Social Work

College of Health and Human Services
Dean: Don Taylor

School of Social Work
HSS 227
415-338-1003/1005
Fax: 415-338-0591
E-mail: socwork@sfsu.edu
Director: Rita Takahashi

Undergraduate Coordinator: Yeon-Shim Lee
Graduate Coordinator: Jerry Shapiro

Faculty

Professors—Lemmon, Shapiro, Sung, Takahashi

Associate Professor—Levy

Assistant Professors—Gupta, Hermoso, Hines, Knox, Lee, Lenz-Rashid, Redman

Lecturers—Banks, Eisen, Feliciana, Glugoski, Hembury, Hernandez, Johnson-Glover, Levine-Alcala, Mahan, Melara, Murray, Nakajo, Otterbach, Pennington, Quiett, Rivera, Schenk

Programs

B.A. in Social Work
Master of Social Work


Program Scope

The mission of the School of Social Work is to provide educational opportunities that promote a just and secure society. To this end, the school is committed to and bases its program on the principle that social work should:

The school honors human diversity and acknowledges its vital role in advancing mutuality and interdependence.  The aim is to educate social work practitioners who will be versatile, creative, and effective in serving the peoples of San Francisco Bay Area in context of global economic and human relations; and to address the needs of the oppressed, disenfranchised, and otherwise marginalized peoples and communities.

The curriculum incorporates a comprehensive range of knowledge, values, skills, and experiences for social work practice at all levels of intervention. The outcome is to provide learning experiences that will instill critical consciousness and inspire students to become advocates for economic and social justice.

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and the Master of Social Work program at San Francisco State University are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

In both the B.A. and M.S.W. programs, the curriculum emphasizes the integration of knowledge, values, and skills. Commitment to professional values and ethics, to participate in constructive change, to support the right to self-determination, and to respect people's capacity to learn and grow are integrated throughout the program. Students are expected to develop a spirit of inquiry and to achieve a critical posture toward the social situation, the functioning of the profession and of social agencies, and their own performance.

Practice is founded on a liberal arts perspective, particularly on the interaction of two dimensions: knowledge of human and social behavior, which is utilized analytically in professional relationships; and salient and comparable knowledge of the array of functions, roles, and practice skills available to the profession of social work. Particular attention is paid to context and the impact of diversity factors, including (but not limited to) class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, and culture.

The Master of Social Work curriculum is designed to meet the following six areas mandated by the Council on Social Work Education: social welfare policies and services; human behavior and the social environment; social work methods; ethnic and cultural concepts; research in social work; and field instruction. The full-time program requires two academic years with at least one year in full-time residence on this campus.

Career Outlook

Students who complete the undergraduate social work major are prepared for graduate study in accredited schools of social work and social welfare; professional or graduate training in related fields such as law, public administration, public health, and psychology; and for entry-level professional positions in both public and private social welfare and social service agencies.

Examples of these agencies include local departments of social services; hospitals; youth care facilities; community-based treatment agencies; community mental health facilities; child care programs; services for the aged; drug and alcohol treatment programs; family service agencies; and community, neighborhood, and advocacy organizations. The major provides students with an opportunity to apply social science theories and social work knowledge and skills in a comprehensive field work placement during their senior year.

Graduates of the Master of Social Work program are prepared for advanced level professional positions in both public and private social service agencies and community organizations. Subject to the laws of the State of California, M.S.W. graduates are eligible to take the examination to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) two years after graduation. They are also eligible to take social work licensing examinations in other states. In addition, to prepare for advanced level professional practice, M.S.W. graduates go on to doctoral programs in social work/social welfare and in related fields such as public policy, public health, gerontology, psychology, education, and law.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN SOCIAL WORK

BASW Coordinator—Yeon-Shim Lee

Undergraduate Advisers—Gupta, Hermoso, Hines, Knox, Lee, Lemmon, Lenz-Rashid, Levy, Redman, Shapiro, and Sung.

Admission to Program

Applicants must first meet the general university requirements pertaining to the admission of undergraduate students. Applications are made initially through the university undergraduate admissions office, and then forwarded to the School of Social Work. The school will send the applicant its own application and request for additional information and materials to be used to determine admissibility.

The school's admissions evaluation is based on prior academic performance, including completion of the four prerequisite courses, human biology, introductory psychology, introductory sociology, and macroeconomics. Other considered factors include potential for professional social work practice as demonstrated by previous employment/volunteer experiences; and knowledge of and experiences with historically oppressed, under-served, and under-represented individuals, families, groups, and communities. In determining admissions, reviewers also consider the congruence between the applicant’s educational objectives and the School's mission, philosophy, and goals.

