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Master of Social Work: Full Program

The MSW full program is available to students with a bachelor’s degree other than a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). The program prepares graduates for advanced ethical and professional social work practice and licensure, emphasizing commitment to service, social justice, integrity, competence, and scientific inquiry.

Online

Online with Intensives

You'll complete coursework online, with 1 week of on-campus intensives each year.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Fall 2021

Total Credits

56

Finish in as Few as

24 months

Courses

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SOWK600)

    Overview of social work mission, core values, history, and fields of practice. Understanding dimensions of diversity, cultures, and structures that may oppress and marginalize people groups. Theoretical approaches to understanding human behavior in the social environment include application of systems theory and ecological systems theory related to individuals, families, groups, individuals and communities.

    3 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Practice I: Individuals and Families (SOWK605)

    Generalist social work theory and practice with individuals and families. Beginning professional development, critical thinking, effective communication, Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HBSE), ethical and evidenced-based practice is emphasized. Simulated case assignments provide student development of knowledge and skills of social work practice: engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and termination.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SOWK615

  • Social Welfare History and Policy Practice (SOWK610)

    Examines the historical movements of social welfare responses to the poor and oppressed from the colonial period to the present, with emphasis on economic, demographic, cultural, and political forces. Historical documents representing significant turning points in society are presented to gain appreciation of the linkage among past, present, and future reforms. Interrelationship of social problems, social welfare policies, and service delivery from historical, economic, political, and program perspectives. Social systems content applied to social policy analysis. Students develop, analyze, advocate, and provide leadership for policy and service delivery that promote economic and social justice through community-based projects.

    3 credits

  • Field Seminar I (SOWK615)

    Provides an introductory field experience in a multi-service community-based agency serving an ethnically diverse population. Students apply and integrate beginning knowledge, values, skills, and ethics for social work practice with an emphasis on developing a professional identity. Weekly on-campus field seminar supports this integration while students work a minimum of 200 hours in a field setting under agency supervision.

    2 credits

    Corequisite Course: SOWK605

  • Field Seminar II (SOWK620)

    Field experience in which students apply and integrate beginning knowledge, values, skills, and ethics for social work practice with an emphasis on diversity, human rights and justice, and professional generalist practice. Weekly on-campus field seminar supports integration while students work a minimum of 200 hours in field setting under agency supervision.

    2 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Practice II: Groups, Communities, and Organizations (SOWK630)

    Generalist social work theory and practice with organizations and communities. Application of human behavior in the social environment. Research-based knowledge emphasized. Assignments in community settings focus on engagement and assessment; dimensions of diversity; interaction of social systems; and strategies to promote human and civil rights.

    3 credits

  • Diversity, Human Rights, Social Economic and Environmental Justice (SOWK640)

    Examines historical and current societal conditions and their impact on individuals and communities. Culture, power, oppression, exclusion, and the impact of diverse realities in the U.S. are explored. Engages students in a comparative examination through the synthesis of contemporary writings, social theory, and diverse voices. Equips students with knowledge and skills for understanding and critically evaluating how market economies operate, their broad socioeconomic consequences, and their impact on the lives of socially disadvantaged people.

    3 credits

  • Social Work Research Methods & Design I (SOWK650)

    Social research methods, including an emphasis on becoming proficient and critical consumers of research-based data, for the purposes of knowledge advancement, informed practice, and program and practice effectiveness evaluation. Students will learn the fundamentals of a literture review and complete prelimiary exercises in preparation for writing a literature review in Methods II and preparing for agency based research.

    2 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Practice III (SOWK700)

    Advanced generalist social work theory applied to integrated practice within client systems. Emphasis is on families and groups and on the planned change process. Student development of a group work project and case study review promote application of critical thinking, research-informed practice and cultural competence.

