School of Social Work

Rebecca Judd (Interim Department Head)
Location: Henderson Hall, 903-468-8100
School of Social Work Web Site: http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/colleges/educationHumanServices/departments/socialWork/default.aspx

Dr. Linda Openshaw, MSW Program Director

Program of Graduate Work

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work program at Texas A&M University-Commerce is designed to meet the educational needs of advanced level social workers. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). All MSW graduates are eligible to sit for the State of Texas LMSW licensure testing. The program follows an advanced generalist practice model. Courses in the MSW program are offered evenings and weekends to accommodate working students.

Admission

Admission to a graduate program is granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the department. Applicants must meet the following requirements for admission in addition to meeting the general university requirements in social work. 

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, those seeking admission to the MSW Program must submit a packet of admissions materials, available either by contacting the School of Social Work at 903-468-3047 or by going to the School's website at http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/colleges/educationHumanServices/departments/socialWork/documents/MSWAdmissionPacket.pdf to download it directly. The completed documents must be submitted to the School of Social Work at P.O. Box 3011, Commerce, TX 75429-3011. Components of the admissions materials include:

  1. A professional narrative statement. A description of what would be contained in such a statement is included in the admissions packet.
  2. A resume or vita of educational and occupational experiences.
  3. Three references using the forms included in the admissions packet, preferably including one reference from an undergraduate professor or a former supervisor from a paid or volunteer social services agency.
  4. Official bachelor's degree transcript if other than A&M-Commerce graduate.

The MSW program will admit students who show the greatest capacity to complete graduate-level work and become effective social work practitioners.  To be admitted to the program, students must meet school criteria such as undergraduate grade point average, GRE scores, and writing ability.  Other criteria include evidence of effective interpersonal skills, professional work experience, and values, ethics, and a fit with the social work profession and our program.  The program is committed to recruiting and instructing students who represent a diverse population.

Depending on their undergraduate degree, students who are admitted to the MSW program will receive either Foundation Admission or Advanced Standing Admission. Advanced Standing is reserved for those who hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) undergraduate degree from a CSWE-accredited institution. Fewer hours are required of students who receive advanced standing admission.

All students are expected to act in accordance with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners Code of Conduct and the School's Student Code of Conduct.

If students do not conduct themselves in a manner befitting a professional social worker (as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct), whether in the classroom, in the field setting, or in their interactions with other students, faculty, and staff they may be dismissed from the program.  Such conduct is regarded as an academic expectation for the social work profession, regardless of classroom grades.

Note: The Department reserves the right to suspend from the program any student who in the judgment of the departmental graduate committee, does not meet the professional expectations of the field.

SWK 501 - Generalist Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups
Hours: 3
Generalist Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups. Three semester hours. This foundation practice course provides an overview of social work values, skills, and knowledge from an empowerment and strengths perspective to mezzo and macro systems (ie., organizations and communities). The relationships between communities, organizations, human diversity and at-risk populations are infused throughout the course. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program.

SWK 503 - Generalist Practice with Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Hours: 3
Generalist Practice with Groups, Organizations and Communities. Three semester hours. This foundation practice course provides an overview of social work values, skills, and knowledge from an empowerment and strengths perspective to mezzo and macro systems (ie., organizations and communities). The relationships between communities, organizations, human diversity and at-risk populations are infused throughout the course. Prerequisite: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program.

