SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK


Associate Professor and Director D. Tranter
Associate Professor and Graduate Studies Co-ordinator M. McKee
Professors K. Brownlee,
  R. Delaney,
  M.L. Kelley,
  C.H. Nelson
Associate Professors M. McKee,
  D. Tranter,
  J. Zamparo
Assistant Professors R. Neckoway,
  J-A. Vis
Adjunct Professors J. Graham,
  M. MacLean,
  S. Sellick,
  J. Taylor,
  J. Timpson
Professors Emeriti of Social Work D. Carpenter,
  S. Taylor
Field Education & Admissions Co-ordinator J. Zachary

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE
Lakehead University offers a Master in Social Work (MSW) degree which emphasizes an advanced generalist practice approach to working with individuals, families, communities, organizations and political systems in the context of a northern environment. The curriculum focuses on the knowledge, values and skills necessary for professional practice in environments characterized by urban regional centres, rural and remote communities, large geographic distances, low population density, diverse First Nations communities and people, and a mix of formal services.

The MSW program structure allows for specialized and highly individualized student learning. Each student selects a field of practice around which to focus their course work, field practicum and project or thesis. Potential areas for student specialization relate to faculty members' expertise and include (but are not limited to) child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, employment and income security, school social work, gerontology, and women's studies. Also, as part of their MSW program, students have the unique opportunity to obtain one of Lakehead University's interdisciplinary Collaborative Graduate Programs: either the MSW (Specialization in Gerontology) or the MSW (Specialization in Women's Studies).

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Candidates are accepted under University regulations governing the Master's degree provided they also satisfy the requirements of the School. All candidates must hold a four-year undergraduate degree in social work with at least a B average. Masters candidates are required to have completed an acceptable full credit undergraduate course in research methodology and statistics. Successful candidates will normally have at least two years of paid social work practice experience subsequent to receiving the H.BSW degree. Extensive relevant experience prior to the undergraduate degree or exceptional HBSW academic performance may be accepted as full or partial fulfillment of the practice prerequisite. A minimum score of 550 in the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required from applicants for whom English is a second language. It should be noted that satisfaction of basic admissions requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the program. The School offers a one-year HBSW degree (for those already holding an undergraduate degree in another discipline) which may be used to gain the basic academic qualification for admission to the MSW program.

Application materials may be requested from the Graduate Studies Co-ordinator, School of Social Work. Applications must be received by February 1. Late applications may be considered for admission, but may not be eligible for funding. An admissions advisory service is available to prospective applicants seeking additional information on the MSW program. Written or telephone contact should be made to the Graduate Studies Co-ordinator, (807)343-8576 or by e-mail at: socialwork@lakeheadu.ca.

Students interested in the MSW (Specialization in Gerontology) or the MSW (Specialization in Women's Studies) must apply to the specialization through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at the same time as they apply for the MSW.

Lakehead's MSW program emphasizes advanced professional practice which is normally obtained by completing the project track. All students will be accepted into a project track. Early in their program, after consultation with their faculty supervisors, students who prefer the thesis track may request a change from the Graduate Co-ordinator.

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS

In addition to the regulations outlined in the Graduate Studies section pages 267-269, the following regulation applies to the Masters of Social Work program.

1. Reference Check and Professional Suitability
A criminal reference check is required for all students admitted into the MSW program. Within three months of admission, the student is responsible to obtain a reference check and ensure that the results are received by the Graduate Co-ordinator. Evaluation of professional suitability may be required prior to field placement.

 

PROGRAMS

Lakehead's MSW program emphasizes advanced professional practice which is normally obtained by completing the project track. All students will be accepted into a project track. Early in their program, after consultation with their faculty supervisors, students who prefer the thesis track may request a change from the Graduate Co-ordinator.

The field practicum can be located in Thunder Bay or another community.

A. PROJECT TRACK

All Project Students are required to complete: Social Work 5511, 5513, 5514, 5601 (Field Practicum), and 5801 (Master's Project). The remaining 1.5 credits (3 half-courses) are social work elective courses. Students may, with permission of the School, take up to 1 FCE (one full or two half- courses) from another department as elective courses in their MSW program. These courses must be at the fourth or fifth year level. Permission is based on the appropriateness of the course to the student's educational needs and academic background.

