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Social Work

College of Health and Human Services

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Social Work - Graduate Programs

Master of Social Work (code SW__MW01)

Advancement to Candidacy

A conditionally classified or fully classified student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 on all courses taken subsequent to admission. In addition, a GPA of 3.0 must be maintained in all courses required for the degree. A student will be eligible for advancement to candidacy for the degree after successfully completing 6 units of graduate level courses in Social Work.

All students must demonstrate competency in writing skills. Students must attempt to fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) in the first semester of residence in the MSW program or score at least a “4” on the GRE Writing Assessment. Either the GWAR or the GRE Writing Assessment must be passed to advance to candidacy.

Course Load

The California State University, Long Beach requirement for full-time status as a graduate student is 9 weighted units. Part-time students pursuing the M.S.W. degree must take at least 4 semesters of at least 3 courses or 9 units. Students who wish to complete the M.S.W. degree in 2 years must take an overload of 6 units for 4 semesters or 15 units a semester.

Academic Units

The Master of Social Work program requires the completion of 60 semester units. Fifty-four units of required courses and 6 units of scheduled departmental electives must be taken to complete a concentration. In the CYF concentration, 57 units of required courses and 3 units of scheduled departmental electives must be taken by IUC, Cal SWEC and PPS credential students. The program is taken in one of the four following sequences.

Required Courses

  • SW 500 Foundations Generalist Social Work Practice (3)
  • SW 503A Human Behavior and Environment in Multicultural Perspectives: Prenatal through Adolescence (3)
  • SW 503B Human Behavior and Environment in Multicultural Perspectives: Young Adulthood through Old Age (3)
  • SW 505 Oppressed Groups (3)
  • SW 560 Direct Intervention with Individuals and Families: Children, Youth and Families (3)
  • SW 561 Direct Intervention with Individuals and Families: Older Adults (3)
  • SW 592 Community Projects I (3)
  • SW 594A Research Methods I (3)
  • SW 594B Research Methods II (3)
  • SW 596A Field Instruction I (3)
  • SW 596B Field Instruction II (3)
  • SW 660 Direct Intervention with Groups: Focus on Children Youth and Families (3)
  • SW 661 Direct Intervention with Groups: Older Adults (3)
  • SW 670 Social Work Administration (3)
  • SW 680A Field Instruction III (3)
  • SW 680B Field Instruction IV (3)
  • SW 681 Advanced Policy and Political Action: Children, Youth and Families (3)
  • SW 682 Advanced Policy Seminar: Older Adults and Families (3)
  • SW 693 Community Projects II (3)
  • SW 698A Thesis or Project I (3)
  • SW 699A Thesis or Project II (3)

Sequence of Required Courses

Plan A: (two years)

  • Term 1 – SW 500, 503A, 505, 594A, 596A (Fall)
  • Term 2 – SW 560 or 561, 592, 594B, 596B, 503B (Spring)
  • Term 3 – SW 660 or 661, 680A, 693, 698A, 500/600 level elective; (Fall)
  • Term 4 – SW 670, 680B, 681 or 682, 699A, 500/600 level elective; (Spring)

Plan B: Advanced Standing

Summer Bridge Module includes:

  • Fieldwork – 16 hours per week for 10 weeks plus 2 hours of seminar per week.
  • Fieldwork Internship – 160 hours total.
  • Human Behavior – 30 hours
  • Social Policy – 14 hours
  • Research – 36 hours
  • Practice – 52.5 hours
  • Technology – 14 hours

Second Year Coursework

Fall

  • SW 660/661 – Practice Individuals/Families
  • SW 680A – Field Seminar III
  • SW 693 – Community Projects II
  • SW 698A – Thesis or Project I
  • SW 500/600 – Social Work Elective

Spring

  • SW 670 – Administrative Practice
  • SW 680B – Field Seminar IV
  • SW 682 – Advanced Policy
  • SW 699A – Thesis or Project II
  • SW 500/600 – Social Work Elective

Plan C: (three years)

  • Term 1 – SW 503A, 505; (Fall)
  • Term 2 – SW 503B, 592, 500/600 level elective; (Spring)
  • Term 3 – SW 693, 594A, (Summer)
  • Term 4 – SW 596A, 500; (Fall)
  • Term 5 – SW 596B, 560 or 561, 594B (Spring)
  • Term 6 – SW 698A, 500/600 level elective; (Summer)
  • Term 7 – SW 680A, 660 or 661, 699A; (Fall)
  • Term 8 – SW 680B, 670, 681 or 682. (Spring)

Concentrations

The Children, Youth and Families Concentration

Fieldwork placements are available in a variety of agencies in the surrounding five-county area, including public, private and non-profit agencies. Typical settings include child welfare/protective services, health care, mental health, public social services, schools, community-based outpatient agencies, corrections/juvenile justice, residential treatment, programs for persons with developmental disabilities, substance abuse treatment and other specialized programs.

