abuse identification and reporting, services to culturally and economically diverse populations, and current policy issues impacting K-12 education. The class format includes group discussions and relevant readings. Prerequisite: Enrollment limited to students working toward the Type 73 Certificate; consent of instructor required for students from other departments. (Completion of course required for State School Social Work Certification.)

J. Meade

41700. Clinical Treatment of Abusive Family Systems

The family lays the foundation in a micro-system for the future emergence of abuses in families and societal macro-systems. This course explores intersectionality and diversity in the presentation of abusive family systems. The application of evidence based treatment modalities that enhance resiliencies and promote positive structural and interpersonal changes to the family infrastructure will be examined. The classes include a mix of theoretical information and specific clinical interventions. Class structure includes didactic material, class discussion, interactive exercises, and use of videos/documentaries. The course includes a broad exploration of the following areas: interpersonal violence; child maltreatment; substance abuse; the impact of historical and transgenerational trauma; and how immigration, refugee status, diverse religious/personal practices, and community violence affect the functioning of family systems.

M. Gronen

41900. Treatment of Adolescents: A Contextual Perspective

This contextually based course will integrate developmental and systems theory to develop a framework for the assessment and treatment of adolescents. Conceptions of adolescence will be examined using research data. Indications for individual, group, and family treatment will be delineated. Emphasis will be on sharing responsibility with the family and collaborating with other social and helping institutions from engagement to termination. Specific topics include adolescent development, intergenerational relationships, gender, substance abuse, eating disorders, family violence, social victimization and cyber-bullying, and adolescent manifestations of mental health disorders. Prerequisites: A working knowledge of human development, systems theory, and ecological approaches to social work.

J. Sykes

42001. Substance Use Practice

Social workers, regardless of their practice setting, frequently encounter individuals, families, and communities adversely affected by alcohol and other drug use. A 2002 survey of NASW members revealed that during the year prior to the survey, 77 percent of members had taken one or more actions related to clients with substance use problems; these actions typically included screening, treatment, or referral. Especially relevant for social work practice is the understanding that substance use can be both adaptive and potentially maladaptive; and that poverty, class, racism, social isolation, trauma, sex-based discrimination, and other social inequalities affect both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with substance use problems. This course will facilitate the development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed for effective clinical practice with substance users. The course will review the core concepts and essential features of substance use intervention, including models for understanding substance use, the transtheoretical model of change, and countertransference. We will examine a range of contemporary approaches to substance use treatment including harm reduction, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention; and we will review the literature related to the implementation of these practices in the field. Additionally we will consider several special topics related to the intersection of mental illness and substance use, trauma and substance use, spirituality, and working with families, LGBTQIA individuals, women, and people with HIV. Students will be encouraged to draw on their direct practice experience with clients affected by substance use concerns.

T. Devitt

42100. Aging and Mental Health

This course integrates the theories and practice skills needed for effective clinical work with older adults and their families. The developmental process of aging, fostering an alliance, overcoming stigma, use of self, therapeutic bias, and ethical dilemmas with this population are covered. Attention is given to the significance of the older person’s history, background, and culture, as well as understanding behavior within the environmental context. Students will develop assessment, diagnostic, and treatment skills with older adults. Similarities and differences in practice techniques with other age groups are reviewed, and generic principles are identified. Concrete service delivery and care management, as well as individual, family, and caregiver interventions, are addressed. The class format includes didactic material, case examples, films, and group discussions.

A. Schigelone

42322. Child and Adolescent Substance Use

Substance use disorders are related to devastating outcomes including, but not limited to, trauma, incarceration, homelessness, mental illness, infectious diseases, medical conditions, and death. Substance use among children and adolescents is distinct from adult substance use, and requires unique and specific attention to reduce the likelihood of negative outcomes. This course will address risk and protective factors for child and adolescent substance use, assessment, and treatment approaches. A primary goal of this course is to examine the spectrum of substance use across the developmental span of childhood and adolescence. There will be an emphasis on integrating theory and practice to not only reduce risk, but also to promote the health and potential of children and adolescents. Learning objectives will be achieved through analysis of selected readings, class discussion, multimedia presentations, and experiential activities.

R. Levin

42401. Comparative Perspectives in Social Work Practice

Although many social workers endorse eclecticism as their preferred approach to practice, there is surprisingly little consideration of comparative perspectives that help clinicians think critically about differing theoretical systems and integrate elements from a variety of approaches in efforts to facilitate change and improve outcomes. This course introduces critical pluralism as an orienting perspective in an effort to sponsor practice across theoretical traditions, reviews the defining features of the major schools of thought, and presents an integrative approach to psychosocial intervention that draws on psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic contributions. The first part examines representative models of psychosocial intervention, as set forth in psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic traditions, and identifies the defining features of each school of thought as well as common elements, basic principles, and methods of intervention that operate across the systems. The second part introduces an integrative approach to psychosocial intervention informed by the work of Paul Wachtel, drawing on psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, humanistic, and systems perspectives. Prerequisites: Limited to Clinical Concentration students or those with consent of instructor.

B. Borden

42500. Adult Psychopathology

This course covers the description, classification, evaluation, and diagnosis of the adult psychiatric disorders described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Additional topics include how to conduct a diagnostic and psychosocial evaluation, cultural factors in mental illness, mental illness in older adults, and discussion of the major categories of drugs used in treating psychiatric disorders. This course is appropriate for students with clinical interests and students with administration/policy interests.

S. McCracken

42600. Diagnosing Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Determining the nature of an individual's mental health problem is the first step toward rational and effective intervention. In the case of children and adolescents, the critical task of formulating a diagnosis is further complicated by the currently shifting conceptualizations of the nature and determinants of pathology in these age groups. This course will focus on assessing mental disorders in young people according to the DSM-5 classification system with some emphasis on the transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5 since many students will still be using DSM-IV in their field placements, and it is unclear as to when the DSM-5 will be required or included in the licensing exam. The characteristic clinical presentation of each diagnostic group will be presented. Associated family patterns and key issues in interviewing parents will be highlighted. Assessment methodologies, including behavioral, psychobiological, and systemic, will be surveyed. This course will provide a beginning information base for students interested in working with children and adolescents.

S. McCracken

42700. Family Support Principles, Practice, and Program Development

This course explores the theoretical principles and values underlying family support. The family support approach emphasizes prevention and promotion, an ecological framework, an integrated collaborative use of community resources, relationship-based intervention, and strengths-based practice. Students will examine programs that use family support principles and the evidence base for the effectiveness of such programs. Students will also explore key family support practice methods, including group work, home visitation, reflective supervision, and the parallel process in agency culture. Examples will draw heavily from programs focused on supporting families with infants and young children.

K. Ethier

42800. Clinical Intervention with Socially Vulnerable Clients

Social workers are committed to social justice and to helping the most vulnerable members of society, but have often found traditional methods unsuccessful with this population. Although many of these clients carry a significant psychological burden derived from the internalization of oppressive experience, clinical response is frequently limited to concrete services and problem-solving tasks. Successful engagement of socially vulnerable clients in therapeutic intervention requires an integrated approach that addresses individual dynamic issues and environmental concerns simultaneously. This course presents the conceptual framework for such an approach, including consideration of clinical implications for policy design. Specific techniques that enhance effectiveness—such as multilevel assessment, the therapeutic use of metaphor, and practical action-oriented methods—are discussed in detail.

J. Palmer

42912. Work and Family Policy: Policy Considerations for Family Support

This course is a graduate-level seminar that examines contemporary policy questions of concern to families. The course will address a range of contemporary work and family issues. We will consider (1) the demographic, labor market, and policy trends affecting family income, family structure, family time, and family care; (2) conceptual frameworks and policy debates concerning the responsibility of government, corporate, and informal sectors in addressing work and family issues; and (3) specific policy and program responses in such areas as family leave, child care, work hours and flexibility, and income assistance. Throughout the course, we will consider the ideological, conceptual, and empirical basis for the issues we study. Although our primary focus will be on issues affecting low-income American families, relevant comparisons will be made throughout the course—cross-nationally, across race/ethnicity, and across income. This course fulfills the second course requirement for the Family Support Program of Study, but all SSA students are welcome.

S. Lambert

43012. Social Work’s Role in Ending the Domestic HIV Epidemic

From its first widespread appearance in the United States in 1981, vulnerability to HIV infection and governmental and public health responses to it have been deeply shaped by underlying social inequalities and the politics of race, gender, sexuality, and class. While it is true that much has changed since 1981 in the treatment and prevention of HIV, a surprising amount has not changed. Confidence in and optimism about biomedical treatments run high, and yet meaningful access and engagement in these intervention approaches continue to mirror the social inequalities that have existed since the beginning of the epidemic. As a consequence, the number of annual HIV infections in the United States remains stubbornly persistent and increasingly concentrated among historically marginalized populations, especially among persons with multiple marginalized identities. Despite these difficult trends, because social workers possess the skill sets and perspective to craft and implement evidence-based interventions that bridge the worlds of structural inequality and biomedical intervention, they are integral to ending the domestic HIV epidemic. In this course, we will explore the types of interventions and approaches that social workers are using in the realms of primary HIV prevention and to improve access and retention in care for persons living with HIV. This class is as much a class about how social workers think and practice in the domain of public health as it is a class about HIV.

