Coursework

Coursework

The Millersville University | Kutztown University joint DSW program is offered in the following program sequence.

Doctor of Social Work (DSW) Coursework

Social Work Leadership I

This is the first of a sequence of two courses on advanced leadership and management for Doctor of Social Work students.  Students will glean a theoretical orientation to the study of organizations and leadership within organizations.  This examination of theories will reflect the values of the social work profession and their application to social service systems, structures, and processes.  Also explored will be theories of organizational change, organizational challenges, and organizational effectiveness. Within the context of social service organizations, leadership approaches and theories are also examined. 3 s.h. 3 c.h. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the DSW program or permission of the chair of the department.

Students will:

  • Understand selected theories of organizational functioning
  • Utilize strategies and methods available to influence organizational behavior
  • Recognize leadership approaches and their application to organizational contexts
  • Facilitate organizational change toward innovative practice

Social Work Leadership II

This is the second course in the advanced leadership and management sequence. The focus of this course is on development of knowledge and skills for social work managers within the public and private social service sector.  Additional attention will be given to leading in times of fiscal constraint, political changes, and workforce challenges. 3 s.h. 3 c.h. Prerequisite: Social Work Leadership I or permission of the chair of the department.

Students will:

  • Incorporate historic and current theories of management into administrative practice
  • Identify management tasks within varied organizational environments
  • Develop an understanding of relevant administrative practices and principles
  • Recognize the role of management in producing and implementing change within an agency
  • Understand the values and ethics involved in managing human service organizations
  • Become familiar with managerial challenges within a political environment
  • Apply management concepts and skills to a variety of situations

The Social Work Teacher-Scholar I

This is the first of a sequence of two courses on social work teaching and scholarship for Doctor of Social Work students. The course will enable the students to critically examine seminal and contemporary works in pedagogy.  The connection of these theories to social work teaching and learning will be a central component of this course, including particular emphasis on the historical evolution of social work education. The course provides students with an opportunity to explore seminal works from a historical perspective and critically evaluate contemporary theories of teaching and learning in social work.  It is required preparation for the second course in the sequence in which students develop a unique and personal conceptual framework for their own teaching. 3 s.h. 3 c.h. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the DSW program or permission of the chair of the department.

Students will:

  • Categorize and discriminate among seminal and contemporary theories of education in social work
  • Critically examine and appraise theories of social work relative to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Work
  • Demonstrate the beginnings of the process of adopting the professional identity of the social work scholar-practitioner in part through adoption of the attribute of the life-long learner and the conscious use of the professional self

The Social Work Teacher-Scholar II

This is the second in a sequence of two courses about social work teaching and scholarship for Doctor of Social Work students.  The course provides students with an opportunity to critically evaluate theories of teaching and learning, particularly in contemporary settings in social work.  Students will craft a conceptual framework to guide their own career as instructors in a variety of social work settings, including undergraduate and graduate professional social work education.  They will practice course planning and delivery along with program development and student/course/program assessment with attention to accreditation requirements.  In addition, they will develop understanding of the roles of the social work teacher-scholar in academe and other settings.  3 s.h. 3 c.h. Prerequisite The Social Work Teacher-Scholar I or permission of the chair of the department.

Students will:

  • Identify, articulate, and synthesize theories of social work education for their own practice
  • Design, effectively deliver, and evaluate curricula for diverse learners consistent with evidence-based teaching practice
  • Demonstrate self-reflection to assess and continuously improve teaching effectiveness in the context of a mentoring relationship
  • Demonstrate an understanding of teaching, scholarship, service responsibilities, and career progression in the academy
  • Apply setting-appropriate accreditation standards to curriculum development

Research Methodology

This course provides a connection between social science theory building and research.  It explores in depth the logic of research and the stages of the scientific process.   Central to this course are also the major methods, designs, techniques, and strategies in the practice of social research.  The role of research in social work practice as well as the strengths and limitations of various approaches, designs, methods and techniques will be examined.  Data gathering, information processing systems, and analytical techniques will form a major focus in this course.  Of particular importance will be the students’ development of skill for designing proposals for evidence-based ethical research. While qualitative and mixed methods will be covered, the major emphasis of the course will be on quantitative approaches and analytical techniques.  Instruction will include modeling teaching methods of research methodology courses, use of modern software for quantitative and qualitative analysis, and the proper uses of statistical analysis including that at the multivariate levels of analysis and structural equation modeling.  Knowledge and skill learned in this course will constitute the building block for subsequent research related coursework in the DSW program and the completion of a successful dissertation.

Students will:

  • Critically review and synthesize knowledge.
  • Locate, adapt and apply evidence based interventions to specific populations/biopsychosocial challenges consistent with social work values as articulated by the National Association of Social Workers
  • Understand uses of information management systems
  • Understand information collection, storage and manipulation
  • Use current software for information processing

Multivariate Analysis

Doctoral students will practice descriptive, univariate and bivariate inferential statistics, and multiple regression.  Further, students will gain a foundation in repeated measures analysis, logistic regression, and multivariate analysis of variance.  Students will use multivariate analysis to conduct meta-analysis of literature and the evaluation of programs.

Students will:

  • Critically review and synthesize knowledge.
  • Apply multivariate statistical analysis for research and evaluation
  • Use multivariate statistical analysis to initiate and carry out evaluation of process, outcome, and continuous improvement

Intervention Research

This advanced research course will introduce students to the five steps of intervention development, testing, and dissemination.  Students will be given the opportunity to practice elements of these stages to master the strategies of implementing, documenting, and evaluating interventions that respond to social problems affecting systems of all sizes (e.g., individual, family, group, community). 

