Program Director

Dr. Andrea Barrick

3381 Cushwa Hall
(330) 941-1690
abarrick@ysu.edu

Program Description

WELCOME!  The social work profession combines knowledge skill and compassion to address the common social challenges people encounter.  The Master of Social Work program prepares graduates for advanced social work practice with a wide range of clients within a wide range of agency settings.  The MSW program's focus is on work with individuals and families.  The organizing framework for the M.S.W. program at Youngstown State University is the strengths-based empowerment approach that 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 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.

Graduates find employment the practice areas of mental health, medical social work, family services, schools, substance abuse treatment, developmental disabilities, child welfare, the courts among others.  Graduates of the Master of Social Work program are eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW).  Licensure is required for the majority of positions in the human services employment sector. 

Program Locations

A full-time two-year program 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 for students that have completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Courses on the Youngstown campus are offered on Saturdays and weekday evenings. Students should also be available at additional times (18 hours per week) for field internship engagement that most frequently occurs during daytime, weekday hours.

Two, 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 for students that have completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree 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 undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.7 to 2.99 (on a 4.0 scale) may be admitted provisionally.  Provisional students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to continue in the program.  Provisionally admitted students can be changed to regular when requirements for regular admission have been met.

One year Program ADMISSION (39 semester hours)

The One Year 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 One Year 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 OYP 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.

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.

Graduate Faculty

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

Andrea Barrick, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Court behavior; legislative behavior; domestic violence; women in politics

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

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 all beginning in the fall semester of each year.  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). 

PROGRESSION OPTIONS:

MAIN CAMPUS: The 60 semester hour program can be completed in 2, 3 or 4 years (no summer courses).  Courses are offered Saturdays and weekday evenings.  Students engage in field internships throughout the 2 year option, in the second and third years of the 3 year option, and the third and fourth year of the 4 year option.  Field internships most frequently occur daytime business hours.

LAKELAND and LORAIN CAMPUSES: The 60 hour program is completed in 2, 3 or 4 years (no summer courses).  Students enroll in two or three course per semester.  Courses are offered on Saturdays and online.  Field internships occur in the final two years of the program.  Field internships most frequently occur daytime business hours.

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)

PROGRAM PROGRESSION: (main, Lakeland and Lorain campuses)

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.  Courses are offered Saturdays, weekday evenings and online.  Field internship continues through the summer, fall and spring semesters.  The advanced field practicum is designed to provide learning experiences that promote and integrate the achievement of advanced program objectives. 

Course Outline: One Year Program (39 hours)

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

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Social Work Program at Youngstown State University is accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) the leading accrediting body of social work education . As a result, our Learning Outcomes are dictated by the CSWE and continue to reflect the most up-to-date standards for social work education.  These Learning Outcomes focus on the mastery of ten core competencies set by CSWE and reflect specific knowledge, values, skills, and resulting practice behaviors which guide assessment of student achievement.

Coursework contained in the MSW curriculum contributes to student achievement of these competencies.  Foundation practice behaviors and advanced practice behaviors serve to provide a means to evaluate the extent to which these competencies have been met by students at the foundation and advanced practice levels of graduate social work education.  These competencies are evaluated through the classroom and student engagement in social work field internships.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies):

1a. Demonstrate professional behavior.

1b. Demonstrate ethical behavior.

2. Engage diversity and difference in practice.

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

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

4b. Apply critical thinking.

5. Engage policy in practice.

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

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

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

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

10. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

Graduate Courses

SCWK 5820    Social Policy    3 s.h.

Review of the programs, structure, and functions of social services including historical development and social, political, and economic issues. Application of scientific method to analyze and develop social work policies designed to achieve social work goals and purposes.
Prereq.: SCWK 2641, POL 1560.

SCWK 5822    Social Work Methods with Organizations and Communities    3 s.h.

In-depth analysis of problem-solving strategies and skills in working with organizations and communities. Theory and research relating to practice. Social work purpose, functions, and values are addressed from the systems perspective.
Prereq.: SCWK 3736.

SCWK 5823    Cultural Diversity in Practice    3 s.h.

Emphasis on understanding the experiences, beliefs, and inherent problems of racial and ethnic minority groups. Focuses also on populations distinguished by socioeconomic status, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and physical or mental disability. Application of theories, differential assessment, and intervention skills necessary for effective social work practice.
Prereq.: SCWK 3736 or permission of instructor.

SCWK 6900    Human Behavior and the Social Environment 1    3 s.h.

An overview of normal individual development throughout the life span. Developmental stages, tasks, and circumstances as well as diversity in individual development will be examined. The influence of biological, psychological, and social systems on individual development throughout the life span constitutes the organizing theme for the course.

SCWK 6901    Oppression and Cultural Competence    3 s.h.

Examination of the history, demographic trends, and cultures of diverse groups who have been disenfranchised based on differences that include race, gender, age, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, religion, and ability. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the experience of oppression among diverse groups and the implications for social work practice.

SCWK 6902    Social Welfare Policy and Program Analysis    3 s.h.

An historical perspective on the development of social problems as well as a critical analysis of social welfare institutions, programs, policy efforts, and services. Attention is given to the consequences of social and economic injustice and the effects that policy initiatives have upon vulnerable populations.

SCWK 6903    Social Work Foundation Practice 1    3 s.h.

A foundation methods course based on an advanced generalist social work practice perspective. This course demonstrates application of the problem-solving process or the planned change process in the context of the strengths perspective. Attention will be placed on planning interventions with diverse individuals, families, and small groups.