Requirements

Take all of the following courses:

  • SW 560 Direct Intervention with Individuals and Families: Focus on Children, Youth and Families (3)
  • SW 660 Direct Intervention with Groups: Focus on Children Youth and Families (3)
  • SW 670 Social Work Administration (3)
  • SW 681 Advanced Policy and Political Action: Children, Youth and Families (3)

Fieldwork placement in two different CYF agencies:

  • SW 596A Field Instruction I (3)
  • SW 596B Field Instruction II (3)
  • SW 596C Field Instruction I (3)
  • SW 596D Field Instruction II (3)
  • SW 680A Field Instruction III (3)
  • SW 680B Field Instruction IV (3)
  • SW 680C Field Instruction III (3)
  • SW 680D Field Instruction IV (3)

Master’s Thesis:

  • SW 698A Thesis or Project I (3)
  • SW 698B Thesis or Project I (3)
  • SW 699A Thesis or Project II (3)
  • SW 699B Thesis or Project II (3)
  • Two electives (any scheduled electives)

Distance Education

The Children, Youth and Families Concentration is also offered at off-campus locations throughout the state. Current distance education sites are Sonoma State University and CSU Channel Islands. Courses are taught using face-to-face instruction, as well as interactive television and web-based instructional support. The distance education MSW is offered using a 3-year, part-time model. Students attend courses on Saturdays and complete fieldwork requirements during the second and third years of the program.

Distance Education Model

  • Fall - Term 1
    • SW 505 Oppressed Groups (3)
    • SW 503A Human Behavior and Environment in Multicultural Perspectives: Focus on Prenatal through Adolescence (3)
  • Spring - Term 2
    • SW 503B Human Behavior and Environment in Multicultural Perspectives: Focus on Young Adulthood through Old Age (3)
    • SW 592 Community Projects I (3)
  • Summer - Term 3
    • SW 594A Research Methods I (3)
    • SW 693 Community Projects II (3)
  • Fall - Term 4
    • SW 600-Level Elective
    • SW 596A Field Instruction I (3)
    • SW 500 Foundations Generalist Social Work Practice (3)
  • Spring - Term 5
    • SW 594B Research Methods II (3)
    • SW 596B Field Instruction II (3)
    • SW 560 Direct Intervention: Focus on CYF (3)
  • Summer - Term 6
    • SW 600-Level Elective
    • SW 698A Thesis or Project I (3)
  • Fall - Term 7
    • SW 660 Direct Intervention with Groups (3)
    • SW 680A Field Instruction III (3)
    • SW 699A Thesis or Project II (3)
  • Spring - Term 8
    • SW 681 Advanced Policy (3)
    • SW 680B Field Instruction IV (3)
    • SW 670 Social Work Administration (3)

The Older Adults and Families Concentration

Requirements

  • SW 561 Direct Intervention with Individuals and Families: Focus on Older Adults (3)
  • SW 661 Direct Intervention with Groups: Focus on Older Adults (3)
  • SW 670 Social Work Administration (3)
  • SW 682 Advanced Policy Seminar: Older Adults and Families (3)
  • SW 596, SW 680 Fieldwork (3,3) - placement in two different Aging and Family agencies
  • SW 698 / SW 699 Master’s Thesis or Project (3/3)
  • Two electives (any scheduled electives)

Admission to MSW Advanced Standing Program

Students who have a 3.0 GPA and a BASW degree may be conditionally accepted to the MSW Advanced Standing Program. Upon successful completion of an intensive Summer Bridge Module (see below), the core content from the 1st year of the traditional MSW program (or 30 units) will be waived and students will be Advanced to Candidacy to begin year two of the traditional MSW program curriculum.