Each student in the project track must engage a faculty supervisor to supervise his/her research project and practicum early in the program. The student's proposal and final project report will be evaluated by the faculty supervisor and two readers, one of whom must be a faculty member from the School of Social Work or an Adjunct Professor. The second reader may be a person from the social service community with relevant expertise, or a faculty member from another academic department of Lakehead University who has relevant experience. Students enroled in the Collaborative Graduate Programs to obtain a Specialization in Gerontology or Women's Studies must also conform to their regulations regarding supervision and project reviewers. (See descriptions of Collaborative Programs.)

B. THESIS TRACK

All Thesis Students are required to complete: Social Work 5511, 5513, 5514, 5601 (Field Practicum), and 5901 (Master's Thesis = 2 FCEs). The remaining .5 credit (one half-course) may be chosen from among the social work elective courses. Students may, with permission of the School, take their half-course elective from another department. These courses must be at the fourth or fifth year level. Permission is based on the appropriateness of the course to the student's educational needs and academic background.

For information regarding the composition of the thesis committee and internal and external examination processes, contact the Graduate Co-ordinator of the School of Social Work.

COLLABORATIVE GRADUATE PROGRAM WITH SPECIALIZATION IN GERONTOLOGY

The School offers an MSW (Specialization in Gerontology). Gerontology courses combine the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, Kinesiology, and Education. Students must be supervised by a Social Work faculty member who is approved by the Gerontology program (see Specialization in Gerontology) and must conform to the requirements of the program when selecting their project reviewers or thesis committee members.

To complete the requirements of the Specialization in Gerontology, students must complete Gerontology 5710 instead of a half-course Social Work elective, and Gerontology 5790 (non-credit seminar). In addition, the practicum and project or thesis must focus on aging. Please refer to the Collaborative Graduate Program with Specialization in Gerontology, page 271.

COLLABORATIVE GRADUATE PROGRAM WITH SPECIALIZATION IN WOMEN'S STUDIES

The School offers an MSW (Specialization in Women's Studies). Women's Studies courses combine the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, History, English, and Education. Students must be supervised by a Social Work faculty member who is approved by the Women's Studies program (see Specialization in Women's Studies) and must conform to the requirements of the program when selecting their project/thesis proposal reviewers, final project reviewers or thesis committee members.

To complete the requirements of the Specialization in Women's Studies, students must complete Women's Studies 5101 (one FCE instead of two half-course Social Work electives for Project Students and instead of a half-course Social Work elective for Thesis Students). In addition, the practicum, project or thesis must focus on Women's Studies. Please refer to the Collaborative Graduate Program with Specialization in Women's Studies, page 272.

MSW WITH GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN HEALTH SERVICES AND POLICY RESEARCH, THESIS PROGRAM

Students who wish to enter this program, should refer to the Graduate Diploma in Health Services and Policy Research, Faculty of Professional Schools Graduate Programs, page 300 of this Calendar.

SOCIAL WORK ELECTIVE COURSES:

Social Work 5111 - Research Methods for Advanced Generalist Practice
Social Work 5112 - Clinical Skills for Northern Practice
Social Work 5113 - Diversity and Northern Social Work Practice
Social Work 5211 - Supervision for Generalist Social Work Practice
Social Work 5213 - Advanced Social Planning
Social Work 5214 - Social Work Seminar
Social Work 5215 - Selected Topics in Social Work
Social Work 5216 - Organizational Behaviour
Social Work 5510 - Strategies for Social Development in Northern Environments

 

GRADUATE COURSES

Courses not offered this academic year (fall/winter terms) are indicated by the words "NOT OFFERED THIS YEAR" below the course description. Nevertheless, students should refer to the Timetable as a final check.

(Information about Course Numbering System)

Social Work 5111
Research Methods for Advanced Generalist Practice
This course introduces students to empirically-based research methods used by the advanced generalist practitioner in the evaluation of his/her own practice outcomes and examines evaluation procedures for use with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. An emphasis is placed on the use of single-subject/system research designs.

Social Work 5112
Clinical Skills for Northern Practice
3-0; or 3-0
Current knowledge regarding the diagnosis and treatment of the major clinical problems which people present for counselling (for example, depression, anxiety, grief, eating disorders) will be critically examined from a social work perspective. Other topics include the social and political construction of diagnosis and treatment, and ethical issues in clinical practice. The intent is to prepare social workers for clinical practice in communities where they will be doing much of the front-line work of assessment and counselling.

