Program Director

Mari Alschuler

3383 Cushwa Hall
(330) 941-3297
mlalschuler@ysu.edu

Program Description

The Master of Social Work program prepares graduates for advanced social work practice with disenfranchised clients. The organizing framework for the M.S.W. program is the strengths-based empowerment approach. This approach emphasizes:

  • helping individuals, families, and com­munities recognize and utilize their capacities;
  • gain awareness of available options;
  • understand the barriers and obstacles they may face;
  • reinforce their hopes and aspirations; and
  • integrate in­ternal and external resources to improve the quality of their lives.

The M.S.W. program focuses on advanced direct practice with individuals, families.

A critical purpose of the M.S.W. program is to develop competent, ethical, and effective profes­sionals capable of utilizing advanced knowledge, skills, and values to promote social justice in the delivery of social services within a diverse society. The integration social work knowledge, values, and skills are achieved through both academic coursework and field placement experiences.

Program Locations

Full-time two-year programs and part-time three- and four-year programs are available on the Youngstown campus.  A one-year (39 hour) program is also available on the main (Youngstown) campus. Courses on the Youngstown campus are offered on Saturdays and weekday evenings. Students should be available at additional times (18 hours per week) for field internship engagement that most frequently occurs during daytime, weekday hours.

Part-time three- and four-year programs are available in partnership with Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio and Lakeland County Community College in Kirtland, Ohio.  One-year (39 hour) programs are also available at the Lorain and Lakeland community college sites. Face-to-face courses at these location are offered on Saturdays with other courses in online format. Students should be available at additional times (18 hours per week) for field internship engagement that most frequently occurs during daytime, weekday hours.

Accreditation

The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education http://www.cswe.org/ .  Most recent accreditation was achieved in 2012.  The program will be due for reaccreditation in 2020.  Graduates of the MSW program are eligible for a license in social work (LISW) granted by the Ohio Counselor, Social Work, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.  Seventy-six percent of graduates who took the exam passed in 2015.  

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.S.W. program are encouraged to review the admission criteria listed be­low, as they exceed the minimum standards established by the College of Graduate Studies. Meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee admission. Applicants are evaluated by the Social Work Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee to ensure that qualifications are evaluated in a manner consistent with the M.S.W. program’s requirements. Application packets are available through the Department of Social Work or Graduate Admissions in Coffelt Hall. Students who are admitted may enter the program only during the fall semester of each academic year.

Admission to the M.S.W. program is based on the following criteria that allow evaluation of the student’s potential to succeed in graduate-level social work education, as well as an assess­ment of their ability to engage in ethical and competent social work practice in a diverse society.

Regular Admission

In addition to the minimum College of Graduate Studies admissions require­ments, all applicants must meet the following requirements for regular admission to the Master of Social Work program:

  • an undergraduate degree, preferably in a social science, from an accredited college or uni­versity;
  • a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate coursework;
  • work or volunteer experience related to preparation for professional social work practice;
  • three letters of recommendation completed on official forms. Recommendations should in­clude one academic source, one professional source, and one additional source from either of the aforementioned;
  • a professional statement reflecting how completion of the M.S.W. will impact upon the student’s professional goals and objectives; and
  • an optional personal interview and/or additional information as requested by the program’s admission committee.
  • For non-B.S.W. applicants, one approved social work course OR one course each in the following is required: psychology, sociology, or political science.

Provisional Admission

Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.7 to 2.99 (on a 4.0 scale) may be admitted provisionally. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) must achieve a score at the 30th percentile or above on the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT), or achieve a score at the 30th percentile or above on the verbal and analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination gen­eral test (GRE). Applicants with cumulative undergraduate cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) are not required to submit MAT or GRE scores.

One year Program ADMISSION (39 semester hours)

The Advanced Standing Program is accelerated for highly qualified graduates of the Council on Social Work Education (C.W.S.E.) accredited Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) programs. The Advanced Standing Program permits students to complete all requirements of the M.S.W. degree in 39 semester hours. The regular program is completed in 60 semester hours.

Applicants seeking admission to the ASP must meet all admission requirements for the Master of Social Work program in addition to the following:

  • possess a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a C.W.S.E. accredited pro­gram within six years prior to enrollment;
  • have achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate coursework;
  • have achieved A’s and B’s in all junior and senior level social work courses.

Individuals who wish to take coursework for the purpose of continuing education and/or ex­pansion of professional competencies should contact the Department of Social Work. The Social Work Department chairperson or his or her designee must approve any graduate social work courses taken by students not admitted to the M.S.W. program.

Qualified students who have been convicted of misdemeanor or felony offenses may be admitted to the program. However, field internship opportunities may be restricted due to agency prohibitions pertaining to the engagement of students in agency work in possession of criminal records. Additionally, students should be aware that state licensure in social work may not be possible for individuals with past convictions. Students with convictions are advised to become informed of requirements pertaining to social work licensure and possible avenues of appeal as they consider enrollment in the MSW program and the limitations prior convictions may impose on their ability to practice the profession of social work.

