Master of Social Work

 

MSW Program Mission and Goals

Program Mission

The MSW Program at UNC Charlotte offers an advanced generalist concentration that embraces the profession's commitment to social and economic justice, individual and community well-being, and scientific inquiry.  As a reflection of UNC Charlotte's designation as North Carolina's urban research university, our curriculum is especially focused on the needs of vulnerable populations in the growing urban and suburban areas of the state.  Graduates of the program will be able to synthesize and apply a broad range of knowledge and skills in order to refine and a advance the quality of social work practice and the profession in a range of settings.

Program Themes and Goals

UNC Charlotte's MSW program prepares students to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate social prevention and intervention programs, particularly with vulnerable individuals and communities.  The program takes a holistic approach to social work education - one that attempts to bridge divides between individually-focused and community-focused practice.  This holistic approach is guided by seven specific themes listed below, each with a corresponding program goal. 

 

Theme                                            Program Goals
Context                                           To recognize the inseparability of individual struggles and social issues
Multi-level Practice                       To take action on multiple levels of social work practice
Evidence-based Social Work     To engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
Strengths Perspective                 To understand and employ the strengths of vulnerable populations
Cultural Sensitivity                        To conduct social work practice with cultural sensitivity
Local & Global Practice               To practice social work in communities anywhere
Critically Reflective Practice         To use continuous learning, development, and critical reflection to guide their practice
 

MSW Curriculum

The MSW curriculum promotes its mission and goals through a foundation curriculum and an advanced curriculum.  The foundation curriculum prepares students to apply generalist social work knowledge, skills, and values.  The advanced curriculum prepares students for more specialized application of the profession's knowledge, skills, and values, with special attention to the needs of vulnerable populations.       

State Licensure/Certification

Graduates of the MSW Program may pursue state licensure or certification at the graduate level. Application for licensure or certification should be made with the state board in the state where the applicant intends to practice social work. In North Carolina. the Certification and Licensure Board for Social Work may be accessed on the web at http://www.ncswboard. org or by phone at 336-625-1679. MSW levels of licensure/certification in North Carolina include the following: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate (LCSWA), Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW), and Certified Social Work Manager (CSWM).

Plans of Study

The MSW may be pursued through the Full Time (two years), Part Time (three years), or Advanced Standing (one year) plans of study.

Full-Time Plan of Study (Two Years)
The Full Time MSW plan of study is designed for students to complete the MSW through two years of intensive study.  The foundation curriculum is completed during the first year of study and the advanced curriculum is completed during the second year.  Students complete a total of 62 graduate credit hours, which includes 48 credit hours in the classroom and 14 credits in an approved field placement.  The Full Time plan of study is outlined below.

Year One: Foundation Curriculum

Fall (15 credits)
SOWK 6121 Social Work Practice: Theories and Skills (3)
SOWK 6131 Social Work Research (3)
SOWK 6141 Foundations of Social Work (3)
SOWK 6151 Social Work, Social Justice, and Diversity (3)
SOWK 6441 Foundation Social Work Practicum I (3)
 
Spring (15 credits)
SOWK 6232  Practice & Program Evaluation (3)
SOWK 6242  Advocacy & Policy Change (3)
SOWK 6252  Mental Health Assessment (3)
SOWK 6442  Foundation Social Work Practicum II (3)
*Elective

Year Two: Advanced Curriculum

Fall (16 credits)
SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
SOWK 7126 Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (3)
SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations I (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (4)
*Elective (3)
 
Spring (16 credits)
SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations II (3)
SOWK 7651  Reflection & Synthesis (3)
SOWK 7444 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (4)
*Elective (3)

Total Program Credits = 62

* Students work with their advisors to select three 3-credit electives relating to work with vulnerable populations.


Part Time Plan of Study (3 years)

The Part Time (PT) plan of study is designed for students who wish to complete an MSW but cannot attend graduate school full time.  The Part Time MSW can be completed in three years.  Part Time Students take the same courses as students in the Full Time plan of study.  They complete 62 graduate credit hours, which includes 48 credit hours in the classroom and 14 credits in an approved field placement.