Social Work 5113
Diversity and Northern Social Work Practice
3-0; or 3-0
This course pursues the concept of diversity, its relationship to social work practice, and its conceptualization in northern, rural and remote contexts. Topics to be examined may include colonialism, regionalism, multiculturalism, sexual orientation, ethnic diversity, racial diversity, gender construction and "ableism".
NOT OFFERED THIS YEAR

Social Work 5211
Supervision for Generalist Social Work Practice
3-0; or 3-0
The role of supervision in generalist practice is examined. Topics include supervisory roles and functions as applied to management, administration, and human service organizations, conflict resolution, training, teamwork, negotiating organizations, and case management.
NOT OFFERED THIS YEAR

Social Work 5213
Advanced Social Planning
This course critically assesses theoretical and philosophical foundations of social planning. It also familiarizes students with social planning practice in northern, rural, and remote contexts. Some key issues include: what was social planning; what is social planning; what should it be; how can it be done better; what is the role of social workers and related professionals in the social planning process; in what contexts of diversity should social planning be conceived and implemented.
NOT OFFERED THIS YEAR

Social Work 5214 (ST)
Social Work Seminar
3-0; or 3-0
This seminar course is designed to accommodate students with specialized interests in social work and social welfare. Content will vary from year to year.

Social Work 5215 (ST)
Selected Topics in Social Work
3-0; or 3-0
This reading course is designed to accommodate students with a special area of interest in northern social work practice.

Social Work 5216
Organizational Behaviour
A critical examination of organizational theories and practices with a view to enhancing practice and identifying strategies for creating positive changes. Intra-organizational and inter-organizational issues will be addressed from the multiple perspectives of service users, workers, management and the broader community. Race, gender, class and geographic location will form part of a critical assessment. Leadership, supervision, equity and evaluation are examples of areas for in-depth study in individual projects.

Social Work 5510
Strategies for Social Development in Northern Environments
An examination of practice theory and social change strategies that build on a social development perspective. The course draws on social planning and development theory as well as practice experience of change in northern urban and rural environments. Topics include: community strengthening through capacity building, empowerment by networking and coalition building, sustainable development to balance socio-economic development and environmental protection, and combatting oppression and social injustice in communities.

Social Work 5511
Applied Social Research Methods
An examination of qualitative and quantitative methods in social research. The course is also designed to enable students to initiate their master's project or thesis. Topics include the ethics and politics of knowledge construction, methods for reviewing existing research, and research methods including experimental, survey, qualitative, and secondary/archival designs.

Social Work 5513
Social Policy for Provincial Norths: People, Power and Politics
An exploration of social policy from a critical perspective which seeks to expose those systemic inequalities in society which encourage social injustice, social inequality and social stratification, especially in Canada's provincial norths. The domination and permeation of social values and social constructions will also be examined as well as the relationship among power, social policy, social planning and social change theories. The subsequent impact for geographic and cultural communities will be examined, in particular for the provincial norths, and in general for rural Canada and the far north. Emphasis will be given to the exploration of context-sensitive strategies that promote social policies which are relevant to northern communities and populations.

Social Work 5514
Social Work Theory for Northern Practice
A critical assessment of social work practice theory in relation to its relevance for advanced generalist practice in northern, rural and remote contexts. Within this analytical framework, consideration is given to such areas of diversity as sexual orientation, racial and ethnic plurality, gender construction, ability, age, socioeconomic class, and regionalism. Applications of generalist northern practice studied may include clinical work with individuals, families or groups; community development, social service administration, social policy research, and social planning.

Social Work 5601 (9601)
Field Practicum
The field practicum is designed to provide the student with opportunity to apply his/her theoretical knowledge and develop practice skills necessary to conduct advanced generalist practice in a chosen practice concentration. Students in the Collaborative Specializations must focus their practicums in their specializations. The practicum is 450 hours and is graded on a pass-fail basis.

Social Work 5801 (9801)
Master's Project
The project requires a limited review and analysis of existing knowledge pertaining to the student's chosen project topic. The project may take various forms such as policy analysis; development of a program or practice model; implementation of a program evaluation plan; analysis of a practice issue/problem; development of a module or preparation of a journal article.

Social Work 5901 (9901)
Master's Thesis
All thesis students are required to complete a thesis to the satisfaction of an appointed committee responsible for the supervision of the student's thesis work. The production of a thesis involves the systematic investigation of a topic related to the student's area of concentration through an extensive literature review and the collection and analysis of original data culminating in the thesis which will reflect scholarly attainment and a contribution to social work knowledge.

 


See also:
Faculty of Graduate Studies
- Information/Regulations

School of Social Work - Undergraduate

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2007-2008 Calendar version