M. Richards

43300. The Exceptional Child

This course focuses on categories of exceptional children as defined by federal and state legislation, including the Individuals with Disability Education Act (P.L. 94-142), the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and policies and programs for children who have disabilities. The prevalence and description of childhood disabilities and chronic illnesses are discussed. The role of the social worker in providing appropriate services to children and their parents in a school setting is emphasized. Methods of evaluating children, as well as current research in the field, are considered. Prerequisite: Enrollment is limited to SSA students only. (Completion of course is required for State School Social Work Licensure.)

J. Meade

43412. Qualitative Inquiry and Research

This course will introduce students to the use of qualitative research methods and encourage the integration of qualitative methods in social work practice. The course begins with a historical and philosophical overview of qualitative inquiry and proceeds with an examination of the most commonly used approaches: narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study. While covering these approaches, issues related to research design, data collection, analytic technique, presentation of findings, researcher values, and subjectivity are taught in an applied manner through a project-based assignment. Although the course is not designed to train for proficiency in any one approach, it will familiarize students with the specific processes involved in designing and conducting phenomenological qualitative research.

S. Robinson

43722. Social Work in Health Care: The Rapidly Changing Landscape

Students in this course learn about relevant and controversial issues social workers are dealing with in hospital and healthcare settings. This course introduces students to psychosocial issues related to health care provision and some of the issues and tasks common among health social workers. These include understanding the determinants of health behavior, working on interdisciplinary teams, and recognizing biases in medicine and how they affect social work practice. Value and ethical conflicts inherent in clinical practice in healthcare are emphasized, with special attention to issues related to disadvantaged populations.

S. Shim

43800. Skills for Conducting Psychotherapy with Chronically Distressed Persons

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an empirically supported treatment originally developed for persons who struggle with suicide and/or parasuicide. It is a comprehensive treatment regimen focusing on the transformation of behavior responses to intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental factors contributing to problems related to impulsivity, emotional liability, cognitive dysregulation, and interpersonal chaos. Due to its success treating various psychiatric populations, DBT is now considered effective with persons who engage in any behavior where the function of the behavior is to avoid or escape aversive thoughts and/or emotions.

DBT was one of the first cognitive behavior therapies to integrate mindfulness, acceptance, and willingness into treatment regimens that traditionally focus on change and control. It is therefore considered a pioneering therapy in what is now called the “third wave” in behaviorism. This class is intended to provide students with advanced training in the principles and practice of DBT. To that end, via lecture, experiential exercises, role play, and a self-change project, participants will be exposed to the four components of DBT: Skills Training, Individual Therapy, Telephone Consultation, and the Consultation Group. However, a basic tenet of DBT is that therapists should not expect their clients to engage in behaviors and activities they are unwilling to do. Therefore, emphasis in this class will be placed on experiential knowledge. Therefore, interested participants will be expected to make a basic set of commitments that expose them to many of the emotional reactions experienced by their future clients. In addition to a self-change project, participants will commit to complete a diary card and practice mindfulness on a daily basis. Other learning activities include co-facilitating and participating in a skills group, a DBT individual therapy session, and a consultation group.

P. Holmes

43912. Social Work with Veterans

According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics (2013), there are approximately 22 million Americans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces (with nearly 750,000 veterans in the state of Illinois alone, according to a 2014 census). Due to the varied experiences and biopsychosocial histories of these veterans, it is almost certain that social workers will be involved in the direct care of a veteran or family member of a veteran at some point in their practice. The recent long-term and large-scale military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as past conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Operation Desert Storm) have underscored the need for comprehensive medical and psychiatric care for veterans of these conflicts. As such, it benefits social workers to gain a working knowledge of the veteran population, as well as some of the more common psychosocial needs of this population, in order to provide competent and compassionate care for these individuals and their families.

C. Small

44122. Self-Awareness and Social Work with Diverse Populations

This course assists both practice and policy students in developing an increased awareness of self in order to more effectively intervene with regard to practice and policy in the lives of diverse client populations. Drawing upon the sociological, psychological, and social work literatures, particular emphasis is placed on the function of structural and social inequality as it relates to the interplay of difference and power associated with gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, social class, nationality, and developmental and disabling conditions. Students explore these topics through examination of their own multiple identities and with the use of films, discussion groups, and additional perspectives introduced by guest experts. Practice and policy frameworks for exploring differences and intervening with diverse clients are examined. 

D. Voisin

44212. Abuse-Focused Child Therapy and the Helping Relationship  

This course focuses primarily on understanding the world of the sexually abused child, including the abuse-focused therapy process, and consideration of related experiences that traumatized children experience (physical abuse, sexual exploitation/human trafficking, abusive family dynamics), utilizing the helping relationship as a primary modality. A variety of relationship-based interventions are explored (cognitive and non-cognitive), integrating neurobiological, developmental, cultural, and attachment perspectives. These are balanced against the significant role of the therapist in treatment, drawing from research on mindfulness, self-care, and self-inquiry, and especially considering the therapist’s own attachment and resulting response to trauma. Through lectures, experiential learning, case discussion, audio/visual materials, and writing, students will learn to understand abuse as it impacts children, techniques and strategies for intervening with clients, and challenges to treatment as moderated by their experience of themselves as clinicians.

S. Parikh    

44401. Sexuality across the Life Cycle

From birth through old age, sexuality is an essential component of human development impacting identity formation, self-esteem, and relationships. The developmental theories of Erickson and Freud offer dynamic frameworks from which to view sexuality. The exploration of sexuality becomes even more complex when the influences of family, culture, ethnicity, and religion are considered. This class will focus on the developmental aspects of sexuality relevant to each life stage as viewed through the multiple social constructions impacting sexuality, gender, and sexual orientation. Special attention will be given to marginalized sexualities, particularly women’s sexuality and gay/lesbian/bisexual sexuality. A number of theoretical perspectives will be incorporated to provide tools for critical thinking about sexuality and human development.

M. Novak

44501. Clinical Research: Using Evidence in Clinical Decision-Making

This course teaches the skills necessary to develop and use information and data relevant to practice decision-making. A primary goal of this section is to encourage the development of more systematic and empirically based clinical decision-making, with an emphasis on evidence based practice (EBP). Students will develop skills to formulate practice questions, to conduct an electronic evidence search, to assess the quality and usefulness of the research, to design an intervention based on this evidence, and to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Students will learn how to evaluate their practice using tools, such as logic models and other assessment instruments, to monitor progress and outcome, and visual analysis of data graphs. Prerequisites: SSAD 30200 or faculty approval following research exam.

S. Budde, L. Ismayilova, C. Link, A. Virgil, G. Zapata-Alma

44712. Queer Theory in Social Work Practice
When applied to social work, queer theory offers a necessary framework for questioning notions of essential and stable identities, such as sexualities and genders. Additionally, queer theory may help social workers to render more complex understandings of normativity, deviance, race/ethnicity, and health/ability statuses, as well as class and privilege, all of which are relevant to social work. This course will begin by exploring a body of literature broadly defined as queer theory, engaging scholars, activists, and artists working at the intersections of multiple social locations, categories, and identities. Importantly, the course also attends to the limits of queer theory, highlighting scholarship that offers critical epistemological and theoretical interventions into the queer studies canon (e.g., Quare Theory/Black Queer Studies). In addition, the course will bring queer theory into conversation with emergent social work scholarship that considers how queer perspectives are best applied to social work practice, research, and policies that are oriented towards social justice. By focusing on the bidirectional relationship between queer theory and social work, the course will explore how best to use queer theories to address social inequality at multiple levels. Central questions to be explored include: How does applying a queer lens both align with and challenge current models of social work? What promises does queer theory hold for enacting critical and liberatory models of social work? In short, we will grapple with how to “queer” social work, and the limits and possibilities of such a “queering.”  This will be accomplished by taking up a more critical, anti-oppressive, and liberatory stance, one that might re-shape the ways we think about and engage the individuals and communities we work alongside to achieve social justice. 

J. Hereth, L. Keene

44800. Urban Adolescents in Their Families, Communities, and Schools: Issues for Research and Policy

Early and mid-adolescence is a critical stage in the life course. Urban adolescents face special risks and often have fewer supports and opportunities to guide them through this critical period. As the United States population becomes increasingly diverse, particularly in urban areas, families, communities, and schools may need to create new social institutions and relationships to meet the needs of this new population. This course focuses on three central questions. 1) How are the education and developmental trajectories of adolescents shaped by their experiences in their families, schools, and communities as well as the interrelationships among these domains? 2) What are the special needs or issues that arise for adolescents who are from immigrant families, who are cultural, racial, or ethnic minorities, or who are from educationally and economically disadvantaged households? And 3) how do we translate an understanding of the needs of adolescents and the conditions in families, communities, and schools that foster positive development into the design of policies and practice?

M. Roderick

44932. Treatment of Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

This seminar provides a foundation for social work practice with persons who have serious, long-term mental illness, with a particular emphasis on service delivery in community settings. We begin with an overview of the major categories of mental illness (schizophrenic disorders, bipolar affective disorder, and severe unipolar depression), highlighting in particular the subjective experience of these disorders. To set a context for practice in this area, we trace the evolution of the mental health care delivery system and grapple with relevant policy and service delivery issues. Subsequently, we shift our focus to the tasks of assessment, engagement, treatment planning, medication management, collaborating with and providing support to families, and rehabilitation interventions.

