Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Program Director
Hall Memorial Building, S334C
The master of social work program at Gallaudet University prepares students for advanced social work practice with deaf and hard of hearing populations. Graduates possess the knowledge and skills to enter the profession as practitioners in various settings, such as schools, health care agencies, family and child welfare agencies, mental health settings, disability organizations, corrections agencies, organizations that provide services to senior citizens, etc. Graduates possess knowledge and skills in areas of direct generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Graduates may practice in areas such as policy, research, program development, and agency and community work.
The MSW program consists of 60 credit hours of study. The foundation curriculum consists of courses in eight core curriculum areas: human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, field education, values and ethics, diversity, and populations at risk, including social and economic justice. Foundation students attend a concurrent field practicum with courses, entering the field of practice for two eight-hour days a week at an internship site. Students complete the first year of study with approximately 500 hours of field practicum experience in addition to course and lab credit.
The advanced curriculum concentration courses consist of advanced content in all of the curriculum areas. Graduates expand and deepen knowledge and skills acquired during the foundation year and develop special knowledge and skills needed for practice with deaf and hard of hearing populations. Students in the advanced year have a full semester of courses in the fall semester and a full block placement in the spring semester with two online courses. During the spring semester, students are placed in settings that require advanced social work practice skills. Students work at their internship sites for four eight-hour days, totaling thirty-two hours per week or 512 hours for the semester in addition to two online courses. At the completion of the second year of study, students graduate with 12 credits of field practicum (approximately 1012 hours of field practicum) and 50 course credits.
Students in the MSW program may apply to participate in a school social work focus area which is part of Gallaudet's Educator Preparation Providers Unit, accredited by the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Students take courses specifically related to school social work, including school social work policy and school social work practice. Internship experiences during both years take place in school settings or in other education-related agencies. A student may take an approved elective course in order to enhance preparation to work with deaf and hard of hearing children in schools. Participants in this program may apply to take part in a U.S. Department of Education grant, which provides half tuition waivers and stipends during all four semesters. Students selected for the grant opportunity must commit to work in a school setting after graduation.
MSW students must achieve an ASLPI rating of 2 by the end of their foundation curriculum, prior to taking the qualifying examination and prior to admission into the concentration curriculum. Students are responsible for scheduling their ASLPI evaluations by appointment with the Center for American Sign Language Literacy (CASLL) on the second floor of the Merrill Learning Center early in the fall semester of their first year in the program. ASLPI scheduling at the CASLL only occurs during a two-week sign-up period only at the beginning of the semester. This is the only time during a given semester that M.S.W. students may secure individual interviews.
Students not reaching the ASLPI rating of 2 in the fall semester must meet with their advisors to develop a plan of activities (ASL classes and interaction activities) which will facilitate skill and rating advancement. It is the student's responsibility to register for these classes and activities, and to schedule subsequent ASLPI evaluations until the required rating is achieved. A rating of 2+ is required for graduation. Students not achieving the ASLPI rating of 2+ are required to provide a portfolio of documentation which would include the ASLPI or SCPI proficiency level(s) obtained and three letters of recommendation from individuals (internship supervisor, academic advisor, or others), along with everything else the students have done to improve their skills. Then the Social Work Department will make a decision based on that information, the student progress in the M.S.W. program, and the population and setting in which the student aims to work.
Applicants for the MSW in Social Work must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions web site for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Courses' and 'Requirements' tab.
|First Date for Consideration of Application:
||No set date
|Last Date for Completed Application:
Program Specific Requirements
Three Letters of Reference
Writing Sample recommended
On-Campus or Video Phone Interview Recommended
30 Hours of Liberal Arts or Humanities
Occasionally, a student who is unable to satisfy a particular admission requirement but otherwise gives evidence of ability to succeed in a graduate social work program may be awarded admission conditionally. The student then has until the end of the first semester to remove those conditions. If the student does not remove those conditions, he or she will not be allowed to continue in the program.
Students who have graduated with bachelor's degrees in social work from Council on Social Work accredited programs may be eligible for advanced standing through the waiver of first semester courses. Up to 15 credits may be waived if students have received a grade of B or better in their undergraduate courses and are recommended for advanced standing by their undergraduate program. Waiver of field practicum credits requires the recommendation of the field practicum director. Admission with advanced standing is decided on an individual basis and is designed to prevent duplication of material learned in the applicant's undergraduate social work program. Students are encouraged to take electives up to the 6 credit limit.
