Spring 2023 Online Electives

Our online courses come in a variety of offerings. Some of these courses are offered completely online while others are offered in a hybrid format, where students are required to come to campus for several class meetings.

Continuing Education Information

CEUs for NY LMSWs and LCSWs are available for select MSW elective courses. Upon completion of your course, you may use the Application to Request New York LMSW & LCSW Continuing Education Hours for MSW Elective Courses to request your certificate.

On this page:

SW 101 The Social Context and Human Biology (Undergraduate Online)

This undergraduate course will provide a foundational understanding of human biology with emphasis on the biological bases of behaviors and issues of concern to social workers. This course is designed to meet the human biology prerequisites for Masters in Social Work students, and will cover the basics of human biology including anatomical systems and structures, development from conception through aging and death, genetics, evolution and biological and environmental interactions. The focus of the course is not only on biology but also on the critical analysis of the interplay between human biology and social issues. Discussions will cover the biological bases of phenomena including but not limited to addictions, mental illness, sexuality and aggression. Emphasis throughout the course also will be placed on biological processes related to trauma and stress.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 19062
Instructor: Elaine Hammond
Format: Blackboard CMS, Video Lectures, Online Quizzes, Mid-term and Final Paper

Course Introduction - In this video Elaine Hammond provides a summary of what the course covers.

SW 150 Social Media in Social Change (Undergraduate Online)

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with social media and social networking as they influence community change. Specifically, students will be introduced to the fundamental terms and concepts of social media and networking, including various interfaces, tools, and platforms that may be leveraged to promote community change and development. Students will also explore existing scholarship and best practices, as well as issues of social justice, burdens of adversity, social disadvantage, and human rights as they apply to the democratization of technology. Students will examine and evaluate the challenges, opportunities, and future applications of social media and networking related to community change.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m.- 8:50 p.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 23331
Instructor: Matthew Schwartz
Format: Synchronous, Blackboard CMS

SW 554 Motivational Interviewing (Online)

This course is organized primarily as a seminar that will highlight Motivational Interviewing approaches to help clients build commitment and reach a decision to change behavior. This course provides a forum for case presentation and discussion with an emphasis on discussing cases from student’s field placements and/or practice settings. Theories of behavioral change will be discussed, and the transtheoretical model (TTM) of intentional behavior change will be highlighted as an integrative framework for understanding the process of behavior change.

The theoretical basis of Motivational Interviewing lies in the construct of "ambivalence" and the conflict between indulgence and restraint that is so prevalent in the addictive behaviors. Failure to change behaviors causing problems is a phenomenon that extends well beyond the addictions, however, and the immobilizing effects of ambivalence can be seen in many social work practice spheres. Applications of motivational interviewing have been extended to behavioral change in general, including social work, mental health, health promotion, general medical care, corrections, and community and organizational settings. In addition, the course will discuss MI's application to practice with "mandated" clients.

While the course will reflect topics related to students who are working with clients with alcohol and other drug problems in their field and/or practice settings, it is also open to students who would like to learn and practice the Motivational Interviewing approach. In direct contrast to lecture formats, seminars can be a good means of changing perceptions, developing problem-solving skills, and challenging opinions.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 19603
Instructor: Todd Sage
Format: Synchronous, Blackboard CMS

SW 557 Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice (Online)

This course is aimed at developing the knowledge and skills necessary for working with individuals who have a diagnosis of serious mental illness using recovery-oriented evidence-based practices. It is designed for MSW students and MSW mental health practitioners. Students will become familiar with evidence-based practice, within a recovery-oriented paradigm, as a general approach to practice as well as specific evidence-based interventions to use for individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness. It is assumed that students will have a basic knowledge on serious mental illness as a pre or co-requisite, however a review will be provided. Students will learn to examine research literature to determine the various levels of support for specific interventions and essential principles for translating research into practice. In addition, they will identify the appropriate treatment outcomes that reflect effective, quality, mental health practice. Each evidence-based practice presented will also be examined for its utility with diverse groups. Providing assessment and treatment to a diverse group of individuals with a diagnosis of serious mental illness is the focus of this course and will be discussed in detail.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 14949
Instructor: Catherine Dulmus
Format: Asynchronous Blackboard CMS, Video Lectures, Discussion Board and Chat Assignments, Literature Review, Virtual Poster Presentation

SW 559 Trauma Theory and Treatment (Online)

This course will provide an introduction of theoretical frameworks on trauma throughout the life span.  An overview of types of trauma and the impacts of trauma on the individual, family, and community will be examined. Information on treatment methods and evidence-based practices used to address trauma will be provided. This course offers students the opportunity to be introduced to an overview of the skills necessary to assess and intervene in situations involving trauma. The role of assessing and intervening in situations involving trauma will be examined from several theoretical perspectives.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 14577
Instructor: Sue Green
Format: Asynchronous Blackboard CMS, Discussion Board Interaction, Online Exams.  

