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WWC Graduate Bulletin
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SOCIAL WORK

  • Degree Requirements
  • Course Descriptions

    Wilma Hepker, Dean; Standley Gellineau, Director of Graduate Program; Cindee Bailey, Darold Bigger, Tom Buske, Sandra Christian, Pam Cress, Elizabeth Dane, Jack Ellis, Cindy Fleischer, Doug Fleischer, Kevin Grussling, Randi Hankins, Mary Laabs, Rebecca Marrujo, Lana Martin, Marja McChesney, Janet Ockerman, Nancy Peters, Susan Smith, Heather Vonderfecht

    The School of Social Work offers a two-year graduate program that leads to a Master of Social Work degree. The program has a clinical focus and takes a direct practice/systems approach to social work education by integrating theory and practicum experience. The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

    In addition to the two year program, a one-year (four quarters) Advanced Standing program is offered for those who have graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from an institution whose program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

    Social Work is a profession dedicated to improving quality of life. The Christian campus setting and the religious values of Walla Walla College compliment the caring aspect of the social work profession and provide an appropriate environment for a social work program.

    The objectives of the program are to prepare graduate social work students to:

    1. practice social work in clinical settings at an advanced level;

    2. practice in both rural and urban settings;
    3. exercise clinical skills in dealing with the variety of addictions that are encompassed in our present day society;
    4. work with children and families, including such areas as child protective services, foster care, adoptions, domestic violence, incest and divorce;
    5. develop clinical expertise in health and mental health;
    6. practice school social work;
    7. work as social work educators.

    Advanced standing status is available to students with Bachelor of Social Work degrees earned from accredited institutions within the last six years with a 3.00 or better grade-point average for the social work curriculum. The School of Social Work admissions committee reserves the right to accept or reject applications for Advanced Standing based on its judgment of the student's response to admission criteria.

    Transfer Students. Classroom courses and/or supervised field work completed in other nationally accredited graduate schools of social work may be accepted for credit toward the MSW degree when such courses and supervised field work are considered equivalent to work offered in the WWC social work program. Students thus accepted must complete at least 39 hours of graduate credit while in residence at Walla Walla College for the MSW degree.


    MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

    All students must take a core of foundation courses during the first year, except those who have completed the core curriculum at the undergraduate level and have been admitted with advanced standing. Advanced level students will begin their classes in the summer preceding the second year of the program, thereby completing the graduate program in four quarters instead of six quarters (two years). The program offers several areas of practice emphasis: Health and Mental Health, Children and Families, School Social Work, Addiction, Aging, and Child Welfare.

    REQUIRED COURSES

    Core Courses: First Year

    Regular
    Standing
    Advanced
    Standing

    SOWK 510 Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives of Social Work 3 3
    SOWK 514 Social Work Policies and Services I 3 -
    SOWK 515 Social Work Policies and Services II 3 -
    SOWK 517 Social Work Practice I 3 -
    SOWK 518 Social Work Practice II 3 -
    SOWK 519 Social Work Practice III 3 -
    SOWK 520 Social Work Practice IV 2 -
    SOWK 524 Human Behavior and Social Environment I 3 -
    SOWK 525 Human Behavior and Social Environment II 3 -
    SOWK 530 Field Practicum 6 -
    SOWK 538 Social Work Research 3 -
    SOWK 539 Research Applications in Social Work 2 -
    SOWK 542 Dysfunctional Behavior in Clinical Social Work 3 3

    Core Courses: Second Year

    SOWK 508 Social Work and Religion 2 2
    SOWK 540 Advanced Clinical Evaluation
      OR 3 3
    SOWK 589 Advanced Research Methods
    SOWK 541 Advanced Practice 3 3
    SOWK 544 Policy Issues for Clinicians 2 2
    SOWK 545 Advanced Clinical Treatment of Families 3 3
    SOWK 530 Field Practicum 12 12
    *Electives 15 20
    Total 80 51

    *To be chosen from electives listed below, of which a minimum of 5 credits must be in advanced clinical practice electives; one of the electives must be a theory course (t)

    GENERAL ELECTIVES credits
    SOWK 377 Introduction of Alcohol and Addiction Treatment* 3
    SOWK 435 Social Gerontology 3
    SOWK 437 Death and Dying 3
    SOWK 460 Services to Families with Children 3
    SOWK 464 Children at Risk 3
    SOWK 466 Comparative Theories of Social Work Practice 3
    SOWK 471 Human Sexuality 3
    SOWK 472 Stress Management 3
    SOWK 543 Social Work Administration and Management 3
    SOWK 550 Protective and Substitute Care of Children 2
    SOWK 553 Legal Aspects of Social Work Practice 3
    SOWK 554 Inter-generational Aspects of Families 2
    SOWK 561 Physiological Effects and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Drugs* 3
    SOWK 567 Selfcare for the Social Worker 2
    SOWK 579 Directed Research/Project 1-2
    SOWK 590 Thesis 1-3

    ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICE ELECTIVES

    SOWK 551 Family Violence

    3
    SOWK 552 Clinical Treatment of Children and Adolescents 3
    SOWK 555 School Social Work 3
    SOWK 556 Play Therapy 3
    SOWK 557 Solution Focused Brief Therapy 3
    SOWK 558 Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies for Social Workers 3
    SOWK 559 Reality Therapy 3
    SOWK 560 Clinical Treatment in Addictions* 3
    SOWK 562 Clinical Skills with Addictive Families* 3
    SOWK 566 Object Relations Theory 2
    SOWK 570 Social Work Practice in a Medical Setting 3
    SOWK 571 Aging and Health Care 3
    SOWK 572 Clinical Treatment in Mental Health 3
    SOWK 573 Advanced Group Work 3
    SOWK 574 Social Work Supervision 3
    SOWK 575 Clinical Practice of Crisis Intervention 3

    *These courses apply toward Chemical Dependency Certification in the State of Washington.


    GRADUATE COURSES - SOCIAL WORK

    SOWK 508 SOCIAL WORK AND RELIGION 2
    The role of religion in the socialization process of the practitioner and client. The potential of religious values, ethics, principles, and philosophies as positive influences on social work practice, as well as the negative effects of inappropriate application.

    SOWK 510 CULTURAL AND ETHNIC PERSPECTIVES OF SOCIAL WORK 3
    The understanding of racial, cultural, and ethnic factors in the assessment of social behaviors and the intervention process.

    SOWK 514 SOCIAL WORK POLICY AND SERVICES I 3
    The history of social services in the United States, beginning with the Elizabethan Poor Laws in England and the subsequent development of social ethics in the colonies. Considers historical influences which have shaped the nation's responsibility to the social needs of its people.

    SOWK 515 SOCIAL WORK POLICY AND SERVICES II 3
    The consequences of social service policy in the United States. A study of the economic, cultural, political, and social climates as they affect past and recent social service programs, and the responsibility of the social work professional to affect social system policy changes. Prerequisite: SOWK 514.

    SOWK 517 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I 3
    The development of communication and assessment skills, improved self-awareness, as well as counseling and intervention skills. Application of principles and philosophies of the social work discipline to worker-client relationships and social problem solving from individual, group, and community perspectives. Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 524.

    SOWK 518 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II 3
    The application and practice of group process and dynamics, roles and behaviors, group formation and structuring, and group-facilitating techniques for the social worker at various system levels. Prerequisite: SOWK 517; Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 525.

    SOWK 519 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE III 3
    Family systems theory and the practice of family therapy. The effects of societal systems, culture, and class on the family unit, and consequent problem identification and intervention strategies needed at various system levels. Prerequisite: SOWK 518.

    SOWK 520 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IV 2
    This course introduces the student to a variety of macro interventions with both communities as well as larger organizations. Students will be introduced to community planning skills and interventions for social change necessary to provide effective social services for meeting human needs. Prerequisite: SOWK 518

    SOWK 524 HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I 3
    The biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors and theories of human development from birth through adolescence. Considers the impact of ethnicity, racism, sexism, and socioeconomic status on growth and behavior of pre-adults.

    SOWK 525 HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II 3
    The biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors of human development affecting adult behavior. Considers the impact of ethnicity, racism, sexism, and socioeconomic status on growth and behavior of adults in community systems and organizations. Prerequisite: SOWK 524.

    SOWK 530 FIELD PRACTICUM Advanced Standing 2-12;12
    Regular Standing 2-18;18
    Practice in a social service program; the field application of course work knowledge and skills. Agency instructors provide the supervision for the field experience, in cooperation with the student's faculty liaison. Advanced Standing or Prerequisite: SOWK 517 or Corequisite SOWK 518.

    SOWK 538 SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH 3
    An introduction to the principles of scientific methods as applied to social work and the professional epistemological debate. Various designs are presented, along with basic research methods, such as problem formulation, empirical literature review, operationalization, instrumentation, scaling, sampling, data collection, and single subject design. A research project proposal will be completed by the end of the course.

    SOWK 539 RESEARCH APPLICATIONS IN SOCIAL WORK 2
    Continuation of social work research, emphasizing data analysis, reporting, and utilization. Students will use computer-assisted statistical software and complete a final research report. Prerequisite: SOWK 538.

    SOWK 540 ADVANCED CLINICAL EVALUATION 3
    Advanced clinical evaluation skills for assessing effectiveness of intervention with single subjects and groups will be presented. Content will include: identification of problems and goals, clinical measuring and recording, principles of behavioral observation, methods of making rating scales, client logs, unobtrusive measures, and experimental designs. Computer-assisted clinical evaluation software will be used to analyze data collected during the student's practice setting. Prerequisite: Advanced Standing or SOWK 539; Corequisite: SOWK 530.