SWK 505 - Advanced Generalist Practice with Individuals
Hours: 3
Advanced Generalist Practice with Individuals. Three semester hours. This advanced practice course provides students with theories and skills for working with individuals from an advanced generalist perspective. By the end of the course, students will be expected to demonstrate critical thinking, integration of theory with practice, and knowledge, values and skills appropriate for autonomous practice. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program; completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements; and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 506 - Advanced Generalist Practice with Families
Hours: 3
Advanced Generalist Practice with Families. Three semester hours. This advanced practice course provides students with theories and skills for working with families which includes an advanced generalist approach. Students will be expected to demonstrate critical thinking and the use of evidence-based practices in working effectively with family systems. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements, and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 507 - Organizations, Communities, and Social Policy
Hours: 3
Organizations, Communities and Social Policy. Three semester hours. This advanced practice course provides students with theories and skills for working with organizations and communities. Students will learn how to engage in policy practice and intervene with macro-level systems. This course emphasizes advanced generalist practice with policies and political systems, organizations, and communities. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements, and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 508 - Social Work Supervision and Administration
Hours: 3
Social Work Supervision and Administration. Three semester hours. This advanced practice course provides students with theories and skills needed for supervision of direct service staff and management skills in human service organizations. The course addresses relevant theories and models of supervision and administration. Key skills are identified which will enable students to effectively manage and create resources, develop and impact organizational policies, and serve as effective administrators and supervisors. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements, and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 509 - Advanced Generalist Practice with Small Groups
Hours: 3
Advanced Generalist Practice with Small Groups. Three semester hours. This advanced practice course provides students with theory and skills necessary for advanced generalist practice with groups. Students will apply critical thinking and evidence-based practice to work with groups. Students are expected to integrate theory and knowledge with skills to effectively lead and intervene with group systems. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements, and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 510 - Clinical Practice in Mental Health
Hours: 3
Clinical Practice in Mental Health - Three semester hours. This advanced course presents the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of mental disorders as a resource for understanding individual psychosocial functioning. Students will develop the ability to understand and apply the DSM in advanced generalist social work practice. Students will be expected to use critical thinking and evidence-based practice approaches with clients experiencing mental health issues. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements, and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 511 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
Hours: 3
Human Behavior in the Social Environment I. Three semester hours. This foundation course is designed to provide foundation students with an understanding of the biological, psychological, and social systems aspects of human development. Content in this course overviews interactions between individuals, families, and their environments. It provides theories of development from conception through adolescence. Systems theory provides a foundation for exploring other major theories of individual and family development. The course addresses issues of diversity including ethnocentrism, racism, and physical/intellectual ability. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 513 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
Hours: 3
Human Behavior in the Social Environment II. Three semester hours. This foundation course provides foundation students with an understanding of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of human development from young adulthood through the end of life. Content addresses issues of diversity such as gender roles, sexism and social orientation. Systems theory provides a foundation for exploring other theories of individual and family development within and among larger social systems. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 521 - Foundation of Social Welfare Policy
Hours: 3
Foundation of Social Welfare Policy. Three semester hours. This foundation course in social welfare policy introduces students to social policy development, social welfare institutions, and the historical and existing policies underpinning the development of social policy. Course content is designed to emphasize the effect of social policies on client systems at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Specific attention will be given to the interaction between social welfare policies and at risk populations. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 531 - Research for Practice
Hours: 3
Research for Practice. Three semester hours. The scientific method in social work practice is presented. The methods of empirical research for knowledge building, the role of research in theory construction, research designs and data analysis, and methods of practice and program evaluation are introduced. Students learn to apply qualitative and quantitative research methods to the problems of social work practice. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 541 - Social Justice For Oppressed Populations
Hours: 3
Social Justice for Oppressed Populations. Three semester hours. This foundation course provides students with knowledge about social work with diverse populations. The emphasis of this course is on developing an understanding about client groups who are oppressed in our society based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Attention will also focus on systems which perpetuate oppression and exploring mechanisms for achieving social justice. Course content will include strategies for empowering diverse groups.Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 553 - Field Foundations Practicum
Hours: 3
Field Foundations Practicum. Three semester hours This field practicum provides students with experiential opportunities designed to develop foundation level social work skills and knowledge in an agency setting. Students are required to complete a minimum of 260 clock hours. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all foundation courses or be concurrently enrolled in remaining foundation courses to enroll in SWK 553 and be in good standing with the MSW program. Students must complete this course and all foundation coursework before enrolling in advanced classes. Must receive grade of 'B' or above.

SWK 554 - Advanced Generalist Practice Field Practicum
Hours: 3-6
Advanced Generalist Practice Field Practicum: (3 to 6 semester hours). This field practicum provides students with experiential opportunities designed to integrate theory and advanced generalist practice with client systems in an agency setting. Note: Students are required to complete a minimum of 640 clock hours, 9 semester hours of Field Practicum (typically over 3 semesters), and attend a weekly field seminar. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 semester hours. Must receive grade of 'B' or better. Prerequisites: Students must have been admitted to the MSW program, completed all MSW foundation curriculum requirements, and be in good standing in the MSW program.

SWK 570 - Treatment of Children and Adolescents
Hours: 3
Treatment of Children and Adolescents. Three semester hours This course is designed to teach the background knowledge and skills needed for advanced generalist practice with children and adolescents.

SWK 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 3
Independent Study. One to three semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Consent of department curriculum committee and department head.

SWK 590 - Research Methods in Advanced Social Work Practice
Hours: 3
Research Methods in Advanced Social Work Practice This course provides students with information on advanced techniques of practice and program evaluation. Both qualitative and quantitative research designs are taught. All steps in the research process are examined. Ethical and behavioral issues in evaluation research are presented. Must be completed in preparation for enrollment in SWK 595 Prerequisites: SWK 531 or admission to the advanced standing program.

SWK 595 - Research Literature and Techniques
Hours: 3
Research Literature and Techniques. Three semester hours. This course integrates research design, instrument selection and development and techniques of data collection and analysis for application in a field setting. Development of a research project based on a practicum assignment is required. Prerequisites: Completion of SWK 590.

SWK 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 3
Special Topics. Three semester hours. Topics vary and have included the following: Rural Social Work with the Elderly, Progressive Practices in Developmental Disabilities, Spirituality and Social Work, Child Welfare and Issues in Addiction.

School of Social Work

Rebecca Judd
Associate Professor and Head
B.S.W., Texas AM University-Commerce; M.S.S.W., PhD., University of Texas at Arlington

Benjamin May
Assistant Professor
B.S., University of Houston Clear-Lake; M.S.W., Washington University Graduate College of Social Work; Ph.D., The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

Brenda Moore
Associate Professor
B.S.W., Texas Christian University; M.S.S.W., Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington.

Linda Openshaw
Professor and MSW Program Director
B.S.W., M.S.W., D.S.W., University of Utah.
Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty Member.