SCWK 6904    Field Education 1    3 s.h.

Professionally supervised practice in approved community agencies. Focus will be on increasing the student's analytic skills and repertoire of intervention modalities. The course is based on foundation coursework that emphasizes advanced generalist practice while promoting a strengths-based approach.
Concurrent: SCWK 6903.

SCWK 6905    Human Behavior and the Social Environment 2    3 s.h.

An overview of theories and knowledge of the behavior of groups, organizations, and communities as well as the impact of these systems on individual behavior. Special emphasis is given to understanding the influence of mesosystems and macrosystems on social service organizations. Empowerment-based policies are explored.
Prereq.: SCWK 6900.

SCWK 6906    Business Skills for Social Workers    3 s.h.

Overview of the principles, concepts, and terminology related to social work business practice. Topics include time management, financially responsible practice, managed care issues, organizational efficiency and effectiveness, outcome measurements, performance evaluation, marketing for nonprofit organizations, community building and collaborative efforts. State-of-the-art technology will be reviewed.
Prereq.: SCWK 6900.

SCWK 6907    Social Work Foundation Practice 2    3 s.h.

A foundation methods course based on an advanced generalist social work practice perspective. This course demonstrates application of the problem-solving process or planned change process in the context of the strengths perspective. Attention will be placed on planning interventions with diverse organizations and communities.
Prereq.: SCWK 6903.

SCWK 6908    Research    3 s.h.

A review of the scientific method, quantitative and qualitative research strategies, and related concepts. Principles of conceptualization, research design, sampling, instrumentation, descriptive and inferential data analysis, scientific report writing, and the significance of research for social work practice will be emphasized. Attention will be placed on developing strengths-based performance indicators.
Prereq.: SCWK 6900.

SCWK 6909    Field Education 2    3 s.h.

Professionally supervised practice in approved community agencies. Focus will be on increasing both the student's analytic skills and repertoire of intervention modalities. The course is based on foundation coursework that emphasizes advanced generalist practice while promoting a strengths-based approach.
Concurrent: SCWK 6907.

SCWK 6910    Integrated Foundation    3 s.h.

An advanced course that emphasizes social work values, ethical dilemmas/implications, and the development of practice methods that integrate a strengths-based empowerment approach with individuals, families, and groups.
Prereq.: SCWK 6907.

SCWK 7000    Advanced Direct Practice 1    3 s.h.

The development of adversities experienced by individuals from conception through adulthood. The course employs a multisystems ecological perspective in discussing risk conditions, stressful life events, and the interplay of risk and protective factors that appear to be common to many childhood disorders and problems.
Prereq.: SCWK 6901.

SCWK 7002    Adversities and Resiliencies    3 s.h.

A review of the education, administration, and support aspects of supervision, as well as individual, group, and peer group modalities. Emphasis will be placed on supervisory issues as they relate to diversity, strengths-based assessment, and the development of multicultural competence.
Prereq.: SCWK 6905.

SCWK 7003    Theory and Practice of Supervision    3 s.h.

Explores advanced techniques for evaluating systems of all sizes. Methods and strategies for conducting program evaluation and single system research will be emphasized. Special emphasis will be placed on developing strengths-based performance indicators.
Prereq.: SCWK 6908.

SCWK 7004    Practice Evaluation    3 s.h.

This course examines social work with the elderly through critical analysis of policy, specific human behavior content, and research. Students will critique practice interventions, program design, and service strategies specific to social work practice in settings for the aged.

SCWK 7006    Social Work in Aging    3 s.h.

This course examines social work in child and family settings through critical analysis of policy, specific human behavior content, and research. Students will critique practice interventions, program design, and service strategies specific to social work practice in child and family settings.

SCWK 7007    Social Work in Child and Family Settings    3 s.h.

This course examines social work in mental health settings through critical analysis of policy, specific human behavior content, and research. Students will critique practice interventions, program design, and service strategies specific to social work practice in mental health settings.

SCWK 7008    Social Work and the DSM    3 s.h.

This course examines social work in mental health and chemical dependency with an emphasis on the DSM and ICD. Application of assessment is through a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective with a focus on current practices.
Prereq.: concurrent with SCWK 7009.

SCWK 7009    Field Education 3    3 s.h.

A continuation of SCWK 7000 Advanced Direct Practice I. In addition to developing practice methods that integrate a strengths-based empowerment approach with individuals, this course incorporates theoretical frameworks and constructs from empowerment theory, the ecological perspective, solution-focused practice, the feminist perspective, person-centered practice, and other relevant, brief practice approaches.
Prereq.: SCWK 7000.

SCWK 7010    Advanced Direct Practice 2    3 s.h.

Advanced field education placement. Students participate in planned experiences that integrate theoretical knowledge, social work practice skills, and social work ethics and values in direct or macro practice settings. Theoretical frameworks address micro and macro concerns respectively by emphasizing empowerment, individual strengths, solution- focused practice, community building, collaboration and organizational structures.
Concurrent: SCWK 7010.

SCWK 7012    Field Education 4    3 s.h.

This course provides opportunities for students to synthesize and integrate previous coursework from their social work education. Theoretical and experiential assignments are utilized to assist students with increased self-awareness and to prepare them for the transition from college to advanced professional social work practice that emphasizes the strengths-based approach.
Concurrent: SCWK 7012.

SCWK 7013    Capstone    3 s.h.

Advanced seminar on selected topics in social work theory, methods, and research. May be repeated with different topics.

SCWK 7014    Selected Topics in Social Work    3 s.h.