MSW Program Mission Statement
The Master of Social Work Program at Gallaudet University prepares its graduates to become competent and ethical professional social workers who are committed to social change, the promotion of societal well-being, and commitment to the improvement of service delivery to deaf and hard of hearing populations. The program emphasizes the cultural and linguistic competencies necessary to work effectively with diverse deaf, hearing and hard of hearing populations and to become advocates and leaders who challenge long standing social injustices faced by this population. The program curriculum uses a generalist social work perspective and person-in-environment framework which emphasizes the core values of the social work profession: service, human rights, social and economic justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, and integrity and competence in social work practice. The core competencies of the social work profession, including scientific inquiry, are integral to the MSW curriculum, which emphasizes the strengths and capacities of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities in a global society.
A Nationally Accredited Social Work Program
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 61 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 graduating from a baccalaureate program in social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and who meet other eligibility requirements may qualify for Advanced Standing status. Students who are eligible for Advanced Standing are generally not required to take SWK705: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I (3) and SWK706: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (3), SWK741: Social Work Practice I (3) and SWK742: Social Work Practice II (3), SWK744: Social Work Practice with Families and Groups (2), SWK711: Social Policy and Social Services (3), SWK755: Qualitative Social Work Research (3) and SWK756: Quantitative Social Work Research (3): SWK771: Foundation Field Practicum I (4) and SWK772: Foundation Field Practicum II (4) in the foundation curriculum equivalent to a two semester full time load. Advanced standing students must achieve a pre-admission ASLPI score of 2 and submit a letter of recommendation for advanced standing from their BSW Director of Field Instruction with their application.
The following courses are considered clinical course work, which in addition to your MSW, qualify you for social work licensure examinations in states, which specify clinical course credit: SWK705 Human Behavior in the Social Environment; SWK741 Social Work Practice I; SWK744 Social Work Practice with Families and Small Groups; SWK709 Social Work Perspectives on Dysfunction; SWK713 HBSE: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations; SWK702 Play Therapy; SWK751 Practice with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations: Micro Interventions; SWK771 Foundation Field Practicum I ; SWK772 Foundation Field Practicum II; and SWK783 Advanced Field Practicum: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Populations.
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 SWK761 School Social Work Policy and SWK760 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. For more information, contact Dr. Martha Sheridan, Coordinator of School Social Work Focus, at Martha.Sheridan@gallaudet.edu.
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