Course Descriptions (SASS)


SASS 350. Seminars in Applied Social Sciences (3)
Survey of special subject areas. Topics vary in response to faculty and student interests. Small group discussion. Prerequisite depends on content.


SASS 390. Independent Study for Undergraduates (1 - 3)
Individual study in Applied Social Sciences involving specific programs of reading, research, and special projects. Requires prior approval of faculty member directing the project. Recommended preparation: 12 hours of social science courses; approval of MSASS associate dean.


SASS 391. Seminar on Community Needs and Services (3)
The course is directed towards students interested in exploring the relationship between community needs and service delivery. The course will have both a classroom and experiential community component. The goal of the course is to provide students an opportunity to experience first-hand the application of theoretical knowledge to community needs.


SASS 426. Research Methods in Social Work (3)
This course provides an overview of the basic concepts used in the conduct of scientific inquiry and the tools of research methodology. It introduces students to the issues involved in the design, implementation, analysis and utilization of social research. Students are encouraged to focus on a practice-related research problem in their individual or group research projects, as well as to focus on research issues relevant to their specialization, field of practice, or field of practicum setting. Students are alerted to the risks of cultural bias in research throughout the course through examples and scientific readings.


SASS 440. Human Development I: Child and Adolescent (3)
This course offers an overview of normal individual development throughout the life cycle. Psychosocial theory, learning theories, and social role theory constitute the theoretical base for this foundation course. Developmentally determined objectives and tasks for every life stage are examined in the context of biological, genetic, psychological, familial, and sociocultural factors. Special emphasis is placed on the impact of gender, health, and minority status, and on community institutions of human development. This course supports the foundation social work methods course by introducing substantive content on human development as a framework for assessment, prevention, and intervention with psychosocial problems. Curricularly related to the advanced sociobehavioral courses on human development and developmental dysfunction, this course provides a basic understanding of normal human development, which can serve as a contextual framework for developmental deviations from the norm.


SASS 441. Human Development II: Adult (3)
This course builds on SASS 440 Human Development I (child & adolescent) by compassing the general themes of feeling (emotion), thinking (cognition), and acting (behavior) with adult emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development. Students will understand the differences and similarities between earlier (child and adolescent) and later (adult, including older adult) emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development by examining, across the life-span, the life-span, the idea, the idea/concept of: (1) adult development as gains/losses, (2) adult development as plasticity and variation (i.e. development can take many forms and can change). (3) adult development as risks, conflicts, protective factors, and resilience and (4) adult development as context (e.g. family, society, gender culture, ethnicity, social class, discrimination, sexual orientation, and socio-historical (i.e., cohort contexts). Prereq: SASS 440.


SASS 470. Social Policy (3)
This course provides basic perspectives on social policies related to poverty, health, aging, mental health, substance abuse, and discrimination. An analytical framework is used to systematically identify, define, and analyze social problems and policies. The course also introduces the student to social planning and service delivery.


SASS 477. Direct Practice Foundation Methods Skills (3)
The goal of this course is to develop culturally competent social work generalist practitioners who are armed with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice ethically with individuals and families in diverse social work practice settings. The course introduces major social work theories (i.e., systems-ecological theory) and intervention approaches (i.e., problem-solving). Understanding and practicing the skills necessary to carry out generalist practice will be a major focus on both lectures and skills lab.


SASS 478. Macro and Policy Practice Skills (3)
This course focuses on the development and application of practice skills in work with task groups, communities, and social policy institutions. It includes both didactic and experiential teaching and learning. The course is built on first semester foundation learning, particularly in the areas of social policy, diversity, discrimination, and oppression, and the direct practice skills lab. It will also draw on knowledge taught in the second semester course on theories of groups, organizations, and communities. Finally, there will be interaction with the field seminar and the field practicum. Prereq: SASS 477.


SASS 484. Theories of Oppression and Social Justice (3)
This course provides students with a basis for developing their ability to value a diverse world and to understand how discrimination and oppression operate to limit the life opportunities of members of minority and disenfranchised groups. Students will have the opportunity to develop and enhance their personal and professional awareness of their own cultural identity and to use this as a basis for developing their competence to work with individuals and groups different from themselves. Selected theoretical perspectives will provide a descriptive and explanatory framework for critically analyzing the manifestation of discrimination and oppression and their impact on the affected populations. Social work’s response to discrimination and oppression within the profession and in society at large will also be examined.


SASS 495. Field Education Seminar (1)
This seminar prepares students for entry into field education. The course introduces students to a number of topics that are considered basic to beginning the social work field practicum.


SASS 500. Special Topics in Applied Social Sciences (1 - 6)


SASS 505. Adoption: Practice and Policy (3)
This course covers the concepts, knowledge, skills, and policies associated with contemporary adoption practice. The practice method reflects a triad perspective, meaning that adoption is examined from the viewpoints of birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents. For each topic area, social work roles, activities, tasks, and skills are explored along with policy issues. Exemplars and case studies are presented for illustration purposes. Consideration of triad needs at different life cycle stages are presented. The issues of ethnically competent adoption practice are emphasized throughout the course in each content area.