C. Hahn

45032. Participatory Research: Exploration and Application of Action Research Models for Social Work Practice

This course will explore the history, rationale, and values of participatory action and community based research methods. The course aims to expand on students’ basic research understanding (through SSA 30200 or comparable coursework) through the following topics: 1) the continuum of community involvement in participatory methods of research, 2) consideration of roles, power, and positionality of researchers and participants in the research process, and 3) action-oriented dissemination of research findings. A variety of models will be covered, including Participatory Action Research (PAR), Youth and Feminist Action Research (YPAR and FPAR), Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), and Empowerment Evaluation (EE), with attention to both qualitative and quantitative data sources. Students will engage in assignments that utilize the classroom space as “community” and practice an intentional application of participatory principles. 

S. Parikh

45112. Contemporary Immigration Policy and Practice

Today’s immigration debates have brought to the fore conflicting visions regarding what to do with an estimated 11.1 million undocumented immigrants and their families. This course will examine undocumented immigration from both micro (individual and family) and macro (our immigration policy) frames of understanding and interrogation. We will start with the broad question of what should we do with the estimated 11.1 million people presently living in the United States in unauthorized residency status. We will then take a deeper look at the ways in which our laws and accompanying systems shape the everyday lives of undocumented individuals and mixed-status families. Finally, we will explore the challenges micro and macro social workers face in working within the intersection of immigration policy and people’s lives and how this work shapes our various possible roles as practitioners, policy-makers, advocates, and allies.

J. Ramsey

45312. Urban Social Movements

Social groups with limited access to normal politics often engage in mobilization, or contentious politics, in order to gain rights, resources or recognition. Many of these social movements have emerged in cities. In this course, we will attempt to answer the following questions: What are urban social movements? What sorts of mobilizing opportunities and constraints do cities pose for disadvantaged social groups? How have these groups sought to take advantage of urban-based opportunities, and how successful have they been? What kinds of urban justice movements do we observe in early-twenty-first-century cities, and how might we understand and expand their potential? The course begins by looking briefly at "classic" approaches to social movements, followed by an examination of selected work on urban social movements, including foundational contributions from sociology and subsequent research in geography that explores issues of place, network, and scale. The second half of the course will examine several sets of case studies, focusing particularly on recent instances of immigrant mobilization. The fundamental goal of the course is to strengthen analytical and strategic thinking about the relationship between social mobilization and the urban environment. We will also be evaluating academic work on social movements in terms of its utility for ongoing mobilization efforts.

W. Sites

45400. Economics for Social Welfare (also SSAD 55400)

A working knowledge of economic concepts and theory is essential for most professional roles in social administration. This course introduces students to economics and to its use in analyzing social welfare policies. Economic concepts and models relating to preferences, costs, and choices are developed and used to analyze markets and issues that arise in the design and assessment of social welfare policies. Illustrations are drawn from such areas as health, housing, and disability. The course seeks both to convey the framework and concepts with which economists approach issues and to increase the likelihood that students will incorporate these in their own thinking about policy.

H. Pollack

45522. Creating a Context for Unity and Reconciliation in Global Post-Conflict Settings

This class draws on the case study of post-genocide Rwanda to pursue questions about the role of the community, as well as the state and non-profit sectors in the process of creating a context for unity and reconciliation in global post-conflict settings. Students will engage in multiple modes of learning, including reading first-person narratives, governmental and non-governmental reports, and scholarly works, participating in discussion, watching videos and listening to oral testimonies. Students in this class will: become familiar with the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, unpack the complex web of history, oppression, and deprivation that led to the genocide, and develop a fine-grained understanding of the macro- and meso-level efforts to bring about unity and reconciliation after the genocide. Throughout we will ask what role the state, local government, NGOs, and local communities play in these processes and will problematize the goals of these initiatives. Although course content focuses deeply on the case study of Rwanda, students will work in groups to research other global contexts of reconciliation, drawing comparisons and contrasts to the Rwandan case. Together we will identify common themes that emerge from these various case studies, and explore the implications for understanding global projects of reconciliation.

J. Darrow

45600. Policy Analysis: Methods and Applications

This master’s-level course provides students with the basic tools of policy analysis. Students will learn and apply tools of decision analysis in written group assignments and in an accompanying computer lab. Students will also learn and apply concepts of cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost-utility analysis with social service, medical, and public health applications. Doctoral students and master’s students who intend to take the course Advanced Applications of Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health will complete two additional laboratory assignments. Topics to be covered include decision trees for structured policy analysis, the economic value of information, analysis of screening programs for HIV and child maltreatment, sensitivity analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis of life-saving interventions and programs to reduce behavioral risk, valuing quality of life outcomes, ethical issues in cost-benefit analysis, and analysis of “irrational” risk behaviors. Substantive areas covered include HIV/substance use prevention, school-based prevention of sexual risk, smoking cessation, and housing policy. In the associated learning lab, students will use computer decision software to build and analyze decision trees in policy-relevant examples. They will conduct one-way and two-way sensitivity analysis to explore the impact of key parameters on cost-effectiveness of alternative policies. Students will receive an introduction to dynamic modeling in the context of HIV prevention, cancer screening, and transportation programs. Prerequisite: One prior course in microeconomics.

H. Pollack

46312. Race, Crime, and Justice in the City

The size and growth of the U.S. jail and prison census, and its deleterious consequences for poor people of color living in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods, have been well documented. This course examines how the targets of mass incarceration experience crime control policy, how those experiences shape their relationship with the state, and how they work to bring about change in the laws and policies that regulate their lives. The course is organized around three lines of inquiry; 1) What do our crime control strategies tell us about the nature of urban life and contemporary forms of urban citizenship? 2) What would it mean to live in a city that was socially and racially just? 3) What work has been done by the people directly affected by mass incarceration to bring such a city about?   

R. Miller

46412. The Evaluation of Social Welfare Programs and Policies

This course will introduce students to a variety of approaches used to evaluate social service organizations, programs, and policies. The course will begin with an overview of the different roles evaluative research can play in informing policy and practice and the very real empirical and political barriers that limit the ultimate utility of rational decision making. Students will learn to frame evaluation questions and to match appropriate evaluation strategies to those of primary interest to key stakeholders, such as program managers, boards of directors, funders, and policy-makers. Issues of research design, measurement, human subjects’ protection, data interpretation, and presentation of findings will be discussed. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to conduct critical analysis, including identifying the role values play in shaping the evaluation process and influencing key findings.

S. Baker

46622. Key Issues in Health Care: An Interdisciplinary Case Studies Approach

This is a capstone course for the graduate program in health administration and policy. The course will explore how to approach persistent administrative and policy problems from an interdisciplinary approach. It will draw from the disciplinary skills and knowledge of students in the course and challenge students to use that knowledge in collaborative and creative ways to solve real world problems. Students will take on an administrative, strategy, or policy problem in interdisciplinary teams. Building on each disciplinary strength—social welfare frameworks, policy analysis, and business (e.g., management, financial) strategy—students will provide an action plan and set of recommendations to approach the health problem. Topics will be chosen by students, but provided by the instructor. The course will examine numerous case studies of interdisciplinary projects, and consider how common challenges and pitfalls can be avoided.


46712. Organizational Theory and Analysis for Human Services

This seminar explores the organizational aspects of social agencies, including the students’ field placement experiences. A major goal of the seminar is to help students develop an appreciation and understanding of the complex factors that affect organizational and worker effectiveness, service delivery patterns, and resource procurement and allocation. This is accomplished by applying diverse organizational theories and perspectives to the analysis of social service organizations. Topics include organization environment relations, organizational goals, power, structure and control, ideology and technology, and special topics.

N. Marwell, J. Mosley

46800. Political Processes in Policy Formulation and Implementation

Policies are formulated in a social and political environment that gives them shape, and that they, in turn, can be expected to alter. This course surveys a range of analytical frameworks for analyzing the politics of the policy process from the development of public issues, to legislative contests over policy-making, to policy implementation. It places these issues within the context of the changing dynamics of the welfare state, drawing on specific policy issues arising in the United States and other market democracies. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor is required for students from other departments.

E. Brodkin, W. Sites

46922. Structuring Refuge: U.S. Refugee Policy and Resettlement Practice

In 2012 there were over 45.2 million people forcibly displaced from their homes around the world, the highest number since 1994. Over 15 million registered refugees were among those displaced, and of these just 89,000 were admitted to third countries for permanent resettlement. Worldwide the United States is by far the largest resettlement country; in 2012 the U.S. resettled 58,000 refugees. With so many vulnerable people in the world, and so few options for their safe resettlement, there is a risk that entry to the U.S. can be seen as an end in and of itself. What is more, refugees in the U.S. get a relative leg up over their immigrant counterparts; refugees are entitled to an array of federal, state, and local supports that other immigrants in the U.S. must do without. At the same time, refugees in the U.S. are arguably subject to greater scrutiny and systems of social control than any other domestic population. This course asks the central question, how does the system of refugee resettlement operate in the U.S., and with what implications for refugees? We will begin by detangling the web of international and domestic policies that relate to the refugees’ political identity, and then focus in on the U.S. system of resettlement. We will analyze the structure of resettlement policy and explore its implications for social work practice with this population with special attention to issues such as employment, mental health, child and youth development, and aging. Finally we will identify various ways that social workers can support refugees as they navigate their entry to the United States.

