Even Before Pandemic - UNLV NewsCenter

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Even Before Pandemic - UNLV NewsCenter Even Before Pandemic - UNLV NewsCenter Posted: 05 Oct 2020 12:00 AM PDT Even before the coronavirus pandemic propelled UNLV into remote learning in the spring, online courses at UNLV were prevalent.  "There's been a steady decrease in the number of students that have never taken an online course," said Elizabeth Barrie, the director of the Office of Online Education . She recently presented during The State of Online Education webinar event. It highlighted some of the initiatives and cross-campus partnerships that contribute to student achievement and shared how faculty prepared for online learning through the summer. She noted that 95% of students who graduated in spring 2020 with an undergraduate degree had taken at least one online course. And, compared to past years, there has been an increase in the number of students who have taken more than 30 credits, or two semesters, online. 

Master of Social Work Student Handbook - Nevada Today

Master of Social Work Student Handbook - Nevada Today


Master of Social Work Student Handbook - Nevada Today

Posted: 23 Dec 2020 03:09 PM PST

MSW Course Descriptions

The following are descriptions of required courses in the MSW program of study.

Required Foundation Courses

SW 610 Structural Oppression
The first of two courses that promote a multidimensional understanding of human functioning across systems and the life course. Introduces oppression and examines the experiences of diverse POPULATIONS.

SW 611 Theoretical Perspectives on Human Behavior
The second course in a two-course sequence that promotes a multidimensional understanding of human functioning and behavior across systems and the life course. This course specifically examines human behavior and functioning among individuals and families. In particular, the course emphasizes an evidence-informed approach to assessing human functioning. The course advances students' ability to critically apply a range of theories and research to better understand and assess human behavior and development.

SW 620 Social Work Methods with Individuals
One of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in intervening with individuals. Students will learn how to engage in each stage of the social work intervention process with individuals, including: rapport building, exploration, assessment, planning, implementation, goal attainment, evaluation and termination. This course furthers students' understanding of the strengths-based, generalist social work perspective; in particular students will learn the various roles social workers may play in work with individuals. Special emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which client characteristics (i.e., biological, psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation) interact with the resources and demands of the environment in identifying appropriate intervention strategies. Students will be asked to use critical thinking skills to identify and implement interventions with individuals that are evidenced-informed, as well as contextually and culturally relevant.

SW 621 Social Work Methods with Groups
One of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in intervening with small groups. Students will learn how to engage in each stage of the social work intervention process with groups, including: formation, initial/beginning stage, middle stage, termination stage and evaluation. Students will continue their use of an evidence-informed approach to practice through identification and critique of group curriculums. Special emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which member characteristics (i.e., biological, psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation) influence communication, interaction and dynamics within groups.

SW 623 Social Work with Organizations, Communities and Legislatures
One of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in working with organizations, communities and legislative bodies. This course furthers the understanding of the strengths-based, generalist social work perspective. In this course students will learn public speaking, elements of grant writing, budgeting, advocacy, lobbying and written and oral persuasion techniques as methods of assessing and responding to community and organizational issues. Students will learn to attend to the cultural, ideological, and diverse nuances present in large groups of people and within complex problems while maintaining a critically reflexive position in relation to their own culture, privilege, ideology, personal values, and biases. Students will be asked to use critical thinking skills to identify and implement interventions with organizations and communities that are evidenced-informed, as well as contextually and culturally relevant.

SW 624 Social Work Methods with Couples and Families
One of a four-course sequence that emphasizes the competent application of skills, knowledge and values to social work practice. This course focuses on developing competency in intervening with couples and families. Students will learn how to engage in each stage of the social work intervention process with couples and families, including: rapport building, exploration, assessment, planning, implementation, goal attainment, evaluation and termination. This course furthers students' understanding of the strengths-based, generalist social work perspective. Special emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which client characteristics (i.e., biological, psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation) interact with the resources and demands of the environment in identifying appropriate intervention strategies. Students will be asked to use critical thinking skills to identify and implement interventions with couples and families that are evidenced-informed, as well as contextually and culturally relevant.

SW 630 Social Work History and Social Welfare Policy
Explores the historical development of the social work profession and current policies governing the social service delivery system within the United States. Social policy is presented as a social construction influenced by a range of ideologies and interests. Special attention is paid to social welfare policy and programs relevant to the practice of social work, including poverty, child and family well-being, mental and physical disability, health, and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities. The course includes a focus on the role of policy in creating, maintaining or eradicating social inequities.

SW 640 Elements of Evidence-Informed Practice
This is the first in a two-course sequence that examines concepts, principles, and methods of scientific inquiry, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative designs, assessment of practice and program effectiveness, and critical use of existing research when working with individuals, couples, families, or groups. A key focus is on understanding the reciprocal relationship between practice and research. The goal of the course is to prepare competent research consumers who view evidence-informed practice as a "process of inquiry," and continually examine the foundations of "best practices." Emphasis is placed on a) learning to formulate research and evaluation questions; b) conducting ongoing analysis and critique of research literature, and c) using empirically valid data to identify social problems relevant to practice. Additionally, the course introduces cultural and ethical issues present in all investigative endeavors and the unique issues involved in studying special populations and populations at risk.