SASS 510. Health Disparities (3)
This course aims to provide theoretical and application tools for students from many disciplinary backgrounds to conduct research and develop interventions to reduce health disparities. The course will be situated contextually within the historical record of the United States, reviewing social, political, economic, cultural, legal, and ethical theories related to disparities in general, with a central focus on health disparities. Several frameworks regarding health disparities will be used for investigating and discussing the empirical evidence on disparities among other subgroups (e.g., the poor, women, uninsured, disabled, and non-English speaking populations) will also be included and discussed. Students will be expected to develop a research proposal (observational, clinical, and/or intervention) rooted in their disciplinary background that will incorporate materials from the various perspectives presented throughout the course, with the objective of developing and reinforcing a more comprehensive approach to current practices within their fields. Offered as CRSP 510, EPBI 510, MPHP 510, NURS 510, and SASS 510.


SASS 515. Family Caregiving (3)
The purpose of this interdisciplinary graduate-level seminar is to explore the theoretical research, policy, and practice issues related to informal caregiving of the elderly. Topics will include the historical and cultural context of family caregiving, theoretical paradigms (i.e., adult development, stress and coping), characteristics of caregivers (i.e., gender, relationship, race, ethnicity, employment status, geographical setting), characteristics of the elderly care-receiver (i.e., type of cognitive and physical impairments), ethics, physical and mental health outcomes, service delivery issues, institutionalization, and bereavement. Through readings, discussions, guest lectures, and paper presentations, students will learn about the complexities of informal caregiving of the elderly from a range of disciplinary perspectives in order to improve assessment and practice skills in a variety of settings. Students are encouraged to focus on issues relevant to their discipline, specialization, or field of practice for their seminar papers.


SASS 517. Family System Interventions (3)
This course covers the knowledge, concepts, and skills associated with working families. The practice method will reflect a family systems approach, integrating theories and approaches within a systemic perspective. It will build practice skills in assessing, interviewing, and intervening with families and emphasize a strength-based perspective on intervention with families. Considerations of family issues at different developmental stages will be presented. The issue of ethically competent and community-based social work practice with families will be stressed throughout the course for each content area. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SASS 532. Analytic Tools for Social Community Development (3)
Students will be able to use quantitative and qualitative methods for gathering, analyzing and interpreting information that can support community and social development. Students will develop the skills to apply geographic information system (GIS) tools, community survey methods, ethnographic methods, social indicators and demographic analysis. Students will also be introduced to web tools for community organizing and development. Prereq: SASS 426 or SRCH 426 or SASS 400-TR.


SASS 534. Community and Social Development Perspectives (3)
An overview of the community and social development field. This course covers the history of community and social development in the U.S. and abroad, theoretical and empirical underpinnings of this work, major approaches, institutions and public policy related to community and social development. Focus will be placed on understanding and analyzing community power, and the relationship between community and regional power structures. The history of institutional involvement in community and social development (e.g. World Bank, United Nations, Banking Industry, Intermediaries, etc.) will be traced as well as the policies that affect community and social development.


SASS 537. Medical Aspects of Disabilities (3)
The focus is on the study of children with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Related issues of development, diagnosis, treatment, and family concerns are included. Continuum of care from hospital to home considered. Involvement of the family as a member of the treatment and care team is emphasized. Context of treatment is considered from a multidisciplinary team approach.


SASS 538. Global Aging (3)
A silent revolution is taking place as we enter the 21st century. The “globe” is graying! Population aging is a worldwide phenomenon. This rapidly changing demographic environment has important implications for social policy and the quality of life. The Global Aging Course examines the historical, economic, social, and political dimensions of the aging revolution. It then focuses on cross-national comparisons of policies and programs for older persons. Finally, global issues and action identified by the United Nations International Plan of Action on Aging are discussed.


SASS 539. Early Intervention: Theories and Practice (3)
This course both describes the characteristics of young children with disabilities and examines the intervention models and practices that are used to address the developmental and social-emotional needs of these children. The course describes the legislative and philosophical foundations for contemporary early intervention practice. It discusses the meaning of evidence based practice and examines contemporary early intervention practices from this perspective. The readings and assignments for this course have been designed to reflect the course objectives.


SASS 547. Problem Identification, Screening and Assessment/Diagnosis (3)
This course will provide a bio-psycho-social approach to identification, screening, assessment and diagnoses of common psychosocial problems/dysfunctions experienced clients. This course introduces the student to the etiology, recognition and diagnoses of these problems in the context of social work practice. Through use of a competency-based model, students will be introduced to techniques used to screen, assess and diagnose problems such as serious mental illness, suicidality, depression and anxiety, substance abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, and exposure trauma. Students will also become familiar with the use of the DSM IV TR in providing axis I diagnostic formulations. A skills-based approach will be used in presenting students with specific screening, assessment and diagnostic protocols. This course is designed to incorporate a range of issues associated with stages across the lifespan from childhood to late life. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SASS 549. Theory/Practice Approaches in Direct Practice Social Work (3)
This required, three credit course introduces selected theories and practice approaches commonly used in social work with individuals, families and groups. The course is designed to provide students with knowledge of theoretical explanations and practice frameworks commonly used in direct social work practice. The course also encourages students to apply critical thinking skills to theory and its practical applications. Case presentations, class discussions and assignments will require students to apply various theoretical perspectives to common problems and issues in social work practice. The course will highlight the use of professional social work values and attention to human development issues, diversity and cultural perspectives as they apply in each theory or framework. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400 TR.


