Jun 22, 2021  
2020-2021 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
    
2020-2021 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, M.S.W.


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Program Description

Clinical social workers are mental health professionals who bring a holistic perspective to work with individuals, groups, and communities. Clinical social workers use a person-in-environment approach to consider how the micro, mezzo, and macro systems interact to influence the client system’s lived experience. All clinical work, including diagnosis and treatment, considers the biological, psychological, and social aspects of individual functioning as well as the cultural and spiritual aspects of the person, group, and community.

The Clinical Social Work program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota places particular emphasis on the profession’s call to act in solidarity with the community to address social injustice. The curriculum incorporates tools to identify and respond to individual and community needs related to the adverse effects of poverty and oppression on mental health and well-being. The MSW program will be in candidacy for accreditation with the Council on Social Work Education.

Mission

The Master of Social Work Program (MSW) at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota prepares social work practitioners to partner with individuals, families, and communities to respond to societal and personal challenges. From a grounding in the Lasallian core principles and virtues of responding to the needs of the disadvantaged, the MSW Program instills social work knowledge, values, and skills to serve the community and work toward social justice.

Vision

We envision a world where all individuals’ material and emotional needs are met, and individuals and families live in communities that are supportive, focused on the common good, and allow all members to thrive.

Values

The MSW program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota espouses values and practices that echo Lasallian principles:

  • Cultural respect based on personal reflection, acknowledging, engaging, and celebrating all differences.
  • Actions to be “in solidarity with the poor and advocate for those suffering from injustices.
  • Respect for and honoring of the dignity of all individuals, families, and communities.
  • Perspective of bio/psycho/social/spiritual/cultural health, functioning, and interactions of systems at the individual, family, and community levels.

Program Outcomes and Indicators

The following outcomes and indicators outline the competencies for the Master of Social Work Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The outcomes follow the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) generalist practice competencies and the clinical competencies that extend into a clinical specialization. Generalist level indicators (G) primarily outline the learning focus for the program’s first 30 credits; the Clinical (C) level indicators focus the learning for the final 30 credits.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to be able to do the following:

1.   Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior. 

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to
  2. context.
  3. Use reflection and self-regulation to examine personal assumptions and values and to identify professional strengths, limitations, and challenges.
  4. Articulate a clear identity as social work professionals.
  5. Develop and maintain therapeutic, culturally responsive client relationships within the person-in-environment and strengths perspectives.
  6. Maintain professional demeanor through oral and written communication.
  7. Use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes.
  8. Use supervision and consultation to guide professional decision making.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Demonstrate professional use of self with client(s).
  2. Understand and identify professional strengths, limitations, and challenges.
  3. Develop, manage, and maintain therapeutic relationships with clients within the person-in-environment and strengths perspectives.
  4. Apply ethical decision-making skills to issues specific to clinical social work.
  5. Identify and use knowledge of relationship dynamics, including power differentials.
  6. Recognize and manage personal biases as they affect the therapeutic relationship in the service of the clients’ well-being.

2.   Engage diversity and difference in practice.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Apply an authentic appreciation of diversity and difference to systematically cultivate a current knowledge base about many forms of diversity.
  2. Apply a strengths perspective to communicate the relevance and value of diversity and difference in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  3. Apply an intersectional understanding of diversity and difference in practice with clients and constituencies.
  4. Present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts on their own experiences.
  5. Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to minimize the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.
  6. Recognize misapplication of culturally bound practice knowledge, models, and structures at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.
  7. Demonstrate respectful engagement with others’ ideas, behaviors, and beliefs.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Apply an intersectional understanding of diversity and difference in practice with clients and constituencies.
  2. Apply diverse frames of reference to generate and evaluate practice decisions and actions.
  3. Recognize and act to correct misapplication of culturally bound practice knowledge, models, and structures at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.

3.   Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Develop critical understanding of potentially challenging effects of economic, social, racial, and cultural factors in the lives of clients and client systems.
  2.  Critically assess individual and institutional social work practices in terms of their effectiveness in advancing human rights and furthering social, economic, and environmental justice.
  3. Advocate for human rights and social justice – including mental health parity and the reduction of health disparities – at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination, and historical trauma or injustice on clients and client systems to guide treatment planning, intervention, and delivery of services.
  2. Use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination, and historical trauma on clients and client systems to guide treatment planning and intervention.
  3. Advocate at multiple levels for mental health parity and reduction of health disparities for diverse populations.

4.   Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Frame vital questions clearly in both the creation and consumption of research.
  2. Utilize foundational knowledge of research practice and methodologies to critically assess the inherent strengths, limitations, and cultural inclusivity of existing research and practice phenomena.
  3. Utilize practice experience and wisdom (praxis) to understand the continuum of inquiry.
  4.  Apply scientific inquiry and research – including evidence-based practices – in the process of assessment and in determining appropriate interventions.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Contribute to the generation of new research by engaging in critical assessment, reflection and research of one’s own social work practice.
  2. Use research methodology to evaluate clinical practice effectiveness and outcomes.
  3. Use the evidence-based practice process in clinical assessment and intervention with clients.
  4. Participate in the generation of new clinical knowledge, through research and practice.
  5. Use research methodology to evaluate clinical practice effectiveness and/or outcomes.