    3 credits

  • Mental Health, Diagnosis, and Advanced Social Work Practice (SOWK705)

    Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for working with individuals with a SPMI diagnosis (serious mental illness) using recovery-oriented, evidence-based practices. Students will become familiar with evidence-based practices, within a recovery-oriented paradigm, as a general approach to practice as well as specific evidence-based interventions to use for individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness. Students will learn to examine research literature to determine the various levels of support for specific interventions and essential principles for translating research into practice. In addition, they will identify the appropriate treatment outcomes that reflect effective, quality mental health practice with diverse groups.

    3 credits

  • Trauma and Crisis in Social Work Practice (SOWK710)

    Theories associated with conceptualizing trauma and crisis Nature and types of trauma/crisis A review of typologies Survey of intervention models Psychosocial factors associated with trauma response (e.g., age, ability, gender, cultural and racial identities, class, and spirituality/religious faith) Overview of the cognitive, affective, behavioral, neurological sequelae associated with trauma Introduction and application of skills and techniques utilized in crisis intervention, including assessment and triage, safety and security concerns, facilitation of validation, and preparation and rehearsal for maintenance Review of current practice trends in post trauma therapy Special topics in intervention including assessment of lethality, mass disaster, death notification, suicide of the young, and the role of spirituality Caring for the caregiver: Attenuating compassion fatigue 2 V. Learning competencies will be eval

    3 credits

  • Theology, Justice and Human Rights (SOWK715)

    Contemporary discussions about justice, human rights, and theology with a special focus on John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Catholic Social Teaching, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jose Porfirio Miranda and Marin Buber. Exploration of conceptions of human rights as they relate to philosophy, theology and social work practice. Creative and reflective exploration of humanity and how theology shapes approaches to justice. Explortion of current social justice issues that challenge Christian communities today.

    3 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Methods and Design II (SOWK720)

    Students will engage in the IRB process, complete CITI training, acquire skills to administer a qualtrics survey in an agency based setting, and prepare a literature review on a suject specific to their research proposal. Students will develop a research proposal related to their field of practice. Students will prepare questions for their agency based research. Students will write a formal methodology for their research proposal.

    2 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Field Seminar III (SOWK725)

    Field practicum in a practice setting in which students perform the role of a professional social worker under supervision of a qualified field instructor. Weekly on-campus field seminar, facilitated by social work faculty, supports integration of theory with social work practice. Students work a minimum of 175 hours in field. A structured learning contract provides application of social work knowledge, values, and skills.

    2 credits

  • Advancing Social Policy, Justice Issues and Human Rights in our Communities (SOWK730)

    Explore advanced models of policy analysis applied to social welfare issues and challenges from a socio-cultural/ political viewpoint. Explore impacts/ unintended consequences of current service delivery and resource allocation and whether it meets the needs of marginalized communities.Explore intersections of policy and social work practice including models of policy analysis and analytical skills required for policy practice.

    3 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Field Seminar IV (SOWK735)

    Field practicum in a practice setting in which students perform the role of a professional social worker under supervision of a qualified field instructor. Weekly on-campus field seminar, facilitated by social work faculty, supports integration of theory with social work practice. Students work a minimum of 175 hours in field. A structured learning contract provides application of social work knowledge, values, and skills.

    2 credits

  • Advanced Theory and Practice in Community and Global Contexts (SOWK740)

    Understand the complexity of global community practice and social development and the roles that social work plays in advancing social, economic, and environmental justice. Understand and critically analyze globalization and its impact on local contexts, to develop skills in working with communities and marginalized groups. Develop an advanced understanding of the civil society and current trends in international social development. Using a human rights framework, develop an awareness and analyze ethical issues facing global communities. Apply a rights-based discourse analysis to develop community and capacity building strategies in global and local contexts.Develop awareness of the global community from a social work perspective.

    2 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Methods and Design III (SOWK745)

    Students will engage in research at their agencies. Students will complete their research, disseminate the findings and present their findings in a formal paper (including literature review) and presentation to colleagues.