SASS 563. Resources for Community And Social Development (3)
Students will be able to understand and utilize the methods to identify, garner, and effectively use resources that promote community and social development. These methods can be applied to expanding resources for individuals, families, communities, and society, as well as to generate resources for organizations. While primarily focusing on financial resources, the course will also consider the important means of positioning an agency or organization to attract and receive resources and collaborate with others to put those resources to their most effective use. The skills that students practice in the course will include fund raising, grant development, financing, strategic partnerships and business deals, marketing, etc. The course will introduce proven models, such as low income tax credits, micro-enterprise, individual development accounts, and revolving loan programs. Students will also learn how to analyze and understand key domestic and international policies and institutions (e.g., foundations, banks, businesses, governments, associations) that relate to resources for community and social development.


SASS 564. Social Work Practice in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (3)
SASS 564 is an advanced direct practice concentration course focused upon knowledge, skills and values important for social work practice with people who abuse and/or are dependent on alcohol and other drugs. The content of SASS 564 directly builds upon the foundation direct practice course (SASS 477) and the required advanced course in screening and assessment (SASS 576). SASS 564 takes a bio-psycho-social approach to prevention, assessment and treatment of alcohol and other drug abuse and dependency (AODA) problems. This course introduces the student to the etiology and treatment of alcohol and other drug abuse in the context of social work practice. The historical background and the development of the evidence base of alcohol and other drug treatment interventions, self-help groups, and conceptual models of addiction will be presented. Students will explore their own attitudes and values toward AODA problems and how these affect treatment outcome as well as commonly used prevention and treatment approaches in social work with people who abuse and/or are dependent upon alcohol and other drugs. The course will use case materials to illustrate similarities and differences among various populations including minority/ethnic identity groups. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400-TR.


SASS 565. Community-Based Practice with Children and Families (3)
This course covers knowledge, concepts, and tools associated with contemporary child welfare practice. The practice method reflects a family centered or family based approach, meaning that the welfare of children cannot be considered separately from the families of which they are a part. For each topic area, major social work roles, activities, tasks and skills are explored along with problems and issues in implementation. Program exemplars and case studies are presented for illustration purposes and practical application of the skills and techniques presented. Child welfare services that promote safety, permanency, and child well-being are presented. Consideration of family needs at different developmental stages of the child and family life cycle are also presented. The issue of culturally competent community based social work practice is stressed throughout the course for each content area. While this is primarily a methods course, program delivery and policy issues are discussed as they relate to the socio-political and organizational contexts of practice. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SASS 567. CSD Practice I: Strategies for Assessing, Building and Organizing (3)
This course covers the frameworks and models in community assessment, community building and community organizing with a focus on the social processes in community development in the United States and internationally. Students will participate in a comparative analysis of models and learn specific skills used in community organizations and development practice, such as strategic planning, participatory action research, consciousness raising, and direct action. Through real world experience and case studies students will develop skills in neighborhood assessment, civic engagement, empowerment, leadership development, group work, relationship building, social capital formation, conflict resolution, democratic process, social policy analysis and change, and other methods. The course will provide specific applications of these models in relation to the dynamics of diversity and social justice.


SASS 569. CSD Practice II: Strategy for Designing and Implementing Community (3)
Students will learn about the design and implementation of community development in the U.S. and internationally. Content will include neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, workforce development, business development, cooperatives, micro-enterprise, and other models of development that originated internationally and have been adapted in the United States. Attention will be given to globalization and the cultural and economic context-whether in disadvantaged communities in the U.S. or in the developing world-and to the skills that foster cultural competence. Students will practice the skills necessary for mobilizing human capital, designing community and social change, revitalizing neighborhoods, promoting productive employment, and affecting social policy. Students will learn to apply these change strategies in ways that promote sustainable development and social justice in both this country and around the world. Prereq: SASS 567


SASS 574. Legal Issues in Social Work (3)

This course surveys the legal system as it affects social work, either direct service practice or in the development of human service policies and programs. Students are exposed to the basic trial court procedures and have the opportunity to develop necessary skills to testify. A paper is required in which the student analyzes and integrates the legal and social work issues on a proposed topic of interest.


SASS 575. Travel and Study Seminar (3)
This course acquaints the student with the socio-political factors that influence the development of social welfare systems in a selected country and the impact of these systems on the development and functioning of individuals, families, groups, or communities. The role of the emerging social work profession in social change is explored via the social welfare system. Topics focus on the health care, mental health, aging, child, and/or educational systems and are oriented towards direct practice, management, or community development.


SASS 576. Integrative Seminar in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Treatment (3)
This course is an advanced level course in the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Specialization that provides opportunities for students to increase their knowledge of topics in the areas of assessment, diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and other drug disorders. The seminar builds upon course material in Foundation Methods (477) and in the advanced methods course (SASS 549 and SASS 564). The seminar is intended to help students understand the evidence base for the treatment of substance use disorders and to explore selected areas of social work practice in intervention in the context of that evidence. Community applications of theory and techniques are stressed. The integrative Seminar in AODA Treatment uses a seminar format and provides students the opportunity to interact with treatment professionals from various treatment and practice settings. The seminar formal also facilitates individual learning: each student selects his or her own topic to pursue in depth. Each student is responsible for leading a minimum of one seminar presentation. Each student will select the topic for the seminar in consultation with the instructor. Coreq: SASS 477 and SSWM 564 or SASS 564.