J. Darrow

47232. Promoting the Social and Academic Development of Children in Urban Schools

Schools are uniquely situated, and often designed, to play a significant role in not only the academic/cognitive development of children, but their socio-emotional development as well. In communities with few or limited resources, the school can play a particularly powerful role in enhancing children's development and well-being. In such contexts, school social workers have opportunities to play leading roles in enabling schools to maximize this potential for facilitating the positive development of children. As one of the few professionals in the building with cross-disciplinary training in human development, mental health and intervention, and group and systems theory, social workers are uniquely positioned to partner with school colleagues to help change school structures and practices such that they effectively support children's academic and social growth, as well as proactively address barriers to learning and development.

This course is designed to engage participants in thinking about how transforming the traditional role and practices of school social workers can enable schools to enhance elementary-aged children's academic and social development. It is organized around three essential questions: 1) How do schools (through structures, pedagogy, practices) serve to facilitate, as well as hinder, the positive academic, social, and emotional development of elementary school-aged children? 2) How do socio-cultural factors affect the supports that teachers, administrators, staff, and students need in order to enable schools to better develop and support the developmental competencies of children? and 3) What will, skills, and knowledge are needed to transform the role of school social work in elementary school settings so that students are optimally supported in their academic and social development?

This course requires a classroom observation. If you are not in a school placement or do not have access to a school setting, you will receive support to find one; but it will be your responsibility to ensure that you do.

S. Madison-Boyd

47300. Strategic Management: External Factors

This course will introduce students to the increasingly important impact that external market factors have on policy development and service delivery models in the field of social work and in healthcare services. The impact of market factors is experienced at multiple levels—from public policy-maker to direct service staff—thus this course emphasizes both micro- and macro-level concepts. The class materials will cover a range of concepts that are key to understanding market-driven management, including strategic management, strategic alliances, strategic planning, social entrepreneurship, needs assessments, market research, organizational development, marketing, and ethics. Case studies will be used, including examples from the lecturer’s national consultation practice. Guest speakers who have experience with strategic management and market driven social work and healthcare practices will share their expertise with the class.

J. Pyrce

47452. Smart Decarceration: A Grand Challenge for Social Work
The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and inequities in the use of incarceration yield a high burden on people of color, people in poverty, and people with behavioral health conditions. Evidence indicates that mass incarceration has reached a tipping point, and that the U.S. is entering an era of decarceration. The grand challenge of this new era will be to move away from incarceration-based thinking and toward an array of proactive policy, practice, and research innovations that will not only substantially reduce the incarcerated population, but also ameliorate social disparities and maximize public safety and well-being. This course, which is connected to the “Promote Smart Decarceration” Grand Challenge for Social Work, will provide opportunities for students to: 1) explore the political, social, and empirical context for decarceration; 2) examine emerging decarceration policies and practices; and 3) develop interventions at multiple levels to achieve smart decarceration outcomes.  

M. Epperson

47722. Structural Social Work Practice and the Mexican Experience in Chicago

The Mexican community in Chicago has been part of the social, cultural, political, and economic life of the city for over a century, and is expected to continue having exponential growth in the coming decades. Despite the longevity of their experience in Chicago, several social issues and inequities continue to significantly affect this population. Using the migration experience of the Mexican community in Chicago as a case study, students will examine the transnational, historical, political, and economic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. With a theoretical grounding in globalization and Structural Social Work, local issues will be examined to understand the underlying dimensions that shape those issues for the Mexican population, both in Chicago and abroad. The course will focus on immigration policy, the criminal justice system, labor, health, mental health, education, community organizing, and community development while challenging students to critically understand the issues along with the sources of systemic oppression, in order to create opportunities for strategic impact in working towards social change with marginalized communities.

A. Carrillo

47812. Human Rights and Social Work: Opportunities for Policy and Practice

This course will explore how international human rights law and principles provide a foundation for repairing the harms done by collective human rights trauma. The course focuses on peace-building and human rights in an applied manner, endeavoring a comprehensive approach to peace-building through humanitarian effort, human rights, and participation built on social work perspectives. In addition, it will examine the role social workers have both internationally and locally from policy to practice. The psychological impact and treatment of torture and trauma will be evaluated, particularly as experienced by people marginalized by the larger (privileged) society because of their gender, race, and age. Various reparation and remedies used to recover from human rights trauma will be reviewed as will social work perspectives that can enhance such efforts. This course will apply an ecological perspective, examining how these efforts affect individuals and communities.

Y. Gonzalez

47922. Innovations in Data Use and the Development of Practice Communities to Drive Continuous Improvement

Over the past decade, data and better data systems and use have become a central reform strategy in education, social services, and health. In a short period of time, many barriers to data access have been removed. The internet, software, and other technological advances have made getting, assembling, analyzing, and disseminating data cheap and easy. In education, data use has transformed educators’ work environment and districts’ approaches to reform. In a relatively short period of time, access to data has shifted from the problem of not having enough data to the problem of having too much. On the one hand there are many compelling examples of where professionals have used data to transform practice. On the other hand, there are many more examples where professionals struggle to make sense of the deluge of information and “data” that they face daily: incomprehensible Performance Management decks, data dashboards, and packaged test and survey reports all in three colors with beautiful graphs but little guidance, and school report cards filled with trends on 20 different indicators that don’t seem to provide any insight beyond whether a school is red, yellow, or green.   
In this course, we will focus on three questions:

  1. What makes data actionable? How do we create systems of data use that support ongoing improvement?
  2. How do we build professionals’ capacity to use data effectively to drive change and embed data use within innovative practices in change management and leadership?
  3. How do we develop approaches to data use that are flexible and do not rely on a one size fits all? What problems can we and can’t we solve with data use, and how do we develop frameworks that create flexible approaches?

This course will draw on examples in education, medicine, social services, and business about developing effective approaches to building the capacity of professionals to use data effectively to drive change. Just as importantly, the course will engage students in approaches to leadership, change management, and the creation of practice communities using networks that both promote data use and create new approaches to reform. The course will draw most heavily from examples in education and the success in Chicago on using data to drive substantial improvements in increasing high school graduation rates and college enrollment, particularly a model developed at SSA around high school reform, the Network for College Success. The class as a group will choose one project to work on that will bring together the pieces of the course.

M. Roderick

48112. Community Organizing

This is a class about community organizing and how organizing brings about collective action. Through analysis of both historical and contemporary community organizing efforts, students will learn how organizing mobilizes people to gain power and influence over public policy and decision-making that directly impact them. Students will be introduced to different conceptual models of organizing, as well as how these models employ different theories of social change. The course emphasizes the "nuts-and-bolts" of organizing, ranging from strategic vision formulation to campaign development to one-on-one engagement. Students will have the opportunity to learn, discuss, and employ these different organizing skills and techniques through in-class exercises and group projects.

M. Borus

48200. Seminar: Political Economy of Urban Development

This seminar develops the conceptual basis for understanding and addressing urban problems within a political economy framework. Drawing from an interdisciplinary literature on cities, the course introduces a range of analytical approaches to the economic and political forces that shape urban development, including the capitalist economy, governmental institutions, city/suburban divisions, machine/reform dynamics, urban land markets, regime politics, economic globalization, and social movements. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between politics and markets in generating urban growth, employment, real-estate development, housing, and neighborhood revitalization, as well as poverty, urban decline, racial exclusion, educational inequality, and residential displacement. The course examines a number of strategies to address problems at multiple levels of the urban system, including federal urban policies, decentralized planning and localism, electoral mobilization, political advocacy, public-private partnerships, social entrepreneurialism, arts/cultural/entertainment strategies, and regionalism.

W. Sites

48300. Theories and Strategies of Community Change

This course examines theories and strategies of organizing communities for the purpose of achieving social change. The course considers approaches, concepts, and definitions of community and the roles of community organizations and organizing efforts, especially those in diverse, low-income urban communities. A primary course objective is to explore how social problems and their community solutions are framed, the theoretical bases of these solutions, and the implementation strategies through which they play out in practice. Topics include resident participation, community-based planning and governance, community development, organizing in and among diverse communities, coalition building, and policy implications of different approaches to community action. The course includes both historic and current examples of community action practice in Chicago and nationally. Throughout, the course emphasizes political and economic events that shape, constrain, and enable community action and organization.

R. Chaskin

48422. Difference and Inclusion

This is a course on social difference and the work of the marginalized to bring about social, political, organizational, and institutional change. It offers a survey on the politics of difference, noting how various axes of difference, like race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, ability, and region are imagined, and to what end those imaginings are deployed. It then turns to the work of marginalized activists, and advocates, asking how we might work in concert to amplify the voice of their constituents and promote greater inclusiveness.

R. Miller

48500. Data for Policy Analysis and Management

This course gives students hands-on experience in basic quantitative methods that are often used in needs assessment, policy analysis and planning, resource allocation, performance monitoring, and program evaluation. The class emphasizes four essential ingredients of using data effectively: 1) organizing data to answer specific questions; 2) conducting and interpreting appropriate analyses; 3) presenting results clearly and effectively to policy-makers and others; and 4) becoming critical consumers of data-based analyses and using data to inform practice. Students will learn techniques for descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analysis, and for tabling and graphing results, in the statistical program SPSS. Prerequisites: SSAD 30200 or faculty approval following research exam.