SW 573 Solution Focused Practice (Hy-Flex)

Solution focused practice has been widely used in the counseling, medical, education and business fields. This course will present the origin, principles, theory, research and application of solution focused work. Students will develop the knowledge base to utilize this intervention approach in multiple settings. The differential application of solution focused techniques based on assessment, treatment plans and ethical practice guidelines will be explored. A major emphasis will be placed on skill development and implementation. Participants will be expected to engage in case discussions, experiential exercises, role plays and simulations which integrate theory with practice.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Thursday 6:00 p.m. - 8:50 p.m.

Seated students may participate in-person in 214 Parker Hall, South Campus

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 14856
Instructor: Denise Krause
Format HyFlex, Blackboard CMS: Synchronous Class Meetings

SW 580 Psychopathology (Online)

This course provides a general introduction to the fields of abnormal psychology and clinical psychiatry.  Specifically, this course will acquaint students with the epidemiology, classification, and etiology, of the major forms of mental illness. It is the primary aim of this course to develop the student’s diagnostic skills in clinical settings. To that end, didactic emphasis will be placed not only on the study of psychopathological symptoms and behaviors, per se, but also on their manifestations in everyday life. Specific attention is paid to the ethical and social work value-related problems associated with diagnosing and labeling clients with a psychiatric disorder, and issues of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities or illness, age and national origin as they influence the manifestations of behaviors that may be diagnosed as mental illness or affect the presentation of mental illness. Case studies and videos will be used to ensure that students have an effective working knowledge of: (a) the biological and psychosocial bases of the major mental disorders; (b) the behavioral symptomatology that characterizes them; and (c) their classification according to the American Psychiatric Association system of classification of mental illness and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This course also addresses the role of social workers as advocates for people with mental disorders and as environmental change agents.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 14545
Instructor: Isok Kim
Format: Asynchronous Blackboard CMS, Video Lectures, Discussion Board Interaction, Online Exams

SW 587 Addiction and the Family (Online)

This course will provide a dual focus on alcohol and other drug problems and the family, examining: 1) the impact of alcohol and other drug problems on families, and 2) assessment and intervention strategies appropriate for these family systems and their individual family members (i.e.: children and adults).

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 16724
Instructor: Todd Sage
Format: Synchronous Blackboard CMS, Video Lectures, Discussion Board Interaction, Online Exams

SW 589 Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Online)

This course provides participants with a trauma-genic conceptual framework for working with survivors of sexual abuse. Assessment techniques and treatment strategies are presented with special emphasis on individual and group therapy. Other topics in a survivor’s life; use of creative arts therapies in recovery; spiritual aspects of healing; and the avoidance of vicarious traumatization for the worker.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 16642
Instructor: Michelle Sperlich
Format: The course utilizes Blackboard CMS, with readings, video lectures, videos, discussion boards, and journals. There is a semester-long online small group assignment. This is a fully online course; students will need access to the Internet for weekly activities and in addition will be required to meet synchronously two times during the semester online in small groups. This will be arranged according to students overall availability.