SASS 580. Social Work Practice in Mental Health: Children and Adolescents (3)

This advanced methods course builds on the content from required foundation social work methods, policy and human development courses including Direct Practice Methods and Skills, Mental Health Policy and Service Delivery. This course complements the content of advanced methods courses including Social Work with People Who Have Chronic Mental Illness, Social Work in Child Abuse and Family Violence, and Interventions in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. This course develops biopsychosocial knowledge and intervention techniques related to professional settings specializing in child and adolescent mental health: hospitals, child guidance agencies, family service agencies, mental health centers, and residential treatment centers. Students learn to use development and clinical theory to guide interventions while, maximizing individual strengths, social work treatment centers. Students learn to use development and clinical theory to guide interventions while, maximizing individual strengths, social work values and ethics, and empowerment. Social and economic risk factors, such as poverty, discrimination, and oppression, are considered in the intervention process and in the utilization of mental health services. In addition, students learn to think critically about the myriad ways cultural diversity influences parenting, child and adolescent norms and expectations. Students utilize assessment skills, coupled with knowledge of development and clinical theory to explore clinical case studies. Prereq: SASS 440 and SASS 477 or SASS 400-TR.


SASS 581. Social Work Practice with Older Adults (3)
This course is an advanced methods course that builds on the knowledge gained in Foundation Methods. The content of SASS 581 directly builds upon the foundation direct practice course (SASS 477) and the required advanced course in screening and assessment (SASS 576). It is also a required course in the Aging Specialization for the MSSA. The course will focus on the persistent principles and emerging emphases in direct practice with older adults and their families. Students will be asked to develop a model of practice based on knowledge of this unique population, social work values, and practice concepts. The course includes special issues in assessment, strengths-base case management, and intervention approaches known to be effective with emotional disorders in older adults. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400-TR.


SASS 583. Social Work Practice in Mental Health Adults (3)
This advanced methods course builds on the content from required foundation social work methods, policy, and advanced sociobehavioral theory courses including Direct Practice Methods and Skills, Mental Health Policy and Service Delivery, Advanced Child and Adolescent Development and Dysfunction, and Adult Psychopathology. This course complements the content of advanced methods courses including Social Work with People Who Have Chronic Mental Illness, Social Work in Child Abuse and Family Violence, and Interventions in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. This course develops biopsychosocial knowledge and intervention techniques related to professional settings specializing in child and adolescent mental health: hospitals, child guidance agencies, family service agencies, mental health centers, and residential treatment centers. Students learn to use development and clinical theory to guide interventions while, maximizing individual strengths, social work values and ethics, and empowerment. Social and economic risk factors, such as poverty, discrimination, and oppression, are considered in the intervention process and in the utilization of mental health services. In addition, students learn to think critically about the myriad ways cultural diversity influences parenting, child and adolescent norms and expectations. Students utilize assessment skills, coupled with knowledge of development and clinical theory to explore clinical case studies. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400-TR.


SASS 584. Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Children and Adolescents (3)
Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Children and Adolescents is an advanced level course, a capstone course in the Mental Health Child and Adolescent Specialization, that provides opportunities for students to increase their knowledge of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. This course builds on the course material in SASS 580, SASS 477, SASS 549, and SASS 576. The seminar is intended to help students integrate theory and practice, especially in the context of public mental health and community-based, social service practice. The integrative Seminar in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents uses a seminar format facilitates individual learning and promotes a learning-to practice, reflective approach. The seminar assumes there are numerous evidenced-based models and practices and focuses student learning on the role of the professional use of self in the implementation of theory, technique, model, or intervention.


SASS 586. Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice (3)
The main focus of the seminar is to relate ethical principles to direct practice. Through lecture, discussion, group projects, and case examples, students gain a deeper understanding of ethical issues related to confidentiality, justice, client autonomy, whistle blowing, and other areas of great importance to social work practice today.


SASS 587. Integrative Seminar in Mental Health: Adults (3)
The Integrative Seminar in Social Work Practice with Adults is an advanced level course, a capstone course in the Mental Health Adult Specialization, that provides opportunities for students to increase their knowledge of assessment, diagnosis and treatment. This course builds on course material in SASS 583, SASS 477, and SASS 576. The seminar is intended to help students integrate theory and practice, especially in the context of public mental health and community-based, social service practice. The Integrative Seminar in Social Work Practice with Adults uses a seminar format and provides students the opportunity to interact with professionals, from various treatment and practice settings. The seminar format facilitates individual learning and promotes a learning to practice, reflective approach. The seminar assumes there are numerous evidenced-based models and practices and focuses student learning on the role of the professional use of self in the implementation of theory, technique, model, or intervention.


SASS 589. Social Work in Health: Chronic Illness (3)
This course is an interest-focused seminar, which consists of the instructor’s didactic presentations and students’ individual presentations. The instructor addresses the unique features of practice in healthcare settings within a community-based context perspective. Various social work interventions appropriate for use in healthcare are explored. Additional content focuses on developmentally determined issues for chronically ill children, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults, including sensitivity to issues of diversity in practice populations. Students select one chronic illness for intensive study. The chronic illness must be an organically-based disease process, not a mental illness or an addiction. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SASS 590. Field Practice (1 - 12)


SASS 594. Independent Study Abroad (1 - 12)

(Credit as arranged.)


