Wilma Hepker, Dean; Standley Gellineau, Director of Graduate Program; Bobbie Sue Arias, Cindee Bailey, Darold Bigger, James Boyd, Sandra Christian, Paul Cimmino, Pam Cress, Joyce Flansburg, Cindy Fleischer, Doug Fleischer, Kevin Grussling, Randi Hankins, Harriett Hilario, Mary Laabs, Lisa Lysne, 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 (six quarters), 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 complement 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 practicum 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 practicum 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. For policy on transfer credit, see page 19.


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 or the fall, thereby completing the graduate program in four quarters. 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                                                         Regular  Advanced

       Standing    Standing

Core Courses: First Year

SOWK 510 Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives                            3                3

SOWK 514 Historical Development of Social Welfare                                  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 537 Social Work Research                                             3                 -

SOWK 538 Research Applications in Social Work I                                     1         -

SOWK 539 Research Applications in Social Work II                                    1         -

SOWK 542 Dysfunctional Behavior in Clinical Social                                   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 Analysis and Advocacy for Clinicians            3                3

SOWK 545 Advanced Clinical Treatment of Families                                  3         3

SOWK 530 Field Practicum                                                     12              12

*Electives                                                                                 17             20

Total         80              52

*To be chosen from electives listed below, of which a minimum of 5 credits must be in Advanced Clinical Practice electives and 2-3 credits must be Advanced Theory Electives..


( Minimum of 5 credits must be taken of Advanced Clinical Practice Electives.)

SOWK 546 Clinical Treatment of Sexual Abuse                                          3

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 Therapy                                            3

SOWK 560 Clinical Treatment in Addictions*                                               3

SOWK 562 Clinical Skills with Addictive Families*                                         3

SOWK 564 Reality Therapy                                                                        3

SOWK 565 Attachment Theory and Theraplay                                           2

SOWK 568 Gestalt Therapy                                                                        3

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 Practice and Theories in Clinical Group Work                          3

SOWK 574 Social Work Supervision                                                           3

SOWK 575 Clinical Practice of Crisis Intervention                                       3


( Minimum of one Advanced Theory Elective must be taken.)

SOWK 557 Solution Focused Brief Therapy                                               3

SOWK 558 Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy                                            3

SOWK 564 Reality Therapy                                                                         3

SOWK 566 Object Relations Theory                                                        2-3

SOWK 568 Gestalt Therapy                                                                        3

GENERAL ELECTIVES                                                                             credits

SOWK 531 Death and Dying                                                                       3

SOWK 535 Social Gerontology                                                                   3

SOWK 543 Social Work Administration and Management                           3

SOWK 547 Children at Risk                                                                        3

SOWK 548 Comparative Theories of Social Work Practice                         3

SOWK 550 Protective and Substitute Care of Children                               2

SOWK 553 Legal Aspects of Social Work Practice                                      3

SOWK 554 Inter-generational Relationships                                               2

SOWK 561 Physiological Effects and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Drugs* 3

SOWK 563 Grantsmanship                                                                         2

SOWK 567 Selfcare for the Social Worker                                                  2

SOWK 576 Human Sexuality                                                                       3

SOWK 577 Introduction of Alcohol and Addiction Treatment*                     3

SOWK 578 Stress Management                                                                  3

SOWK 579 Directed Research/Project                                                     1-2

SOWK 580 Services to Families with Children                                             3

SOWK 590 Thesis                                                                                    1-3

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


SOWK 508 SOCIAL WORK AND RELIGION                                                          2

The role of spirituality 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                                          3

The understanding of racial, cultural, and ethnic factors in the assessment of social behaviors and the intervention process.


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.  Exposure to policy analysis within the context of current social services.

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 2-5;12 Regular Standing 2-5;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 field liaison. Advanced Standing  Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 517 and SOWK 518.

SOWK 531 DEATH AND DYING                                                                            3

Study of the process of death and dying from four distinct perspectives: cultural, social, personal, and professional.

SOWK 535 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 537 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.


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 537

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: class=msoIns> Advanced Standing or SOWK 519;  Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK  542; Corequisite: SOWK 530.


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: Advanced Standing class=msoIns> or SOWK 525.


Considers leadership and organiza­tional theory; organization develop­ment and struc­ture; leadership skills and decision making; principles of administra­tion, including budgeting; and service delivery.  Incorporates macro focus.


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 responsibility to affect  social change. Prerequisites: SOWK 514; 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 546 CLINICAL TREATMENT IN SEXUAL ABUSE                                        3

Assessment, treatment and risk management of adult and child survivors of sexual abuse; current understanding of psychological characteristics of adult and adolescent offenders of sexual abuse; psychological sequence of sexual abuse of childhood victims and their clinical presentation to social work practitioners. Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 541.

SOWK 547 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.


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.


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.


Neuroses, psychoses, and other behavior disorders "Courier New"─ 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 RELATIONSHIPS                                            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 THERAPY                                         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 or permission of instructor.

SOWK 560  CLINICAL TREATMENT IN ADDICTIONS                                            3

Chemical dependency and other addic­tions "Courier New"─ a comparative study of their etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Prerequisite: SOWK 577 or permission of instructor.


        ALCOHOL AND DRUGS                                                                3

The absorption, metabolism, excretion, and pathology of drugs and alcohol, and their behavioral effects.  Prerequisite: SOWK 577 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 577 or permission of instructor.

SOWK 563 GRANTSMANSHIP                                                                              2

This course will provide a in-depth opportunity in all areas of grantsmanship, including finding funding sources, developing a needs assessment and problem statement, writing narrative and rationale sections, writing goals and objectives, activities, evaluation, budget, and time line.  The student will prepare an actual grant application.

SOWK 564 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 565 ATTACHMENT THEORY AND THERAPLAY                                           2

This course will explore the interactional basis of parent-infant attachment disruptions.  Theraplay bonding and attachment techniques, designed to enhance attachment, raise self-esteem, improve trust in others, and create joyful engagement, will be presented and practiced by participants.

SOWK 566 OBJECT RELATIONS THEORY                                                          2-3

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.  The students who register for two credits for the course as a survey of the theory will focus their research to a particular aspect of the model that they would like to understand more fully.  Students desiring to register for three credits would complete an in depth  research study of the theory and integrate their knowledge with a clinical practice application.  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 568 GESTALT THERAPY                                                                            3

This class will cover extensively the theoretical foundation of Gestalt Therapy.  It will examine its historical roots in psychoanalysis as well as its current state of development.  Students will use didactic experiential learning modes and discuss many rare films of Frederick Perls conducting a Gestalt Therapy.

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 "Courier New"─ treatment, planning and implementation. Includes application of the Diagnos­tic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health. Prerequisite: SOWK 542.


Application of theories to clinical group work practice in the context of different populations. 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 576 HUMAN SEXUALITY                                                                           3

Study of the Christian perspective of human sexuality which forms a basis for appropriate intervention with sexual problems.


        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.

SOWK 578 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.

SOWK 580 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.  Required of all Title IV-E students.


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.