HSL 707 - Audiology and Hearing Technology for Educators and Counseling Professionals (3)
This course is designed for professionals who work or are preparing to work with individuals with hearing loss. Using an ecological perspective, this course facilitates an understanding of the biological aspects of hearing loss as well as implications for the psychosocial systems. Areas examined include the scope of practice for audiology, sound and hearing, the anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism, etiologies of hearing loss, hearing measurement, audiometric interpretation, aural rehabilitation, and hearing technology including hearing aids, group listening systems, cochlear implants, telecommunication devices and alerting systems which facilitate communication in educational and social contexts. Practical applications of these topics for education and the counseling professionals are explored.
- Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
SWK 705 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3)
This foundation course affirms the central focus of social work practice as the person or human group in interaction with the social environment. Its purpose -- to understand the problematic transactions between people and their environments; its goal -- to use this understanding to restore and enhance mutually beneficial transactions between people and society through reciprocal tasks and adaptations. Concepts of biopsychosocial development across the life span will be presented. The family will be considered as an open system with functions that shift at stages of transitions.
- Prerequisite: Graduate level standing.
SWK 706 - Human Behavioral and the Social Environment II (3)
This course examines the behaviors, functions, and structure of groups, communities, and organizations. Students are introduced to theories that explain interactions within and between each of these larger systems. Students are also given an opportunity to apply many of the theoretical concepts used to explain the behaviors of individuals and families learned in the first semester Human behavior course, to behaviors exhibited by larger systems (groups, communities, and organizations). The course also addresses issues related to equitable distribution of goods and services that may be encountered by macro systems.
SWK 711 - Social Policy and Social Services (3)
This foundation course is an introduction to the understanding and appraisal of social services and social policies in the United States. The social values and economic and political factors which guide their development will be discussed. Attention is given to the role of social work in evaluating and changing policies.
SWK 713 - Issues in Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations (3)
This concentration course, taken in the second year, focuses on human behavior and the social environment of deaf and hard of hearing populations. The course looks at the complex interplay of psychosocial, system, and ecological forces in the life cycle development of individuals who experience deafness. The course explores forces of oppression and political and economic influences that impact the behavior, adaptation, and functioning of deaf and hard of hearing people.
- Prerequisites: SWK 705, SWK 706, and passing the qualifying exams.
SWK 715 - Disability Policy: Implications for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations (3)
This course presents specialized content about social welfare policies affecting deaf and hard of hearing people and people with disabilities. These policies are discussed within the framework of analysis and evaluation to determine future directions for policy. The impact of the service delivery, funding, and organizational systems on the implementation of policy will be considered. The course will look at policies for people who are deaf-blind, developmentally disabled, and chronically mentally ill.
SWK 741 - Social Work Practice I : Individuals (3)
This course is the first Foundation Year practice course given during the first semester of the MSW program. The course focuses on knowledge, values and skill development in social work practice with individuals with an opportunity to develop interviewing skills. The generalist social work model of practice is introduced, which includes engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, termination, and follow up. Particular attention is placed on social work ethics, diverse populations and populations at risk.
- Co-requisites: SWK 744 and SWK 771
SWK 742 - Social Work Practice II (3)
This is the second foundation course in the sequence of social work practice courses. It focuses on the knowledge, values, and skills required for effective intervention with larger systems of organizations and communities. It builds upon knowledge of interventions with individuals and groups to develop foundation skills such as advocating for clients within complex systems, building coalitions, negotiating with diverse groups, assessing community needs, program evaluation, development, management, proposal writing, understanding budgets, and supervision.
SWK 744 - Social Work Practice with Families and Small Groups (2)
This course is a foundation year social work practice course which focuses on the development of social work knowledge, values and skill in work with families and small groups. Students learn how to formulate assessments, develop goals and intervention strategies in work with families and small groups. This course introduces students to a variety of theoretical approaches that can be applied to diverse families and groups including those who are vulnerable or at risk.
- Co-requisites: SWK 741 and SWK 771
SWK 751 - Practice with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations: Micro Interventions (3)
This practice course is taken in the concentration (second year) of the Masters degree program focusing on advanced social work practice with deaf and hard of hearing individuals, couples and families. The course emphasizes the development of culturally sensitive application of strategies and interventions in social work practice. Theoretical models of practice such as family systems theory, ego psychology and brief solution therapy will be applied to deaf and hard of hearing populations. The course deepens and broadens the development of approaches to address ethical dilemmas in practice within Deaf communities.
