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Graduate Catalog 2017-2018
Cleveland State University
   
 
  Oct 23, 2017
 
 
    
Graduate Catalog 2017-2018

Social Work, MSW


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School of Social Work

Rhodes Tower 1417
(216) 687-4560

Web-page: http://www.csuohio.edu/class/socialwork/index.html

E-mail: Patricia Stoddard-Dare, MSW Program Coordinator

The Program

The program provides a rigorous intellectual base, an opportunity for effective skill development, and an educational perspective that views human diversity as desirable and enriching to society. Students are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to the social work profession, the conceptual base of professional social work, the  broad-based research strategies of the field, and the various social work roles and intervention strategies used in social work practice. Students may enroll in the Traditional program full-time (2 years), accelerated part-time (2.5 years), or extended part-time (4 years). We also offer a full time (1 year), accelerated part-time (1.5 years), or extended part-time (2 years) advanced-standing program.

Careers in Social Work

Graduates of the joint Master of Social Work program hold a variety of positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The alumni roster includes directors of local agencies and other nonprofit organizations, as well as program planners and managers working in a broad spectrum of human service agencies.

Faculty Research and Publications

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Program Options


There are two distinct program options–the Traditional MSW program or the Advanced standing program.

The Traditional MSW Program


The first option is the Traditional MSW program which is a 60-credit masters program and typically takes 2 years full-time, 2.5 years accelerated part-time, or 4 years extended part-time.

Traditional MSW Program Prerequisites


Students are not required to have a bachelor’s degree in social work or any other specific major in order to be considered for admissions to the Traditional MSW program, but they should have earned a bachelors degree and completed a minimum of eight social science classes prior to admissions. Social science classes include but are not limited to psychology, speech communication, women’s studies, political science, gerontology, criminal justice, anthropology, diversity, African American studies, human development, economics, social work, sociology, and urban studies. Student that do not have a minimum of eight social sciences classes may submit a petition with their application materials demonstrating how they have learned commensurate social science content elsewhere.  The minimum required GPA for admissions to the Traditional MSW program is an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

The Advanced Standing Program


The second program option is the Advanced Standing Program. The advanced standing program is an accelerated master of social work program. The advanced standing program consists of a minimum of 30 credits which can be completed in one year full-time or one and half years accelerated part-time, or two years extended part-time. Many students in the advanced standing program have past exposure to content on social work ethics and diversity which is prerequisite knowledge. Advanced standing students have two options, 1) they can choose to take SWK 501 - Ethical Decision Making for Social Work Practice  and SWK 508 - Disparities, Diversity, and Inclusion  while enrolled in the advanced standing program, or 2) they can demonstrate competency in these two academic areas by passing a proficiency exam.

Advanced Standing Prerequisites


Students must have a bachelor of social work degree from a BSW program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) within the last 5 years in order to be considered for the advanced standing program. They also must have a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their undergraduate social work classes.

Clinical or Advanced Generalist Specialization


During the specialization year, all students (Traditional and Advanced Standing) will be required to select a specialization-either “Clinical” or “Advanced Generalist.” Applicants will be asked to state their desired specialization in their application materials.

Clinical Specialization


Students in the clinical specialization develop skills to be competent in the practice of psychotherapy, that is, to provide behavioral and mental health assessment and treatment for individuals, couples, families, and groups.  The clinical specialization integrates a trauma informed curriculum.  Students trained with a clinical trauma-informed specialization can be prepared to work with a range of clients in mental health clinics, hospitals, child welfare, social serve agencies, substance abuse settings, domestic violence and rape crisis centers.  Graduates will also be prepared to address neighborhood violence, gun violence, and gang-related violence providing individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and programs for victims. This is the most common path to licensure.

Advanced Generalist Specialization


The advanced generalist specialization prepares students to assess and intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Students develop competencies for practice in settings that prepare them to take the Advanced Generalist examination for Ohio’s Licensed Independent Social Worker license. Social workers with an advanced generalist, multi-dimensional skill set work in hospitals and nursing homes, rehabilitation, child welfare, aging, developmental disability, settlement houses, social service agencies, and in advocacy, community education, community organizing, and other settings serving clients and communities.

