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Social Work Doctoral Program Independent Study

SSW 6400 - Social Work Doctoral Program Independent Study

Special Social Work topics not included in the Social Work Doctoral Program curriculum may be the subject of an Independent Study. A proposal must be presented and approved by the Student’s advisor and Doctoral Director.

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SSW 6410 - Research Design and Knowledge Generation

This course focuses on logic methods and methods of scientific inquiry in the social sciences. Students explore the logic of knowledge building with reference to rational, empirical and cultural processes. Rational processes examined include logic, model building, hypothesis testing, induction, and deduction, and appraisal of knowledge claims. Empirical processes examined include observation, symbolic representation of data, and data structures. Cultural processes examined include the effect of culture on conceptualization, priorities, ethical considerations and resource distribution. Students are expected to develop methodological rigor as well as critical assessment of contemporary research issues that affect social work practice.

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SSW 6411 - Research II: Survey Research Methods

The course builds upon the beginning research design course by looking at the ways that survey design and data collection support the development of quasi-experimental research designs. Based on social exchange theory, the course provides students with the skills required to conduct reliable and valid data through self administered surveys with high response rates. Such data may be used to assess social needs, monitor program activities, measure outcomes or assess attitudes.

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SSW 6412 - Research III: Multivariate Statistics I

This course builds on an introductory level of statistical knowledge and assumes that students have completed an introductory statistics course, including experiences with data analyses that involve computer-based interactions (SPSS, SAS, etc.). This course develops an understanding of the general linear model (GLM). Once students gain a solid understanding of GLM, they can extend their knowledge to a variety of more complex statistical tests.The course focuses on the selection and application of appropriate statistical procedures to answer research questions or test hypotheses in social work research and involves the extensive use of available statistical packages. While the course emphasizes understanding of statistical testing, interpretation, and written presentation of statistical results, knowledge of the mathematical formulae and assumptions underlying each statistical procedure will be required and discussed.

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SSW 6413 - Research IV: Multivariate Statistics II

This course builds upon SSW 412 and also focuses on the selection and application of appropriate statistical procedures to answer research questions or test hypotheses in social work research. It focuses on data reduction methods and analyses of discrete or categorical data and makes extensive use of commercial statistical packages. While the course emphasizes understanding of statistical testing, interpretation, and written presentation of statistical results, knowledge of the mathematical formulae and assumptions underlying each statistical procedure is required and discussed.

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SSW 6414 - Research V: Qualitative Research Methods

This course explores the philosophical underpinnings, history, techniques and relevance to social work research of qualitative inquiry traditions such as biography, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography and case study methods. This course will emphasize techniques, standards of quality, verification, and other indicators of rigor as well as value on ethical issues. After completing this course students will be able to describe various approaches, set up research protocols, describe data analysis and quality control techniques and specify standards for report writing.

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SSW 6420 - Critical Analysis of Historical and Philosophical Themes of the Profession

This course helps students to develop critical and historical understanding of social work knowledge, values and interventions. It reviews the social, economic, political and intellectual forces that influence the development of social welfare and professional social work. It examines the role that conflicting ideologies and commitments play in alleviating stress and suffering. The course focuses on knowledge of the development and history of social work in the context of changing social, economic, political and intellectual environments.

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SSW 6435 - Social and Behavioral Science: Smaller Target Systems

This course helps students to understand the theoretical and empirical frameworks on which contemporary best practices are built. The theories and frameworks examined include cognitive, behavioral/social learning, psychodynamic, family systems, and other related concepts. Other theories may be added that have been demonstrated to be valid underpinnings of effective or promising social work practice.

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SSW 6436 - Comparative Social Work Practice Models (Micro Practice)

This course explores the major social casework and group practice models from historical, theoretical, and empirical perspectives. Current practice approaches and models from related fields empirically shown to be most effective or promising are examined. Selected social work models are examined within the social, political, and ideological contexts of their times, as well as with respect to their contributions to the profession’s knowledge base. Each model’s contribution to the knowledge base and to direct practice methods are investigated and related to the student’s conceptual and practice experiences.

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SSW 6445 - Social and Behavioral Science: Knowledge Base for Practice with Large Target Systems

This course conveys substantive knowledge from social science disciplines that inform macro practice with large systems (community organization, administration, and policy practice). Relevant disciplines include economics, political science, sociology (including organizational theory), anthropology, and epidemiology. Students use fundamental knowledge in each of these social sciences to demonstrate competence in the application of major social science theoretical models relevant to macro practice and the empirical evidence that supports these theories. Connections between macro and micro practice (social work with small systems) is covered. Ethical implications of knowledge developed by disciplines with different value bases when applied to social work is also covered.

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SSW 6446 - Comparative Social Work Practice Models (Macro Practice)

This course explores the evolution and current development of macro practice methods, including community organization, administration, and policy practice in social work. After a brief review of the conceptual history of macro practice social work, the course examines the unique roles of macro practice methods in carrying out the mission of the profession. Value issues and ethical dilemmas associated with social advocacy and policy change are examined throughout.

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SSW 6451 - Dissertation Preparation Seminar

This course is designed to assist students in identifying suitable dissertation topics and developing appropriate methodological approaches. It provides opportunities to assist students in building a firm foundation, upon which to engage in independent research and scholarship and to advance existing knowledge. Students prepare papers related to their dissertation topics for presentation and discussion with the group and for external conferences, in the process strengthening their scientific communication skills. Students taking this course receive a grade of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

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