SW 680 Foundation Practicum I
Integration of professional content through a weekly one hour seminar and at least 15 hours of social worker supervised placement in an approved practicum site.

SW 681 Foundation Practicum II
Continued integration of professional content through a weekly one hour seminar and at least 15 hours of social worker supervised placement in an approved practicum site.

Required Concentration Courses

SW 710 Advanced multidimensional assessment
Critical examination of the language and classification systems used in mental health.

This course introduces students to the concepts and language of mental health and mental disorders, and the influence of social structural factors on each. Structural inequalities in mental health diagnosis and treatment are covered, particularly among groups that historically have been oppressed and marginalized. In addition, the history of the classification system of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is reviewed, as well as the tension between the use of a classification system based on the medical model, and the assumptions and values of the social work profession. Students will learn to distinguish mental health diagnostic categories and gain skills in the diagnostic process. As students deepen their understanding of mental health diagnosis, they will also gain an appreciation for the benefits and limitations of diagnosis as part of the helping process. The primary goals are for students to gain skills in using the DSM for assessment, treatment planning, and for conversing as a member of a multidisciplinary team —while maintaining a person-centered approach to helping clients.

SW 720 Intervention Approaches with Individuals
Integration of theories of human behavior and select intervention approaches with individuals.

This is the first in a series of three direct practice courses with a focus on integrating advanced theory and evidence-informed knowledge with social work practice skills. Students will learn to implement three approaches used widely to understand psychological factors in helping individuals deal with obstacles and achieve their goals: relational, cognitive behavioral and narrative therapy. These practice approaches represent variants of the major psychological frameworks—psychodynamic, behavioral, and post-modern. Each supports social work's person-in-environment perspective and the profession's emphasis on resilience and strengths among oppressed and underserved populations. This course will provide students with opportunities for experiential learning and skill-building in carrying out these intervention approaches. Professional responsibility for ongoing learning and self-development as a reflective practitioner is woven throughout the course.

SW 721 Therapeutic Interventions with Groups
Develop and facilitate therapeutic groups from the perspective of selected theoretical frameworks; knowledge of systems theory and special properties of groups that can be used as a mechanism for improved coping and change.

SW 723 Social Work Administration I
First in a two-course sequence. Prepares students for advanced macro social work practice; program and agency planning/development, and the knowledge/skills required to assume administrative and policy-practice roles.

SW 724 Therapeutic Interventions with Families
Students will learn to implement three approaches that are used widely to help families cope with obstacles and achieve their goals—multigenerational family therapy, structural family therapy, and feminist family therapy. These frameworks incorporate the group practice techniques that students learned at the foundation level, support social work's emphasis on resilience and strengths, and can be used with families across practice fields. This course will provide students with opportunities for experiential learning and skill-building in carrying out these intervention approaches. Ethnicity, culture, gender, and family life course are central in this regard, as students learn to tailor family interventions to the needs of clients. Professional responsibility for ongoing learning and self-development as a reflective practitioner is woven throughout the course.

SW 725 Social Work Administration II
One in a two-course sequence that prepares students to engage in advanced social work practice with macro systems. This course focuses specifically on the knowledge and skills required to assume administrative and policy-practice roles within social service settings. In particular, the course highlights public and private budgetary processes as they influence and guide social service delivery, fundraising, management, program development, strategic planning and policy analysis, development and implementation. Students will be encouraged to critically examine competing needs, differential power structures and value conflicts inherent to social service delivery within the United States in general and Nevada in particular.

SW 741 Practice and Program Evaluation
Develop evaluation practice skills. Emphasis on middle and later stages of the evaluation process. Includes learning to use a logic model; developing data collection plans; analyzing qualitative/quantitative data; presenting findings.

SW 780 Advanced Practicum I
Integration of professional content through a weekly one-hour seminar and development of advanced generalist practice skills through supervised placement in community agencies.

SW 781 Advanced Practicum II
Continuation of integration of professional content through a weekly one-hour seminar and development of advanced generalist practice skills through supervised placement in community agencies.

SW 793 Integrative Case-Based Seminar: Advanced Generalist Practice
Competent social work practice involves broad knowledge of person-in-environment and a full integration of social work knowledge, skills, theory, evidence, and values and ethics, and the ability to clearly articulate a rationale for decision-making. This course gives students the opportunity to analyze and apply with greater depth, breadth, and specificity their knowledge, skills, and theories to values and ethics, diversity, populations at risk, social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy, social work practice, research, and field education. Therefore, this competency based course builds upon all previous courses in the curriculum and their field internships utilizing a multilevel case study method and prepares students for professional practice. Case studies will require students to intervene at all systems levels and address the required accreditation-based social work competencies. The course will be taken concurrently with students' final field placement to enhance reciprocal learning in class and in field.