Order of courses


Students must adhere to the schedule of courses as outlined to ensure progress toward graduation. The curriculum is sequenced so students must complete courses in a specified order. Students can contact the department to access a list of required courses and when they are offered.

Field Practicum


For the Traditional MSW program, students are required to complete two, two-semester field practicums generally at two different program sites. The first two-semester practicums take place while students are completing the generalist curriculum and the second two-semester practicums take place when students are completing their specialization.

The first generalist practice practicum (SWK 504  and SWK 506 ) requires a total of 400 hours (200 per semester), which students complete for 13 weeks each semester at 16 hours per week. 

The specialization practicum (SWK 612  and SWK 618  or SWK 621  and SWK 628 ) requires 500 hours (250 per semester) which students complete for 15 weeks each semester at 17 hours per week for the grand total of 900 hours during the MSW program.  

Students in the Advanced Standing Program only need to complete the two-semester specialization practicums. Students complete their practicums during the fall and spring semesters. Weekend/evening field placements are competitive and are limited in
 number. Weekend/evening field placements are not guaranteed. Some students are able to complete their field practicums at their place of employment under certain circumstances with departmental approval. In order to proceed with timely completion of their graduate studies students may need to plan to complete their field placement during normal business hours (M-F 8am-5pm).

Admission Information


The priority application deadline for summer admission is January 15; late applications will be reviewed but may be subject to a later start date. February 28 is the deadline for fall admission. Submit materials to the Cleveland State University Graduate Admissions Office. Students are expected to adhere to the program format under which they were admitted (day/evening, full-time/part-time, advanced standing). Any changes in this admission status will be based on the program’s ability to accommodate the change. Changes must be requested before the beginning of the academic year.

All students must gain admission to the Program in order to earn the MSW degree. There is no foreign language requirement for admissions. For international students, the minimum combined score on the internet TOEFL exam is 78 including at least 20 in reading, 21 in listening, 17 in writing, and 20 in speaking. Only official test scores received directly from ETS are accepted. No academic credit is given for work or life experience. Students applying prior to completing their bachelor degree must provide evidence of successful completion of their degree prior to beginning the MSW program. In addition to the College of Graduate Studies admission requirements at Cleveland State, the School of Social Work requires the following:

Required Materials
 for Traditional MSW Program Admission


  1. Three references will be required. It is preferred that all  come from a student’s professor, field supervisor, work supervisor, or academic advisor. At a minimum, two of the references must be the student’s professor, field supervisor, work supervisor, or academic advisor. Exceptions may be granted by the MSW Program Coordinator if more than five years have passed since the applicant attended school or work. One reference may come from a supervisor of a social work-related volunteer activity, including a social work-related volunteer activity performed in a religious setting. Family members may not be used as a reference. In lieu of a traditional letter of reference, references should complete the MSW Program Reference Form  available.
  2. A writing sample. An essay of three to five typed pages (1.5 spacing) explaining: 

a. Why the student wants to be a social worker;

b. Why a graduate degree is felt to be necessary to fulfill the applicant’s personal or professional objectives;

c. The applicant’s views regarding diversity in society; 

d. A situation in which the student was the recipient/provider of help, emotionally, socially, or economically; and 

e. A description of the applicant’s previous social work/human service work experience.

  1. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and undergraduate institutions attended. Students who apply before completing their bachelor degree must submit evidence of degree completion before beginning the MSW program.

Required Materials for Advanced Standing Admission


  1. Three references will be required. It is preferred that all three references come from a student’s professor, field supervisor, work supervisor, or academic advisor. At a minimum, two of the references must be the student’s professor, field supervisor, work supervisor, or academic advisor. One reference may come from a supervisor of a social work-related volunteer activity, including a social work-related volunteer activity performed in a religious setting. Family members may not be used as a reference. In lieu of a traditional letter of reference, references should complete the MSW Program Reference Form  available.
  2. A writing sample. An essay of three to five typed pages (1.5 spacing) explaining: 

a. Why the student wants to be a social worker; 

b. Why a graduate degree is felt to be necessary to fulfill the applicant’s personal or professional objectives; 

c. The applicant’s views regarding diversity in society; 

d. A situation in which the student was the recipient/provider of help, emotionally, socially, or economically; and 

e. A description of the applicant’s previous social work/human service work experience.

