Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Social Work (MSW)

School of Health Sciences

Dean: Marcus Tye, PhD

Building 5S, Room 212

Telephone: 718.982.3690

 

Program Director: 

Professor Barbra Teater

Building 2A, Room 201F

Telephone: 718.982.2166

Email: barbra.teater@csi.cuny.edu

The purpose of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to educate students for advanced, urban social work practice in the community, region, and worldwide, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of people with disabilities. Social work is a profession that strives to create a just and equitable world for the future of humanity. Guided by a code of ethics, social work is committed to ending oppression, embracing diversity, and ensuring that individuals, communities, and organizations function at an optimal level. The College of Staten Island is located on the former campus of the Willowbrook State School, an institution for people with developmental disabilities that was closed due to inhumane conditions and inadequate management. Given the history of Willowbrook State School, it is part of the mission of the MSW program at the College of Staten Island to develop a rigorous academic program that educates professionals who respond to the needs of former Willowbrook residents and clients, the larger disabilities communities, and others who live on Staten Island and in the region.

The curriculum is guided by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) (the accrediting body for social work education programs) and the State of New York Education Department. The MSW program totals 60 credit hours including four internship courses. The Advanced Standing MSW program totals 32 credit hours including two internship courses for those who earned a baccalaureate degree in social work within the past five years from a program accredited by CSWE. Credit is not granted for life or work experience.

The advanced curriculum is grounded in a social constructionist perspective aimed at addressing issues of oppression and discrimination, promoting social and economic justice, creating an inclusive and barrier-free society, and developing a positive identity for people with disabilities. While acknowledging that physical, sensory, intellectual or psychological impairments may cause individual functional limitations, this theoretical perspective recognizes that these do not necessarily have to lead to disabilities unless society fails to ensure inclusion and acceptance of people with individual differences. It is understood that the concept of disabilities will vary according to cultural expectations and values, history and sociopolitical context. Therefore, while the curriculum includes content on traditional (i.e., medical model) assessment, diagnosis and intervention, it is balanced by critique of this model, and focused on knowledge and skills grounded in a social constructionist perspective.

The MSW program has been approved by the New York State Education Department as meeting the educational requirements to sit for the Licensed Master of Social Work exam and licensure in New York State, upon graduation. The MSW program has two areas of specialization: disability studies: clinical practice; and disability studies: macro practice. Disability studies: clinical practice students will take the 12 credits of clinical content needed to pursue clinical licensure. The disability studies: macro practice area of specialization is available to those who wish to specialize in program planning, policy making, community organizing and other forms of indirect practice.  The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Master of Social Work (MSW) Mission and Goals

Mission

Consistent with the mission of the College and the values of the profession of social work, the Master of Social Work program at the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York is committed to excellence in teaching, service, and the creation and dissemination of knowledge. The MSW program educates social workers at an advanced level from a critical disabilities perspective to employ transformative social work practices with people with disabilities. Acknowledging our global interconnectedness, we strive to understand and address the experiences of diverse people and societies; foster human and community well-being; and, create a world that is socially and economically just and equitable.

Goals

  1. Graduates will have the knowledge, skills and values for advanced, urban, transformative social work practice with people with disabilities on Staten Island, the region and beyond.
  2. Graduates will be competent, culturally sensitive advanced professional practitioners who engage with people to meet basic survival needs for food, clothing, shelter, and livelihood.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply advanced social work knowledge, skills and values to informed action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and the greater society.
  4. Graduates will have the advanced knowledge, skills, and values to work toward a just and equitable society.
  5. Graduates will be motivated and prepared for advanced social work practice with an understanding of the importance of continued self-reflection and professional development throughout their social work career.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for the Master of Social Work degree include a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Overall GPA must be at least 3.0. Applicants must have completed a statistics course by the time they are admitted in the fall. A personal statement, resume, and completed field application form are required. Applicants must supply three letters of recommendation from instructors or employers. An interview may be required.

Advanced Standing Admissions (BSW/BSSW)

Students who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from a CSWE accredited program within the past 5 years are waived of all generalist practice courses in which they earned a B or better in their undergraduate program. Advanced standing students must complete 720 field internship hours while at the College of Staten Island, and are credited with 480 hours from their BSW/BSSW program. Students who completed less than 480 hours in their BSW/BSSW program will have to make up the necessary field hours in their advanced year internship placement. A summer bridge course is required of all Advanced Standing Students.

