University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Proseminars

These SSW-based courses ground students in social work perspectives and priorities while encouraging interdisciplinary synthesis.

They also provide opportunities for interaction with other social work students and exposure to social work-specific norms, standards and trends (e.g., publishing, job market, funding).

> Students must complete three proseminars (Social Work ProcessesTheories of Social Functioning, and Research Directions in Social Work) in the first two years of coursework. Each of these proseminars are worth three credits and are offered in a rotating sequence (one per semester) determined by the PhD Program Director.

 

> Students are required to register for three semesters of the one-credit Social Work Scholarship proseminar: both semesters of the first year; one semester (spring or fall according to student choice) in the second year.

SW 663 Social Work Scholarship

This proseminar is designed to foster students’ intellectual and professional development into innovative and productive social work scholars. Through delivered content, assignments, andinteractions, students will have opportunities to: 1) amass critical knowledge needed to become expert in a specific substantive area; 2) hone professional skills and strategies; and 3) integrate interdisciplinary experiences and content with social work knowledge, methods, and ethics. Students will reflect on their emerging scholarship – in terms of their substantive areas and professional profiles – in relation to the wide range of systems (e.g., individuals, families, groups,communities, organizations), systems of care, and fields of practice (e.g.,clinical intervention, community intervention, administration, policy) in which social work is engaged.

SW 664 Social Work Processes

This proseminar critically examines how social systems undergo change and the role of social work in those processes. Students will examine: 1) how various systems change over time and in response to various stimuli; 2) how a system’s structures and components,surrounding contexts, and intersection with other systems affect change processes and outcomes; 3) how to conceptualize, initiate, respond to, and assess system change. Students will examine processes of and potential for change in relation to the wide range of systems (e.g., individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations), systems of care, and fields of practice (e.g.,clinical intervention, community intervention, administration, policy) in which social work is engaged.

SW 665 Theories of Social Functioning

This proseminar is a critical, multidisciplinary survey of classic and emerging theories of the complex functions and interrelations of social systems. Students will examine theories for their fundamental assumptions, sociohistorical origins, philosophical underpinnings, empirical bases, and ramifications for various systems and in various contexts.This process of critical and comparative analysis will emphasize the role of theory in guiding social work practice and help students recognize the steps and skills required of theory-building. Theories studied in the course will reflect the wide range of systems (e.g., individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations), systems of care, and fields of practice (e.g., clinical intervention, community intervention, administration, policy) in which social work is engaged.

SW 667 Research Directions in Social Work

This proseminar will prepare students to apply advanced research methods andanalytic approaches to the study of social issues. The course will provide students with foundation necessary to design and carry out an independent research project (e.g., a dissertation). It is taken in concert with advanced research methods and statistics courses in other disciplines and is not expected to replicate the content of those courses. The methods and approaches studied will be relevant to the wide range of systems (e.g., individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations), systems of care, and fields of practice (e.g., clinical intervention, community intervention, administration, policy) in which social work is engaged.