SASS 598. Individual Reading (1 - 12)
Special written permission needed. See MSASS registrar.


SASS 601. Field Education 1 (2)
The overall goal of this course is to provide graduate level social work students with field related opportunities to develop foundation level competencies in the eight abilities by helping students apply knowledge of social work theory, skills, values and ethics acquired in the classroom in an agency setting. These collective experiences provide students with a forum to develop social work skills, integrate and operationalize the values and ethics inherent in professional practice, and confront social injustice as self-reflective, competent developing practitioners. The field instructor is based at the social service setting and provides the direct instruction of the student. The faculty advisor, who is based at the Mandel School, serves as a link between all parties, interprets the requirements and standards of the school, and participates and consults in the design of the student’s learning experience. The field instructor assigns tasks to the student according to the requirements of the Mandel School and the educational and experiential level of the student. Student, field instructor, and faculty field advisor all participate in various ways in the evaluation of the student’s work; the faculty advisor is responsible for assigning the grade.


SASS 602. Field Education II (3)
This course is designed to be taken by entering Advanced Standing students in the first semester of their master’s program and by Foundation level social work students in the second semester of their master’s program. It consists of a field practicum and participation in professional development opportunities. For students entering the program with advanced standing, there is an additional requirement of four logs and an integrative assignment, and periodic meetings with a field faculty advisor in addition to the field conference. The overall goal of this course is to provide graduate level social work students with field related opportunities to continue to develop foundation level competencies in the eight abilities by helping students apply knowledge of social work theory, skills, values, and ethics acquired in the classroom in an agency setting. The periodic meetings with the field faculty advisor are designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate classroom and field learning. These collective experiences provide students with a forum to develop social work skills, integrate and operationalize the values and ethics inherent in professional practice, and confront social injustice as self-reflective, competent, developing practitioners. Students spend 336 hours in field and professional development in SASS 602. Prereq: SASS 601 or SASS 400-TR.


SASS 603. Field Education III (3)
The overall goal of this course is to provide graduate level social work students with field related opportunities to continue to develop advanced level competencies in their area of concentration in the eight abilities by helping students apply knowledge of social work theory, skills, values and ethics acquired in the classroom in an agency setting. The periodic meetings with the field faculty advisor are designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate classroom and field learning. These collective experiences provide students with a forum to develop social work skills, integrate and operationalize the values and ethics inherent in professional practice, and confront social injustice as self-reflective, competent, developing practitioners. Students spend 336 hours in field and professional development in SASS 603. Prereq: SASS 602 or equivalent.


SASS 604. Field Education IV (3)
This course is designed to be taken by students in their advanced course of study. It consists of a field practicum and participation in professional development opportunities. The overall goal of this course is to provide graduate level social work students with field related opportunities to continue to develop advanced level competencies in their area of concentration in the eight abilities by helping students apply knowledge of social work theory, skills, values and ethics acquired in the classroom in an agency setting. The periodic meetings with the field faculty advisor are designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate classroom and field learning. These collective experiences provide students with a forum to develop social work skills, integrate and operationalize the values and ethics inherent in professional practice, and confront social injustice as self-reflective, competent, developing practitioners. Student, field instructor, and field faculty advisor all participate in the evaluation of the student’s work; the faculty advisor is responsible for assigning the grade. Students spend 336 hours in field and professional development in SASS 604. Prereq: SASS 603 or equivalent.


SASS 608. Philosophy of Science and Theory Building (3)
This is a required foundation course. The nature of theory is examined. Inductive and deductive methods for knowledge building are reviewed. Course content draws from philosophy of science as well as empirical and phenomenological research.


SASS 609. Theories of Social Welfare and Social Justice (3)
This is a foundation course required for all students. Theories of social welfare and social justice are examined. Course content draws from moral philosophy, economics, political science, cultural anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, and social welfare theory and provides students with a broad orientation to the field of theoretical social welfare.


SASS 610. Theories of Human Behavior: Macro and Micro Dimensions (3)
This course deals with labeling, socialization, ecological, structural-functional, and conflict theories as macro-level theories. This course ends with a review of cultural, social reproduction, and postmodern orientations.


SASS 613. Advanced Research Design (3)
This foundation course in research methods is required of all students. It is a prerequisite to the quantitative and qualitative courses. Research designs and methods relevant to social welfare planning, policy development, practice and administration are examined.


SASS 614. Models of Qualitative Research (3)
This required course introduces the social scientific paradigms for qualitative research and then explores varying qualitative research models, including ethnography, grounded theory and life history methods. Prereq: SASS 608, SASS 613, and SASS 618.


SASS 615. Social Statistics and Data Analysis (3)
This foundation course (or its equivalent) is required of all students. Content includes univariate, bivariate and inferential statistics, and the use of electronic data processing technology to manage and analyze data. Prereq: SASS 613.


SASS 616. Applied Regression and the General Linear Model (3)
This is the second required course in the research methods sequence for MSASS doctoral students. At the end of this course, students will be able to apply ordinary least squares regression and logistic regression in the analysis of social science data. They will learn to formulate research questions and hypotheses, specify statistical models, carry out the appropriate analyses, interpret their findings, and communicate their results clearly and effectively. Prereq: SASS 615 or equivalent approved by instructor.


