Course Descriptions

SWO 6384 Proposal Seminar

Provides an introduction to the strategies, techniques, and requirements for identifying public and private funding sources, developing relationships with funders, writing proposals, and administrating grants. Students will research, develop, and write a grant proposal in this course.

SWO 6351 Theory and Model Development for Social Work Practice

Prepares the doctoral level scholar for knowledge development in social work research and practice. Critically examines historic, philosophical, aesthetic, and social science foundations for classic and current social work intervention theories and models. Develops analytical skills for innovative theory formulation through evaluation of assumptions, propositions, and heuristic efficacy of selected classical and contemporary theories in sociology, psychology, economics, and anthropology. Provides instruction on the applicability of formative/summative research designs and meta-analysis for reviewing social work theory derived from other disciplines. Offers skills for developing dissertation research and practice models that articulate, apply, and integrate a theoretical framework. Requires critical evaluation of a current social work practice model and design of a theory-based research study in a substantive area of interest.

SWO 6380 Quantitative Research for Social Work

The course provides an overview of statistical tests commonly used to analyze data in social work, building on prior research and statistics coursework. The course emphasizes the critical thinking skills needed both to evaluate others’ use of statistical tests as well as to conduct one’s own analyses. Students will learn to choose a statistical test, to check that assumptions have been met, and to interpret SPSS output. The course covers the following tests and models: correlation, Student’s t test, the ANOVA family, linear regression, and logistic regression.

SWO 6382 Qualitative Research for Social Work

A systematic study of the philosophical, theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary underpinnings of qualitative methods, procedures for designing and carrying out qualitative studies, data analytic principles, and ethical issues involved in naturalistic inquiry. Of particular interest will be the use of qualitative research methods in the study of human behaviors and needs within interpersonal and intercultural contexts. Students will explore the methodological similarities and differences between post-positivism and constructivism as they relate to social work research.

SWO 6333 Religious and Cultural Diversity

Social work practice encompasses work with persons from a wide variety of religious groups. Each of these traditions reflects cultural as well as ethical variations depending on their view of the world and the nature of the human enterprise. This course begins by studying ethical theory in the context of social work practice and then expands the dialogue by reflecting on the various world traditions, how the social worker can be sensitive to each tradition as well as understand comfort, pain and ethics in the context of the tradition.

SWO 6381 Statistical Analysis for Social Work

This course focuses on quantitative research methodology and data analysis as applied to research in the human services and social work. Content emphasizes the epistemological basis of different research methods, forming appropriate research questions and hypotheses, conducting literature reviews, developing research designs, and selecting and applying preliminary data analysis techniques. The majority of the course will center on tailoring appropriate research designs to examine hypotheses and address testable research questions. As part of the course, students will learn to prepare raw data for analysis.

SWO 6387 Research Practicum

The course provides an opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to design and conduct two social work research projects. Working with faculty mentors, students will refine their proposals from the quantitative and qualitative courses in the prior semester, submit them for IRB review, and carry out the studies from problem formulation and item development through data collection, analysis, and preparation of two manuscripts suitable for peer-reviewed journal publications.

SWO 6332 Social Policy and the Religious Sector

This course is designed to introduce students to social policy as it defines, and is defined by, the political, cultural, economic, and social structures of American society. Its focus is on the role of religion and government formulation of social welfare policy. The content of the course is aimed at helping students learn about the intersection of religion, congregations and religiously affiliated organizations and social welfare policy. This intersection is unique to American society. Through the examination of social problems/issues, analyzing existing policy in specific policy and population areas, students will recognize and understand the impact of the intersection of government and religion in meeting human need in American society.

SWO 6331 Christianity, Ethics, and Social Work

Social work theory and practice interact with theological issues that in turn inform social work values and ethics. This course explores research, theory, and practices related to religion and spirituality as they can inform social work practice and leadership. It examines the interaction of the social workers religious faith with the religious faith and practices of clients as well as the organizational and community context for practice and leadership. Specific emphasis on the role of religion in contemplating the meaning of well-being and social justice will be examined.

SWO 6385 Measurement in Social Work

This course focuses on designing and evaluating measurement and instrumentation in social work research. Content prepares students for questionnaire construction and methods for establishing parsimonious psychometric properties. Students will learn to make informed decisions about alpha level, effect size, statistical power, sample size, and sample selection in conjunction with measurement development.

SWO 6342 Academic Leadership and Administration in Social Work Education

This course explores research, theory, and practices of leadership in social service organizations, social work education, and larger communities. Topics include but are not limited to the relationship of management and leadership, personal values and the leadership role, power and authority, sensitivity to human diversity, the influence of religion and faith in organizational contexts, and social influence. Students will explore their own leadership contexts, styles, and skills, and will develop a personal description of and plan for leadership development based on readings and class discussion, leadership inventories, and the evaluation of others.

SWO 6386 Advanced Qualitative Research

This advanced course is designed to assist students in the management and analysis of qualitative data. The course focuses on the theoretical, methodological, and practical aspects of collecting, managing and analyzing data from different qualitative traditions. Specific content is tailored to topics relevant for dissertation research.

SWO 6352 Higher Educational Teaching and Learning in Social Work

This interactive course prepares students with specialized knowledge and skills for teaching in higher education. Exploration of learning styles, content delivery, teaching method, curriculum and lesson plan development and critical thinking stimulation prepare the student to develop and deliver courses in social work higher education venues. The course uses theory and practical skill development including demonstration of teaching methods and student learning.

SWO 6353 Teaching Practicum

The social work teaching practicum gives students the opportunity to teach (or student teach) a course in a social work education program while receiving support and consultation from their cohort in a weekly online session guided by an instructor. Students will work collaboratively with their peers and the instructor as they navigate all aspects of planning and executing a successful course of instruction for social work students.

SWO 6343 Program Evaluation

This course focuses on planning evaluation research for human service and educational programs. Topics include evaluation models, design issues, roles of evaluators and stakeholders, and issues of leadership, ethics and politics. At the completion of this course students will be prepared to develop program evaluations to help agencies document their outcomes for clients, staff and outside funding agencies.