MSW Concentrations

Advanced Direct Practice (ADP): Clinical Concentration

The central focus of clinical social work is on the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of individuals, families, and groups. The clinical social worker is able to assess and intervene at multiple levels, addressing both the internal and external factors that impact client functioning. The clinical social worker is able to draw on both evidence-informed and traditional models of practice and is specifically trained in drawing on theory to guide practice.

Clinical social workers practice in a variety of practice settings, including community mental health centers, hospitals, substance use treatment and recovery facilities, primary health care, child welfare agencies, centers for aging services, employee assistance programs, and private practice settings.

The ADP clinical concentration prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, families and groups in a variety of practice settings. The concentration includes knowledge of a range of both contemporary and traditional evidence-informed theories and models that guide practice. One of the central goals of the clinical concentration is to help students link theory with practice, and develop the skills of a beginning level clinical social worker.

Students in the clinical concentration learn:

  • Knowledge and application of cognitive behavioral approaches to practice
  • Knowledge and application of ego supportive psychotherapeutic approaches to practice
  • Knowledge and application of family systems theory and a variety of contemporary family therapy models
  • Knowledge and application of interpersonal group theory
  • Critical thinking skills as they apply to the processes of engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation with individuals, families and groups
  • How to demonstrate ethical integrity through application of social work values in a variety of clinical situations
  • Differential use of the professional relationship
  • The importance of utilizing evidence-informed, or best practice approaches, with individuals, families and groups
  • Increasing levels of self-awareness, including the professional use of self to engage and work with diverse client populations
  • Advocacy skills for practice delivery and policies that promote social and economic justice and equity when working with individuals, families and groups

Advanced Practice: Management and Community Practice (MCP) Concentration

The central focus of the management and community practice concentration is on preparing social workers for leadership within the social service community at the macro level.  Students are also able to assess and intervene at multiple levels, addressing both the internal and external factors that impact organizational and community functioning. The community practice social worker is able to draw on both evidence-informed and traditional models of practice and is specifically trained in drawing on theory to guide practice.

Management and community practice social workers practice in a variety of organizations and practice settings such as, child welfare agencies, policy and advocacy centers, aging services, educational facilities, employee assistance programs, public health organizations and community based agencies.  They also carry out a range of responsibilities such as policy analysis, program development and oversight, grant writing, fund raising, administration, outreach and volunteer coordination, and program evaluation.

The MCP concentration prepares students for advanced practice with individuals, groups and organizations in a variety of practice settings but primarily focused on the macro level. The concentration includes knowledge of a range of both contemporary and traditional evidence-informed theories and models that guide organizational practice. One of the central goals of the community concentration is to help student’s link theory with practice, and develop the skills of a beginning level community social worker.

Students in the MCP concentration learn:

  • Knowledge and application of program planning
  • Knowledge and application of program evaluation
  • Knowledge and application of organizational and management theory and practice.
  • Knowledge and application of organizational effectiveness tools
  • Critical thinking skills as they apply to the processes of leadership, engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation with individuals, groups, programs, organizations and communities
  • How to demonstrate ethical integrity through application of social work values in a variety of community and organizational situations
  • The importance of utilizing evidence-informed or best practice approaches, with individuals, groups, programs, organizations, and communities
  • The importance of utilizing culturally competent practice with individuals, groups, programs, organizations, and communities
  • Increasing levels of self-awareness, including the professional use of self to engage and work with diverse client populations
  • Advocacy skills for practice delivery and policies that promote social and economic justice and equity when working with individuals, groups, organizations and communities.