2021–2022 Walden University Catalog (September 2021) 
    
    Dec 06, 2021  
2021–2022 Walden University Catalog (September 2021)

Master of Social Work (MSW)


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The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program is designed to prepare students to provide services to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. By selecting one of four concentrations focused on specific populations, students learn to draw from social work theory and methods to engage, evaluate, and intervene in the problems experienced by individuals, families, and groups. Skills gained through this program can be applied in schools, hospitals, private practice, social service agencies, and mental health clinics. Students have an additional opportunity to increase their knowledge by choosing an optional focus area in one of five key areas, and customized case studies throughout the program add perspective to the curriculum. In-person residencies and field experience also help prepare graduates to provide culturally and contextually relevant social work services in their practice, using mentoring, supervision, advocacy, and collaboration activities with their varied client populations.

Learning Outcomes


Graduates of Walden’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program will be prepared to:

  1. Develop a professional orientation and identity as a social worker.
  2. Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration of social work.
  3. Apply principles of advocacy that promote cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
  4. Utilize evidence-based research and critical-thinking skills to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
  5. Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices.
  6. Apply knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Program Goals


Program Goals CSWE Competencies
Demonstrate the development of a professional orientation and identity as a social worker. (PG 1) Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
Apply legal and ethical standards in clinical social work practice. (PG 2) Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
Apply principles of advocacy that promote cultural understanding and positive social change. (PG 3) Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice
Utilize evidence-based research and critical-thinking skills to inform practice clinical social work practice in meeting the needs of diverse clientele. (PG 4) Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
Synthesize and apply theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive social work practices. (PG 5) Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, and groups. (PG 6) Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Concentrations


These previous MSW concentrations are no longer accepting new students. Current students in these concentrations must complete their programs of study in accordance with Walden’s Time-to-Degree Completion policies.

 

Focus Areas


Minimum Degree Requirements


  • 92–97 total quarter credits (depending upon Focus Area)
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (65 cr.)
  • Electives (10 cr. required; 15 cr. for Focus Area and optional certificate)
  • Field Experience (12 cr.)
  • Two Social Work Skills Labs (1 cr. each). These labs include online course content integrated with a 3-day, face-to-face or virtual synchronous requirement.
    • 3 weeks online
    • 3 days face-to-face or virtual synchronous sessions
    • 2 weeks online

Note: The following (tracks) are available for the MSW program:

  • Traditional option (up to two courses/term)—This track is similar to most traditional master’s-level programs in which students either complete one or two courses per quarter.
  • Traditional Fast Track option (Intensive course load)—This track requires students to complete three courses in the first quarter, while completing two courses in the remaining quarters.
  • Advanced Standing (requires BSW)—This track is for students who enter the program with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Advanced Standing Minimum Degree Requirements


  • 52–57 total quarter credits
  • Core courses (35 cr.)
  • Electives (10–15 cr.)
  • Field Experience (6 cr.)
  • One Social Work Skills Lab (1 cr.) 

Curriculum


Skills Lab Requirements


  • Complete   after completing SOCW 6002; required before entering SOCW 6500 - Social Work Field Education I. (Exception: Advanced Standing students can skip Social Work Skills Lab I.)
  • Complete   after SOCW 6510 and prior to enrolling in SOCW 6520 - Social Work Field Education III. (Exception: Advanced Standing students must complete Social Work Skills Lab II after SOCW 6002.)

Course Sequences


Course Sequence: Traditional


Students must complete Social Work Skills Lab I prior to taking SOCW 6500 (field education course).

Students must complete Social Work Skills Lab II prior to taking SOCW 6520 (field education course).

The recommended course sequence is as follows:

Quarter Course Credits
1    3 cr.
   5 cr.
2    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
3    5 cr.
   5 cr.
4    3 cr.
   5 cr.
5    3 cr.
   5 cr.
6    5 cr.
   5 cr.
7    5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
8    5 cr.
Elective Course 1 5 cr.
9    5 cr.
   3 cr.
10 Elective Course 2 5 cr.
   3 cr.
11 Elective Course 3 (optional) 5 cr.

 

Traditional Fast Track


Students must complete Social Work Skills Lab I prior to taking SOCW 6500 (field education course).

Students must complete Social Work Skills Lab II prior to taking SOCW 6520 (field education course).

More than two courses may be taken in a term as long as the prerequisites are met.

Course Credits
   3 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   3 cr.
   5 cr.
   3 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   5 cr.
   1 cr.
   5 cr.
Elective Course 1 5 cr.
   5 cr.
   3 cr.
Elective Course 2 5 cr.
   3 cr.
Elective Course 3 (optional) 5 cr.

 

Graduate Certificate in Social Work (Optional Embedded Certificate)


Students can choose to focus their studies by selecting two elective courses from the same focus area. An optional certificate, along with the MSW, can be added to the MSW program if students select three courses from a specific focus area. (Note: Optional certificates add 5 credits to the program.)

The five optional certificates align with the focus areas:

  • Graduate Certificate in Social Work: Addictions
  • Graduate Certificate in Social Work: Child and Family
  • Graduate Certificate in Social Work: Healthcare
  • Graduate Certificate in Social Work: Military
  • Graduate Certificate in Social Work: Trauma

Accreditation Statement


Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.

Note on Licensure


The Walden University Master of Social Work (MSW) program is designed to prepare graduates to practice as licensed social workers in many states. However, the requirements for licensure as a social worker vary greatly from state to state. Each state board that is responsible for regulating the practice of social work has its own academic requirements and issues its own license to practice as a social worker in that state. Additionally, students should be advised that the Walden MSW program is not designed or intended to prepare graduates for licensure as a school social worker; however, graduates might be eligible for licensure as a school social worker in their particular state of residence.

While Walden enrollment specialists can provide general information relating to the state-by-state educational requirements for social work licensure or certification, it remains the student’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to field education experiences, licensing or certification, authorization, or endorsement for the state in which she or he resides. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure, certification, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. Licensure eligibility determinations are ultimately determined by the appropriate state board that issues the credential to practice.

Prospective students enrolling in licensure-leading programs are advised that relocation to another state may impact the student’s ability to complete field experiences and/or to obtain professional licensure, certification, or other credential in another state. Prospective students are advised to carefully review, evaluate, and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.

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