|Graduate Catalog StKate.edu|
Master of Social Work (MSW)
The Master of Social Work (MSW) provides advanced professional study for women and men in social work. The program prepares social work practitioners for clinical social work practice and leadership with a focus on direct clinical services or clinical supervision and program management.
The MSW program is jointly offered by the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University. Foundation and advanced courses include study in human behavior and the social environment, social policy and services, research, generalist and clinical social work practice, and fieldwork.
The MSW program emphasizes the development of the individual student. Its focus on clinical social work practice, direct practice with individuals, small groups and families, deals with problems including poverty, discrimination, mental illness, developmental disability and oppression. It emphasizes demonstrated mastery of knowledge and practice skills. The curriculum is rooted in a philosophy of social responsibility and respect for human rights.
The development of a specific area of expertise is encouraged through the careful planning of a systematic program with individualized focus that incorporates the student's practice experience, and reflects the student's career goals and research interests.
The mission of the School of Social Work is: Drawing from the Judeo-Christian traditions of social caring, we prepare students to use social work knowledge, values and skills to demonstrate the intrinsic value of all humankind as they serve those in need and promote social justice and human rights.
The following serves as the mission statement for the Master of Social Work program: “Grounded in the principles of dignity and respect for all persons we prepare clinical social workers for reflective practice, supervision, leadership and practice-focused research with a commitment to critical inquiry, cultural responsiveness and social justice.”
As a reflection of this mission, the overall goals of the program are to:
- prepare students to develop a strong clinical social work identity grounded in social work values and ethics.
- prepare students to develop skills in actively engaging diverse client populations and adapting their practice to particular groups as needed.
- prepare students to develop critical thinking, reflective practice skills, and substantive knowledge essential for competent clinical social work practice.
- prepare students to develop the capacity for leadership and supervision in multiple settings.
- prepare students to develop the capcity to critically interpret and conduct social work research in order to increase the body of knowledge, assess the effectiveness of clinical interventions and improve social work practice.
The MSW program is accredited at the graduate level by the Council on Social Work Education: Commission on Accreditation. In June 2004, the Council in Social Work Education: Commission on Accreditation reaccredited the program for the full eight-year cycle. For more information on this organization, call 703-683-8080 or visit www.cswe.org.
Effective July 1987, Minnesota legislature passed legislation that provides for licensure of social workers at four levels. The licensing statute in Minnesota is both a title and a practice act. The four levels of licensure are social worker, graduate social worker, independent social worker and independent clinical social worker.
For specific information regarding social work licensure, contact the Minnesota Board of Social Work, 2829 University Ave. SE, Suite #340, Minneapolis, MN 55414, 612-617-2100, or visit www.socialworkstate.mn.us.
Note: Effective August 1, 1997, all new applicants for licensure must have a criminal background check completed as part of their application.
Effective July 1990, an individual who desires to practice as a school social worker must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Education. For more information regarding school social work licensure, contact the Minnesota Department of Education, 1500 Hwy 36 W., Roseville, MN 55113, 651-582-8691, or visit http://www.education.state.mn.us/.
The regular standing graduate program requires 60 semester credits, including 1,000 hours of field practicum and the completion of a clinical research project. The advanced standing graduate program requires a minimum of 42 semester hours, including 600 hours of field practicum and completion of a clinical research project.
YEARS TO COMPLETE THE PROGRAM
The program must be completed within four years from the initial term of enrollment in the MSW program. You may pursue program requirements during the regular academic year and summer sessions on a full- or extended-time status.
As a regular standing student, you may complete the MSW program in two years (four semesters) if you register for 15 credit hours each semester. If you graduated from an undergraduate BSW program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education you may apply for advanced standing admission. The majority of courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate graduate students who are working professionals. Some courses are available in the summer.
The School of Social Work also offers a three-year weekend cohort for advanced standing and four-year for regular standing MSW students. Classes meet in St. Paul one Friday and Saturday a month. For current availability of the weekend cohort, applicants should contact St. Catherine's Office of Graduate Admission.
DUAL MSW/MA DEGREE PROGRAM
Innovative pogram options are available for students interested in furthering their religious, holistic health, or legal knowledge while also obtaining an MSW degree. These collaborative programs eith the School of Social Work are called dual-degree programs and are offerered through the departments of theology or holistic health studies at St. Catherine University and the School of Law at the University of St. Thomas.
These programs were developed to reinforce and support a professional perspective that serves the multiple and complex needs of clients. Once accepted, students develop a plan for completing both degrees with the support of an advisor from each program. Upon completion, students with have two degrees.
