For more than 100 years, the profession of social work has upheld a tradition of advocacy for social justice, especially among oppressed and vulnerable populations. Today, social workers uphold that tradtion in fields such as health, mental health, family and child welfare, aging, corrections, juvenile justice, youth services, substance abuse, and industrial social work. Social workers help people deal with complex problems such as poverty, homelessness, chronic mental illness, drug abuse, family violence, criminal behavior, aging, and AIDS. Social workers work in hospitals, hospices, public welfare agencies, prisons, community mental health centers, clinics, schools, and many other settings.
The MSW program at CSUB prepares students to uphold the best traditions of the profession in service to vulnerable individuals, groups, and communities. The academic work involves over 90 quarter units of classes and 960 hours of supervised field experience. Students select either a thesis or comprehensive examination as a culminating activity. The program offers one concentration area: Advanced Generalist Practice.
The foundation courses provide students basic knowledge and skills in the following content areas: 1) human behavior and the social environment, 2) social welfare policy and services, 3) social work practice, 4) research, 5) social work values and ethics, 6) diversity, 7) social and economic justice, 8) populations-at-risk, and 9) field practicum. Students are expected to firmly grasp social work values and ethics and the varied roles social workers have at all levels of practice. Students develop the ability to assess needs, identify strengths and weaknesses, and to understand, develop, and apply culturally sensitive intervention strategies. Using ecological and general systems perspectives, students develop passionate understanding of the issues associated with social and economic justice. Additionally, students develop the ability to critically evaluate relevant social work research and to conduct their own research. During the first year in field, students learn to initiate professional relationships with agency personnel, community volunteers, professional and student colleagues, supervisors, and faculty. Using the NASW Code of Ethics and the professionís value base, students develop strengths-based interviewing skills relevant for all levels of practice, professional writing and record keeping skills, insight into self awareness, integration of classroom and skill-based knowledge, an understanding of the effect policy has on practice, and the ability to identify and apply various components of social work practice.
The majority of the concentration content is offered during the second year of the program, when students take advanced practice coursework and work on a culminating experience--either a project or a thesis. The concentration builds on the theoretical and practice constructs of the foundation curriculum and adds depth and breadth of knowledge and skill.
In addition to course work, students may be involved in additional research activities (student research assistantships), university organizations, and community activities such as boards, service projects, and volunteer work.
California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) Financial Support
The California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) has Title VI-E funds available for the education of professional social workers in the CSUB program. CalSWEC supports the efforts of the CSUB Department of Social Work to educate competent social workers for work in the arena of public social welfare services. Title VI-E /CalSWEC funds also assist the perennially understaffed local public child welfare agency recruit educated professional social workers to provide badly needed services to children and families. Students repay their stipends by accepting employment in a California public child welfare agency upon graduation. They repay one year for each year they receive the stipend.
The MSW program at CSUB is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the
accrediting body in Social Work.