SASS 617. Specialization Seminar (3)
This course focuses on problem definitions and research issues related to specialized populations, fields of service and practice roles. The issues selected as the focus are based on faculty and student interests. Prereq: SASS 614 or SASS 618.


SASS 618. Measurement Issues in Quantitative Research (3)
This course covers the operationalization of social science concepts and development of methods for their measurement. Issues covered include index and scale construction, validity, reliability, questionnaire design, factor analysis, measurement error, and missing data. Prereq: SASS 615 and SASS 616.


SASS 620. Theory and Research Base of Social Work Practice (3)
This course provides a critical overview of the major theories and the body of research informing contemporary social work practice. Theories will include the foundational, such as psychodynamic, ego-psychological, ecological and systems, along with trans-theoretical and post-modern theories. The course will integrate a discussion of the history of scientific inquiry in social work, particularly focusing on practice or intervention studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Criteria for evaluating individual studies and the evidence base in specific practice areas will be included, along with material on the current state of Evidence-Based Practice. Recommended preparation: SASS 610.


SASS 621. Social Welfare Policy (3)
This course focuses on the critical review and application of policy analysis frameworks related to social welfare policy. The conceptual, historical, ideological, and political foundations contributing to the development, formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of social welfare policies will be critiqued. Social welfare policies intended to ameliorate social ills (e.g., poverty, education, housing) will be analyzed using policy analysis frameworks in a critical and comparative fashion. Policy alternatives to respond to current and future social problems will be critically discussed for feasibility, viability and economic effects. Recommended preparation: SASS 610.


SASS 630. Seminar on Social Work Education (3)
This seminar examines the structure and content of social work education within the context of higher education in American society. Emphasis is placed on curriculum design and course development. The course also is designed to help students develop a strategic approach to teaching based on learning theory. Finally, attention is given to current issues and future directions for social work education.


SASS 632. Research Project (3)
This course provides students with the opportunity to work with specific faculty engaged in research studies either on an individual or group basis. Prereq: 614 and SASS 615.


SASS 635. Methodological Issues in Qualitative Research (3)
This course builds on SASS 614, Models of Qualitative Research. It focuses on the application of specific qualitative data-collection methods, data-analytic approaches, and strategies for representing findings from qualitative investigations. Prereq: SASS 614.


SASS 637. Individual Reading (1 - 18)
This is an individual reading course permitting students to select areas of interest and pursue these interests with specific faculty.


SASS 701. Dissertation Ph.D. (1 - 18)
This course is intended for students who have passed the qualifying examination and are actively working on their dissertation. Prereq: Predoctoral research consent or advanced to Ph.D. candidacy milestone.


Course Descriptions (SPPP)


SPPP 500. Special Topics in Social Work Policy (3)
This seminar course is intended for students who are interested in exploring advanced topics in social policy.


SPPP 502. Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Policy and Service Delivery (3)
This course explores selected current alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) problems using a problem analysis framework. Emphasis is placed on current and past AODA problem definitions as they affect policy and program development. Conceptualization of the problems resulting from AODA patterns of use and abuse, causation theories, the impact of cultural and social diversity as well as discrimination upon all client systems, and the role of local and national institutions which advocate for this population group are reviewed. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 510. Mental Health Policy and Service Delivery (3)
This course is designed for students preparing for careers as social workers in the mental health field with an understanding of mental health policy and service delivery at the federal, state, and local levels. Through readings, lectures, discussion, and written assignments, the course will aid students in developing a macro-level perspective of mental health policies and programs. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 511. Issues in Health Policy and Service Delivery (3)
This course examines health care policy issues and options, and highlights the development of health care policy in the U.S., the influence of health policy development, and the role of social work. It also examines the problems, policy, and program issues in the subsidy, financing, reorganization, and regulatory capacity of health policy. National, state, and local issues will be stressed. The course is for students in the health concentration but also welcomes students from other areas. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 512. Legislative and Political Process (3)
This course focuses on how to deal effectively with legislators, their staff, and legislative systems. The roles of money and information in legislative and political systems are examined. The process through which a bill moves to become law is explored, including critical points of intervention in that process. Lobbying legislators, including presentation of testimony and use of coalitions, is featured. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 513. Aging Policy and Service Delivery (3)
This course reviews current income, health, and social service policies for older Americans. It also investigates patterns and levels of care for the elderly. Trends and issues in policies and programs for seniors are analyzed in the context of the dimensions and differential characteristics of the aging population in the country. Some cross-national comparisons of services for the elderly are included in this analysis. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 520. Homelessness Policy and Service Delivery (3)
This course provides an understanding of homelessness and its incidence and prevalence, its origins, both historical and social, its consequences, and policy-based strategies for its prevention. The course investigates the impact of homelessness on single individuals, families with children, minorities, and vulnerable populations such as the mentally ill and alcoholics. Students, organized into a task force, examine a range of professional and community-based responses to the problem. The task force method enables students to assess the effects of public policy on homeless people, critique the effectiveness and adequacy of local shelter and service programs, and propose community-based strategies to prevent, stop, and better homelessness. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 525. AIDS Seminar (3)
This course is designed to provide an understanding of HIV/AIDS. The nature and prevalence of the disease, including its impact upon vulnerable populations such as children and youth, women, gay and lesbian populations, people of color, prisoners, IV drug users, and street people are examined. The course focuses on public policies, programs, and service delivery for HIV/AIDS at local, state, and national levels. Topics include the policy-making role of advocacy groups, the function of AIDS service organizations, and the design of educational and preventive programs. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


SPPP 529. Child and Family Policy and Service Delivery (3)
This course focuses on major federal legislation impacting children, youth, and families, examined in the context of community based social work policy/practice. It builds upon the foundation course in social welfare policy and enables students to use an advocacy approach to provide policy-informed services and to participate in policy and implementation and change. Prereq: SASS 470 or SASS 400TR.


