Standard 1

Program Design, Rationale and Coordination

The program is coordinated effectively in accordance with a cohesive design that has a cogent rationale.   Foundation and theoretical courses precede and are designed to be taken prior to more specialized and advanced courses.

Program Design and Rationale

History: The Social Work Education Program at California State University, Fresno has a proud tradition covering more than 70 years of service to the Central San Joaquin Valley. Undergraduate instruction in social work began in 1941 and the first students were graduated with a concentration in social welfare in

1954. The graduate social work program began operating in 1964 as the only professional social work program serving the San Joaquin Valley.

The Department of Social Work Education continues today as the primary source of professionally educated social workers for the human service agencies, including schools, in the four counties of Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare as well as those of the Central Coast.

Mission: “The Department of Social Work Education, in subscribing to the aforementioned purposes of the University and the school, is specifically committed to the education of social workers at the master’s level who will provide social welfare services and leadership within the San Joaquin Valley. Graduates intervene with individuals, families, groups and other small systems as well as with human service agencies, voluntary organizations, neighborhoods and communities. The department is committed to enhancing both the quality of life in the region and the capacity of citizens to identify and address their own social welfare and social justice concerns and needs.

To fulfill its mission in the region, the department prepares social workers for agency and community- based practice and for informed, active participation as social workers and citizens who are compassionate and proactive in response to human needs. Three important goals of the program include the development of:

  1. A commitment to social justice,
  2. Diversity/cultural awareness, and
  3. An empowerment perspective.

These three goals of the Department Social Work Education are equally important to practice at all levels of intervention.

Vision: The public schools in America have always been a reflection of the positive and negative aspects of our society at any given time. Today’s schools are no exception. Complex personal, family, economic, cultural and social issues create barriers to learning, which must be addressed in order for today’s youth to become productive citizens.   The profession of social work and the Department of Social Work Education at CSUF are dedicated to meeting the diverse social service needs of special populations of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Because we are a practice oriented profession, the graduates of our program will be leaders in dealing with social concerns among diverse communities that range from societal oppression to people’s emotional, behavioral, and academic problems. The social

work practitioner who is educated in our program is taught to help at-risk and disadvantaged populations.

In focusing on such groups, students are trained to use a range of traditional and nontraditional methods to promote well-being, personal growth, educational success, and social justice.

The knowledge base for the vision of the PPS credential program centers on a multidimensional perspective which is designed to foster the professional capacity for reflection and collaboration in the provision of social work services in a diverse and increasingly technological society. PPS credential candidates are assisted in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for successful functioning in a complex and changing world.

Overall Design

The Master of Social Work Degree is a 60-unit program. As part of the M.S.W. program, students may elect to specialize in school social work practice and child welfare and attendance. The PPS credential program that provides this specialization incorporates the educational goals of the MSW program in its mission to prepare social workers to “perform services to children, parents, school personnel and community agencies to promote a school environment responsive to the needs of children and to plan educational programs which will prepare children to function in a culturally diversified society” (CA Ed Code 44046). The program is designed to maximize the integration of theory and classroom knowledge with field instructed practice in the schools. This curriculum model insures that students experience the breadth and depth necessary to be prepared for social work practice in the public schools. Table 1.1 depicts the coursework required for the M.S.W. degree.

TABLE 1.1

Coursework for the Master of Social Work Degree Program

FOUNDATION: 1ST YEAR

 

Fall                                                   Units

Spring                                                              Units

SWRK 200

Social Welfare Policy I (3)

SWRK 203

Social Welfare Policy II (3)

SWRK 212

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multisystems

Approach                                         (3)

SWRK 213

Human Behavior in the Social

Environment: Cultural Diversity

and Oppression                                               (3)

SWRK 220

Social Work Practice I                     (4)

SWRK 221

Social Work Practice II                                   (4)

SWRK 260

Quantitative Research                     (3)

SWRK 261

Qualitative Research                                       (3)

SWRK 280

Field Instructed Practice I               (2)

SWRK 281

Field Instructed Practice II                             (2)

15 Units

15 Units

ADVANCED: 2ND YEAR

Fall                                                   Units

Spring                                                              Units

SWRK 224

Advanced Practice with

Individuals                                      (3)