    2 credits

  • Advanced Social Work Field Seminar V (SOWK750)

    Field practicum in a practice setting in which students perform the role of a professional social worker under supervision of a qualified field instructor. Weekly on-campus field seminar, facilitated by social work faculty, supports integration of theory with social work practice. Students work a minimum of 150 hours in field. A structured learning contract provides application of social work knowledge, values, and skills.Final formal field evaluation occurs in this course.

    2 credits

  • Program Development, Fundraising and Grant Writing (SOWK755)

    This experiential course will introduce social work students to the grant-development process. The course will familiarize students with how to: Plan and conceptualize a grant geared for specific funders, write selected elements of the grant narrative, develop a budget/justification. Students will gain knowlege about various types of funders including government, private and philantropical organizations. Studnets will gain an understanding of how to adminster and report on a grant. Issues related to sustainablility will be explored from the perspective of acquiring grant funding to serive marginalized communities. Students will create a grant project.

    2 credits

  • Environmental Justice, Health Disparities and Community Health (SOWK770)

    Explore and understand the concept of a critical, decolonizing, anti-oppressive and ecological framework for engaging in social work practice. Develop ability to engage in professional practice which incorporates critical theory to investigate the impact of colonialsims from a systems persepctive. Learn key issues about health, social determinants for health and disparities in health across marginalized communities.

    2 credits

  • Diversity, Oppression and Decolonization in Social Work (SOWK780)

    Assumptions underlying theory and research methodologies from which basic constructs of human behavior are drawn will be examined to understand how power and other dynamics manage and sustain oppression at the individual and institutional levels. Also of interest is how oppression affects service delivery at micro and macro levels, particularly social policies and strategic planning which drive the shape of services. Culture, power, oppression, exclusion, and the impact of diverse realities in the U.S. are explored. Engages students in a comparative examination through the synthesis of contemporary writings, social theory, and diverse voices with an eye to the continued decolonization of social work practice.

    2 credits

  • Capstone Integrative Seminar (SOWK790)

    Integrative seminar to demonstrate readiness to practice social work at an advanced level in the student's area of specialization.

    2 credits

Professional Licensure

The MSW at Bethel prepares students to sit for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) professional licensure exam.

Field Work

Five field seminars throughout the program provide practical experience and the opportunity to integrate knowledge, skills, values, and ethics for social work practice. Students in the full program will complete 900 hours of field work. Field work offers a progression of learning, including:

  • Experience in a multi-service community-based agency serving diverse populations
  • Emphasis on diversity, human rights, and justice
  • Development of a professional identity
  • Social work experience in a professional setting under the supervision of a qualified field instructor

Program Objectives

Graduates of the Master of Social Work at Bethel University will:

  • Address complex social issues such as poverty, systemic violence, human neglect, trafficking, child welfare, trauma, mental health, health disparities, environmental racism, and social systems reform
  • Explore concepts of theology, race, and equity to address social, economic, and environmental injustice
  • Apply critical concepts related to trauma and mental health to social work practice
  • Apply learning in all contexts, micro to macro
  • Seek justice in innovative ways—in wide-based, diverse, professional field settings
  • Apply research and evidence-based practice to social work contexts and diverse community settings to impact sustainable change
  • Integrate inclusive and bias-free language into scholarly work and professional practice

Program Accreditation

Students must have graduated from a program accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) to be eligible to pursue social work licensure. Bethel University’s BSW program has been accredited since 1981. Bethel is currently pursuing candidacy with CSWE for accreditation for its Master of Social Work program. CSWE states that accreditation applies retroactively to program graduates once it is obtained, but students should check with their state social work board to verify that they will be eligible to apply for licensure in their state if they graduate from a program before it is accredited. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) provides helpful information regarding licensure requirements by state. It is the student's responsibility to verify licensing requirements with their state social work board. In Minnesota, temporary licenses are available to students graduating from a social work degree program in candidacy status.

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