Students are required to maintain a C minimum grade in all courses within the major. Students not maintaining this average will be dropped from the social work program.

The following social work courses are required and open to majors only: S W 300, 301, 302, 352, 400, 401, 402, 410, 450, 456, 470, 502, 503, 504, 505.

Prerequisites: Students must complete all GE Segment I and II requirements, including four social work prerequisite courses: human biology, macroeconomics, psychology, and sociology. Students must complete the four prerequisites prior to entrance into the social work program, and they must receive a grade of C- or better or a pass grade in all four prerequisite courses. Freshmen and sophomore students planning to major in social work should consult with an adviser in the College of Health and Human Services Student Resource Center before enrolling in courses that fulfill General Education requirements.

NOTE: The Director of Field Education works with students to find placements. Before entering field internships, students must have completed 24 units of their junior year courses with a grade of C or better.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Junior Year—Fall Semester Units
SW 300 U.S. Social Welfare I: Past, Present, and Future 3
SW 302 Introduction to Social Service Organizations 3
SW 352 Gender, Sexism, and Social Welfare 3
SW 400 Social Work Practice I 3
SW 410 Human Development and the Social Services 3
Total 15
Junior Year—Spring Semester
SW 301 U.S. Social Welfare II: Problems, Policies, and Programs 3
SW 401 Social Work Practice II 3
SW 402 Interviewing Skills in Social Work 3
SW 470 Social Differences and Social Work Practice 3
Total 12
Senior Year—Fall Semester
SW 350 Child Welfare (may be taken in Spring Semester, Senior Year) 3
SW 456 Urban Community Organizing 3
SW 502 Seminar on Field Work Experience I 2
SW 503 Field Experience in the Social Services I 2
Total 10
Senior Year—Spring Semester
SW 450 Introduction to Research in Social Work 3
SW 504 Seminar on Field Work Experience II 2
SW 505 Field Experience in the Social Services II 2
Total 7
Total for major 44

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK

MSW Coordinator—Jerry Shapiro

MSW Program Advisers—Gupta, Hermoso, Hines, Knox, Lee, Lemmon, Lenz-Rashid, Levy, Redman, Shapiro, and Sung.

Admission to Program

Applicants must first meet the general university requirements pertaining to the admission of graduate students. In addition, applicants must demonstrate academic and professional commitments to social work and the values and philosophical foundations of the School's mission. To be considered for admission into the MSW Program, all must apply for both Graduate School and School of Social Work admissions.

Admission to the M.S.W. Program is competitive. Application forms and materials can be accessed online via the School of Social Work website: http://www.sfsu.edu/~socwork/new/home.

School admission decisions are based on several areas, including potential for professional practice as demonstrated by previous employment/volunteer experiences; value congruence to the School's mission; and knowledge, experience, and relationship of the applicant to oppressed, under-served and under-represented individuals, families,, groups, and communities; and academic performance (especially most recent). The significance of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate program in social work is recognized, but applicants with a B.A.S.W. degree are not given advanced standing.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Entry Level Writing Proficiency

The School of Social Work is committed to enhancing all students’ ability to communicate in an effective and professional manner, both orally and in writing. Further, the School promotes efforts to ensure that all forms of communication are culturally sensitive and appropriate.

To prepare practitioners for the challenges and responsibilities of advocacy within professional settings, the School of Social work pursues a rigorous writing proficiency standard in the B.A.S.W. and M.S.W. programs. Formal writing assignments are integrated into the structure of classes with the expectation that students progressively expand and refine their mastery of organizing ideas and expressing purposeful thinking. Written communication is a core competency in both the B.A.S.W. and M.S.W. degree programs.

Exit Level Writing Proficiency

The culmination of student writing is completed when graduate students write their final culminating project for the MSW degree. They choose either a professional practice project or a thesis. The final projects include, as a minimum, the following sections:

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, the school maintains the following additional requirements:

Students may transfer up to 12 units towards the MSW from other accredited graduate programs of 30-60 units in cognate fields, subject to the approval of their adviser and the Director of the School. Students should consult with their adviser to establish equivalency. Units used to obtain a previous degree may not be used toward the MSW.