SWRK 227

Advanced Social Work Practice

with Couples and Families                              (3)

SWRK 225

Advanced Practice

with Groups                                     (3)

 

SWRK 246

Advanced Practice with

Formal Organizations                      (2)

SWRK 247

Advanced Practice

with Communities                                           (3)

SWRK 282

Advanced Field Instructed

Practice I                                         (3)

SWRK 283

Advanced Field Instructed

Practice II                                                        (3)

SWRK

Elective                                            (3)

SWRK

Elective                                                            (3)

SWRK 292 Project/Thesis

Seminar                                            (2)

SWRK 298

Project/SWRK 299 Thesis                               (2)

16 Units

14 Units

Program Goals:

The program goals of the Department of Social Work at California State University, Fresno are:

  • To educate advanced autonomous (MSW) social work practitioners to serve the surrounding region of the university focusing primarily on the Central San Joaquin Valley.
  • To educate generalists and advanced autonomous social work practitioners to practice within a commitment to social justice. A commitment to social justice involves
    1. the ability to critically analyze social problems or conditions and existing or proposed policy responses;
    2. the ability to recognize individual and institutionalized forms of oppression; and
    3. the ability to participate in social action to correct injustices, fight oppression, and promote social welfare for all.
  • To educate generalists and advanced autonomous social work practitioners to practice within diversity/cultural awareness and exhibit diversity/cultural awareness and competence. Diversity/cultural awareness and cultural competence refer to
    1. the ability of a practitioner to identify, understand, and celebrate differences that exist among individuals with respect to race, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, gender, socioeconomic background, and other key features of human experiences; and
    2. the ability to intervene with sensitivity to and respect for these differences, utilizing cardinal social work values and specific diversity cultural knowledge and skills.
  • Practice within an empowerment perspective. The empowerment perspective implies active collaboration with the client system in an atmosphere of equality and mutuality. The goals of the intervention include maximizing social support, a balance between self-sufficiency and interdependency, which are premised on a strengths-based approach (Hardina, 2002).

In addition to the MSW program goals outlined above, the PPS credential program with specializations in school social work and child welfare and attendance has the following goals:

  • To acquire a comprehensive knowledge base of the school system as a context for social work practice, including the roles and responsibilities of the school social worker.
  • To develop advanced knowledge and skills in addressing the influence and social justice implications of biological, psychological, social, cultural and legal factors on the educational process and school social work services.
  • To acquire knowledge of the legal and policy parameters of public education as it relates to the practice of social work and child welfare and attendance in schools.
  • To develop advanced knowledge and skills in the delivery of school social work and child welfare and attendance services at multiple systems levels that demonstrates commitment to social justice, diversity/cultural competency and empowerment.
  • To develop knowledge and skills in the development, coordination and evaluation of social work and child welfare and attendance services in schools, including the evaluation of one’s own practice.

Organizational Structure

 

 

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development is involved with the Department through their office of Admissions, Credentials and Records. Because of the various materials and documentation needed for a credential, students begin working with the Admissions and Records office in their second semester upon declaration of an interest in the school social work specialization. Once a student has successfully completed all requirements for the M.S.W. degree and PPS credential, the Department of Social Work Education notifies the Credential Analyst via a program completion form recommending the candidate for a PPS credential.

The PPS credential program, as part of the M.S.W. degree, is sequenced in a prescribed manner which provides foundation content in the first year of full-time study. The program progresses through the second year to provide content in the advanced curriculum and the advanced multi-system social work practice concentration. Based on program outcome data and feedback from students, field instructors, alumni and employers, the faculty voted in 2004 to extend the foundation curriculum from one semester to two semesters. The faculty was actively engaged in defining a stronger foundation and reconfiguring both the foundation and advanced concentration of the curriculum. The curricular revisions to support these changes were implemented beginning in 2007-08.