K. Clark, M. Holsapple, M. Roderick

48800. Child and Family Policy
This course examines social issues and policy dilemmas generated by the changing institution of the family. A particular focus of the course is the ongoing evolution of social policy regarding the role of the state in managing relationships between children and their caregivers, particularly with respect to vulnerable and/or stigmatized populations (e.g., the poor, single-parent families, families of color, sexual minorities). The course will examine legislation and administrative regulation in one or more of the following areas: public assistance for low-income families; child custody; child care; youth policy including juvenile corrections; child welfare services; and adoption. It will also provide a cross-national comparison of policies intended to promote child and family welfare.

R. Epstein

49032. Health and Aging Policy

This course begins with an examination of the historical development of public policies on aging. Students will use an understanding of this history to critically examine current policies and programs. In particular, attention is given to the design and delivery of services and their implications for the social, economic, and physical welfare of the aged and their caregivers. The unique dynamics that accompany the initiation, implementation, and impacts of aging policies are considered, as students contemplate the design and development of future policy.

W. Rosenberg

49332. Dying, Death, and End-of-Life Care

Death is a universal human experience relevant to all areas of social work practice. Through readings, films, discussions, and exercises, students will develop an understanding of the dying experience, as well as the attitudes toward and the approach to death and dying in America. The medical system’s influence on end of life care and the rise of hospice and palliative care will be a focus of this course. The notion of a “good death” and the impact of ethnic, cultural, religious, and spiritual influences will be explored, as well as advance care planning and the overarching ethical and moral dilemmas that can arise. While the topics of grief and bereavement are not explicitly covered, time will be devoted to exploring loss across the life course, as well as the impact of violent and sudden deaths on victims and their families.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop a self-awareness of their own values and beliefs toward dying and death, and explore strategies for self-care.

A. Schigelone

49412. Non-profit Organizations and Advocacy for Social Change

Social change activists often form non-profit organizations to help accomplish their goals, while managers of human service non-profits often desire to create social change as well as help individuals. As a result, non-profit organizations of all kinds play a large and growing role in promoting and shaping social change, at both the policy and community level. This course explores theory and practice relating to non-profit organizations in their role as political and community actors, and is intended for students who are interested in the interface between non-profit management and social change activism. The course will review both top down and bottom up methods of social change from the perspective of a non-profit manager, exploring the benefits, challenges, and implications of a variety of strategies with a primary focus on policy advocacy in human service non-profits. Overall, the course will include a mix of practical management-related skill-building and discussion and study of relevant theory from the organizational and social movement literatures.

J. Mosley

49600. Financial Management for Non-profit Organizations

This course will cover basics of financial accounting, budgeting, and planning with examples and applications for the general manager and non-financial professional. It is intended for persons with little or no formal finance and accounting training, and it will cover a variety of related economic and financial concepts to help prepare managers in social service and other non-profit organizations to better interpret and use financial information in decision making and planning. The first portion of the class will focus on the development of an organization’s operating and capital budgets, the inherent financing and investing decisions therein, and the relationship between the budget process and overall organizational planning, daily operations, and financial management. The second portion of the class will focus on accounting principles and the creation and interpretation of financial statements. The development, analysis, and interpretation of organizational financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows, will be covered.

D. Hagman-Shannon

49701. Administrative Methods

This course provides a condensed introduction to the challenges of organizational management. With a primary emphasis on internal management issues including legal structure and governance, funding, accountability systems, and human resources, this course serves as a complement to SSAD 47300 Strategic Management: External Factors, as well as other management-related courses. The course provides students with a conceptual framework for understanding the management function and promotes the development of specific skills necessary to critically evaluate and purposefully select among different management strategies. Students’ past organizational and current field placement experiences are integral to the course assignments and class discussions. Given the multiple career pathways to management roles in social services, this course is designed to support both clinical practice and social administration students in their career-long exploration of the challenges of organizational management.

S. Lane

49900. Individual Readings and Research


60100. Drugs: Culture and Context

This course addresses the consumption, production, and distribution of drugs, as well as the representation and treatment of drug users, both in the United States and abroad. Course readings and discussions examine how substances move across history and social space, taking on different meanings and uses as they go. The course also explores the related questions of how and why different societies sanction, encourage, and prohibit particular kinds of drug use. Such comparisons reveal that our responses to drug use and users have as much to do with social norms and ideologies—such as notions of gender, race, and class—as they do with the more-or-less deleterious effects of the substances themselves. The course also explores how the authorization of certain drugs in certain settings (e.g., binge drinking on college campuses) is connected not only to the social positions of users, but also to the marketplaces in which these drugs are exchanged. Thus, in the latter half of the course, students will attend to the production, distribution, and consumption of drugs in relation to processes of global capitalism.

S. Carr

60200. Spirituality and Social Work Practice

This course examines the experience and the role of spirituality and religious traditions in clinical social work practice with client systems. The course considers the spiritual and religious contexts shaping assessment and intervention processes in clinical social work services and examines the ways that faith traditions and spiritual experiences shape clients’ and professionals’ lives, and the points of connection they form with the delivery of clinical social work services. Rather than offering an overview of specific religious belief systems per se, this course is primarily attuned to the ways that clients’ faith traditions and spiritual experiences shape their healing and suffering. The course examines the resources as well as the dilemmas that clients’ spiritual and religious traditions present in our attempts to provide effective clinical social work services, and the means by which spiritual and religious influences can be tapped by social workers to better their clients’ lives. As a premise, this class takes the view that spirituality and faith traditions are experienced in diverse ways, and thus issues of difference and sensitivity to different expressions and experiences of spirituality and religious practice form a bedrock of considering clinical services to clients.

S. McCracken

60312. Inequality at Work

This course will consider sources of inequality in the labor market and in workplaces. Empirical evidence and theory on labor markets and job conditions will be reviewed to provide insights into changing opportunity structures for lower-skilled workers. The goal will be to identify ways not only to ready workers for jobs in today's economy, but also to improve the quality of lower-level jobs themselves.  Many social service agencies today incorporate some type of job training or workforce development program. The course will help inform practice and program development in these areas.

S. Lambert

60400. Poverty, Inequality, and the Welfare State

Poverty and inequality create critical challenges for contemporary democratic societies. This seminar examines responses to these conditions in the United States and compares its responses to those of other countries. This examination includes consideration of the relationship between politics and policy making, the character of public debates about poverty and inequality, conflict over the state’s role in responding to these conditions, and specific efforts to address these conditions through public policy instruments. The seminar brings both historical and international perspectives to bear, taking up selected examples that highlight how political responses to poverty and inequality vary over time and in different national settings. It also draws attention to the strategic implications for policy-making and practice.

E. Brodkin

60612. Systemic Family Interventions for Specific Populations 

By focusing on the application of the family systems perspective with specific treatment populations, this course explores the intersection of theory and clinical practice in social work. Working within family systems perspectives, it is imperative that clinicians recognize the unique structures, needs, and situational factors impacting the family system when considering which of the potential interventions would best serve those seeking support. In this way, social work clinicians meet the needs of their families without narrowing their options to just one particular intervention. By considering specific treatment populations, this course will explore how different family therapy approaches will best serve the unique needs of these treatment groups. This exploration will emphasize both the students’ clinical experiences and current evidence-based literature. The family situations discussed include adoptive families, families with children under five years of age, families with mental illness, families with substance abuse, and divorced families. For each of these treatment groups, the course will examine issues of differences, including, but not limited to, race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, and age, in how they influence not only the presenting issues but also the selection and application of intervention.

P. Myers

60722. Mindfulness Based Clinical Work

In recent years, Mindfulness has had a ubiquitous presence in the worlds of behavior change, health, and wellness. Originating from Buddhism, Mindfulness is often equated with relaxation practices, which is misleading and potentially harmful for beginning practitioners. "Mindfulness Based Clinical Work" is a course designed to introduce students to the concept and practice of Mindfulness (both what it is and what it isn't) and the evidence behind its use in clinical settings. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of how Mindfulness can be utilized in both group and individual therapy and, most importantly, how to establish a personal Mindfulness practice of their own.

Through taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify what Mindfulness is and what it isn't
  • Learn about the clinical applications of Mindfulness in both group and individual therapy settings
  • Begin practicing Mindfulness in both their personal and professional lives

N. Turner

60800. Child and Adolescent Trauma

This advanced seminar will offer students an opportunity to build on the framework studied in SSAD 41700 by learning how to heal traumatized children and adolescents. All types of traumatic experiences will be addressed, such as traumatic loss, violence, abuse, natural disasters, traumatic injuries, or accidents. The neurology of trauma with children, current research on how trauma affects children, and a variety of treatment techniques and modalities will be presented. Knowledge will be enriched by a significant emphasis on developing clinical skills. Essential elements of the processes of evaluating and treating traumatized children and adolescents will be taught. The class format involves group discussions, readings, videotapes, and creative application of the course concepts through live demonstrations and student role plays.

J. Parks

61100. Seminar in Violence Prevention

This course provides students with an overview of emerging practices, programs, and policies that aim to prevent violence before-the-fact. The course will overview the common manifestations of interpersonal violence (including child abuse, youth and community violence, and intimate partner violence), examining their prevalence as well as their consequences. Students are then introduced to conceptual frames from which to understand violence and its before-the-fact prevention, including social ecological and public health models of violence prevention. The course then examines such topics as the role of risk and protective factors, screening and assessment for violence potential, evidence-based intervention and programmatic strategies targeting before-the-fact violence prevention, and examples advocacy efforts promoting broad changes in policy that affect interpersonal violence. Taught as a seminar, the course will address special topics relevant to violence prevention and will include active discussion, case examples, videos, and presentations by experts in the field. The course is open to students in clinical practice and social administration concentrations, as well as Ph.D. students.