Course Descriptions (SRCH)


SRCH 530. Practice Evaluation (3)
This advanced course prepares direct practice students to examine their own practice with individuals, families, and groups. Attention is given to basic principles of measurement and selection of appropriate measurement instruments for use in direct practice settings. The course is intended to provide students with the technical skills necessary to investigate the components of social work practice and contribute to an empirically validated social work knowledge base. The student is asked to determine the efficacy of his/her practice intervention in field placement by using a suitable design and method. A hands-on project is required using clinical experience from field practice. Prereq: SASS 426 and SRCH 426 or SASS 400-TR.


SRCH 536. Individual Research Practicum (3)
With instructor and research sequence chair approval, an individual program of supervised research experience may be undertaken. This course allows the student to tailor a program of applied research to a specific practice issue or program. Prereq: SASS 426.


Course Descriptions (SSBT)


SSBT 500. Special Topics in Sociobehavioral Theory (1 - 3)
This seminar is intended for students who are interested in exploring advanced topics of current interest in sociobehavioral theory.


SSBT 502. Infant and Toddler Development (3)
In this course, students will focus on that segment of the human life span called infancy and toddlerhood, a period of development from conception to age three years. Students will be introduced to the major theories of development and will integrate theory and research as they relate to children’s physical and motor development, perception, intelligence, language and communication development, and social and emotional development. The impact of the family and sociocultural contexts that affect development will be discussed. Discussion, case studies, and observations will be used to facilitate learning. Prereq: SASS 440 or SASS 400TR.


SSBT 527. The Theory and Practice of Leadership (3)
This course assists students preparing for management and leadership roles in social service organizations to understand theories of leadership and translate them into effective leadership practices. The class explores leadership definitions, tasks and responsibilities, and the development of leadership capabilities. Students also examine their personal values, beliefs, skills, and understanding of ethical principles underlying leadership. Prereq: SASS 440 or SASS 400TR.


SSBT 535. Human Sexuality (3)
The course addresses sexuality as an integral part of human functioning and human relationships throughout the life cycle. The formation of sexual identity is addressed, including gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual intention. The physiological and psychological aspects of sexual behavior are covered, including the effects of aging, chronic illness, and sexually transmitted diseases. The course concludes with practical applications for social work, including an overview of assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunction. Prereq: SASS 440 or SASS 400TR.


SSBT 546. Welfare Reform and Poverty (3)
This course identifies and critically analyzes major theories of urban poverty and their implications for social policy in contemporary American society. Economic, sociocultural, cultural, and integrative theories of poverty are examined. Case studies of poverty theories for social policy and the elimination of poverty are addressed. Prereq: SASS 440 or SASS 400TR.


SSBT 555. Women’s Issues (3)
This course examines theories that are relevant to the development and socialization of women, and discusses issues that are relevant to women’s lives within the context of oppression based on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. Emphasis is placed on assisting students in becoming more aware of the issues that are specifically relevant to their own development and socialization, and preparing for effective and sensitive professional practice by increasing knowledge about the issues facing women. Prereq: SASS 440 or SASS 400TR.


Course Descriptions (SSWM)


SSWM 500. Special Topics in Social Work Methods (1 - 3)
This seminar course is intended for students who are interested in exploring advanced topics of current interest in methods. Prereq: SSWM 400 or SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 518. Death and Dying (3)
This course focuses on the concept of death and related topics from a social work perspective. Such topics include the role of death in American culture; the dying process and its institutions; assessment and intervention strategies; life span and family life considerations; and end-of-life decisions. The course provides both theoretical and experiential exposure to the dying process as it relates to self, the dying person, and the bereaved. Students will gain insight into serving the terminally ill, those who need assistance with mourning and grief, and clients dealing with difficult life-and-death decisions regarding loved ones. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 519. School Social Work Seminar (3)
This course prepares students to be certified school social workers. The course addresses major issues in American schools; a theoretical framework for school social work services; design, deliverance, and evaluation of school social work services; legal and ethical issues; and the roles and intervention strategies of school social workers. It covers student and family problems and areas of need such as disability, truancy, divorce, teen pregnancy, youth depression and suicide, substance abuse, violence, and dropping out of school. This course is required for those participating in a planned program of study leading to state certification as a school social worker. If space permits, other students may enroll if they have or have had school social work experience. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 530. Managing Organizational Change (3)
This course provides a conceptual and practical understanding of planned change in human service organizations considering both organizational resources and achieving outcomes for clients. Skills and strategies for identifying needs for change, preparing and managing a change process, and institutionalizing change are critically examined. Prereq: SSWM 400 and SASS 400TR.


