2022-2023 University Catalog 
    
    Aug 11, 2022  
2022-2023 University Catalog

Master of Social Work, Advanced Standing, M.S.W.


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Master of Social Work


Park University’s Master of Social Work program is designed to prepare graduates with the knowledge, values and skills needed to deliver effective and efficient advanced social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The advanced practice concentration is in Behavioral Health. Within this concentration, students are given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in one of three areas of emphasis: gerontological social work, military social work or social work with children and families. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Park University earned full initial accreditation at the February, 2016 meetings of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA).

Mission

The mission of Park’s Master of Social Work program is to prepare graduates for effective and efficient advanced social work practice in behavioral health. Guided by the purpose of the profession, the program promotes social and economic justice, equal access to community resources, equal opportunity and the attainment of individual and community well-being.

Vision

The Master of Social Work program will be committed to enhancing the physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being of all people, particularly those who have experienced oppression, exclusion and discrimination, and who have experienced the impact of poverty upon their health, well-being and sense of fulfillment.

Purpose of the Program

Social workers are called upon to intervene and assist large numbers of people while federal and state allocations for social welfare and treatment are being cut or drastically reduced. Therefore, social workers must become ever-more effective and efficient in the development and delivery of interventions. Moreover, they must become even more focused on advocacy efforts designed to promote access to naturally occurring, sustainable resources. Social workers who possess the knowledge and skills to engage, assess, intervene and evaluate comprehensive, individualized interventions will be in demand.

Park University identifies three areas of emphasis in Behavioral Health social work practice. These areas were identified based on current and future projections relative to demand for behavioral health services and treatment:

  • Military Social Work: The social/psychological impact of serving in the military on service members and their families is profound.
  • Gerontological Social Work: The demographic data illustrates that the demand for effective social work practice with older persons will continue to grow.
  • Social Work with Children and Families: There is a growing recognition of the need for effective and efficient behavioral health interventions with children and families.

In summary, the mission of Park’s Master of Social Work program reflects the values of the profession and of the University, and it is developed within the context of current and future demand for effective and efficient social work interventions in behavioral health.

Program Goals

  • Establish collaborative partnerships with community agencies that provide students with opportunities to enhance their knowledge, values and skills in behavioral health social work practice, with emphasis on effective and efficient interventions in military social work, gerontological social work or social work with children and families.
  • Educate students regarding the principles, philosophy and behavioral health advanced practice applications of the strengths perspective for social work practice to enhance individual and community well-being, social and economic justice, equity and equal opportunity for all people.
  • Infuse and model the social work code of ethics and the six core values of the profession as guiding concepts in all aspects behavioral health interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, with particular attention to factors that impact the well-being of service members/veterans, children and families, and older persons.
  • Graduate advanced social work practitioners that are prepared to assume leadership roles in providing effective and efficient multilevel behavioral health interventions that reflect mastery of the competencies.

Admission Requirements

Regular Study (60 credit hours)

  • An undergraduate degree from an acceptable accredited  college or university.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 is preferred; or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the last 60 credit hours of the baccalaureate program. Note: lower GPA’s will be considered for probationary admission.
  • Three professional or academic references who can assess your potential for graduate study in social work.
  • A copy of your resume.
  • Submit three written narratives (see next page for more information).

Advanced Standing Program (33 credit hours)

  • A Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 is preferred; or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the last 60 credit hours of the baccalaureate program. Note lower GPA’s will be considered for probationary admission.
  • Three professional or academic references who can assess your potential for graduate study in social work. One reference must be from your practicum instructor, field liaison or the director of field education.
  • A copy of your resume.
  • Submit three written narratives (see next page for more information).

For both above programs, once accepted, all Master of Social Work students will be required to submit to a background check. Note: The GRE is not required.

Application Narratives

Each applicant completes all three narratives, each two to three pages in length utilizing APA format.

  • Ethical Critique: Describe an ethical dilemma that you have encountered in your personal or professional life. Using appropriate confidentiality, define the parties involved, the ethical dilemma, the values that informed your decisions and how the dilemma was addressed and/or resolved. Discuss how the experience and outcome affected you, in particular any lessons you learned. The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics may be found at: www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/.
  • Personal Statement: What are the significant experiences that influenced your decision to enter social work? What are your short-term (3-5 years) and long-term (10-plus years) goals, and how does a Master in Social Work degree prepare you to meet those goals? How will you meet the demands of graduate academic responsibilities (20-plus hours per week in class and task completion for coursework, and 15 to 24 practicum hours per week)? Do you anticipate any barriers to meet these expectations and how do you plan to address these barriers?
  • Professional Statement: What is your concept of social work as a profession? Discuss a current societal concern, including contributing/causal factors, and why this concern warrants public attention and resources from the social work community. What intervention do you believe will successfully address this situation (direct practice, policy change, etc.)? What positive or negative results may occur following this intervention? Discuss your rationale and what role you might be involved in if such an intervention were to be employed.

Learning Outcomes Assessment / Program Assessment

The Master of Social Work program has established practice behaviors for both the foundation and advanced years of the program that measure student attainment of the 9 competencies established by the Council on Social Work Education. Each course delineates learning objectives which correspond with the foundation or advanced year practice behaviors and the CSWE competencies, respectively. The overall attainments of the practice behaviors and competencies are assessed through the following:

  • Integrative Seminar Project — Students are expected to integrate all 10 competencies in the planning, development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of the ISP. This project will relate directly to the chosen emphasis of working with either gerontological, military, or children and family service participants, and will be tied to their field practicum.
  • Field Learning Education Plan — This is designed to be both an ongoing guide to the activities and tasks for the student in their practicum experience, as well as an overview of the competencies and the practice behaviors.
  • Student Self-Assessment — Students are asked to complete the self-assessment near the end of the spring semester of the advanced year.

Requirements For: Master - 33 Hours, 3.0 GPA


Graduation Requirements


Park University confers the Master of Business Administration, Master of Social Work and Education Specialist degrees at selected locations when a candidate has satisfied the following conditions:

  • Completion of a minimum of 33 semester hours.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for Park University courses.
  • Satisfaction of all requirements for a major as outlined in this catalog.
  • Completion of all earned credit with no more than 2 grades of C earned.
  • Submission of an Application for Graduation.

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