A sample, full-time PPS credential program candidate flow chart can be found in Table 1.2. The instruction, coordination, admission, advisement, assessment, evaluation procedures, and curriculum matters for the PPS credential programs are integrated within the M.S.W. degree program. Both the graduate and undergraduate social work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Table 1.2

Sample Full-Time PPS Credential Program

FOUNDATION: 1ST YEAR

 

Fall                                                       Units

Spring                                                       Units

SWRK 200

Social Welfare Policy I                        (3)

SWRK 203

Social Welfare Policy II                          (3)

SWRK 212

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multisystems Approach                       (3)

SWRK 213

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Cultural Diversity and Oppression                         (3)

SWRK 220

Social Work Practice I                         (4)

SWRK 221

Social Work Practice II                            (4)

SWRK 260

Quantitative Research                          (3)

SWRK 261

Qualitative Research                                (3)

SWRK 280

Field Instructed Practice I                   (2)

SWRK 281

Field Instructed Practice II                      (2)

15 Units

15 Units

ADVANCED: 2ND YEAR

Fall                                                       Units

Spring                                                       Units

SWRK 224

Advanced Practice with Individuals   (3)

SWRK 227

Advanced Social Work Practice

with Couples and Families                       (3)

SWRK 225

Advanced Practice with Groups          (3)

 

SWRK 246

Advanced Practice with

Formal Organizations                           (2)

SWRK 247

Advanced Practice

with Communities                                    (3)

SWRK 282

Advanced Field Instructed

Practice I                                              (3)

SWRK 283

Advanced Field Instructed

Practice II                                                 (3)

SWrk 274

Advanced Social Work

Practice in Schools I                            (3)

SWrk 275

Advanced Social Work Practice

in Schools II                                             (3)

SWRK 292 Project/Thesis

Seminar                                               (2)

SWRK 298

Project/SWRK 299 Thesis                       (2)

16 Units

14 Units

Effective Coordination

The coordination of the PPS program is currently assigned to the Assistant Field Coordinator of the Department of Social Work Education, Andrea Carlin. Her office is located at the administrative level of the department. Under the general direction of the Department Chair, the Assistant Field Coordinator and PPS Coordinator has responsibility for sharing in the coordination of the graduate and undergraduate field sequences in the Department of Social Work Education. She is expected to operate within the policies and goals established and approved by the faculty of the Department of Social Work Education in all matters related to the delivery of the curriculum.

Effective coordination with other academic departments on campus is achieved through a wide variety of department, school/college and university level mechanisms such as department and school/college committees, academic assemblies, retreats, Dean’s Cabinet and the Academic Senate. The MSW and PPS program is one of several credential programs outside of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. In order to coordinate effectively, the KSOEHD convenes regular meetings of all credential program coordinators. These meetings address important topics such as state and national accreditation standards and requirements, vision and mission statements, curriculum, administrative and policy matters, and collaboration among programs. It meets periodically to review any program changes or issues for any of the advanced credential programs. The PPS Coordinator is a member of both the KSOEHD Graduate and the NCATE/CCTC Coordinator’s committees.

There is also regular coordination between the Department of Social Work Education and local districts and schools where candidates complete field experiences. This coordination formally begins when a school district indicates an interest in having PPS candidates placed in their agency for field experience. The PPS coordinator or other field faculty conducts a site visit to assess the setting and discuss the proposed learning opportunities available. There is extensive discussion of department and PPS curriculum requirements to ascertain the fit between the proposed placement and the program requirements. The PPS coordinator works closely with both candidates and school districts in assigning students for field placement and all have the opportunity for input about the acceptability of the placement. Once candidates are placed in a school setting, a faculty member with a PPS credential is assigned as a liaison to oversee the learning experience and provide support to the field instructor and student. The liaison role requires a minimum of four site visits per academic year as well as assistance in the development of a learning agreement and evaluation of practice. This level of contact provides for regular exchange of information between the department and the school districts and facilitates effective coordination.

Finally, coordination with local districts and schools occurs through annual regional meetings with all PPS field instructors and the PPS Credential Committee. Meetings with PPS field instructors occur both on campus and at regional school sites to inform them of program changes, gather outcome data about the PPS program, and provide a forum for support and exchange of information. The PPS Credential Committee is comprised of faculty, PPS field instructors, school administrators and PPS candidates. It meets 2 times per year and also provides an opportunity for coordination regarding program delivery and outcomes.

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