NOTE: The Director of Field Education meets and works with all students to help them locate a suitable field internship for the academic year.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Requirements Units
SW 700 History and Philosophy of Social Welfare 3
SW 701 Social Policy Analysis 3
SW 710 Human Behavior and the Social Environment 3
SW 720 Research Methods in Social Work 3
SW 721 Seminar: Evaluative Research Methods in Social Work1 or 3
SW 820 Seminar: Advanced Research Methodology in Social Work
SW 730 Social Work Practice Methods 3
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 2
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 2
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 770 Ethnic and Cultural Concepts and Principles I 3
SW 771 Ethnic and Cultural Concepts and Principles II 3
SW 895 Research Project in Social Work or 3
SW 898 Master's Thesis
Minimum core units 33
Program Emphasis total (one area chosen from the emphases listed below) 27
Minimum total 60

Emphases

Each student is admitted into one of the following three emphases and begins work in this selected area after completion of the first year urban generalist curriculum.

Administration and Planning (A and P)

The focus of the Administration and Planning Emphasis is on the development and sustenance of responsive, ethnically sensitive, effective, and efficient social service agencies and community organizations. The emphasis includes knowledge from the areas of social development and developmental enhancement, as well as a distinct knowledge base rooted in planning and organizational theory. Courses emphasize program development and evaluation, budget and personnel management, staff training and supervision, fundraising, and proposal writing.

Administration and Planning Program Units
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 3
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 3
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 800 Planning and Program Development 3
SW 811 Organizations, Institutions, and Communities 3
SW 850 Human Services Administration I 3
SW 864 Human Services Administration II 3
SW 880 Computer Utilization in Human Services Administration 2
Electives on advisement 5
Minimum total for emphasis 27

Individuals, Families, and Groups (IFG)

Social work practice with individuals, families, and groups is grounded in a biopsychosocial approach to direct service. The social worker functions as a multi-role practitioner including the following: case worker, case manager, leader, facilitator, broker, advocate, counselor, educator, or resource specialist. The practice methods emphasize the importance of promoting the strengths of individuals, rather than focusing on deficits or pathology. The goal of IFG practice is to ameliorate stressors within a life course context of human development and functioning. The practitioner’s attention is directed toward enhancing the coping abilities of individuals, families, and groups in dealing with aspects of their interpersonal environment through empowering processes. Recognition of issues of diversity is fundamental to culturally competent IFG practice.

Individuals, Families, and Groups Program Units
SW 810 Health, Illness, and Disordered Behavior 3
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 3
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 3
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 800 Planning and Program Development or 3
SW 801 Change Strategies and Professional Values or
SW 835 Theories, Methods, and Strategies for Social Action and Change or
SW 850 Human Services Administration I
SW 830 Seminar: Social Casework 3
SW 832 Seminar: Social Group Work 3
SW 831 Seminar: Advanced Social Casework or 3
SW 833 Seminar: Advanced Social Group Work
Electives on advisement 4
Minimum total for emphasis 27

Social Action and Change

This emphasis focuses on change strategies, resource mobilization, and advocacy to achieve social justice. In the context of mezzo and macro environments, focus is on theories, methods, and practices leading to innovation and change to improve the lives of historically oppressed, under-served and under-represented populations. Students study and analyze policies, assess organizations and community needs, influence and shape decisions, build coalitions, engage as activist, and develop action plans, equitable processes, and just solutions. Practitioner roles include: analyst, activist, advocate, organizer, planner, developer, programmer, instigator, innovator, researcher, and implementer. .

Social Action and Change Program Units
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 3
SW 740 Field Work Instruction 3
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar2 1
SW 800 Planning and Program Development 3
SW 801 Change Strategies and Professional Values 3
SW 811 Organizations, Institutions, and Communities 3
SW 835 Theories, Methods, and Strategies for Social Action and Change 3
SW 836 Social Action and Change for Economic and Social Justice 3
Electives on advisement 4
Minimum total for emphasis 27

Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Social Work Designation

Coordinator—Christina Feliciana

Graduate social work students may pursue the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) while simultaneously completing their MSW requirements. They are required to take all coursese in the Individual, Families, and Groups (IFG) emphasis and take a field placement in a public school (K–12), supervised by an individual with a PPSC credential. Interested MSW students with a SAC or A & P emphasis can also complete the requirements; they should set up an interview with the PPSC Coordinator.

The PPSC field placement and specialized course work are designed to be completed in the second year of MSW preparation. In addition to completing all courses in their area of emphasis, students are required to take the following courses for the PPSC

The PPSC field placement and specialized course work are designed to be completed in the second year of MSW preparation and are taken in the following order.

