Core curriculum courses are distributed in the following manner for students in the day program:

AutumnWinterSpring
SSA 30000SSA 30000Concentration or Elective
SSA 30100SSA 30100Concentration or Elective
SSA 32700SSA 30200Concentration or Elective
Field WorkField WorkField Work

Core curriculum courses for the Extended Evening Program (EEP) are offered during the first and second years of study.

Social Intervention: Programs and Policies (SSA 30000). This two-quarter course introduces students to the issues and problems associated with social welfare interventions at the community, agency, and policy levels. Students are expected to learn and develop competencies in analyzing the components of current policies, designing programmatic alternatives, anticipating substantive, operational, and political advantages and disadvantages, weighing benefits against financial costs, and making sound choices among imperfect alternatives. While focusing on public policies, the course will include consideration of the impact of policies and programs on individuals and families. The course will give students a thorough grounding in several critical areas of social work practice, including poverty and at least two social service areas such as mental health and child welfare.

Social Intervention: Direct Practice (SSA 30100). This two-quarter course emphasizes the design and practice of social work interventions at the individual, family, and group levels. Students are introduced to the values, theories, concepts, skills, and empirical evidence that form the base for direct social work practice and develop competencies related to this area of practice. Complementing SSA 30000, material is presented to examine needs, resources, and potential for change at the individual, family, and group levels, as well as to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of various options for intervention. Students will develop skills in identifying and defining problems, implementing and refining intervention strategies, evaluating the impact of clinical interventions, and weighing the ethical considerations of various choices. Particular attention is given to developing intervention approaches for working with underserved groups.

Social Intervention: Research and Evaluation (SSA 30200). This course focuses on the generation, analysis, and use of data and information relevant to decision making at the case, program, and policy levels. Students learn competencies and develop practice behaviors related to the collection, analysis, and use of data related to fundamental aspects of social work practice: problem assessment and definition; intervention formulation, implementation, and refinement; and evaluation. The course covers specification and measurement of various practice and social science concepts, sampling methods, data collection strategies, and statistical and graphical approaches to data analysis. Students with strong research background and skills may take a written exam and be eligible for a clinical research course (44501 or 44505) or a data analysis course (48500) in their first year.

Human Behavior and the Social Environment (SSA 32700). This core course teaches biological and social science concepts concerning human development that are fundamental to social work practice: social and ecological systems; life course development; culture, ethnicity, and gender; stress, coping, and adaptation; and social issues related to development over the life course. It prepares students to use these conceptual frameworks to guide the process of assessment, intervention, and evaluation; and to critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment. Students with extensive background in the socio-cultural, socio-economic, psychological, and cognitive contexts of human growth and behavior will be placed into an advanced course. 

Shauna Taylor

Shauna Taylor, AM '15

“I see that policy is the way to make long-term, societal change … my passion for social justice has increased while I’ve been at SSA.”