Here you can download a Sample Curriculum.
The Boise State University Master of Social Work Full-Program curriculum is a 63-credit program. The program consists of 45 credits of academic classes, labs and seminars and 18 credits (1000 clock hours) of supervised social work field practicum. In Boise the professional foundation is taught during the first year, and the advanced direct practice with individuals and families concentration during the second. In Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston and Twin Falls the professional foundation is taught during the first year and a half of the program and the advanced concentration during the final three semesters of the program.
The curriculum emphasizes a “person-in-environment” theoretical perspective addressing personality, interactional, and socio-cultural systems within a multilevel model of human behavior. A liberal arts perspective encourages students to draw from a broad array of disciplines in their efforts to understand and address the needs of individuals, families, households, groups, organizations, and communities.
The professional foundation emphasizes knowledge, skills, and values needed for strengths-based social work practice. Students complete courses in human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, social work research, and field practicum.
The advanced concentration of the MSW curriculum addresses advanced professional direct practice with individuals and families. Interventions facilitate and enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in social systems of various sizes. Independent inquiry, commitment to promoting social and economic justice and equality, and commitment to individual and family well-being are emphasized.
Students with a baccalaureate degree from an undergraduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may qualify for the advanced standing MSW program. Students in the advanced standing program earn 37 credits including 12 credits (600 clock hours) of supervised social work field practicum and complete the program full-time in one calendar year. Half-time options for the Advanced Standing Program are offered in Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston and Twin Falls. The Half-time program is completed in two academic years.
Curriculum content is organized sequentially with a logical flow within and between the major content areas. Each course builds upon and is integrated with other courses from the liberal arts base and curriculum content areas. Courses progress from identifying social forces and dynamics that create the need for social welfare to integration of theoretical and experiential content for professional advanced direct social work practice. Students progress from theoretical understanding to the development of advanced professional practice skills.
Adult learning theory is emphasized, recognizing and building upon the richness of student life and work experience. Throughout the curriculum case examples, experiential exercises, role-plays, videotaping, and the use of individual learning formats connect the classroom to social work practice.
The MSW curriculum includes the following elements:
- A liberal arts perspective informed by recognition of the critical import to social work education and practice of cultural, political, and socio-historical contexts; skills in communication, reasoning, analysis, critical thinking and inquiry; understanding of human behavior and its grounding in the social environment; and scientific method.
- Social work knowledge, values, and skills essential for making sound, ethical, and autonomous professional judgments and decisions.
- Thorough exploration of the many dimensions of human diversity including natural endowments; cultural heritage; histories of social, economic, and racial oppression and their implications for social work practice.
- Specialized training in advanced direct practice with individuals and families. In Idaho, the majority of MSW social workers function as direct practitioners at all levels in public, private, and nonprofit agencies with scarce fiscal resources and personnel. We offer one concentration—advanced professional practice with individuals and families—preparing graduates for advanced direct practice in agency settings responsive to basic social service needs of our sparsely populated, largely rural state.
- Building on the foundation developed in the initial portion of the MSW Program or during BSW education, our advanced direct practice concentration prepares students with knowledge and skills of sufficient depth, breadth, and specificity for sophisticated, creative analysis, decision-making, leadership, and expert functioning at multiple system levels.
- Building on a strengths perspective—a conceptual framework incorporating understanding and appreciation of diversity, ecological theory, and empowerment models of practice—the concentration prepares graduates for advanced practice interventions grounded in a variety of theoretical perspectives and models.
Courses in Boise are taught primarily during the day on Mondays and Tuesdays in 3-hour blocks. A few courses are taught in the evening from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. All courses use Blackboard technology to facilitate communication among students and faculty. Practicum times are negotiated by the student, faculty practicum liaison and agency practicum supervisor.
Courses in the Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston and Twin Falls MSW Programs are taught primarily in evenings in 3-hour blocks. Some courses are taught using a hybrid model with face-to-face sessions complemented by on-line work. Some courses are taught on a series of 5 Friday evenings and Saturdays. All courses use Blackboard technology to facilitate communication among students and faculty. Some elective courses are scheduled predominantly on-line so that they are available to students in each external site. Practicum times are negotiated by the student, faculty practicum liaison and agency practicum supervisor.