In the PT plan of study, courses are offered as hybrids, meaning some class meetings are face-to-face and some are online.  Face-to-face classes meet on Saturdays.  Online coursework is asynchronous, meaning students and instructors do not meet online at the same time.  Students begin with two Saturday courses during the 10-week Extended Summer Session.  The Foundation curriculum is completed during the first year.  During Fall and Spring semesters of the first year, students continue to take Saturday classes while completing the Foundation field placement on other days of the week.  During the next Extended Summer Session, students take one course to complete the Foundation curriculum.

Students complete the Advanced curriculum over two years, which includes two Fall semesters, two Spring semesters, and one Extended Summer Session.  During the Advanced curriculum Fall and Spring semesters, students continue Saturday classes and complete an Advanced field placement other days of the week.  In the final Extended Summer Session, students take an elective course that reflects their professional interests.  In the final Fall and Spring, students complete their required Advanced curriculum courses.  The Part Time plan of study is outlined below.

Year One:  Foundation Curriculum

Summer (6 credits)
SOWK 6121 social work Practice:  Theory and Skills (3)
SOWK 6141 Foundations of Social Work (3)
 
Fall (9 credits)
SOWK 6131 Social Work Research (3)
SOWK 6151 Social Work, Social Justice, & Diversity (3)
SOWK 6441 Foundation Social Work Practicum I (3)
 
Spring (9 credits)
SOWK 6242 Advocacy and Policy Change (3)
SOWK 6232 Practice and Program Evaluation (3)
SOWK 6442 Foundation Social Work Practicum II (3)
 
Summer (3 Credits)
SOWK 6252 Mental Health Assessment (3)

Year Two:  Advanced Curriculum   

Fall (10 Credits)
SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations I (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (4)
 
Spring (10 Credits)
SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations II (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (4)
 
Summer (3 Credits)
*Elective (3)

Year Three:  Advanced Curriculum (cont.)

 Fall (6 Credits)
SOWK 7126 Advanced Interpersonal Practice with Groups (3)
*Elective (3)
 
Spring (6 Credits)
SOWK 7651 Reflection and Synthesis (3)
*Elective (3)
 
Total Program Credits = 62

* Students work with their advisors to select three 3-credit electives relating to a vulnerable population.


Advanced Standing Plan of Study (One Year)

The Advanced Standing plan of study is designed for students who have earned a BSW from an accredited social work program within the past seven years and wish to pursue the MSW.  Advanced Standing students are not required to complete the Foundation curriculum for the MSW.  Under the Advanced Standing plan of study, the MSW can be completed in one calendar year.  Students complete 41 graduate credits hours, which includes 33 credit hours in the classroom and 8 credits in an approved field placement.

Classes begin during Extended Summer Session, which runs for 10 weeks in the summer months.  Advanced Standing students complete 9 hours of graduate level work designed to bridge the gap between their BSW curriculum and the Advanced MSW curriculum.  In the Fall and Spring semesters, students complete the Advanced curriculum along with students completing the Full Time plan of study. The Advanced Standing plan of study is outlined below.

 

Extended Summer Session (9 credits)
SOWK 6232 Practice and Program Evaluation (3)
SOWK 6242 Advocacy and Policy Change
SOWK 6252 Mental Health Assessment (3)
 
Fall (16 credits)
SOWK 7122 Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals (3)
SOWK 7126 Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups (3)
SOWK 7222 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations I (3)
SOWK 7443 Advanced Social Work Practicum I (4)
*Elective (3)
 
Spring (16 credits)
SOWK 7127 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (3)
SOWK 7223 Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations II (3)
SOWK 7651 Reflection and Synthesis (3)
SOWK 7444 Advanced Social Work Practicum II (4)
*Elective (3)
 
Total Program Credits = 41

*Students work with their advisors to select two 3-credit electives relating to a vulnerable population.

MSW Program Handbook & Field Manual 08-24-16.pdf

Click here for the 2016-2017 MSW Program Handbook

MSW Elective Choice Form

Students use the Elective Choice Form to document elective choice discussed with their advisors. Click above for the Elective Choice Form. 