Fall Semester Units
SW 740 Fieldwork Instruction 3
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar 1
SW 855 School Social Work 3
Spring Semester
SW 740 Fieldwork Instruction 3
SW 741 Graduate Field Seminar 1
SW 760 Social Work and Law 3

Beginning in 2007, the School of Social Work offers a Post Masters PPSC Program for persons who possess an MSW from an accredited social work institution.3 Each student’s portfolio of prior classes and experiences are assessed to determine what must be completed to meet the requirements for a Post Masters PPSC. For details, one may contact the PPSC Coordinator, Christina Feliciana, at 415-405-0942 or cfeli@sfsu.edu.

Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program

Coordinator—Felicia Murray

The School of Social Work is part of a consortium of seventeen graduate social work programs in California to administer the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. This program, administered by the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC), was created to prepare MSW students for careers in public child welfare service.

The full-time program provides a number of student stipends for two years of graduate school. Students must spend one year in a county child welfare department with Title IV-E children and one year in a related county or non-profit program serving child welfare clients. In return for receiving a stipend, students must work in public child welfare for at least two years after they graduate. This program is driven by child welfare competencies that were developed by universities and county welfare directors. These competencies are integrated throughout the curriculum and are further enhanced by special workshops on current topics related to the field.

All students who are admitted to the MSW program are eligible to apply for the Title IV-E program. They will go through selection that can include an in-person interview. Priority is given to applicants who are current employees of county child welfare agencies and applicants who reflect the diversity of clients served by California's public child welfare agencies.

Mental Health Stipend Program

Coordinator—Sheila Hembury

The California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) has granted ten stipends to the School of Social Work to support second year graduate students interested in public mental health. These stipends are the result of the Mental Health Services Act (funded by Proposition 63) and are part of a five year workforce development initiative. For one year's academic year stipend of $18,500, the student agrees to "payback" by working in public mental health for one calendar year. This can include positions in public programs or contract agencies funded by Behavioral Health grants. For further information please call Sheila Hembury at (415) 338-7530.

Ongoing funding for this program is uncertain. Current information can be obtained from the program's coordinator, Sheila Hembury, at (415) 338-7530 or shehe@sfsu.edu.

The Institute for Multicultural Research and Social Work Practice

Director—Liz Dunbar Knox

The School of Social Work ’s Institute for Multicultural Research and Social Work Practice (IMRSWP) was established in 1988 as the Center for Cross Cultural Research and Social Work Practice. In 1992, the name changed to the current name. All SFSU social work students and faculty may become members of this institute.

The IMRSWP’s mission states that it "promotes respect for and knowledge of diverse cultures. It seeks to develop effective methods for appropriately working in a complex and multiculturally diverse environment. It disseminates cross-cultural information through research, publication, education, and training. The central focus is on empowerment of individuals, families, and communities. The commitment is to progressive societal changes. Collaborative and cooperative efforts in multiple settings -- from work place to ethnic communities -- are emphasized.”

The IMRSWP’s goals are to:

  1. Conduct research that promotes greater knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures.
  2. Develop methods to enhance effectiveness and appropriateness in working with diverse populations. Use collaborative and participatory methods.
  3. Disseminate research findings and educational information to students, organizations, and the general public via publications, presentations, workshops, and consultations.
  4. Work with social work students interested in multicultural service delivery systems, and provide ongoing resources and support services to enhance their educational experiences.
  5. Conduct evaluations and needs assessments of organizations and communities.
  6. Analyze policies and make recommendations congruent to the Institute’s mission.
  7. Sponsor conferences and workshops that focus on cross-cultural research and social work practice.

Bay Area Academy

Executive Director—Rodger Lum

The Bay Area Academy (BAA) was founded in 1997 by the Bay Area Social Service Consortium (BASSC) and is one of four regional training academies funded by the California Department of Social Services. This project, which is under the School of Social Work, provides training services in child welfare and adult protective services. Their mission is “. . . to enhance professional development through responsive training, education and organizational capacity building that support public human services in the greater San Francisco Bay Area communities and beyond.”

Its vision is “to educate, support and inspire those dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, youth, adults, and families in our communities.”

Consistent with their vision and mission, the BAA provides child welfare-related education and training services to 12 Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma. Another State-funded project allows the BAA to provide special training throughout California utilizing a foster youth perspective taught by former foster youth. Adult protective services trainings are offered statewide to 58 counties in California.


Footnotes

  1. Must be taken by students pursuing the Administration and Planning or Social Development Emphases.
  2. SW 741 is taken concurrently with SW 740 and is required each semester that the student is in field. Students in the planned, part-time program who are in field placement for two semesters as opposed to four semesters will take a total of 2 units of SW 741. They will need to take an additional 2 units of electives on advisement to make up the total of 4 units required for SW 741.
  3. Post Masters PPSC students do not take SW 740 and SW 741 concurrently.


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