    SOWK 541 ADVANCED PRACTICE 3
    This course emphasizes clinical social work practice skills with individuals and knowledge of social problems commonly presented for therapeutic intervention. Students will apply their knowledge of theories for practice, demonstrate practice skills, look at ethical conflicts in practice, and develop professional use of self awareness. Prerequisite: SOWK 519; Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 542.

    SOWK 542 DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR IN CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK 3
    The focus of this course is on the biological, psychological, social and environmental forces that impact upon behavior and functioning of moderately to severely impaired persons. It is designed to familiarize the advanced practitioner with standardized diagnostic criteria and processes used within the field to categorize deviant and dysfunctional behavior. Prerequisite: SOWK 525.

    SOWK 543 SOCIAL WORK ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT 3
    Considers organizational theory and history; organization development and structure; leadership and decision making; principles of administration, including budgeting; and service delivery. Incorporates macro focus.

    SOWK 544 POLICY ISSUES FOR CLINICIANS 2
    This course builds on the student's foundation of social welfare policy and social work practice to emphasize the integration of policy-practice as a social work intervention. Specific policy issues relevant to professional social work are examined by connecting the practice of clinical social work with its role in social change. Prerequisites: SOWK 514, 515; Advanced Standing.

    SOWK 545 ADVANCED CLINICAL TREATMENT OF FAMILIES 3
    Advanced theories and concepts of family therapy and their application to the treatment of families. Prerequisite: SOWK 519, SOWK 541 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 550 PROTECTIVE AND SUBSTITUTE CARE OF CHILDREN 2
    Intervention skills to provide protective services for children of disrupted families, and permanency planning for children.

    SOWK 551 FAMILY VIOLENCE 3
    Theories of behavior accounting for family violence; methods of prevention, intervention, and treatment of intra-family violence. Prerequisite: Second year standing or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 552 CLINICAL TREATMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS 3
    Neuroses, psychoses, and other behavior disorders -- their assessment and treatment in children and adolescents. Prerequisite: SOWK 541.

    SOWK 553 LEGAL ASPECTS OF SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE 3
    The laws and legal issues governing social work practice. Both legal and psycho-social perspectives considered.

    SOWK 554 INTERGENERATIONAL ASPECTS OF THE FAMILY 2
    The course examines social issues and relationship dynamics from an intergenerational perspective. Intervention approaches are examined that focus on the promotion of positive interaction between people from different generations.

    SOWK 555 SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK 3
    This course is intended to familiarize students with the history, legalities, and practice of social work in an educational setting. This course will describe how social work knowledge, skill, and values provide an ecological approach to preventative, crisis, and remedial care for school children and their families. Required of all school social work practicum students.

    SOWK 556 PLAY THERAPY 3
    This course covers varied play therapy theories from directive to non-directive. Includes practice of techniques; and discussion of issues and research unique to children and families.

    SOWK 557 SOLUTION-FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY 3
    Methods of collaboration and cooperation with clients to set up goals for treatment. Focus on client's previous successes and on solutions. Prerequisite: Second year standing.

    SOWK 558 COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL THERAPIES FOR SOCIAL WORKERS 3
    Includes theory and practice of relatively short-term, problem-focused intervention styles. Interventions learned include cognitive therapy, relaxation training, and systematic desensitization as applied in various social work practice settings. Lecture, small group work, and role playing with a hands-on practice-oriented approach. Prerequisite: Second year standing.

    SOWK 559 REALITY THERAPY 3
    Historical and theoretical background of this approach and the application to individuals, couples, families and groups. This approach is particularly useful with unwilling clients such as court-referred individuals, perpetrators of violence, delinquent adolescents, and persons abusing chemical substances. Use of lecture, video, live demonstrations and individual role-play practice will be utilized. Prerequisite: Second year standing.

    SOWK 560 CLINICAL TREATMENT IN ADDICTIONS 3
    Chemical dependency and other addictions -- a comparative study of their etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Prerequisite: SOWK 377 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 561 PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS AND PHARMACOLOGY OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS 3
    The absorption, metabolism, excretion, and pathology of drugs and alcohol, and their behavioral effects. Prerequisite: SOWK 377 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 562 CLINICAL SKILLS WITH ADDICTIVE FAMILIES 3
    Chemical dependency and other addiction-related problems in the family. Includes study of compulsive behaviors such as overeating, workaholism, relationship addictions, etc. This course integrates recent knowledge from the field of addictions with the knowledge of solution-focused family therapy to enhance the practitioners' clinical skills with addictive families. Prerequisite: SOWK 377 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 566 OBJECT RELATIONS THEORY 2
    An introduction to the psychoanalytic treatment model for long term therapy in contrast to the brief models. Course includes historical development of ORT, assessment, interventions and integration with other models of therapy. Prerequisite: Second year standing.