Mari L. Alschuler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Reflective journaling; creative arts therapies; LGBTQI issues; student veterans; clinical supervision; group work; macro practice

Dana Davis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Harm reduction; housing; teaching methodology

Stephanie Lyu Rhee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Gerontological cultural adaptation

Thelma Silver, Ph.D., Professor
Community mental health; mental health recovery; crisis intervention; group work

Regular Program

Sixty semester hours of coursework are required for completion of the Master of Social Work degree. The program may be completed in two years, three years, or four years. Foundation social work content is comprised of eight courses and two field practicums with an emphasis on the follow­ing areas:

  • social work values and ethics,
  • diversity,
  • populations at risk,
  • social and economic justice,
  • human behavior in the social environment,
  • social welfare policy and services,
  • social work prac­tice,
  • research, and
  • business skills for social workers.

The foundation field practicum is designed to provide the student with learning experiences that promote and integrate the achievement of foundation objectives. The foundation field practicum is taken in two consecutive semesters for a total of six credit hours (480 clock hours).  All social work courses are 3 semester hours.

Advanced content areas consist of eight courses and two advanced field practicum with an emphasis on knowledge, skills, and values for advanced direct social work practice with individuals and families.   The advanced field practicum is designed to provide learning experiences that promote and integrate the achievement of advanced program objectives.  The advanced practicum is taken in two consecutive semesters for a total of six credit hours (540 clock hours). 

Students in the Master of Social Work program must maintain all College of Graduate Studies retention requirements. In addition, students must meet standards defined by the Master of Social Work program that are included in the Youngstown State University Master of Social Work Program, Student Handbook.

Course Outline: Regular Program

COURSETITLES.H.
Foundation Courses
SCWK 6900Human Behavior and the Social Environment 13
SCWK 6901Oppression and Cultural Competence3
SCWK 6902Social Welfare Policy and Program Analysis3
SCWK 6903Social Work Foundation Practice 13
SCWK 6904Field Education 13
SCWK 6905Human Behavior and the Social Environment 23
SCWK 6906Business Skills for Social Workers3
SCWK 6907Social Work Foundation Practice 23
SCWK 6908Research3
SCWK 6909Field Education 23
Advanced Courses
SCWK 7000Advanced Direct Practice 13
SCWK 7002Adversities and Resiliencies3
SCWK 7004Practice Evaluation3
SCWK 7008Social Work and the DSM3
SCWK 7009Field Education 33
SCWK 7003Theory and Practice of Supervision3
SCWK 7010Advanced Direct Practice 23
SCWK 7012Field Education 43
SCWK 7013Capstone3
Graduate Elective3
Total Semester Hours60

One Year Program (39 hours)

This program is completed in 3 consecutive semesters beginning the summer semester.  Courses are advanced social work courses combined with three semesters of field practicum.  The advanced field practicum is designed to provide learning experiences that promote and integrate the achievement of advanced program objectives.  The advanced practicum is taken in three consecutive semesters for a total of 9 credit hours (700 clock hours).

Course Outline: One Year Program (39 hours)

COURSETITLES.H.
Summer Semester
SCWK 6910Integrated Foundation3
Approved Graduate Elective3
SCWK 6909Field Education 23
Fall Semester
SCWK 7000Advanced Direct Practice 13
SCWK 7002Adversities and Resiliencies3
SCWK 7003Theory and Practice of Supervision3
SCWK 7008Social Work and the DSM3
SCWK 7009Field Education 33
Spring Semester
SCWK 6906Business Skills for Social Workers3
SCWK 7010Advanced Direct Practice 23
SCWK 7004Practice Evaluation3
SCWK 7013Capstone3
SCWK 7012Field Education 43
Total Semester Hours39

Learning Outcomes

The MSW Program through the Department of Social Work at Youngstown State University is accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE). As a result, our Learning Outcomes are dictated by the accreditor and continue to reflect the new 2015 standards for social work education set forth by CSWE. These Learning Outcomes focus on the mastery of nine core competencies set by CSWE, and contain specific knowledge, values, skills, and resulting practice behaviors which guide assessment and accreditation standards.

Coursework contained in the MSW curriculum contribute to the achievement of the competencies.  Foundation practice behaviors and advanced practice behaviors serve to evaluate the extent to which these competencies have been met at the Foundation and Advanced Practice level of graduate social work education both within the classroom and in Field.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies):

  1. Students will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Students will engage diversity and difference in practice.
  3. Student will advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. Students will engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research and apply critical thinking skills.
  5. Students will engage in policy practice.
  6. Students will engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  7. Students will assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  8. Students will intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  9. Students will evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.