Admissions Criteria for Advanced Standing

In addition to the Department’s basic application procedures as well as University application procedures, the following are requirements for all Advanced Standing applicants:

  • Graduation, within the last 5 years, from an undergraduate Social Work program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the time of the applicant’s graduation.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average for all undergraduate work.
  • Provisional acceptance for persons currently enrolled in BASW/BSW programs is contingent on the successful completion of that program plus submission of a reference letter from an undergraduate’s current field instructor, as well as a reference letter from the applicant’s program advisor or a professor who taught one of the required courses during the senior year (two of three required references).
  • All acceptances to the Advanced Standing Program are conditional until University Enrollment Services admits a student and all Summer Bridge modules have been successfully completed.

Waiver of the First Year Core: Common Body of Knowledge

The Master’s of Social Work degree is based upon a common body of knowledge. Students with a Bachelor’s degree in social work from this University, or from other CSWE accredited undergraduate social work programs, within the last five years, will have met much of the First Year Core requirements. Students’ transcripts are reviewed for completion of the necessary coursework for mastery of the common body of knowledge. A 3.0 GPA in the undergraduate social work courses, with no grades below a "C", and 2.5 overall GPA are required to meet the criteria.

Waivers of the First Year Core (30 units) are based upon previous educational background at the undergraduate level and upon completion of Summer Bridge courses and field placement in this social work department. Summer Bridge courses will include modules from each of the program sequences: research, practice, human behavior and social policy. Summer Bridge fieldwork placement will include 160 hours (16 hours per week). Students, therefore, have a provisional admission to the department until they have successfully completed the summer program. When they successfully complete the Summer Bridge courses and field placement, they receive the Waiver of the First Year Core and enter the second year of the MSW program in the Fall semester. Students are immediately Advanced to Candidacy upon receiving a Waiver of the First Year Core. The courses that are waived as the First Year Core are: SW 500, 503A, 503B, 505, 594B, 596A, 560 or 561, 592, 594A, and 596B.

Students, for whom the First Year Core is waived, are not eligible for the Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium, Inter-University Consortium, CalSWEC Child Welfare or the PPSC Credential Program.

Admission to MSW Program

Students interested in full and part-time study are admitted by the University Enrollment Services to the MSW program for the fall semester each year. Prospective students should apply directly to the Department of Social Work as well as to the University. International students must also apply to the Center for International Education (562) 985-5476. The Center accepts applications for the fall term from October 1st - November 30th. Review of applications by the Department begins the first week of October.

Department Deadlines

The Advanced Standing program application deadline is March 1 for the following fall semester. The full-time and part-time program application deadline is March 1 for the following fall semester.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted on a full-time or part-time basis to the Master of Social Work program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree that is grounded in liberal arts, from a university or college of recognized standing and be eligible for admission to graduate standing at CSULB.

2. Demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement as evidenced by a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.50 or above on a 4.0 scale.

3. Completion of a prerequisite course in elementary statistics.

4. Completion of the Department’s application which requires inclusion of:

  • three reference letters (a combination of academic and professional)
  • a summary of volunteer experience, work experience, and educational background
  • a personal statement
  • an unofficial copy of all college/university transcripts.

Applications that do not contain the above materials are considered to be incomplete, and will not be assessed for admissions decisions. Moreover, applications must be fully packaged by the applicant when submitted.

5. Preadmission interviews may be required by the Department faculty.

Field Education

The fieldwork sequence has an integral role in the MSW curriculum. University field faculty select the most appropriate field placement site for students.

Each student has two fieldwork placements and concurrent enrollment in practice courses during the course of study. Each placement involves 500 hours of fieldwork in a community agency setting and attendance and participation in a fieldwork seminar that meets weekly on campus. The fieldwork sequence encompasses a total of 1000 hours, for which 12 units of academic credit are given. Academic year fieldwork placement are available. The academic year schedule, begins in September and continues through mid May. Students take concurrent coursework and a field seminar while enrolled in fieldwork and are currently in fieldwork two or three days (16 hours) per week. This must include either two 8-hour week days or one 8-hour weekday and two 4-hour blocks. A very limited number of agencies include evening hours, and no weekend placements are available. Students admitted to the Advanced Standing program, complete one fieldwork placement for a total of 660 hours.

