Dec 11, 2019  
2019-2020 Springfield College Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Springfield College Catalog

Social Work


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Program Information


The Master of Social Work program prepares social workers for professional practice through a single concentration in advanced generalist practice. Students graduate well-equipped to work at the individual, family, group, organization, and community levels with evidence-based and knowledge-guided practice.

Mission: 
Through the teaching of social work knowledge and practice, the Masters in Social Work program at Springfield College prepares individuals to meet universal human needs in order to engender mutually beneficial interaction between individuals and societal systems at all levels, based on principles of economic and social justice, dignity, and human rights.

Program options:
The School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences offers the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree through five options of study:

  1. Master of social work weekday program (full-time, two years)- In this option, classes meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition to classroom work, a field practicum is required in each of four semesters and participation in fall field seminars is required. The field practica take place during weekday business hours.
  2. Master of social work weekend program (part-time, three years)- In this option, classes meet seven times per semester in the fall and spring and in two summer semesters. In addition to classroom work, a field practicum is required in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth semesters, along with fall field seminars. The content and quality of the weekday and weekend programs are the same. The field practica take place during weekday business hours.
  3. Advanced standing program for highly qualified graduates of bachelor of social work (B.S.W.) programs (full-time, three semesters during weekdays or part-time, four semesters during weekends)- The B.S.W. program must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the B.S.W. must have been successfully completed within five years of enrollment at the in the Springfield College Master of Social Work program.  The content and quality of the weekday and weekend programs are the same. This program also requires one field practicum and two field seminars.  The field practicum takes place during weekday business hours.
  4. Master of social work/juris doctor (M.S.W./J.D.) dual degree program with Western New England University School of Law (full-time, four years) - This program allows the student to earn both degrees in less time than it would take to pursue each degree separately. (Credits for the juris doctor degree are beyond the 60 credits required for the Master of Social Work.)  This program also requires two social work field practica and two fall field seminars.  The field practica take place during weekday business hours.

Admission requirements for the M.S.W. programs:

For admission to the Master of Social Work weekday, weekend, advanced standing, M.S.W./J.D., and B.S./M.S.W. programs, a graduate candidate must have, and provide evidence of, as part of the application:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that reflects a broad background in liberal arts, with at least twenty semester hours in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences including human biology. Social and behavioral sciences include anthropology, economics, education, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Biological sciences include botany, biology, physiology, and zoology. The School looks favorably on transcripts that include course work in writing and in research methods or statistics.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 for all undergraduate work and 3.0 in the last two years of academic work. Exceptions may be made by faculty on the basis of other evidence that demonstrates the ability to succeed in graduate study in social work. Applicants who do not meet the GPA minimum will be considered for admission on probation if space is available.
  • The personal capacity to work effectively with people to achieve professional standing as evidenced by strong academic and professional references. (see below)
  • Social work experience as an employee, volunteer, or in an undergraduate field practicum.
  • A professional statement describing: (1) professional goals and reasons for pursuing an M.S.W. degree in this program; and (2) the education, professional/work experience, and personal characteristics that make the applicant a good candidate for an advanced generalist M.S.W. program.
  • Three professional, supervisory, or academic references that address the applicant’s ability, potential, and readiness for graduate education and professional social work practice.
  • A copy of a current resume.
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions.

Applicants to the advanced standing program must complete a supplemental application available on the program’s website and from the admissions coordinator of the M.S.W.program.

Admission requirements for the M.S.W./J.D. dual degree program:

Applicants interested in the M.S.W./J.D. dual degree program must successfully meet the separate admission requirements of each institution and be accepted into each program in order to pursue the dual degree program. Neither the Springfield College program in graduate social work nor the Western New England University School of Law admits new students for the spring semester.

The dual degree program is open only to students in the full-time weekday M.S.W. and J.D. programs. While admission to the dual degree program is usually decided at initial enrollment in either institution, it is possible to begin studies at the School of Law and then apply to the M.S.W. program and enroll in the combined degree program, or vice versa. Applications to the second institution must be made by mid-March and before completion of the first year of studies at the first institution.

Eligibility, requirements, and admission for the B.S./M.S.W. dual degree program:

Eligibility for the B.S./M.S.W. dual degree program is limited to Springfield College undergraduate students majoring in Sociology who have an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 by the end of the fall semester of their third or junior year and who have completed at least 81 semester hours of undergraduate credit. Students must also have completed two semester hours of undergraduate field experience with a grade of B or better. Students who wish to pursue the master of social work at Springfield College must submit a letter of interest and pre-application to the admissions coordinator of the M.S.W. program, accompanied by a letter of recommendation from their undergraduate faculty advisor and a working transcript, not later than March 15 of spring semester of the junior or third undergraduate year. The M.S.W. admissions committee reviews requests for admission to graduate M.S.W. courses. A complete formal application to the Master of Social Work program is required in the spring semester of the fourth or senior year and additional eligibility requirements apply. For more information on the B.S./M.S.W. program, students should consult with their undergraduate faculty advisor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Deadlines:

The application for admission and all supporting credentials for all programs are due in the Office of Graduate Admissions by March 15. Applications received after the deadline will be considered only if space is available.