SW 591 Spirituality in Social Work (Online)

In keeping with the generalist model, as social workers we need to be exploring spiritual themes with our clients. Such exploration can offer them a source of inner strength during times of crisis. It may also help them find a sense of community based on their belief systems and give meaning to their lives even when grieving during transitions and losses. This course will expose the student to basic knowledge about spirituality as a component of mental health as well as teach her/him interventions for integrating spiritual concepts into clinical practice.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 13359
Instructor: Elaine Hammond
Format: The course utilizes Blackboard CMS

SW 595 Agency Grant Writing (Online)

This seminar covers the following aspects of proposal preparation: informational exchange, preparing the proposal, basic and advanced rules of writing proposals, the grant-management system, budgets, specific aims, background and significance, preliminary studies, conceptual framework to guide the research, measurement to operationalize constructs, sampling plans, procedures for data collection, statistical analysis, and critical components of writing proposals. All students will submit a final proposal.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 13397
Instructor: Gretchen Ely
Format: Asynchronous, Blackboard CMS

SW 598 Behavior Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence (Online)

This course provides a general introduction to the assessment and treatment of behavior problems of childhood and adolescence. The course will review classification and etiology of major mental health disorders within the contexts of normal and abnormal mental and emotional development of children and adolescents, and family, peer group, school and community. The ethical considerations related to the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with behavior disorders will be examined. The impact of trauma, family factors, culture and oppression on the development, naming and treatment of behavior disorders will be highlighted. Strategies employed to treat children, adolescents and their families will also be addressed.

This course is approved for CEU's.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Synchronous (Online) Class Days and Times: 

January 30, 2023 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 16503
Instructor: Elizabeth Caprio
Format: Mainly asynchronous but may include synchronous sessions, Blackboard CMS, video lectures, video clips, blogs, module activities, podcasts, use of other online formats (e.g. Flipgrid)

SW 708 Responding to Disasters with Social Work Interventions (Online)

In this course, students will develop knowledge and skills necessary for responding to disasters, such as floods, fires, hurricanes, and major transportation accidents. Students will become oriented to trauma-informed casework, mental health interventions, and shelter-based interventions that are utilized by disaster response teams. These interventions include rapid assessment skills, enhanced Psychological First Aid for survivors, staff and volunteers, and facilitation of immediate problem-solving. The course is anchored in the values and ethics of the social work profession and incorporates a human rights perspective in understanding disasters and their differential impact on vulnerable populations.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 15940
Instructor: Susan Peek
Format: Blackboard CMS

SW 718 Core Concepts in Child and Adolescents Trauma (Online)

This course will introduce students to the core concepts (general theory and foundational knowledge), which informs evidence-based assessment and intervention with traumatized children and adolescents.  Strength-based practice will be highlighted along with a focus on the identification of protective and promotive factors that foster resiliency and post-traumatic growth. Trauma is broadly defined,  and includes children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events including, but not limited to natural disasters, war, abuse and neglect, medical trauma,  and witnessing interpersonal crime  (e.g. domestic violence) and other traumatic events. The course will highlight the role of development, culture and empirical evidence in trauma-specific interventions with children, adolescents and their families. It will address the level of functioning of primary caregiving environments and assess the capacity of the community to facilitate restorative processes.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 23430
Instructor: Susan Green
Format: Blackboard CMS

SW 720 Introduction to Issues in Veteran and Military Family Care (Hy-Flex)

This elective course will introduce graduate students in Social Work and Nursing to issues relevant to working with veterans and military family members. This interdisciplinary course will also provide students the opportunity to discuss topics across care-providing disciplines. Course content will include an introduction to military values, structure, culture, and terminology; government and community- based service delivery systems and supports available to veterans and military families; and the changing nature of the military, such as special issues related to women, racial/ethnic minorities, and gay and lesbian service members and veterans. Using a trauma-informed framework, the course will examine the physical and mental health impacts of service and combat on veterans (e.g., physical trauma and disabilities, psychological trauma and PTSD, moral injury) as well as challenges of reintegration (e.g., unemployment, homelessness, access to services). These issues will be applied to military spouses/partners, families, and children, as will topics of separation, reunion, transitioning from the war zone to home, caregiver burden, loss, grieving, and fear of future deployments.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Synchronous Class Dates from 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.: 

January 31, 2023 

February 14, 2023 

February 28, 2023

March 14, 2023

March 28, 2023

April 11, 2023 

April 25, 2023

May 9, 2023 

Seated students may participate in-person in 214 Parker Hall, South Campus

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 17117
Instructor: Lisa Butler
Format: Asynchronous and Synchronous classes, Blackboard CMS

SW 721 Social Policy and Programs for the Aging Population (Online)

This course is designed to familiarize students with social policies and programs for meeting the rapidly growing needs of the older population. Policies, programs, and services for older adults will be examined, with an emphasis on similarities and differences related to diversity and human rights. This course is intended to increase the student's awareness and knowledge of programs and services provided through the Older Americans Act, the Social Security Act (including Medicare and Medicaid), Affordable Care Act, and other policies and community initiatives for the aging population. It will focus on the history, features, strengths, and limitations of these existing policies, and provide the skills needed to advocate for change at the legislative, agency and/or community level. Students will be exposed to content areas that will enable them to understand aging programs that deal with social services, health care, housing, and other elements of community and institutional long-term care systems. This course will incorporate a trauma-informed and human rights perspective when considering policies that target the older adult population.