Students who are employed in social service agencies may request that their agency be evaluated as a site for the second year fieldwork only. The agency must be able to meet all criteria established by the Department of Social Work to insure the educational focus of fieldwork and provide a significantly different experience. Evaluation of fieldwork sites and approval to utilize an agency of employment as a fieldwork site will be completed by the fieldwork faculty.

The Department of Social Work will reject an applicant or disqualify an enrolled student whose record of academic achievement or performance in field instruction does not meet the minimum standards of the profession.

Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium

The John A. Hartford Foundation awarded a 3 year grant to support the development of geriatric field practicum sites. The grant funded an alliance of all of the social work graduate schools and four geriatric service providers in the greater Los Angeles area. This consortium was created and sponsored by the Partners in Care Foundation with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for the elderly.

The program continues with new funding and stipends are provided to MSW students in the Older Adults and Families concentration. Information regarding this program is presented to students in the field orientation and applications are made available.

Inter-University Consortium

The IUC (Inter-University Consortium) is one of the specialized training programs in public child welfare available in the MSW program. The Inter-University Consortium/ Department of Children and Family Services (IUC/DCFS) Training Project is a collaborative endeavor between the Los Angeles County DCFS and the graduate programs of social work at CSULB, UCLA, USC, CSULA, CSUN and CSUDH. The overall goal of this collaborative project is to increase the professional skills and knowledge of Los Angeles County public child welfare workers.

The IUC project at CSULB is designed to prepare social work student interns in the most innovative and current programs at Lakewood DCFS Office. It is our intention at CSULB, to prepare future leaders in public child welfare. Our approach is founded on the Social Ecology Model, the California Redesign and the objectives of AB636. Students will experience (parallel process with their assigned cases) moving from entry to exit through child welfare services. CSULB’s innovative project emphasizes the front end of child welfare services, working effectively with children and families in their communities to achieve safety, well-being and families to last a lifetime. CSULB’s IUC/DCFS Project also offers student interns a unique and valuable opportunity to learn and practice the Kinship Caregiver’s Model and to co-lead a children’s group in a community public school as part of our emphasis in working with children and families in their community.

Title IV-E stipends are available for one year for students enrolled in the full-time two year or part-time MSW Program. Students may apply for either the first or second year of field placement.

Students who work at DCFS or are currently (or have been) CalSWEC students are not eligible. Interested candidates must complete an application process.

Students accepted into the program must:

  • Be enrolled in the MSW Program
  • Be enrolled in the Children, Youth and Families concentration
  • Sign a contract committing themselves to one year of full-time paid employment following graduation with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
  • Have a valid driver’s license, current automobile insurance, and secure the use of a car as required by fieldwork
  • Complete pre-screening for county employment including livescan and DCFS physical and psychological examinations
  • Complete one year of fieldwork in the IUC/DCFS placement
  • Complete the designated specialty child welfare curriculum which includes:
    • 1. SW 643 – Social Work Practice within Child Welfare Services (3)
    • 2. SW 698A/699A – MSW Thesis or Project (6)
      • (IUC Students’ theses must focus on a child welfare problem or issue)
  • Complete designated specialized training seminars
  • Complete and graduate from the MSW Program at CSULB within the required timelines established for each program model.

Students are responsible for payback of the stipend if they are unable to successfully complete any of the requirements of the program.

CalSWEC MSW Program

The California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) is a partnership between the schools of social work, public human service agencies, and other related professional organizations that facilitates the integration of education and practice.

CalSWEC Child Welfare

The CalSWEC Child Welfare program is for graduate students who are interested in pursuing a social work career in the child welfare field. This program is only available to students admitted into the Children, Youth and Family Concentration of the MSW program. Interested candidates must complete an application process.

Full-Time CalSWEC Program

The IV-E stipends provide for two years of support for students enrolled in the full-time model of the MSW program. The student signs a contract to secure full-time employment in a public child welfare agency for two years post graduation but is expected to remain in public child welfare employment for longer than this minimum period.
Once accepted into the program, students must undergo pre-screening for county employment including fingerprinting and participation in the criminal clearance process.