Accreditation information:

Springfield College is recognized as an institution of higher learning of collegiate rank by the Board of Collegiate Authority of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Membership in these associations indicates that the College has been carefully evaluated and found to meet standards agreed upon by qualified educators.

The M.S.W. program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the official educational accrediting association for social work programs in the USA. This enables graduates to take professional social work licensure examinations in all fifty states.

The Western New England University School of Law, Springfield College’s partner in the M.S.W./J.D. dual degree program, is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

Degree Information


Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree

Contact Information


Springfield College
Office of Graduate Admissions
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109-3797
Tel:(413) 748-3225
Web Site: http://www.springfield.edu

Admissions Coordinator, Master’s in Social Work Program
Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109-3797
Tel:(413) 748-3060
Web Site: www.springfield.edu/ssw
Email:mswadmissions@springfield.edu

I. Standard curriculum (60 credit program)


The sixty credits are distributed across four sequences, two field practicums and seminars, and three electives, as follows:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment sequence (three courses, nine credits).
  • Social Work Practice sequence (four courses, twelve credits).
  • Social Work Research sequence (two courses, six credits).
  • Social Welfare Policy sequence (three courses, nine credits).
  • Foundation Field Practicum and Seminar (7.5 credits, 450 practicum hours per academic year).
  • Specialization Field Practicum and Seminar (7.5 credits, 600 practicum hours per academic year).
    • Advanced standing students take an additional field seminar in the spring semester for .5 credits.
  • Electives (nine credit hours).

Guided by the School’s mission, the master of social work curriculum is designed within a generalist foundation year and an advanced generalist specialization year. The first year provides students with theoretical perspectives across the four sequences, as well as grounding in fundamental skills in individual, family, group, and community intervention.

The advanced generalist specialization year is designed to provide “skill sets” that build on the foundation year. The curriculum provides students with opportunities to develop advanced clinical assessment, intervention, supervisory, and administrative skills in practice; mastery of diagnostic skills; a set of complex social action skills in policy; and a set of research skills.

The focus on “skill sets” occurs within the context of three programmatic themes: social change, human rights, and social justice. In comparison to generalists, advanced generalists are able to assess more complex situations with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and to intervene with more advanced, sophisticated and targeted practice skills.

Electives enrich the specialization year curriculum by providing students the opportunity to explore areas of advanced generalist practice in greater depth, depending upon individual interests, strengths, and/or needs. Typical elective courses include:

  • Therapeutic Applications of Adventure
  • Seminar in Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations
  • International Social Work and Human Rights
  • Contemporary Challenges in Child Welfare
  • Family Treatment
  • Loss and Grief
  • Substance Abuse in Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Practice with Children
  • Legal Aspects of Social Work Practice
  • Working with Older Adults for Clinicians, Administrators, and Activists
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution for Clinicians, Managers, and Activists
  • Proposal Writing and Grant Acquisition
  • School Social Work and the Education of Exceptional Children
  • Special Topics in Social Work
  • Severe and Persistent Mental Illness
  • Consultation to Community Based Organizations
  • Continuous Quality Improvement

II. Advanced Standing Curriculum (33 credit program)


Advanced standing students are waived from the first year and must take a total of 33 credits.

B. Elective credits (6 credits)


Atudents select two MSSW elective courses for a total of six credits, in consultation with their advisor.

III. B.S. / M.S.W. program (60 credits)


A. Courses taken in fourth year of student’s undergraduate program (18 credits)


These courses are taken for undergraduate credit towards the student’s bachelor’s degree during the senior year at Springfield College as well as toward the M.S.W. degree if fully accepted to the MSW program in the spring of their senior year.

C. Elective credits (6 credits)


Students select two MSSW elective courses for a total of six credits, in consultation with their advisor (in addition to the designated elective taken in their senior year).

IV. M.S.W./J.D. program (60 credits)


The full-time M.S.W./J.D. dual degree program is offered in partnership with Western New England University School of Law and provides eligible students with the advantage of being able to complete the degrees in four years rather than the five years it would take if the degrees were pursued separately.