K. Bocanegro

61212. Perspectives on Aging

As the largest generation in American history ages, there is an urgent need for social workers trained in the special issues affecting older adults. This course will examine the forces that shape the evolution of both the perception and experience of aging. The course will consider the aging process from a variety of perspectives: physiological, sociocultural, and phenomenological. We will draw on multiple disciplines to present the diversity of the aging experience and to explore the manifold ways in which the dynamic interaction between the older person's social and physical environment affects quality of life. Finally, the course will address expanding opportunities for social workers in direct service, administration, and policy-making in service of America’s older population.

C. Cook

61400. The Social Meaning of Race

This course will explore "race" in three ways. First, how does race operate as an ideology?; that is, how do people understand race, how are those understandings shaped, and how do they in turn shape perception? Secondly, how does race operate as a structuring device? How does it determine life-chances? Thirdly, how does it operate in the field; that is, in particular organizational contexts, how does race affect the content and delivery of social services?

J. Thompson

61812. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Vulnerable Populations

This course integrates the theoretical perspectives of cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma theory through examination of specific factors to consider when providing cognitive behavioral therapy to vulnerable clients. Emphasis will be placed on: 1) groups impacted by intergenerational abuse and neglect, 2) cultural influences, 3) community violence, and 4) implications of military/war/PTSD, complex trauma, and other micro and macro. Veterans, LBGTQIA, elderly, and specific minority sub-groups are examined throughout this course. The impact of culture, religion, gender, and family influences on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will be an essential focus.

J. Sykes

61912. Policing, Citizenship, and Inequality in Comparative Perspective

Police provide an essential service for citizens – security and protection – without which the exercise of all other rights becomes heavily constrained. Police institutions are also the primary entity of the state with which most citizens come into direct contact. In practice, however, governments throughout the Americas (and beyond) have long struggled to organize police institutions such that they address societal demands for security, and that the deployment of coercion against citizens is applied equitably and constrained by law and external accountability. From São Paulo and Johannesburg to Chicago, police forces engage in widespread extrajudicial killings and torture that largely target marginalized sectors of society, including Afro-descendants, the poor, and those living in the urban periphery. At the same time, these groups are also underserved by their police, leaving them vulnerable to high rates of criminal violence. Through comparative analysis of police institutions in Latin America, the United States, and other regions, this course probes the ways in which police institutions shape the lived experiences of individuals and how police may help reproduce existing social inequalities.

Y. Gonzalez

62022. Trans*forming Social Work

When we center the experiences of those most marginalized and affected (e.g., queer, trans*, POC) by social services, we are able to identify the holes, cracks, and potential remedies of individual and systemic oppression. In this course, we will center trans* people to explore our gendered society and the impacts of this structure on the lives of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender queer people, and other gender transgressors. We will also identify and explain how gendered cultural norms influence all genders in and beyond social work. Through an intersectional exploration, identification, and explanation, we will move the conversation beyond deficit and medical models to imagine and work towards social work practice that includes, considers, and saves lives.

S. Simmons

62122. Play Therapy

This course provides an overview of the essential elements and principles of play therapy, including its history, theoretical foundations, techniques, and skills. The course is designed using a “level of directness” continuum, beginning with the study of non-directive play and moving across the continuum to include the use of direct skill-building play interventions with children. An experiential component will focus on basic play therapy skill development within the context of ethical and diversity-sensitive practice.

A. Trettin

62322. Knowledge and Skills for Effective Group Work Practice

This course will first examine the knowledge base underlying effective practice with different types of social work groups. As these theoretical foundations are reviewed, the practical application of this knowledge will be demonstrated and integrated through small group experiences, class discussion, observation of films, role play, journaling, and other selected course assignments. Becoming aware of self, as well as group process, will be emphasized. Students should expect a strong experiential component, with a combination of challenge and support, in the instructor's approach to education for group work practice.

A. Bergart

62400. Community Ethnography

Broadly defined, community ethnography is research that requires the researchers' active participation in, as well as systematic observation of, a community. However, what constitutes a community—and what qualifies people to claim some legitimate affiliation with one—are complicated questions, which will be addressed in the first part of this course. Through readings, discussions, and activities, we will find that researchers, social workers, and community members define "community" along a number of different lines, variously employing the terms of geography, history, ethnicity, intention, value, and/or identity to ground their definitions. We will also discover that how one defines community has much to do with how one approaches the research process.

In this course, we will give considerable attention to the idea of community as a field of social practice. That is, we will learn how one studies community as situated, collective action, which must be reproduced for some sense of communitas to survive. Accordingly, ethnographic and ethnohistorical methods of social research will be highlighted. Students will learn about the philosophy behind these modes of inquiry and acquire some of the concrete skills necessary to conduct this kind of work. As social workers and social work researchers, we will explicitly consider how community ethnography can aid in our various practice and policy endeavors. We will also discuss models of community research that are designed to allow university-based and community-based constituencies to share expertise, skills, and resources.

S. Carr

62600. Philanthropy, Public Policy, and Community Change

This course will examine the role philanthropy plays in supporting social and community change efforts designed to reform and/or enhance public policy. Patterns of giving, policy intervention strategies, and structural issues, as well as programmatic opportunities and constraints, will be illuminated. Course materials include policy analysis and contemporary American social change efforts, as well as research examining pertinent policies and practices governing the field of philanthropy. Students will have opportunities to analyze proposals for funding, identify public policy and community change implications and opportunities, and recommend new strategies. Student discussion and independent research are major class focuses. The learning experience will be enriched by presentations from practitioners involved in public policy reform activities, and by foundation representatives engaged in funding those efforts.

E. Cardona

62812. Examining Historical Trauma: Intergenerational Responses to the Holocaust

This course will explore the intergenerational impact of historical trauma through interactive lectures, discussions, readings, and screenings, using the Holocaust as an in-depth case study. Seventy-two years later, the weight of remembering this traumatic event continues to reverberate. Traversing the landscapes of the U.S., Europe, and Australia, this course will provide a forum for contemplating the effects of the Holocaust on different generations within both Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Areas of discussion include child survivors of the Holocaust; literature produced by the Second Generation; Third Generation responses to Holocaust video-testimony; intergenerational remembrance in Poland; reconciliation between Jews and Germans; and a study of sites of trauma, Holocaust, museums and memorials. Examining the different ways that survivors and descendants have chosen to work through and commemorate this traumatic history will enable students to attain a detailed understanding of the aftermath of the Holocaust, and will provide a platform to explore the impact of historical trauma on other populations.

A. Klein

62912. Global Development and Social Welfare

The persistence of disparities in social development across countries is one of the major problems societies struggle to understand and address. This course will critically examine the major theories of global development along with contemporary debates relating to international social welfare. Students will assess how political, economic, historical, and environmental factors influence different nations’ development trajectories, and compare how alternative models of service delivery and social intervention serve or fail to serve their intended populations. The geographic focus of the course will be Latin America and Africa, though case studies may also be drawn from other regions of the world. The course will be useful both for students who have had previous international experience and who are interested in international social work and/or development practice.

A. Zarychta

63200. Crime Prevention

The goals of this course are to introduce students to some key concepts in crime prevention and help develop their policy analysis skills, including the ability to frame problems and policy alternatives; think critically about empirical evidence; use cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analysis in comparing policy alternatives; and write effective policy memos. The course seeks to develop these skills by considering the relative efficacy of different policy approaches to preventing crime, including imprisonment, policing, drug regulation, and gun-oriented regulation or enforcement, as well as education and social policies that may influence people’s propensity to commit crime. While policy choices about punishment and crime prevention necessarily involve a wide range of legal and normative considerations, the focus in this class will be mostly on answering positive (factual) questions about the consequences of different policies.

J. Ludwig

63300. International Perspectives on Social Policy and Social Work Practice

This course will situate social policy considerations and social work practice challenges in the context of a globalizing world. The course introduces students to theoretical, conceptual, and practice models as they relate to the social policies, programs, and services in industrialized countries, transitional economies, and poor developing countries, placing particular focus on transitional and developing contexts. The course will investigate the major international social welfare trends, issues, and opportunities; and will examine how global poverty, social injustices, and inequality are addressed in different nations. History and trends in international relief and development policy, the role of international organizations in shaping the nature of social development and social problems, and how social work fits into broader relief and development policies, programs, and practice will be examined. Students will learn to critically examine and evaluate major theoretical models and approaches to social services and programs in different cultural, socio-economic, and political contexts. Emphasis will be also placed on cultural competence and ethics of participating in international social work, including a focus on human rights frameworks and an exploration of the dangers of exporting the social welfare and social work solutions from most developed nations to least developed countries. Using case examples, the course will provide opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of the complex social, economic, political, national, and international factors that influence responses to poverty and income inequality, health disparities and public health crises, low status of women/gender discrimination, migration and refugee resettlement, conflict and violence, and other social issues.

