The MSW program requires completion of 60 semester credit hours. There is a two year full-time program and a four year part-time option.
Courses are evenly divided between foundation and concentration curricula. The first thirty (30) credit hours are considered the foundation for social work practice. The intent of the foundation experience is to:
- Provide grounding in the social work profession.
- Teach assessment, practice and research models for practice at all levels.
- Teach about the social welfare institution and its many facets.
- Engage in practice opportunities utilizing the full range of social work roles in working with the breadth and scope of social work client systems, and
- Introduce advanced theory in preparation for the concentration and specializations.
The next 30 credit hours of the curriculum are considered the concentration or advanced study for social work practice. Students select a specialization during their foundation year which becomes their field of practice focus in the concentration year.
The program offers a single concentration, which is community practice. This reflects the program’s orientation of social work practice as community based, and practice with any population or field of practice is always done within a social context. Three specializations are offered within the concentration preparing students for contextually competent, autonomous professional social work practice in the areas of children, youth and families, community mental health or community capacity building. At the advanced levels students are expected to understand theory, analyze it for its contextual properties and implement cultural and contextually competent practice in one of the concentration areas. Additionally students will be prepared to evaluate their practice, programs and create research questions that demonstrate advancement of ideas with specific populations. Students are expected to understand the connection between personal troubles and issues and realize that social change is a natural extension of social work practice at all levels. They will therefore be prepared to intervene, advocate and organize for this end. Under the supervision of program approved Fieldwork Instructors students will complete internship hours that allow them to carry out concentration curriculum objectives. And, at the conclusion of their study students will present a capstone project that reflects their knowledge, skills and values as professional social workers.
Social work education is grounded in the liberal arts and contains a coherent, integrated professional foundation in social work practice from which an advanced practice curriculum is built at the graduate level. Community practice is the single concentration that creates the framework for the specializations. The concentration is designed to prepare graduates to work in communities providing intervention with various client sizes in selected fields of service, children youth and families, community mental health and community capacity building. MSW graduates will be prepared to provide contextually competent practice at all levels of need with client systems of all sizes, individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
CSUDH offers 3 specializations: Children Youth and Families, Community Mental Health, & Community Capacity Building.
Children, Youth, and Families (CYF)
CYF is available for individuals interested in working in traditional and non traditional child welfare services, family service agencies, adolescent services, family preservation services, etc. Students enrolled in this specialization will take a set of courses and a supporting field placement in their second or advanced year of study. Learning during this year will be focused on applying theoretically sound and contextually competent practice while working in this field of practice.
Community Mental Health (CMH)
CMH is available for individuals interested in working in community health and mental health agencies, engaging in practices to enhance access to quality mental health services, crisis intervention services, case management with the chronically and persistently mentally ill and other mental health services. Students enrolled in this concentration will take a set of courses and a supporting field placement in their second or advanced year of study. Learning during this year will be focused on applying theoretically sound and contextually competent practice while working in this field of practice.
Community Capacity Building
Individuals planning to work in community agencies designing services, administrating service delivery, conducting community needs assessment and research, organizing groups for empowerment purposes will learn the multiple ways in which social workers provide effective services in the community. The program works with the premise of inherent community strength and that disenfranchised and poor communities are best equipped to define obstacles they confront, their needs and plan for change.