Acquiring both a social and legal perspective, as well as skills, effectively prepares graduates to meet the social work and legal challenges in many areas of practice, such as child welfare, education, mental health, individual and family practice, family mediation, services to the disabled, legal aid, criminal and juvenile justice, consumer protection, advocacy, employment, housing, community development, human rights, and evaluation of social service programs.

M.S.W./J.D. students must be full-time students and matriculated in both the Springfield College Master of Social Work program and the Western New England University School of Law. If accepted at the Springfield College Master of Social Work program first, students have until mid-March of the first year in the social work program to apply to the program at Western New England University School of Law. If accepted to the School of Law first, students have until mid-March of the first year at the School of Law to apply to the Master of Social Work program at Springfield College.

M.S.W./J.D. students take courses in the weekday program at the Springfield College M.S.W. graduate program.

Students may be waived from taking MSSW 621 Research 1 if they have previously taken a comparable course and received a grade of B or better. Students who need MSSW 621 will take this course and complete the M.S.W./J.D. dual degree program with three additional semester hours/credits in the M.S.W. program.

Students will take either MSSW 623 Research 2 or MSSW 613 Social Policy 3. Students who take MSSW 623 Research 2 must take LAW 642 (Law and Social Change) or LAW 732 (Poverty Law) as an elective course in the School of Law. Students who take MSSW 613 Social Policy 3 must take Advanced Research in Law or LAW 951 or 952 as an elective course in the School of Law.

Curriculum and cross-credits: To be awarded the social work and law degrees, the student must complete the academic requirements of each institution, totaling 122 credits or semester hours. For the Master of Social Work program, sixty credits are required, twelve of which are electives taken at the Western New England University School of Law. An approved list of the elective courses that can be transferred from the School of Law is made available in the Springfield College Social Work Student Handbook of Policies and Procedures. For the School of Law, eighty-eight credits must be earned, twelve of which are taken at the Springfield College in the Social Work program.

Those courses completed with a grade of B or better in the Springfield College Social Work program are eligible for transfer to the School of Law. Similarly, the Springfield College M.S.W. program accepts transfer credit from the School of Law for those courses completed with the average necessary to maintain good academic standing at Springfield College.

To transfer the twelve credits from the School of Law to the Social Work program, the student must formally petition the Springfield College M.S.W. program. At the Western New England University School of Law, the student must obtain permission from the associate dean to have the twelve credits transferred from the Springfield College M.S.W. program. A student who commences but fails to complete the M.S.W./J.D. dual program cannot apply credit for courses completed at one school toward the degree granted at the other school.

Deadlines:

The application for admission and all supporting credentials for all programs are due in the Office of Graduate Admissions by March 15. Applications received after the deadline will be considered only if space is available.

Accreditation information:

Springfield College is recognized as an institution of higher learning of collegiate rank by the Board of Collegiate Authority of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Membership in these associations indicates that the College has been carefully evaluated and found to meet standards agreed upon by qualified educators.

The Springfield College Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the official accrediting body for social work programs in the USA. This enables graduates to take professional social work licensure examinations in all fifty states.

The Western New England University School of Law, Springfield College’s partner in the M.S.W./J.D. dual degree program, is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

A. Courses taken at Western New England University School of Law (62 credits)


  • Introduction to Law Credits: 1
  • Constitutional Law I Credits: 4
  • Contracts Credits: 4
  • Criminal Law Credits: 4
  • Civil Procedure Credits: 4
  • Property Credits: 4
  • Torts Credits: 4
  • Legal Research and Writing Credits: 4
  • Introduction to the Legal Profession Credits: 1
  • Business Organization Credits: 3
  • Income Taxation Credits: 3
  • Evidence Credits: 3
  • Electives (and other requirements towards J.D.) Credits: 23

Transfer Credit Policy


Normally, all work for the master’s degree in social work is completed in the Springfield College M.S.W. program.  Students who were matriculating students in CSWE accredited graduate social work programs may petition for transfer of no more than 28 semester credits; up to 20 semester credits may be transferred for course work and up to 8 semester credits for practicum and field seminar.  Only courses taken within 5 years of projected completion of the MSW program and in which the student earned a grade of “B” (3.0) or better for academic courses, or a “P” (Pass) in courses from social work programs whose grading system is Pass/Fail and where a “P” is equivalent to a “B” or better, and “P” in Field Practicum/Seminar, will be considered, if:

  • such courses were part of an accredited master’s of social work degree program in which the student was matriculating
  • the courses meet degree requirements within the curriculum of the Springfield College MSW program
  • such action is approved by the transitional faculty advisor, the department chair, and the Dean.

To meet the requirements of Springfield College and to receive the Master of Social Work degree, a student must earn, and the official Springfield College transcript must show, 32 credits of graduate work completed in the M.S.W. program at Springfield College.

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