The following courses are required for the MSW program:
GRSW 5000 History and Philosophy of Social Work
GRSW 5010 Theory and Practice of Social Work I
GRSW 5020 Theory and Practice of Social Work II
GRSW 5050 Field Practicum and Seminar I
GRSW 5060 Field Practicum and Seminar II
GRSW 5400 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
GRSW 5800 Methods of Social Work Research
GRSW 6030 Methods of Clinical Social Work I
GRSW 6040 Methods of Clinical Social Work II
GRSW 6070 Field Practicum and Seminar III
GRSW 6080 Field Practicum and Seminar IV
GRSW 6250 Social Policy and Program Development
GRSW 6450 Psychopathology and Human Behavior
GRSW 6500 Clinical Supervision and Program Management
GRSW 6810 Social Work Practice Research
GRSW 6820 Applied Research Seminar (Clinical Research Paper)
Choose any three:
GRSW 5150 Social Work and the Law
GRSW 5160 Child Welfare
GRSW 5230 Social Work Practice with the Elderly
GRSW 5410 Family Resilience and Diversity
GRSW 5903 Topics
GRSW 6050 Progressive Social Work Practice
GRSW 6090 The Spiritual Dimension of Social Work Practice
GRSW 6120 Grief Counseling and Therapy
GRSW 6140 Clinical Practice with Children
GRSW 6150 Clinical Practice with Couples and Families
GRSW 6160 Clinical Practice with Groups
GRSW 6180 Cognitive Interventions
GRSW 6190 Integrative Psychotherapy
GRSW 6210 Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy
GRSW 6220 Clinical Practice with Adolescents
GRSW 6230 Clinical Practice with the Elderly
GRSW 6240 Mental Illness: Clinical Issues and Practice
GRSW 6260 Clinical Practice with Trauma
GRSW 6270 Clinical Practice in Schools
GRSW 6280 Clinical Practice with Immigrants and Refugees
GRSW 6903 Topics
IDSW 6600 Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Healthcare Ethics
Field Practicum and Seminar
Regular standing students are required to complete a 400-hour supervised field practicum during the foundation year of the program. The foundation practicum must be taken concurrently with GRSW 5010 and GRSW 5020.
All students are required to complete a clinical field practicum of 600 hours. The clinical field practicum must be taken concurrently with GRSW 6030 and GRSW 6040.
Students may propose completing one practicum at their place of employment. Such placements must meet specific criteria and be approved by the Director of Field Education in advance. Students also may propose completing on practcum in a full-time summer block format, also with approval in advance.
Six of the nine elective credits must be taken within the St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas social work program. Electives are selected in consultation with your faculty advisor. Within the context of clinical social work practice, you may focus your program through the use of nine credits of guided electives, your clinical field practicum and the clinical research project.
Clinical Research Project
Candidates for the MSW degree must satisfactorily complete a clinical research project. The project must demonstrate an original and significant contribution to knowledge in your selected area of focus. It should demonstrate your ability to integrate social work theory with research findings.
While engaged in social work research and preparation of the clinical research project, you register for GRSW 6820. This seminar provides support, discussion and critique of your research to enable progress and completion of the project within one academic year.
Full-time and Extended-time Status
Regular-standing, two-year (four semesters), full-time students enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester, including field practicum. The total number of hours required for completion of the regular program is 60 semester hours. Regular standing students can elect to complete the program on extended-time status with either a three year (six semesters) or four year (eight semesters) plan.
Students admitted into the advanced standing program complete a minimum of 42 semester hours, including field practicum. An advanced standing admission student can complete the program in 12 months, full-time status, or elect a two year (four semesters) or three year (six semesters) plan. A graduate student is considered full time when registered in the MSW program for six or more credits per term during the academic year.
The School of Social Work offers a three-year weekend cohort for advanced standing and four-year weekend cohort for regular standing MSW students. Classes meet on the St. Paul campus one Friday and Saturday a month. For current availability of the weekend cohort, applicants should contact St. Catherine University's Office of Graduate Admission.
Upon admission to the MSW program, you are assigned an academic advisor who assists in dealing with academic or personal issues throughout the graduate program.
Independent study for credit is a means of supplementing a program of regular courses. If you are seeking such credit you must submit a written proposal for the study. Approval will be granted only if the proposal is judged appropriate and if a qualified faculty member is available to supervise you.
Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each social work course. Students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. If a student has cumulative GPA of less than 3.00, they will automatically be placed on academic probation. If a student earns more than one grade of C or lower, they may be suspended or asked to withdraw from the program.
Students must comply with the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the Minnesota Licensing Code of Ethics, as well as the Standards of the MSW Social Work program as detailed in the MSW Student Handbook.
CONDITIONS FOR PROBATION, SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION
You may be placed on probation, suspended and/or terminated from the program for violations of any of the above depending on the severity of the issue. In the event of probationary status or dismissal, you will be advised in writing of the actions you must take to address identified concerns and a timeframe for do ing so in order to regain full program status.
This may include meeting minimal GPA requirements in the next 12 credits of course work (for academic probation or dism issal), demonstrating specific performance levels (in the areas of basic professional practice skills, stress management and emotional self-awareness, and professional judgment) in field practica and/or the classroom, future meetings with your advisors, seeking outside assistance, and re-evaluating readiness for the program.
READMISSION TO THE PROGRAM
If you are dismissed you are not eligible to register for courses or seek field placement, but may apply for readmission after the lapse of at least one semester or as specified in the dismissal letter. To be readmitted, you must submit a petition to the dean of the School of Social Work via the MSW program director describing why you will be successful if readmitted and address the conditions of the probation, suspension or termination.
If readmitted, you are automatically placed on probation, and the terms of probation will be provided in writing to you. A readmitted student must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the next 12 credits of course work taken. Should you fail to achieve a 3.0, you will be terminated from the program with no option for readmission. If you are placed on probationary status, dismissed or terminated, you may use the institutional grievance policy and procedures of the University of St. Thomas to appeal any decision. This policy does not supersede or replace any applicable Institution-wide process or policy.
There may be circumstances that warrant immediate discipline including termination from the program. The School of Social Work has the right to discipline or terminate a student during the course of or in lieu of the processes described.