Students will:

  • Critically review and synthesize knowledge.
  • Initiate and carry out evaluation of process, outcome, and continuous improvement
  • Assess communities for readiness for change
  • Assess organizations for readiness for change
  • Locate, adapt and apply evidence based interventions to specific populations/biopsychosocial challenges consistent with social work values as articulated by the National Association of Social Workers
  • Understand uses of information management systems
  • Use current software for information processing
  • Understand information collection, storage and manipulation

Leadership/Teaching Praxis I, II

This experiential, two-semester course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the course content from the program’s first year.  Students will participate in supervisory leadership and/or teaching activities that provide experiential learning and application and integration of theory and skills acquired in earlier coursework.  Weekly meetings are a required component of this course and the meetings will be facilitated by a faculty member to instruct, guide, and assess student’s progress related to the leadership and/or teaching praxis. 

Students will:

  • Carry out ethical decision making for leadership
  • Conduct strategic planning
  • Develop advanced strategies and skills for engagement and change with simple and complex client systems
  • Create and apply advanced differential models/approaches to leadership and supervision, including volunteer leadership, fundraising, grant writing, budgeting, and cost-benefit analysis.
  • Develop innovative programming with input from all levels of staff and stakeholders.
  • Facilitate policy development and implementation to meet community needs
  • Facilitate organizational change toward innovative practice.
  • Locate, adapt and apply evidence-based interventions to specific settings/client populations
  • Carry out clinical team leadership
  • Critically review and synthesize knowledge.
  • Initiate and carry out evaluation of process, outcome, and continuous improvement
  • Assess communities for readiness for change
  • Assess organizations for readiness for change
  • Locate, adapt and apply evidence based interventions to specific populations/biopsychosocial challenges consistent with social work values as articulated by the National Association of Social Workers
  • Understand uses of information management systems
  • Use current software for information processing
  • Understand information collection, storage and manipulation
  • Conceptualize and construct social work theory for teaching and leadership
  • Use qualitative research methodology and grounded theory to develop social work practice theory
  • Demonstrate mastery of one selected social theory: critically evaluate empirical data, inform professional decision-making
  • Design curricula for a diversity of learners and learning styles consistent with evidence-based teaching practice
  • Categorize and discriminate among seminal and contemporary theories of education in social work.
  • Critically examine and appraise theories of social work relative to the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • Synthesize, justify, and internalize selections of theories of social work education for practice.
  • Effectively deliver curriculum using such techniques of adult learning as constructive and collaborative learning, distance education and technologically-enhanced education
  • Demonstrate effective instructional techniques including the use of self-reflection to assess and continuously improve teaching effectiveness.
  • Apply CSWE EPAS to implicit and explicit curriculum development
  • Evaluate course efficacy 
  • Understand career progression in the academy
  • Adopt attributes of the life-long learner
  • Integrate mentoring experiences into academic development
  • Understand teaching, scholarship and service responsibilities in the academy

Qualitative Research

This course prepares doctoral students to understand the core process of qualitative study including the study design, data analysis techniques, and ethics. The students will study strategies of qualitative research including designs such as case study and ethnography along with data analysis methods such as narrative and grounded theory. The course design provides opportunities to learn the tools to enhance and critically evaluate the rigor of a qualitative study as well as to write research proposals, report findings, and identify how knowledge of social work practice, policy, and education can be advanced through qualitative research.

Students will:

  • Critically review and synthesize knowledge.
  • Initiate and carry out qualitative evaluation of process, outcome, and continuous improvement
  • Assess communities for readiness for change using qualitative data and analysis
  • Assess organizations for readiness for change using qualitative data and analysis
  • Locate, adapt and apply evidence based interventions to specific populations/biopsychosocial challenges consistent with social work values as articulated by the National Association of Social Workers
  • Understand uses of information management systems for qualitative data
  • Use current qualitative research software for information processing
  • Understand qualitative information collection, storage and manipulation

 

Dissertation Seminar

Students will engage in a collaborative learning experience in which they explore different ways of knowing in social sciences.  They will become familiar with a variety of theoretical perspectives (based upon the interests of the group) and will practice integrating those theories with their professional social work practice as they work toward formulating a research question and identifying a relevant theoretical perspective from which to examine it in the upcoming dissertation.  Ethical considerations in research will be examined, and students will become familiar with their institution’s IRB process.  Dissertation process will be considered, including the development of the dissertation committee. In addition, students will consider deeply the relationship between their education and their future roles as leaders and educators.

Students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of one selected social theory: critically evaluate empirical data, inform professional decision-making
  • Adopt attributes of the life-long learner
  • Integrate mentoring experiences into academic development
  • Understand the professional and civic responsibilities of the social work leader and scholar

Dissertation I, II

Students will work in close consultation with a faculty member to build upon the research question crafted in the Dissertation Seminar.  They will gain institutional approval for the conduct of their independent research and will conduct the research under the supervision of the faculty member.  A focus will be placed on the completion of a traditional dissertation in the context of the development of applied knowledge that will be relevant to the social work profession; as such, the student will develop components of the dissertation that may be published or presented in refereed venues.

Students will:

  • Complete an independent dissertation including a publishable, stand-alone literature review
  • Publish and/or present one component of the dissertation in at least one refereed venue