SSWM 531. Strategic Alliances (3)
This course provides organizational leaders with the concepts and practices critical to the development of interorganizational alliances, from affiliations to mergers and consolidations. Various strategies are examined and existing community-based national and international linkages are explored. Prereq: SASS 477 and SASS 478 and SASS 400TR.


SSWM 541. Attracting Government, Foundation, and Corporate Support (3)
This course reviews the trends, types of support available, sources of information, processes for accessing, criteria for decision-making, and the “politics” of grant, contract, in-kind, or other support. Preparation of winning proposals constitutes a special focus. Nonprofit organizations’ accountability, stewardship, and recognition responsibilities or activities are explored. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 544. Budgeting and Financial Management in Social Service Organizations (3)
Social service managers must be both responsible and accountable for the management of resources that enhance the provision of effective and efficient services to clients. In this course, students obtain an understanding of the skills, tools, and strategies needed to plan for the financial stability of their organizations. Students use a critical thinking perspective to examine budgetary and financial choices. They are able to understand the impact of power and politics in budget and financial processes. In addition, they are able to recognize ethical dilemmas that are often inherent in financial decision-making. Students demonstrate their understanding of program budgeting, financial reporting, and monitoring as well as other resource management concerns that affect human service managers and organizations. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 546. International Social Work (3)
This is an advanced seminar designed for students interested in the international dimensions of the social work profession and social work practice. The seminar focuses on commonalities and differences in the roles and functions of social workers in different nations. It also gives attention to social work as a global profession and social work practice on an international level. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 563. Social Work Intervent in Co-occurring Mental and Substance Abuse Disor (3)
This advanced methods course provides a basic orientation to substance use disorders in persons with mental illness (SAMI). A biopsychosocial framework will be used to explore the etiology, the maintenance and the recovery of both mental and substance use disorders. The historical background of practitioner, programmatic, and institutional barriers that impede the development and application of clinical skills to dually diagnosed individuals will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on strategies for the implementation of services to deal with individuals with co-occurring problems and their families using the evidence-based New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center Integrated Treatment (IT) Model. Current assessment techniques and treatment of special populations including, but not limited to: women, minorities, and adolescents will be discussed. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 573. Home-Based Family Interventions (3)
This course provides students with an in-depth, comprehensive understanding of family preservation services and practice. Home-Based Family Interventions encompasses the values, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge base, and skills necessary for the beginning home-based worker. The course reviews the theories that guide family-centered services, examines models of family preservation services across various service systems, reviews current research on home-based services, and teaches skills or competencies necessary for home-based family work. A variety of teaching methods is used to learn, observe, and practice new skills. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 575. Social Work with Persons with Serious Mental Illness (3)
This course focuses on people who have severe mental illnesses. Students learn primary and tertiary community-based treatment and rehabilitative approaches, services, and programs. In helping people achieve recovery, students learn the theory and practice skills that underscore the four major approaches to community-based service delivery: the assertive case management model; strengths case management model, psychosocial rehabilitation model, and the recovery model. Within each model, specific attention is placed on practice similarities and differences, especially interviewing assessment, and intervention. Within these practice skills, students learn how to identify social justice and empowerment values that are supported or undermined. Advocacy is highlighted as a central social work value and practice skill that cuts across community-based practice models. Finally, lectures, readings, and discussions examine how gender, ethnicity, and social class produce various experiences of mental illness and various social work interventions. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 579. Cognitive Behavioral Interventions (3)
This course acquaints students with the theoretical, conceptual, and skill bases of several cognitive-behavioral approaches to practice. Topics include assessment, use of tasks and homework, coping skills, cognitive restructuring, and problem solving approaches to practice. The course draws upon students’ field and work experiences to illustrate the application of the concepts and skills under discussion. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR


SSWM 582. Social Work in Child Abuse and Family Violence (3)
This course addresses the etiology, investigation, and treatment of child abuse including sexual abuse and the roles of child welfare, health, and mental health agencies. Particular attention is given to direct work with children and adults who have experienced abuse, and to interventions in instances of family violence. Prereq: SASS 440 and SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 584. Social Work with Couples (3)
This course provides an overview of assessment and intervention methods for working with couples around issues of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Alternate couple forms are discussed. The course emphasizes systems and social learning approaches, communication and negotiation in problem solving and its relevance to assessment, treatment structure, and techniques. Special attention will be given to problem areas such as commitment, sexual dysfunction, chemical dependency, and destructive communication patterns. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 585. Social Work with Groups (3)
A theoretical formulation of the social group work method as a problem solving process is addressed. Exercises are presented in the use of diagnostic skills to determine individual needs and problems for which groups may be helpful, the worker’s role in facilitating group functioning through his/her use of various program media. Attention is given to the significance of goals, agency environment, and policy for direct work with groups. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR.


SSWM 586. Race and Class: Implications for Social Work Practice (3)
This course provides students with the opportunity to integrate concentration content within a perspective focusing on social work practice within the context of race and class. Specific attention will be focused on the development of a practice model that takes into account the impact of race and class on social functioning. Students will explore the effects of race and class on critical life areas such as education, housing, access to health care services, and the involvement with the justice system. Prereq: SASS 477 or SASS 400TR