L. Ismayilova

63412. Cultural Studies in Education

Using cultural studies as the point of departure, this course explores the intersection of culture, power, and language (both oral and written) within schools and school systems. In accordance with the tenets of cultural studies, the course is guided by the presumption that culture (as it is realized through the functioning of schools and their agents and the experiences, knowledge, expressions, dispositions, and meaning-making of people of color, women, and low-income or working class individuals) is critical for understanding and intervening in the reproduction of social and economic inequality. In order to understand the reproduction of inequality we will examine theories and empirical investigations that explore how structures of domination and subordination are reproduced and social difference and inequality are reinscribed through the cultural practices that are reflected in schools. We will also analyze the extent to which the cultural practices and experiences of marginalized individuals simultaneously contribute to the process of reproduction and also affirm the emancipatory possibilities of resistance. The course begins with an introduction to the history, development, and basic tenets of cultural studies. Throughout our work together, we will examine how social class, race/ethnicity, and gender are represented in literacy, language, and cultural theories and research that examine reproduction and resistance. We conclude with a more in-depth examination of the active role schools and other learning settings (might) play in the processes of reproduction, agency, and resistance. The potential for social transformation will be taken up throughout the course in class discussion.

S. Robinson

63700. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an example of what is commonly referred to as a third wave behavioral therapy. It is unique in its development in that it was derived from some of the implications of basic research on the function of verbal behavior. This approach suggests that psychological distress is the result of how humans relate to their psychological experience rather than the result of a mental or even biological pathology. ACT assists clients in differentiating between those aspects of life where the only viable stance is that of acceptance and willingness and those where action is required, given their desire to live meaningfully. In doing so, clients fundamentally shift from having their lives about their past and their problems to lives about their values and their future.

This class is intended to provide students with a comprehensive overview of and practice with the principles of ACT. To that end, via lecture, experiential exercises, role play, and a self-change project, participants will be presented with the underlying theory (Relation Frame Theory) and assumptions of ACT, an ACT conceptualization of human suffering, a model of psychological rigidity and flexibility, and the six basic clinical processes. ACT emphasizes experiential knowledge over intellectual ascent. To that end, participants should anticipate numerous individual and group activities and exercises aimed at providing first-person experience with the processes and outcomes associated with the practice of living.

P. Holmes

63800. Program Evaluation in International Settings

Increasing demand for transparency and accountability in the field of international development has heightened the need for evaluation of effectiveness and impact of programs. This course will examine principles, methods, and practices of evaluating social programs and services in international settings. This course focuses on types of evaluation, evaluation design and theory, measurement, sampling, data collection, ethics and politics in evaluation, data analysis, and utilization of findings. The course emphasizes involving agency and client constituencies in the development, implementation, and dissemination of evaluation efforts.

Students in this course will become familiar with various forms of evaluation and acquire the technical skills necessary for their development, design, and execution of program evaluation in the international context. Specifically, students will discover methods for crafting evaluation questions, designing instruments, sampling, and data gathering to achieve good response rates, data analysis, and presentation of evaluation findings in culturally diverse and low-resource settings.

L. Ismayilova

64400. Spanish Language and Culture for Social Workers

This advanced language course helps students better understand and communicate with their Hispanic clients by providing instruction about connections between Spanish language and Hispanic culture. We will examine how institutions—family, religion, government—along with differences in class and region inform communication in the Hispanic community. We will explore communicative strategies that teach students how to adapt phonetics, formality, and diction for specific rhetorical situations. We will practice these strategies and reinforce cultural instruction in experiential learning activities that put students in direct contact with native speakers. Prerequisites: One year of college-level Spanish, or successful completion of proficiency exam. In addition, during Winter quarter, interested students will complete a 20-minute assessment interview with the instructor, which may also include a brief written component to determine level of fluency. Consent of the instructor will be required for course registration.

V. Moraga

64600. Quality Monitoring and Improvement for the Social Services

This course has three primary foci: 1) How to help social service agencies monitor their programs for quality, 2) How to help social service agencies improve services when quality problems are recognized, and 3) How to develop organizational cultures that support the delivery of quality social services. The course helps prepare clinicians for participating in quality monitoring and improvement in social service agencies. It helps social administration students prepare for the role of a quality manager (Director of Quality, Quality Improvement, etc). The course primarily draws from the quality sciences and applies this work to the social service context, often using the student’s field placement as the context for learning.

Y. Green-Rogers

64700. Organizing Coalitions for Change: Growing Power and Social Movements

Coalitions are building blocks of social movements, often bringing people together across race, class, faith, and ethnicity to build the power required to make social change. Coalitions address local, state, national, and international policies, as well as public and private sector matters. They are employed successfully, or not, from the far left to the far right. They vary widely, engaging people from very grassroots and local communities to civic, faith, labor, business, and political leadership. At times spontaneously precipitated and at times methodically built, effective coalitions can change the fundamental relationships in our society, change society, and challenge what we know or think we know.

This course will examine the conceptual models of diverse coalitions formed to impact social, legal, and political structures. We will explore the strengths and limitations of coalitions, and their impact upon low-income and oppressed communities. We will study recent examples to stop public housing displacement, end police misconduct, halt deportations, and seek fair tax reform. We will explore the role of coalitions in changing political machines. We will also investigate the use and impact of coalitions in building relations between racial, religious, and ethnic groups. Students’ capacity to engage in and evaluate coalitions will develop as we consider their short- and long-range visions, goals, strategies, and tactics, including the different methods employed to organize, lead, and manage coalitions. We will meet with an array of coalition leaders and organizers and provide students with first-hand opportunities to observe coalitions and participate as desired and appropriate. As part of class exercises, students will “create” coalitions to address an identified need for social change.

J. Ramsey

64912. Practicing with Integrity in Trauma-Informed Care

Integrity forms the backbone of a strong clinical practice. It requires honesty, compassion, and consistency, and it provides a foundation for building safety and trust in any relationship. Conversely, trauma can disrupt our sense of safety and our trust in others. It can cause us to question the stability of our homes, our communities, and the world. Therefore, it is essential for clinicians to develop an integrity practice in order to help clients begin to mitigate the impact of trauma. In this seminar-style course, we will discover the ways in which the therapeutic relationship can provide a platform for healing. We will draw on the work of clinicians who utilize aspects of relational theory (such as Irvin Yalom and Jean Baker Miller) alongside clinicians who specialize in trauma-informed practice (such as Judith Herman and Bessel Van Der Kolk). Through the use of experiential journaling, group process, and a final project, we will come together in order to find the intersection of clinical integrity and trauma-informed practice.

L. Feldman

65012. Leading Teams in the Social Services Sector

Most social service administrators and clinicians are asked to lead teams during their careers. To succeed as a team leader (or as an active team contributor), you need to understand how teams work and develop over time. You also need to practice skills needed to help a team advance toward achieving its primary goals. This course examines the fundamentals of team dynamics and team development with a special emphasis on what differentiates teams in the social services sector from corporate teams. Topics include team leadership behavior, diversity in team membership, the role of conflict, communication, collaboration, establishing team mission goals, milestones, and urgency, and building accountability and commitment.

A. Aronoff

65212. Current Topics in Long-Term Care and Aging: Systems of Care for Older Adults

In this course we will examine systems of care along the aging continuum, how these systems are influenced by our current political climate, and the potential for future expansion along with demographic need. We will pay special attention to issues around long-term care for those with dementia related illnesses and other chronic conditions. Implications for clinical practice will be emphasized.

L. Starmann

65500. Harm Reduction at the Intersection of Policy, Program, and Clinical Practice

This course will provide an overview of the theories, clinical approaches, and reality based intervention strategies of U.S. based Harm Reduction theory. Beginning as a political response to the AIDS epidemic, this set of practices can be as controversial as Syringe Exchange and as mundane as seat belts in cars. This course will explore the lived experiences of the most marginalized clients and offer students an opportunity to think through the necessary partnership of multi-threshold (macro) program design and clinical responses (micro) to supporting our most vulnerable community.

S. Hassan

65712. Immigration, Law, and Society

Law is everywhere within the social world. It shapes our everyday lives in countless ways by permitting, prohibiting, protecting, and prosecuting citizens and non-citizens alike. This course reviews social science perspectives on law and legal institutions, with a major emphasis on immigration. Throughout, we focus on a central question within the scholarship of law and society: when and how does law matter? We explore the meaning and complexity of law, the relation between law and social change, and the social impact of law. This course centers on the connections and relationships of law and society in the American context, with significant attention to international perspectives. Students will develop analytical skills to enable informed and critical examination of law broadly construed, and will identify various ways that social workers and law intersect.

A. Garcia

65800. Adoption, Fosterage, Culture, and Context

Studies of kinship have provided the foundation for the ethnographic record of communities and family arrangements around the world, and over time. The majority of these studies take place in contexts outside of the United States, contributing essential evidence of the wide array of kin organizational models that challenge assumptions about the ‘nuclear family’ structure. Both fostering and adoption reveal important cultural assumptions about processes of relatedness and concepts of personhood. In this course, we will learn about different ways of reproduction, childrearing, and circulation cross-culturally, but also about the varying degrees by which notions of ‘family’ and raising young people influence understandings of age and generations, relationships, identity, and responsibility. Students will discuss and write about ethnographic readings and films, reflecting on life course development and human adaptation. Through this process, the course will address how different cultures in various social and ecological settings conceptualize and care for displaced young people. 