MFA student paints message of peace | UDaily - UDaily

Posted: 17 Dec 2020 06:17 PM PST

"All of the students in the MFA program are super creative, and I am learning so much from the faculty and staff," said Campbell. "Even though we are here to create works of art, I am a work of art being molded by the instructors."

Gregory Shelnutt, professor and chair of UD's Department of Art and Design, has been equally impressed with Campbell and credits him with having a great understanding of how to draw technically as well as knowing how to loosen up his style to produce a more abstract type of work. By having the capacity to offer very cogent, thoughtful and insightful observations about his peers' works in the nicest way, while also being able to address tough topics, Shelnutt said Campbell has drawn the praise and respect of the program's faculty members and students in less than one semester.

"My experience with Amir is always one of sincerity that I leave with gratitude for having spent time with him," said Shelnutt. "I cannot imagine the department without him now."

Right after earning a bachelor of fine arts and a bachelor of arts in communication arts from Cheyney University in 2008, Campbell began pursuing a master of fine arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Not being able to give his full attention to Penn's MFA program because of other events going on in his life at the time, he withdrew after one year.

Although Campbell spent more than a decade out of the classroom as a student, he kept busy honing his craft and training others as a full-time teacher at the Computer Kids Learning Center, a part-time art instructor at St. Mary's Villa for Children and a teacher's assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys doing portraiture work and has been commissioned to create drawings and paintings of numerous prominent figures, including actor Jamie Foxx, filmmaker Spike Lee, musician Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and politicians Ed Rendell and Curt Weldon. Along with other endeavors, he has also been a freelance cinematographer and drone operator/editor on various projects.

Unfinished business

Despite having plenty on his plate, returning to school and finishing what he started remained on Campbell's mind and in his heart throughout his time away. Supported by the encouragement of Marietta Dantonio-Madsen, chair of the Department of Fine Arts, Design and Liberal Studies at Cheyney, he applied to UD. Having met Dantonio-Madsen and some of her students in various settings, including conferences, receptions and on visits to their respective universities, Shelnutt was well aware of the quality art program at Cheyney and welcomed the opportunity to strengthen UD's relationship with the nation's first Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Shelnutt and his colleagues responded positively to Campbell's portfolio, and he was accepted into the program.

Shortly after being admitted to UD, Campbell accompanied Dantonio-Madsen and a group of Cheyney students on a visit to Newark. Enthused by the energy of the campus, the feel of the art studio and everything he had heard about the program, he registered for classes. Describing the opportunity to move to Delaware and resume the quest for his master's degree as a chance to push reset on his life, Campbell has embraced his new surroundings.

"Coming from urban Philadelphia where I grew up and have been through so much, I love the contrast out here," said Campbell. "It feels so spacious and is definitely different than the city."

Shelnutt is pleased to have a broadly diverse group of students in the fine arts program and said the collection of participants from varying backgrounds adds a richness to the learning environment.

"Amir came to us with a life experience that he is filtering into his work and framing a lot of what he is doing," said Shelnutt. "Lately, he has been producing even deeper content. Recent events in the Black Lives Matter movement have not gone unnoticed by him, especially since the Philadelphia neighborhood he came from has been so deeply affected. He knows where his audiences are, and he is meeting and engaging them in thoughtful ways with his work."

Born to draw

Campbell was first exposed to art at a very young age when he was fascinated by the different statues in Philadelphia that his grandmother would take him to around the city. When a substitute teacher handed out crayons to his kindergarten class, it proved to be a life-changing exercise.

"As soon as I started drawing, I felt something inside of me saying I have to take this seriously even though I wasn't any good at it," said Campbell. "From that point, I just kept going with that feeling no matter how indifferent my pictures may have seemed."

He kept going with that feeling throughout elementary school, middle school and high school but almost put it aside by pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology. After seeing a painting done by his father, who encouraged him to study art, he realized it is in his DNA and changed his plans.

Paying the knowledge forward

Comparing himself to a painting being created layer by layer until it is fully formed, Campbell has not yet decided what he wants to do professionally after he completes his degree in 2022 but knows that teaching will be part of the finished piece.

"I have to give back because so much has been poured into me, and I have to pour this wisdom back into students," said Campbell. "Anywhere someone is willing to learn, I am willing to teach them what I know."

However Campbell decides to employ his talents and future MFA, Shelnutt is confident he is positioning himself to maximize the benefits of his UD education.

"Amir is really keen to challenge himself, and it is clear that he is here for more than just a degree," said Shelnutt. "He is really utilizing this process to milk all he can out of the experience and that is what you want in a graduate student. We couldn't be more pleased to have him with us; plus, he is just one heck of a nice guy."

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