Schedule:

January 31, 2022 - May 13, 2022

Synchronous Class dates 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.:

January 31, 2023

February 28, 2023

April 4, 2023

May 9, 2023

     
Credit Hours: 3      
Registration #

23436

Instructor: Emily Quiñones-Visot
     
Format: Blackboard CMS, Asynchronous, with four synchronous dates      

SW 727 Infant Mental Health (Hy-Flex)

Infant Mental Health is a rapidly growing field that emphasizes the importance of supporting the developing parent-infant relationship and promoting secure attachments. This course will provide a foundation and overview of the important theories and assumptions underlying infant mental health, the evidence-based practices with infants, toddlers and families, and identification of appropriate interventions based upon the infant and family’s needs, cultural histories and capacities. Students will critically examine trauma-informed and human rights perspectives on how experiences of early childhood persist over time and how they may be summoned up again by the presence of a baby. The course will highlight the importance of self-reflection and self-awareness of one’s own experiences of early childhood, as well as cultural histories and capacities.

Schedule:

January 31, 2022 - May 13, 2022

Four Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Synchronous/Seated Class dates:
February 11, 2023

March 11, 2023

April 8, 2023

April 29, 2023

Seated students may participate in-person in 214 Parker Hall, South Campus

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 21831
Instructor: Michelle Sperlich

SW 974 Special Topics- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This course will provide a general introduction to cognitive-behavioral therapy. The student will be introduced to the behavioral, cognitive and emotional systems. They will learn how to develop conceptualizations that connect client problems with potential interventions to address these problems. Interventions will include stimulus control, behavioral activation, contingency management, skills training, distress tolerance and exposure therapy. Cognitive-behavioral interventions for several disorders will be addressed including insomnia, depression, and alcohol use disorder. Strategies for engaging clients in treatment will be highlighted throughout.

Course Dates: January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023
Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 21846
Instructor: Clara Bradizza
Format: Asynchronous Blackboard CMS

SW 975 Special Topics- Macro SW Project in Action

Macro social work practice involves working at the community, system, or policy level to promote social change. This course will encourage students’ individual or group efforts to practice macro social work through the creation of a project or initiative of their choosing. Students will conceptualize a project, develop a project outline, and utilize macro practice skills to implement their project. Students also will gain knowledge of various macro practice settings and roles for social workers through a mix of informal and formal instructional opportunities, such as guest speakers, peer learning, and course materials. 

Before enrolling in the course, interested students must meet with the instructor (via Zoom) to outline their proposed macro project and implementation plan. Interested students should email Michael Lynch at mrlynch2@buffalo.edu to set up a meeting time to discuss their project proposal. After the meeting, approved students will be enrolled in the course.

Course Dates:

January 31, 2022 - May 13, 2022

Synchronous (Online) Class Days and Times: 

February 9, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

February 23, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

March 9, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

March 30, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

April 13, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

April 17, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Credit Hours: 3
Registration # 23931
Instructor: Michael Lynch
Format: Synchronous Blackboard CMS, Projects

SW 978 Special Topics- Racial Justice Projects as UBSSW (Online)

Social work – as a school, as a discipline, and as a profession – claims to be committed to racial justice. However sincere this claim may be, it must be accompanied by action if it is to make any material difference in our classrooms, knowledge, and practice. The purpose of this course is to encourage students’ individual or group efforts to promote racial justice at the UBSSW by offering them course credit. We want to show that taking action and making change are not “extracurricular” activities, they are defining components of social work.

Course Dates:

January 30, 2023 - May 12, 2023

Tuesday from 6:30p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Credit Hours: 1-3
Registration # 22143
Instructor: Michelle Fortunado-Kewin
Format: Blackboard CMS, Synchronous Sessions ,Projects