GSWA Membership and Activities

The MSW Program has a vibrant Graduate Social Work Assocation as a part of campus life.  As an affiliate of the Graduate and Professional Student Government, the Graduate Social Work Association qualifies for funds for continuing education and research activities. The Graduate Social Work Association was chartered in Fall 2001 in accordance with the Graduate and Professional Student Government by-laws. The president of the Graduate Social Work Association serves as the representative from the School of Social Work to the GPSG organization. Student activity fees fund the organization’s programs and activities, including travel to professional conferences, speakers, and research activities. The GPSG sponsors an annual research fair with monetary awards to excelling students. Elections are held within the School of Social Work each spring for the following year’s officers. All students are automatic members of the Graduate Social Work Association; there are no dues. An appointed faculty member from the School of Social Work serves as the advisor to the Graduate Social Work Association.  Click above for more information. 

Advocates for Change

Advocates for Change is a student-led graduate level student organization. Faculty serve as advisors but the organization is run by students. Advocates for Change began with a group of MSW students at UNC Charlotte in February 2015 as a student response to media reports and peer-reviewed research reports demonstrating inequitable treatment of disadvantaged and 31 minority individuals by health, education, and law enforcement services in the region, state, and nation. According to its mission statement, Advocates for Change is “Master of Social Work and Master’s level students from other disciplines who are committed to providing services to the UNC Charlotte campus and Charlotte community...The Advocates for Change goal is to enhance the quality of life for oppressed and vulnerable populations through advocacy, human services delivery, and research.” The organization was formally recognized by the University’s Graduate and Professional Student Government in November 2015.  Click bove for more information. 

School Social Work

Graduates of the Program may also qualify for licensure as a school social worker in the state of North Carolina. The School Social Work license is awarded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. To be eligible for school social work licensure, MSW students must complete a two-semester field placement in a school setting, take SOWK 7010 School Social Work, and take another course from a list of approved electives. The School of Social Work’s Field Education Director, Hontah Epps, has additional information about school social work licensure. She can be reached at htepps@uncc.edu or 704-687-7932. Information is also available at http://www.ncsswa.org. Students interested in school social work licensure should begin planning with their advisors and the MSW Field Education Director as early in the program as possible.

Child Welfare Education Collaborative

The North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative (CWEC) includes specialized, in-depth training in child welfare knowledge, values, and best practices. The program was established in 1999 to improve public child welfare services in North Carolina and is administered by the Jordan Institute for Families at UNC Chapel Hill.  CWEC ensures that graduates meet the state's pre-service training (PST) competency requirements. CWEC seeks to increase the number of professionally educated social workers in public child welfare in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Social Work began participating in the Collaborative in 2002. CWEC involves two programs. Under the Waiver program, students earn credit toward child welfare experience and agree to work for a child protection unit upon graduation. Under the Scholar program, students earn credit toward child welfare experience and, in exchange for paid tuition, are obligated to work for a child protection unit for a specified period of time after graduation. The Scholar program is not funded for the 2016-17 academic year, so only Waiver students are being accepted at this time.
More information about the NC Child Welfare Collaborative can be found at http://ssw.unc.edu/cwec/. For additional information about participating in the NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte, please contact the University site liaison, Dr. Robert Herman-Smith, at bherman@uncc.edu or 704-687-7180.

Contact Information

MSW Program Director
Robert Herman-Smith, PhD, MSW, MA
School of Social Work
704-687-7180
 
Admissions Director
Amy Peters, MSW
School of Social Work
704-687-7930
abarsant@uncc.edu

Tips on Paying for College and Your Credit

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Tips on paying for College and Your Credit page.

Additional Resources:

  1. Central Academic Advising Website (www.advising.uncc.edu)
  2. College’s Advising Center Website
  3. General Education Requirements (www.ucol.uncc.edu/gened)
  4. Undergraduate Catalog (http://www.provost.uncc.edu/Catalogs/)
  5. Graduate Catalog (www.uncc.edu/gradmiss/gs_catalog.html)
  6. Final Exam Schedule (www.registrar.uncc.edu/exam.htm)
  7. Official University Academic Calendar (www.registrar.uncc.edu/calendars/calendar.asp)
  8. University Career Center (www.career.uncc.edu)
  9. Office of Registrar (www.registrar.uncc.edu)
  10. Writing Resource Center (www.uncc.edu/writing/wrc.html)
  11. Tutorial Services, Supplemental Instruction, Other Academic Support (http://www.ucae.uncc.edu/)
  12. Student Scholarships http://health.uncc.edu/advising-center/scholarshipsgraduateschool.uncc.edu/funding-resources/philanthropic-awards

 

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