5.   Engage in policy practice.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Develop awareness of human rights related practice and policy development at the national and international levels.
  2. Assess and communicate evidence-based knowledge about how organizational, community, state, and federal policies related to social, economic, and environmental welfare impact delivery of and access to social services.
  3. Prioritize advocacy strategies that include and are accountable to affected clients and constituencies.
  4. Advance the synergistic relationship between practice-informed policy and policy-informed practice.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice with sensitivity to diverse cultural contexts.
  2. Anticipate how policy change at organizational, community, state, and federal levels is likely to impact client and constituency well-being, service delivery, and access to social services.
  3. Communicate to stakeholders the implication of policies and policy change in the lives of clients.
  4. Use evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence in advocacy for policies that advance social and economic well-being.
  5. Advocate with and inform administrators and legislators to influence policies that impact clients and service.

6.   Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Build awareness of the impact of positional and personal power on the dynamics of the therapeutic relationships (right to self-determination).
  2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies.
  3. Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies to develop a culturally responsive change alliance.
  4. Communicate with clarity and coherence.  
  5. Attend to the interpersonal dynamics and contextual factors that both strengthen and potentially threaten the therapeutic alliance.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Develop a culturally responsive therapeutic relationship.
  2. Attend to the interpersonal dynamics and contextual factors that both strengthen and potentially threaten the therapeutic alliance.
  3. Establish a relationally based process that encourages clients to be equal participants in the establishment of treatment goals and expected outcomes.

7.   Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Apply critical thinking to collected, organized data to interpret information from clients and constituencies.
  2. Evaluate relevant information and its sources.
  3. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to produce strengths-oriented culturally-responsive analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies.
  4. Develop and continuously renew mutually agreed-upon intervention goals and objectives, based on the ongoing critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies.
  5. Maximize opportunities for clients to exercise self-determination and self-advocacy.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Establish fluency in use of the DSM-5 to create diagnostic and clinical formulations and critically reflect on the social-cultural context of its use.
  2. Use multidimensional bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment tools.
  3. Assess clients’ readiness for change.
  4. Assess client coping strategies to reinforce and improve adaptation to life situations, circumstances, and events.
  5. Select and modify appropriate intervention strategies based on continuous clinical assessment.
  6. Utilize research-supported diagnostic protocols, the DSM-5, and current research in psychopathology in identifying differential diagnoses and constructing clinical formulations.

8.   Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Implement appropriate and mutually-agreed intervention strategies based on assessment, research knowledge, application of experience, values, and preferences to enhance capacities of clients and constituencies.
  2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other culturally responsive multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies.
  3. Use interprofessional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial mutually agreed upon and culturally responsive outcomes.
  4. Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies.
  5. Facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Demonstrate the use of appropriate clinical techniques for a range of presenting concerns identified in the assessment, including crisis intervention strategies as needed.
  2. Build awareness of the skill sets and competencies comprising a scope of practice.
  3. Critically evaluate, select, and apply best practices and evidence-based interventions.
  4. Collaborate with other professionals to coordinate treatment interventions.

9.   Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social workers demonstrate the following foundational knowledge and skills (G):

  1. Select and use appropriate culturally responsive methodologies and methods for evaluation of outcomes.
  2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other culturally responsive multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes.
  3. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes.
  4. Apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.

Advanced practitioners in clinical social work demonstrate the following specialized knowledge and skills (C):

  1. Evaluate effectiveness in research and practice, including how therapeutic outcomes are defined, measured, and communicated.
  2. Contribute to the theoretical knowledge base of the social work profession through practice-based research.
  3. Use clinical evaluation of the process and/or outcomes to develop best practice interventions for a range of bio-psycho-social-spiritual conditions.

Program Structure and Delivery

The Master of Social Work program is offered fully online.

Degree Requirements


Master of Social Work Degree Options

Option 1: Social Work - M.S.W. with Clinical Social Work Specialization  
Option 2: Social Work - M.S.W. with Advanced Standing Program  

Faculty


The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements


Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Advanced Standing Admission Requirements


  • Candidates must have earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited program, recognized through its International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services, or covered under a memorandum of understanding with international social work accreditors, within the last 10 academic years (for example, if a BSW was conferred in spring 2009, the student would need to enroll in and begin courses no later than spring 2019 in order to satisfy this requirement).
  • If BSW was earned more than 10 academic years ago, students may be admitted as Advanced Standing, but are required to successfully complete four social work generalist courses before being admitted to the program: Generalist Practice I and II and Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) I and II. If these courses are not available, an alternative will be developed with the student.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for all undergraduate classes must have been earned.
  • For students who do not meet the GPA requirements, the MSW Program Director will review transcripts. The student will be required to enroll in Saint Mary’s MSW equivalent courses for any BSW social work courses in which the student earned less than a B or A/B.
  • Additionally, regardless of GPA, if an Advanced Standing student received a C or below in BSW core social work course, they will be required to enroll in the MSW equivalents at Saint Mary’s.
  • Students are asked to address their undergraduate performance in the personal statement for admission.

Application Process


Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).  Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) will also be accepted.
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities Campus.
 

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55404

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