- Prerequisites: Passing the qualifying examination
Co-requisites: SWK 713
SWK 752 - Practice with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations: Macro Interventions (3)
This is the second concentration practice course with a focus on specialized knowledge and skills needed to work with organizations and communities of which deaf and hard of hearing people are a part. Building on the foundation year principles of intervention with organizations and communities, this course prepares students for macro practice with a diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing people in communities and organizations. Using an empowerment framework, this course focuses on the processes of empowerment of deaf and hard of hearing populations, and interventions that increase their access to political and social processes in communities and organizations. The course addresses ethical issues presented in practice with deaf communities, such as accessibility, communication and language choices, power, oppression and related cultural factors. Topics include grassroots organizing, planning, grant writing and fund raising, administration, social action, needs assessment methodology and program evaluation skills. Empowerment theory, group theory and the strengths perspective are applied in work with deaf and hard of hearing populations.
- Prerequisite: Passing the qualifying examination
Co-requisite: SWK 751
SWK 755 - Qualitative Social Work Research (3)
This three-credit course is a required part of the foundation curriculum that provides social work students with generalist skills needed in the social work profession. This course provides students with an understanding of qualitative research design and evaluation procedures, focusing on concepts and skills required to evaluate practice and program effectiveness. Students evaluate alternative designs or models for research and evaluation, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, visual media comparisons, observational studies, and archival/document designs. Students learn to analyze qualitative data by applying appropriate content coding techniques. In addition, they learn to interpret the results, critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the research designs, and reflect upon how the results can be used for future research or practice.
SWK 756 - Quantitative Social Work Research (3)
This three-credit course is a required part of the foundation curriculum that provides social work students with generalist skills needed in the social work profession. This course provides students with an understanding of quantitative research design and evaluation procedures, focusing on concepts and skills required to evaluate practice and program effectiveness. Students evaluate alternative designs or models for research and evaluation, including group and single-system designs. Students learn to analyze quantitative data by applying appropriate statistical tests. In addition, they learn to interpret the results, critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the research designs, and reflect upon how the results can be used for future research or practice.
SWK 771 - Foundation Field Practicum I (3)
Foundation Field Practicum I comprises a semester-long 16-hour-per-week supervised experience in a social service agency or school and a bi-weekly seminar class. Under the guidance of experienced M.S.W. social work internship supervisors, students do initial and ongoing assessments, plan and implement interventions designed to bring about personal growth, empower clients and client systems, and promote social change. The bi-weekly class sessions are designed to help students integrate the field experience with theory application and practice interventions with peers in a small group environment.
- Co-requisites: SWK 741 and SWK 744
SWK 772 - Foundation Field Practicum II (3)
This course follows successful completion of SWK 771. Students return to their agencies approximately two weeks prior to the start of classes for 16 hours a week for 17 weeks. Understanding of generalist social work theory and the development of intervention skills are expanded during this semester. Students refine and deepen the goals of their learning contract, as well as the skills of assessment and intervention with clients and client systems.
- Prerequisite: SWK 771
Co-requisite: SWK 742
SWK 783 - Advanced Field Practicum with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations (6)
Students in advanced year have a full block placement in the spring semester while taking two additional online courses. During the semester, students are placed in internship settings that require advanced social work practice skills. Students work at their practicum sites for four eight hours days totaling thirty-two hours per week, or 512 hours for the semester. The field practicum is an agency or school carefully selected to promote learning in the concentration focus of deaf and hard of hearing populations. An experienced MSW field instructor supervises the student in practicum. The goal of the practicum is for students to deepen their knowledge and skills in social work practice, particularly with deaf and hard of hearing populations. The practicum serves as a vehicle for students to integrate knowledge, skills, ethical and professional values, culturally competent practice approaches, and ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of each social work intervention.
- Prerequisites: SWK 771 and SWK 772
SWK 791 - Research Practicum I: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations (3)
This course builds on principles of research taught in the first year; the student applies them to an area of interest within the concentration focus of deaf and hard of hearing populations. During this semester, students will develop a proposal for a research project or thesis. Each phase of the research process (topic development, literature review, development of problem statement, conceptual framework and methodology) will be reviewed; additional material will be taught as needed for application of general principles to the areas of research with Deaf and Hard of hearing populations. The final assignment for the course will be the student's completed application to the Institutional Review Board in preparation for data collection and analysis during the second semester.