Part-Time CalSWEC Program

Students eligible to apply for the part-time CalSWEC reimbursement program must be employees of the State or County Social Services department that provides the child welfare or assistance benefits eligibility functions. All part-time applicants must provide a letter of support from their agency administrator/director. Financial support for admitted students will include: full tuition and fees, book costs and a travel allowance.

Students participating in the program sign a contract to render two years of full-time employment in their home public child welfare agency after graduation.

Requirements

  • Students participating in the program must meet all of the following criteria:
  • Complete and graduate from the MSW program in the Children, Youth and Families Concentration
  • Maintain a “B” (3.0) average
  • Have a valid drivers license, current automobile insurance, and secure the use of a car as required by fieldwork
  • Complete a thesis or project with a focus on Child Welfare population, issue area or service delivery systems
  • Take all of the required classes, including child welfare field internship placement, child welfare elective and participation in selected workshops or annual seminars on issues related to child welfare
  • Students must reimburse CalSWEC if they are unable to successfully complete any of the program requirements

CalSWEC Mental Health Program

The CalSWEC Mental Health stipend program is for graduate students who are interested in pursuing a social work career in the mental health field and are willing to make a commitment to work full-time in a California county mental health agency or a county contracted agency after they have received their MSW degrees. Interested candidates must complete an application process.

Requirements

  • Students participating in the program must meet all of the following criteria:
  • Sign a contract to work full-time time in a California county mental health agency or a county contracted agency for a minimum of one year immediately after graduation
  • Complete and graduate from the MSW program at CSULB within the required timelines established for each program model
  • Take all of the required classes, including mental health field internship placements, the approved mental health elective, and participation in selected workshops or annual seminars on issues related to mental health and research
  • Complete a thesis or project focused on a mental health topic that is concentration specific (either OAF or CYF)
  • Maintain a “B” (3.0) average
  • Receive a security clearance/livescan to work in a California county mental health agency or a county contracted agency
  • Students must reimburse CalSWEC if they are unable to successfully complete any of the program requirements

Pupil Personnel Services Credential: Specialization in School Social Work and Child Welfare and Attendance (code 803)

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing issues the Pupil Personnel Services (PPSC) Credential. The Department of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services, offers the combined School Social Work and Child Welfare and Attendance Specializations of the PPS Credential within the context of the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

Requirements

1. Successful completion of all of the requirements for the 60 unit Master of Social Work (MSW) degree within the Children, Youth and Families Concentration. Required coursework will be completed in the following sequence areas: Fieldwork, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Work Policy, Social Work Practice, and Social Work Research;

2. Completion of SW 665, School Social Work as one of the required electives within the 60 unit MSW program, taken either prior to or concurrently with school social work fieldwork placement;

3. Successful completion of required School Social Work PPSC Seminar series presenting specialized topics;

4. Demonstrated knowledge in the following areas of pupil personnel services, as defined in the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Standards: Knowledge of techniques for facilitating individual growth and development to achieve academic success; Knowledge of the wide variety of socio-cultural influences that affect pupils in a school setting; Knowledge of human assessment; Knowledge of problem prevention and early intervention; Knowledge of consultation services; Knowledge of learning theory and psychological education; Knowledge of coordination and development of services; Knowledge of legal enablements and constraints; Knowledge of referral and utilization of services; Knowledge of human assessment as direct services to pupils, Knowledge of social interventions; Knowledge of consultation coordination and development of services; Knowledge of referral, utilization, involvement and use of community resources; Knowledge of social research and services based on research; Knowledge of the code of professional ethics; Knowledge of attendance laws and the rights of minors; and Knowledge of skills using attendance laws and assessment skills.

5. Successful completion of 600 clock hours of field practice in the second year of field, demonstrating all of the required skills and knowledge areas, in an approved PPSC site, under the supervision of an experienced MSW level practitioner who holds a PPS Credential in school social work. Supervised hours of field practice will include at least 100 hours in each of two settings (elementary, middle and/or high school), and experience in service delivery with populations representing ethnic diversity and will cover both school social work and child welfare and attendance competencies and standards.

6. Completion of required application and forms from California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, including fingerprints, and a Certificate of Clearance;

7. Completion of required health screenings;

8. Successful performance on C-BEST Examination;

9. Certification of program completion and demonstrated competence by the PPSC Program Coordinator, Department of Social Work.

10. Completion of all required forms and procedures of the Credential Processing Center, CSULB.