Graduate Catalog 2014-2015
Home | Graduate Catalog 2014-2015 | Graduate Programs, Disciplines, and Course Offerings | Master of Social Work (MSW)
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Program Director: Professor Christine Flynn Saulnier
Building 1L, Room 201G
The purpose of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to educate students for advanced, urban social work practice in the community, region, and worldwide, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of people with disabilities. Social work is a profession that strives to create a just and equitable world for the future of humanity. Guided by a code of ethics, social work is committed to ending oppression, embracing diversity, and ensuring that individuals, communities, and organizations function at an optimal level. The College of Staten Island is located on the former campus of the Willowbrook State School, an institution for people with developmental disabilities that was closed due to inhumane conditions and inadequate management. Given the history of Willowbrook State School, it is part of the mission of the MSW program at the College of Staten Island to develop a rigorous academic program that educates professionals who respond to the needs of former Willowbrook residents and clients, the larger disabilities communities, and others who live on Staten Island and in the region.
The curriculum is guided by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) (the accrediting body for social work education programs) and the State of New York Education Department. The MSW program totals 60 credit hours including four internship courses. The Advanced Standing MSW program totals 30 credit hours including two internship courses for those who earned a baccalaureate degree in social work within the past five years from a program accredited by CSWE. Credit is not granted for life or work experience.
The advanced curriculum is grounded in a social constructionist perspective aimed at addressing issues of oppression and discrimination, promoting social and economic justice, creating an inclusive and barrier-free society, and developing a positive identity for people with disabilities. While acknowledging that physical, sensory, intellectual or psychological impairments may cause individual functional limitations, this theoretical perspective recognizes that these do not necessarily have to lead to disabilities unless society fails to ensure inclusion and acceptance of people with individual differences. It is understood that the concept of disabilities will vary according to cultural expectations and values, history and sociopolitical context. Therefore, while the curriculum includes content on traditional (i.e., medical model) assessment, diagnosis and intervention, it is balanced by critique of this model, and focused on knowledge and skills grounded in a social constructionist perspective.
The MSW program has been approved by the New York State Education Department as meeting the educational requirements to sit for the Licensed Master of Social Work exam and licensure in New York State, upon graduation. Students will also take the 12 credits of clinical content needed to pursue clinical licensure.
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