Transfer Students

Students who wish to transfer from another CSWE accredited Master of Social Work program will have their transfer credits evaluated by the Admissions Committee. MSW students may transfer up to 12 credits and up to 480 hours of field internship (the equivalent of the generalist practice year internship). Advanced Standing students may transfer up to 9 credits (6 elective credits and 3 summer bridge course credits). All advanced year field internships, advanced year seminars and area of specialization courses must be taken in residence at the College of Staten Island.

Foreign Degrees

Those with baccalaureate degrees from non-English speaking universities must also take the TOEFL examination and achieve a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based version (out of a total of 677 possible points) or 100 on the computer-based version (out of 120 possible points). Students with Bachelor degrees in Social Work from foreign universities will have to obtain an evaluation of their degrees through the Council on Social Work Education. CSWE will determine whether or not the degree is equivalent to a CSWE accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree. If CSWE determines that the degree is equivalent, the student will be considered for admission to the Advanced Standing program. If CSWE determines that the degree is not equivalent to a CSWE accredited degree, the student will be considered for the traditional, two-year MSW program.

The Admissions Committee will determine acceptance into the program. One member of the Admissions Committee will serve as the affirmative action designee responsible for seeing that students traditionally underrepresented in graduate programs will have opportunities to apply and to be accepted into the program.

Dismissal, Probation, Continuation and Graduation

Academic requirements for MSW students are somewhat different from those of students in other programs. Faculty are expected to act as gatekeepers to the profession, ensuring graduates meet not only the academic expectations of the profession, but also the professional expectations. CSWE refers to this as professional performance. Students in both the classroom and field are expected to behave in a manner that is respectful of clients, of other students, staff, and faculty, and to conduct themselves in accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics. Failure to do so is a strong indicator of a lack of readiness for entry into the social work profession and consequently may result in termination from the program.

To support academic and professional advisement, each student admitted to the MSW program will be assigned a full-time social work faculty member to serve as the academic and professional advisor for the student for their remaining stay at the College. Students are also informed that they must make an appointment to see their advisor every semester, prior to registration, to assure that the student is making the appropriate choices in pursuit of the MSW degree. Of course, social work academic advisors are available throughout every semester for any concerns or questions students may have regarding their studies or matters related to their professional development.

If a student is not performing to academic or professional expectations, or is unable to master the required knowledge or skills, or has violated the ethical standards of the profession, the academic advisor will report the difficulties to the MSW Program Director. Difficulties specifically relating to field placement will also be reported by the Field Liaison to the Director of MSW Field Education. Regardless of where difficulties arise, it is the responsibility of the faculty, faculty advisor and/or Field Liaison to request a meeting of the Social Work Program’s Academic Review Committee. The Academic Review Committee may impose specific conditions to support the student in succeeding academically and professionally, place the student on probation or terminate the student from the program.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

To be awarded a master's degree, a graduate student must finish the program with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better.

Probation

Students may be placed on probation for academic or professional reasons. Graduate students whose GPA falls between 2.7 and 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation must raise their GPA to 3.0 within the next semester to continue in the MSW program. Graduate students whose GPA remains below 3.0 at the end of the probationary semester will be allowed to continue in the MSW program only upon successful review by the Academic Review Committee. This policy is applicable no matter the number of credits earned by the student. Students who have been identified as not meeting professional requirements of the program may also be placed on probation by recommendation of the Academic Review Committee.

Continuation

Graduate students whose GPA falls below 2.7 will not be eligible for graduation, and will not normally be permitted to continue in the MSW program. These students will only be allowed to continue in the MSW program upon successful review by the Academic Review Committee. Students who receive less than a B in any practice or seminar course, or who do not pass Field, can continue in the MSW program only upon successful review by the Academic Review Committee. Students who receive below a B in a practice or seminar course, or below a C in any other MSW course, cannot continue in any course for which the course is a prerequisite. For a course in which the minimum grade is not achieved, students can retake the course once if their GPA meets the criteria for continuation, but will only get credit once. An Advanced Standing student who fails a course might be required to remediate, depending on assessment by the Program Director and/or the Academic Review Committee.

Dismissal

A student referred to the Academic Review Committee for failing to meet academic and/or professional expectations may be terminated from the MSW program. If the Academic Review Committee determines that, in its academic and professional judgment, the student is not meeting the standards of the program and the profession at the level expected of a graduate social work student, and that the difficulty is unlikely to be resolved quickly and satisfactorily with a problem resolution plan, the MSW Program Director will notify the student by through their CSI email, within 14 days of the Committee meeting, that the student will be dismissed from the MSW program.