M. Stubbs

65912. Older AdultsActivism and Human Rights

The world is aging. Most developed countries around the globe are experiencing a dramatic demographic change due to both the decline in birth-rates and a significant increase in life expectancy. Within this broad social transformation, this course will try to understand whether there is a need for a unique human rights approach for older persons and, within this context, what is the meaning of "activism" in old age. The analysis will use real examples from both the U.S. and Israel, while using a comparative socio-legal approach.

I. Doron

69022. Law, Social Work, and the Legal Regulation of the Social Work Profession
In recent years, there has been a general shift towards integration and growing cooperation between lawyers and social workers, both professionally and ideologically. However, there are still tensions and gaps between the ways legal and social work professionals view their inter-relationships. This course will examine the different intersections between law and social work, and the ways the law attempts to regulate the social work profession. The analysis will use both American and Israeli legal examples and will try to compare the different approaches to the legal regulation of social work in both countries.

I. Doron

Doctoral Level Courses

50300. Social Treatment Doctoral Practicum

This doctoral practicum is available as an elective for any doctoral student through individual arrangements with the Office of Field Education.


52700. Social Psychological Foundations of Individual Change

Whereas specific practice theories or evidence-based practices commonly anchor the study of interventions, our focus in this course will be the examination of social-psychological sources of change that are viewed as active ingredients in treatment effectiveness research (as well as others that are often treated as “noise” or error variance). That is, we will focus upon aspects of the person, the treatment, and the social environment that facilitate or impede positive change within the context of service delivery apart from the practice theory or model employed. Topics will include (a) individual factors such as processes of self-regulation and coping; concepts of change motivation; impediments to change such as stigma, psychological reactance, and social cognition; help-seeking, compliance, and treatment engagement; (b)  clinician-level factors such as interpersonal responsiveness, attribution, expectancies and the helping relationship; and (c) treatment organizational factors such as norms, resources, and comprehensiveness.

J. Marsh

53500. Dissertation Proposal Seminar

This seminar focuses on the development and discussion of dissertation proposals. Over the course of the year, students will attend 15 two-hour workshops devoted to: 1) formulating and refining research questions; 2) clearly presenting a methodological strategy, theoretical grounding, and relevant literature review; and 3) building a committee that will provide ongoing intellectual support. It is expected that each student will produce successively more complete documents, leading to full proposals, over the course of three quarters. Before the end of the year, each student will present a pre-circulated draft proposal for discussion and feedback.

J. Marsh

54300. Qualitative Research Methods

This seminar is designed for doctoral students interested in using qualitative methods for social work research. The seminar introduces students to the literature that provides the epistemological and conceptual underpinnings for qualitative inquiry. The course begins with a focus on these theoretical foundations as they relate to the employment of qualitative approaches and the researcher’s role. From there, through a series of course activities, facilitated discussion, and guest lectures, seminar students are familiarized with the processes of collecting, analyzing, and presenting data from the most common methods of qualitative inquiry. This exposure to methodological processes is intended to aid in early conceptualization of qualitative research proposals and to support students in enhancing self-reflective and critical thinking capacity as they consider qualitative or mixed methods research. The course is not designed to train students to proficiency in any specific qualitative methodology.

B. Jacob

54400. Informal Helping Systems in Low-Income Communities

This course examines the structure and function of social networks in low-income communities. Informal social ties are an important source of information, support, status, and normative influence that can help low-income families cope with, and move out of, impoverished conditions. The course will examine social psychological and sociological approaches to studying informal helping systems, with particular attention to theories of social capital, social exchange/reciprocity, social support, and social networks. The course takes the view that there are benefits and liabilities of embeddedness in social networks, and we will examine the conditions and characteristics of social ties and networks that facilitate and complicate economic and social life in low-income communities. The course will expose students to an interdisciplinary and diverse set of readings, drawn from the fields of urban poverty studies, economic sociology, family studies, and social psychology.

J. Henly

54900. Research Methods for Social Work

This course helps prepare doctoral students to design research that contributes to both theory and practice. The course is organized around three key types of validity (internal, measurement, and external) that are critical to conducting high-quality research, regardless of research method. Topics include middle-range theory, linking theory and data, measuring theoretical constructs, the logic of causal analysis, model specification, field experimentation, multiple indicator models, and sample selection bias. One goal of the course is to give students insight into the challenges researchers face as they apply social science theory to real-world problems and settings. Another goal is to introduce students to a range of options for meeting these challenges.

A. Zarychta

55200. The Profession of Social Work

This seminar will consider the development of social work as a profession since the late 19th century. How and why did social work emerge as a profession? In what ways did developments in political and moral philosophy, philanthropy, social science theory, the growth of the welfare state, the development of other professions, and various political and economic forces shape the social work enterprise? This will include an examination of the attempts over the past century to define what social work is, and what it is not. Is there a “mission” for the social work profession and, if so, what is it? What has been the role of social work education and research in the development of the profession? The seminar will also involve an examination of selected issues facing the profession today. The pursuit of answers to these questions will involve extensive reading and discussion of competing histories of the profession and seminal works by leaders in the field.

M. Courtney

55400. Economics for Social Welfare (see listing for SSAD 45400)

H. Pollack

55900. Analyzing Human Service Organizations

Human service organizations, such as social service agencies, and schools, as well as religious organizations, schools, and advocacy, community development, and social movement organizations, are central actors in the lives of disadvantaged populations and important tools for solving social problems. This class explores the ways in which an organizational lens can be usefully applied in the context of social welfare related research. The course will provide an overview of the ways in which scholars have approached the study of organizations, and will highlight theoretical traditions useful for understanding the work of human service organizations. It will also provide insight on how to use organizational theory in research, allowing for a range of methodological approaches.

J. Mosley

56300. Applied Qualitative Research Seminar

This qualitative research seminar is designed to support the productivity and promote the development of advanced doctoral students who have chosen a qualitative research design as part of the dissertation. This applied seminar creates a structured and rigorous context for students to learn with instructor guidance, and experience all stages of the interpretive research process through designing, executing, evaluating, and presenting their own interpretive research. It is an expectation of this seminar that all students make substantial and ongoing contributions to the group learning process through providing peer feedback, group coding, group analysis, constructing/critiquing conceptual models and theoretical frameworks, and learning how to critically evaluate and enhance the methodological rigor in the projects of those involved in the seminar. It is designed to be a dynamic environment for moving forward with one’s work at all stages of the dissertation process; group needs and the instructor’s assessment of student’s individual progress will drive the content of each meeting. Prerequisites: A qualitative research course through SSA or approved equivalent. Students must have passed their qualifying examinations, selected a research topic, and be actively constructing their dissertation proposals. Permission of the instructor is required, and enrollment is limited to maximize student learning in the structure of a seminar.

S. Robinson

56601. Theory in Research

This course is designed to introduce doctoral students to theorization and its role in the research process. The emphasis in the course will be on understanding the fundamental challenges posed by social-scientific investigation and their relevance to conducting research on policy and practice. Cutting across the disciplines are two classic traditions in the philosophy of social science that approach questions of knowledge, observation, and causation differently. We will examine both naturalist and anti-naturalist conceptions of ontology, epistemology, theory, and method, as well as efforts to develop a third tradition based on "critical realist" or "historical" approaches, to construct three major paradigms of social inquiry. These paradigms present different strategies for making connections between such basic issues as problem definition, theory construction, research design, empirical investigation, and evaluation. Following this basic overview, the course will focus on three different paradigmatic approaches to a single social problem to more fully illustrate the contrasts and potential complementaries between the paradigms. Finally, we focus on how these paradigms address the theoretical challenges posed by two common modes of investigation: the case study and the comparative study. Neither a survey of social-scientific theories nor an introduction to research methods, this course examines multidisciplinary approaches to bringing theory to bear on the process of research. Readings will combine selections from the philosophy of social science, examples of scholarship that embody divergent strategies of investigation, and excerpts from the small body of useful work on "social inquiry" that reflects on the connections between the two.

W. Sites

56801. Doctoral Workshop on Theory in Social Work Research

This workshop will provide SSA doctoral students with the opportunity to examine the diverse social science theories that undergird social work and social welfare—as defined by contemporary scholarship in the field. The workshop is organized to support this process by offering bimonthly presentations loosely determined by a set of questions basic to the development of any field of inquiry: What fundamental epistemological paradigms are represented? What theoretical and conceptual frameworks undergird scholarship in social work and social welfare? How do scholars in the field ask questions and find answers? How do they make claims and support them? What specific research methods are used? The workshop is designed to introduce beginning students to ongoing research and scholarship in the School, and to provide advanced students and faculty with a regular forum for presentation and discussion of their work. Participation in this seminar is required for first-year students; advanced doctoral students and faculty are encouraged to attend on a regular basis. One faculty member or advanced doctoral student will present research during each session, and readings may be assigned in advance.

J. Henly

56900. Managing the Wretched and Unruly Poor

This course interrogates the strategies employed by the state and state-sanctioned actors, like the police, courts, teachers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, to manage the raced, criminalized, foreign born, and generally “unruly poor” in the United States; and, subsequently, how the “unruly” resist those strategies. The sweep of the course is broad and interdisciplinary, covering select readings on plantation life, domestic labor, chain gangs, sanitariums, ghettos, workhouses, schools, prisons, and welfare offices. It asks, how have unruly populations been conceived of and managed across institutional settings? How have those conceptions and practices evolved? What do they tell us about ourselves? How have the unruly mobilized to resist those strategies?

R. Miller

59900. Individual Readings and Research