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ONLINE Summer Electives

Summer 2014

These courses are open to all students at MSU and beyond. These are fully online courses offered to provide you the opportunity to expand your horizons, cover new territory, and have some fun while you complete your electives.

Please send general inquiries to swonline@msu.edu. For specific questions about courses, email the instructor directly.

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Full Session (A & B): 5/12/2014 - 8/14/2014

 

 

Child Welfare

SW471 section 730 • 3 credits
Instructor: Sacha Klein | email | website
Social work practice and policy approaches to intervention; needs and problems of children from the prenatal period through infancy, childhood, and adolescence

Course Description

 

In this course students will examine the history, evolution, and functions of child welfare social work practice. We will explore risk and protective factors related to child abuse and neglect while developing a foundational understanding of issues related to race, age, gender, culture, and socio-economic status. Key legislation and policy will be reviewed with an emphasis on contemporary issues impacting children and families being served in the Michigan child welfare system. Students will identify evidence-based interventions appropriate for children and families and create advocacy projects to address the unique realworld needs of this client population. This course offers a collaborative learning environment that invites students to take an active role in exploring social work policy and practice structures that are carried out within child welfare settings.

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Session A: 5/12/2014 - 6/26/2014

 

Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse:
Disasters, Catastrophes, and Human Behavior

SW290 section 730 • 3 credits

Instructor: Glenn Stutzky | email | website
Selected topics in social work.

Course Description | Fiscal Times article | State News article

This course won the 2013 MSU-AT&T Instructional Technology Awards Competition in the “Best Online Class” category.

This course brings together the latest thinking on how and why humans behave as they do during disasters and catastrophes—why some survive and others don’t—and the implications for planning, preparedness, and management. Building on last summer’s version, the course will add the topic of “The Role of Social Media in Disasters” as well as new elements to the Online Catastrophic Simulation event. Students will study the academic and field research related to the course themes while simultaneously being placed in small survival groups.

This class requires a willingness to become part of a small group that faces challenges together, since the ability to survive ultimately rests not with the individual but the group. The event triggering the catastrophe is the arrival of a comet causing a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that results in the Earth going dark (electrical power is gone, as in the The Lights Have Gone Out).

As if that isn’t daunting enough, the CME will turn some people into “solar zombies.” Thus, students in the survival groups will face multiple challenges and tasks as they attempt to survive the catastrophe, escape death by zombies, and preserve the future of civilization

Take the Class... Survive the Event... Save the World!

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Introduction to Social Work

SW200 section 730 • 3 credits
Instructor: Lynn Nee | email | website
Social work practice, ethics, and values, in the context of social welfare policy in the US

Course Description

 

 

People who become social workers find that it is more a way of life than a job. Every day social workers improve the lives of others. Using current real world issues, this class will introduce students to what social workers do and the values and ethics that guide their work. We will use various methods to analyze state, national, and international social policy and practice and identify potential areas for social work influence. Students will come away with a better understanding of the contexts in which social workers are active, and how social work values and the Code of Ethics provide a framework for their work.

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School Violence: Role of Bullying and Harassment

SW475 section 730 • 3 credits
Instructor: Glenn Stutzky | email | website
Examining the role of bullying and harassment in the development of school violence.

Course Description

 

Violence in schools is a growing problem that interferes with children’s physical well-being, academic functioning, social relations, and emotional/cognitive development. Violence erodes the effectiveness and threatens the safety of administrators, teachers, parents, and support staff. This course explores the theoretical, empirical, and practice-based literature. Topics include: what is school violence; the nature, scope, and impact of bullying; the role of technology and social media (Cyberbullying); girls and bullying; the Secret Service Safe Schools report; teaching the iGeneration and creating a safe school environment. Special focus is placed on the role of the school as a social system in regulating violence and creating a nonviolent school culture. Current school-based violence interventions and programs will be explored.

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Families and Stress

SW491 section 730 • 3 credits
Instructor: Tina Timm | email | website
Selected topics in social work

Course Description

 

 

Stress is ever present in families. Stress can be a result of normal developmental stages of a family (e.g., aging), unpredictable events (e.g., diagnosis of a mental illness), or as a result of the larger systems in which they live (e.g., homophobia) . Because families are constantly faced with stress, all are potentially at risk. This course exposes students to theories about families and stress that help make sense of both vulnerability and resiliency. Some families fare better than others in the face of change and stress. The degree of risk for a family hinges on many things, most notably the complex interplay between how individual family members cope, the overall family dynamics, and the systems of support around them. All these factors have the potential to make things easier or harder for families as they move through time and negotiate change and stress. As part of this class, students are required to reflect on stress and resiliency in their own family. Examples of topics covered in the course include divorce and remarriage, mental illness, aging, violence, immigration, and LGBT families.

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Trauma Across the Lifespan

SW491 section 732 • 3 credits
Instructor: Nola Carew | email | website
Selected topics in social work

Course Description

 

 

Trauma permeates our world, and technology brings it right to our doorsteps, yet its impact and devastation are not largely understood. Turn on the television, pull up a newsfeed, open a newspaper: all offer daily examples of trauma and its impacts. This course will look at the impact of traumatic events on individuals across various stages of the lifespan. Students will gain knowledge of various types of traumatic experience as well as an understanding of how to help and interact with people who have experienced trauma, and the personal impact of working with individuals who have experienced trauma. We will explore biological, psychological, and sociological dimensions of traumatic experiences on individuals and systems. Areas of child abuse and neglect, grief and loss, terrorism, disasters, war, and refugee trauma will be addressed.

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Food and Culture:
Understanding Culture, Society, and Self Through Food

SW491 section 733 • 3 credits
Instructor: Kim Steed-Page | email | website
Selected topics in social work

Course Description

 

This course looks at the linkages between the food we eat and who we are as individuals and in the larger society by exploring our eating rituals and the role of food in our lives. Students will consider issues of availability, disease/disorder, taboos, movements, and the meanings of hunger and poverty; they will also research the meaning and role of food in their own lives. The role of media and technology will be explored along with food politics and policies. Global food consumption and food meaning will also be examined.

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Fairy Tales, Fables, and Fantasy: Clues to a Child's Psyche

SW491 section 734 • 3 credits
Instructor: Victoria Fitton | email | website
Selected topics in social work

Course Description

 

This course is designed to offer an understanding of the importance of fairy tales, fables, and fantasy literature across culture and lifespan, though a focus will remain on children in western culture. The central focus of the course will lie with fairy tales because, in a very deep way, fairy tales speak directly to the inner pressures of children’s psychological and emotional sense of self in a way that children unconsciously understand. Fairy tales embrace the serious inner struggles of growing children and offer creative solutions to those difficulties. By understanding the nature of children’s enjoyment and use of fairy tales, fantasy, and fables, we gain an appreciation for the needs and coping strategies of children to negotiate human relationships and find meaning in human life. And, if we understand these for children, we can  understand them more clearly for ourselves.

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Session B: 6/30/2014 - 8/14/2014

 

Substance Abuse & the Human Services

SW474 section 730 • 3 credits
Instructor: Al Platt | email | website

Instructor: Karen Newman | email | website
Theories, assessment, intervention, and service delivery models

Course Description

 

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction and broad overview of substance use/abuse as it affects individuals, families, communities, social policies, and practice. Included in this course will be attention to: substance abuse (epidemiology) from a global perspective; the process and nature of substance abuse/chemical dependency; harm reduction as a philosophical framework; an overview of contemporary treatment models; historical perspectives on chemical dependency and social responses; and the role and need for advocacy within this area of human service help provision.

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