    SOWK 567 SELFCARE FOR SOCIAL WORKERS 2
    Promotes an understanding of the importance of self care for social work professionals. Covers both personal and professional self care issues. Helps students learn the techniques available to prevent burnout and develop a self care program.

    SOWK 570 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN A MEDICAL SETTING 3
    The psychosocial components of patient-family responses to physical illness; the role of social services and intervention in a medical setting. Prerequisite: Second year standing or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 571 AGING AND HEALTH CARE 3
    Senescence, geriatric pathology, preventive health measures, management of chronic conditions, rehabilitation services, and health care policies affecting older adults. Prerequisite: Second year standing.

    SOWK 572 CLINICAL TREATMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH 3
    The assessment and diagnosis of the mentally ill -- treatment, planning and implementation. Includes application of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health. Prerequisite: SOWK 542.

    SOWK 573 ADVANCED GROUP WORK 3
    Advanced theories of group work as practiced in a variety of treatment, management, and administrative settings. Prerequisite: SOWK 518 or Advanced Standing.

    SOWK 574 SOCIAL WORK SUPERVISION 3
    Emphasis upon clinical social work supervision in a variety of settings. Considers the needs of supervisors as well as the role and function of the supervisor. Attention is given to administrative supervision, ethics, competency skills through supervision, and cultural awareness. Prerequisite: Advanced Standing or Second Year Standing.

    SOWK 575 CLINICAL PRACTICE OF CRISIS INTERVENTION 3
    The study of human mental functions in crisis or high stress situations. Develops specific assessment, classification, and intervention skills for use in actual crisis situations. Prerequisite: Second year standing or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 579 DIRECTED RESEARCH/PROJECT 1-2; 2
    Directed learning experience in a special area of social work of particular interest to the student. A single project will be chosen in consultation with the instructor. A written proposal is developed by the student and approved by the advisor prior to beginning the research/project.

    SOWK 589 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL WORK 3
    Principles of social work research and evaluation will be presented. After consultation with the student's adviser and thesis committee, a research topic will be selected. Students will prepare and defend a thesis proposal for original social work research. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and Advanced Standing or SOWK 539.

    SOWK 590 THESIS 1-3; 3
    Students will complete and defend the research project begun in SOWK 589. This process will be supervised by the student's adviser and the thesis committee. Prerequisite: SOWK 589.


    SUPPORTING COURSES - SOCIAL WORK

    SOWK 377 INTRODUCTION TO ALCOHOLISM AND ADDICTION TREATMENT 3
    A comprehensive survey covering the basic aspects of alcohol, alcoholism, prevention and intervention, rehabilitation and treatment. Alcoholism and other addictions are studied as disease processes. Recommended prerequisite: HLTH 208 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 435 SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY 3
    Study of the social issues of aging and the social work practice response to these issues, with particular reference to community and family resource obligation.

    SOWK 437 DEATH AND DYING 3
    Study of the process of death and dying from four distinct perspectives: cultural, social, personal, and professional.

    SOWK 460 SERVICES TO FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN 3
    Development of child welfare services, their structure and function today, current challenges facing America in the welfare of its children, the role of social work in child abuse investigations, treatment provisions, and regulation. Prerequisite: PSYC 130 or SOCI 204 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 464 CHILDREN AT RISK 3
    Study of intervention strategies when working with children at risk, in social services, school, medical or community settings. Specific issues discussed include: child abuse and neglect, behavior management, family and child assessment, teen pregnancy and suicide, adoption and out-of-home placement, legal implications of working with children, and counseling techniques. Prerequisite: PSYC 130 or SOCI 204 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 466 COMPARATIVE THEORIES OF SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE 3
    Study of intervention strategies, change theories, and therapeutic techniques employed at individual, family, and group levels. Emphasizes criteria for selecting alternative approaches and appropriate intervention activities. Prerequisites: SOWK 264, 266, 371, 372; SOWK 373 or permission of instructor.

    SOWK 471 HUMAN SEXUALITY 3
    Study of the Christian perspective of human sexuality which forms a basis for appropriate intervention with sexual problems.

    SOWK 472 STRESS MANAGEMENT 3
    Designed to guide the student in planning practical strategies for personal stress management. A holistic approach emphasizing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a positive Christian lifestyle. The works of Hans Selye and other theoreticians of modern stress management are considered. Students will develop skills in time management, and techniques of meditation and relaxation and exercise. Also considered is the market for stress management education in Employee Assistance Programs. Prerequisites: PSYC 130 or SOCI 204 or permission of instructor.