  1. All advanced standing applicants will be required to include their field evaluations from both required undergraduate practicums.  For those admitted students who are continuing directly from a BSW program to the MSW program, admission will be considered pending until they successfully complete field and their final field evaluation is received.
  2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Students who apply before completing their bachelor degree must submit evidence of degree completion before beginning the MSW program.

Chemical Dependency Counseling Certificate Program


Students who graduate with their MSW and a clinical specialization have the option of completing the requirements for the Chemical Dependency Counseling Certificate Program. This 12 credit program is accredited by the Ohio Board of Chemical Dependency Professionals as meeting 180 hours of chemical dependency specific content in nine different content areas required for licensure. Any post baccalaureate student may take the CD classes, but to earn the CD certificate students must also complete their MSW with the Clinical specialization. The courses for the certificate include SWK 694 SWK 615 , CNS 501 , CNS 502 , and CNS 503 . Following successful completion of these classes and the MSW degree, students must submit a certificate completion form. Questions about this certificate program can be directed to cd@csuohio.edu.

Felony History


Applicants should be aware that having a prior felony conviction or prior sanctions for unprofessional conduct may impact future potential for obtaining field placements, social work employment, and licensure. All applicants to social work licensure are required by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions with the exception of minor traffic violations (DUI/OVI charges are not considered traffic violations and must be reported as criminal convictions) for licensure. For the licensure application, all charges and or convictions require a “yes” answer to the question, “Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor other than a minor traffic violation?” even if the original charge and conviction is an expunged status. Falsification could result in delayed placement and other action, including Student Conduct Code charges up to and including dismissal from the program.

Testing-Out Policy


To assist students in avoiding duplication and redundancy of course content during the generalist practice year, the MSW program allows students the opportunity to test out of the following courses:

Note(s):


Students who wish to test out of one or more of the above courses must notify the MSW Program Coordinator at least three weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the course is typically taught. Each exam may be taken only once. Students who test out of a class or classes are still required to complete a total of 60 graduate credit hours.

Transfer of Credit


Up to one-third of the total credits required for the MSW degree may be transferred from another accredited social work graduate program at an accredited college or university. All transfer credits must be at the “A” or “B” level. The credits must fall within the six-year time limit to complete degree requirements. Relevance of the credits will be determined by the MSW faculty. Credit hours must not have been applied toward a previous graduate degree. Transfer students from other social work programs must submit fieldwork evaluation(s) and official transcripts at the time of application for admission. Please see the college of graduate studies webpage for further information about transferring graduate credit.

Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society


An MSW student at Cleveland State who is enrolled in their specialization year and has a cumulative GPA of 3.75 in all graduate level social work classes qualifies to join as a Life Member of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society, Delta Zeta chapter.

Financial Assistance


A limited number of graduate assistantships and graduate tuition grants are available to qualified students. Interested students should contact the School Work department at 216-687-4560.

Degree Requirements


Traditional MSW Program


Each student enrolled in the Traditional MSW program must complete a minimum of 60 graduate credits of required and elective courses. There is no foreign language requirement. Students must complete the following required courses (all classes are 3 credits unless otherwise noted):

Required Generalist Courses


Advanced Standing Program


Each student enrolled in the Advanced Standing MSW program must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credits of approved required and elective courses. There is no foreign language requirement. Students must select either a clinical or advanced generalist specialization and complete the following courses required for their selected specialization. Many advanced standing students have received previous instruction regarding social work ethics and diversity. Students will be provided an opportunity to demonstrate competency in these two academic areas via a test out examination. Students who do not pass the examination will be required to take two additional classes to remediate this deficiency. The two courses are SWK 501 - Ethical Decision Making for Social Work Practice  (3 credits), and SWK 508 - Disparities, Diversity, and Inclusion  (3 credits). Students who pass the proficiency exam do not need to make up these credits.

Elective Courses may be selected from the following list:


Non-degree seeking students


Social Work classes are open to degree seeking students only. The only exceptions are SWK 694 , SWK 615 , CNS 501 , CNS 502 , and CNS 503  which can be taken by non-degree seeking students.

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