Readmission after Withdrawal or Dismissal

A student who withdraws in good standing is eligible for readmission within two years but must notify the Program Director six weeks prior to the semester in which they intend to return. A student who withdraws or is dismissed due to not meeting minimum GPA expectations may reapply for admission during the regular spring admissions process to request fall readmission. The student will have to participate in an interview with the Admissions Committee and it must be determined that the student is capable of academic success. A student who is dismissed due to a serious violation or pattern of violations of the NASW Code of Ethics or other professional misconduct will not be considered for readmission.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree Requirements

The College of Staten Island's MSW curriculum is composed of 16 required courses, four internship courses providing 1200 hours (as is the norm for CUNY and other MSW programs), three integrative seminars, and one social work elective. The Advanced Standing MSW curriculum is composed of seven required courses, including a summer bridge course, two internship courses providing 720 hours, one integrative seminars and two social work electives. The curriculum combines both methods courses and a field of practice area of specialization in either disability studies: clinical practice; or disability studies: macro practice. All courses, except integrative seminars and Readiness for Field, are three-credit courses. As required by New York State regulation, all students will complete a capstone project; this will occur in the final semester.

All courses except the disability studies: macro practice Financial Management were developed specifically for this program.  In addition, there are graduate courses across the College of Staten Island and at the CUNY Graduate Center that students may be allowed to take as electives. The MSW program extends the same privilege to allow graduate students in the College of Staten Island and CUNY graduate programs to take our MSW electives. Each course is designed specifically to fulfill the content area requirements mandated by the State’s regulations and CSWE accreditation standards.

As part of the curriculum, MSW students must meet the requirement for 1200 hours of supervised internship placement. Advanced standing students must complete 720 hours while at the College, and are credited with up to 480 hours from their BSW/BSSW program. Students who completed less than 480 hours in their BSW/BSSW program will have to make up the necessary field hours in their graduate placement. All students must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics.

MSW Requirements: (60 credits)

SWK 601Readiness for Field

1

SWK 600MSW Research I

3

SWK 602MSW Research II

3

SWK 605MSW Social Work Ethics and Diversity

3

SWK 651MSW SW Practice I: Intro to Integrative SW Practice with Individuals and Families

3

SWK 660MSW Social Work Practice II: Practice with Groups I

3

SWK 665MSW Social work Practice III; Macro-Practice I

3

SWK 611MSW HBSE I: The Sociocultural Construction of the Human Experience

3

SWK 612MSW HBSE II: Culture and Development Across the Life Course

3

SWK 654MSW Integrative Seminar

1

SWK 655MSW Internship I

2

SWK 674MSW Integrative Seminar II

1

SWK 675MSW Internship II

2

SWK 670MSW Social Welfare Policy

3

SWK 732Introduction to Disabilities Studies for Social Work

3

SWK 740Social Work and Disability Studies Policy Practice

3

SWK 754MSW Internship III

2

SWK 764MSW Integrative Seminar III

1

SWK 755MSW Internship IV

2

One MSW elective chose in consultation with an advisor

3

AND

Disability Studies: Clinical Practice (12 credits)

SWK 702The Range of the Human Condition in Social Work Practice

3

SWK 704Assessment and Formulation in Social Work Practice with People with Disabilities

3

SWK 706Modalities of Practice with People with Disabilities

3

SWK 762Integrative Social Work Practice with People with Disabilities

3

OR

Disabilities Study: Macro Practice (12 Credits)

SWK 710Social Work Macro Practice in Organizations

3

SWK 712Social Work Macro Practice: Program Planning and Evaluation

3

SWK 714Social Work Macro Practice: Community Organizing and Development

3

FNC 600Financial Management

3

MSW Advanced Standing Requirements: (32 credits)

SWK 700Bridge to Concentration Year for Advanced Standing Students

3

SWK 732Introduction to Disabilities Studies for Social Work

3

SWK 740Social Work and Disability Studies Policy Practice

3

SWK 754MSW Internship III

2

SWK 764MSW Integrative Seminar III

1

SWK 755MSW Internship IV

2

Two MSW Electives chosen in consultation with an advisor

6

AND

Disability Studies: Clinical Practice (12 credits)

SWK 702The Range of the Human Condition in Social Work Practice

3

SWK 704Assessment and Formulation in Social Work Practice with People with Disabilities

3

SWK 706Modalities of Practice with People with Disabilities

3

SWK 762Integrative Social Work Practice with People with Disabilities

3

OR

Disabilities Study: Macro Practice (12 Credits)

SWK 710Social Work Macro Practice in Organizations

3

SWK 712Social Work Macro Practice: Program Planning and Evaluation

3

SWK 714Social Work Macro Practice: Community Organizing and Development

3

FNC 600Financial Management

3