Summer Electives

Online Summer Electives

Session A: 5/14/2018 - 6/28/2018

Please visit the Office of the Registrar website for more information.

3 Credit Courses

  • Introduction to Social Work - SW200 Section 730
  • Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Disasters, Catastrophes and Human Behavior - SW290 Section 730
    Disasters, Catastrophes, and Human Behavior. Imagine having lunch at a restaurant, attending a wedding, being in a classroom, or jogging alone...when suddenly everything changes. This course combines the most current academic research on disaster preparedness and response, with students forming groups to participate in an online simulated catastrophic event. It is highly interactive and requires a serious commitment to working with a small group of people who-like you-want to survive. This is not a self-paced, `go at your own speed, “I`ll get to it when I can” type of class. Look elsewhere for that. If you want to have an adventure, become part of a story, and learn some important things about this topic and yourself, welcome, to the course. Take the Class...Survive the Event...Save the World.
  • Immigration: Children in Crisis - SW491 Section 733
    This course will inform students of the federal and Michigan policies that impact undocumented immigrant children and US citizen children of undocumented parents. We will also look at circumstances in Central America leading to a mass migration of children, current efforts to support this population in the US, the media`s impact on these efforts and the possibility of a coordinated response, by the end of this class, students will be able to articulate some of the causes of the child immigration crisis, the US policy/response, Michigan’s response efforts, gaps in services, and the social worker`s response.
  • Self-care and Stress Management for Helping Professionals - SW491 Section 734
    The journey to become a helping professional can be stressful and demanding, requiring a balance of internships, coursework, volunteer work, and home and personal responsibilities. This course will help you manage stress and prevent personal burnout. We will look at issues around stress and anxiety, secondary trauma and PTSD, and work/life balance. Each week will be filled with self-care exercises, including guided meditation, mindfulness, breathing, yoga and stretching, art and creative expression, art journaling, and nature work. Our online work together over the session will culminate in a personal self-care plan to promote resilience and prevent burnout. Learn to feel less stressed off with wellness during your time at MSU and start your professional life off with wellness.
  • Trauma's Impact Across the Lifespan - SW491 Section 736
    This course provides students with a basic understanding of trauma and its impacts across the lifespan in the context of biological, psychological, and sociological development. There will be specific emphasis on child abuse and neglect, refugee trauma, terrorism and natural disasters, military/war trauma, and traumatic grief. Included will be attention to: historical perspectives on trauma and trauma interventions, theoretical frameworks for assessment and intervention. Coping styles and techniques for those who work with victims of trauma will also be examined.
  • You Are What You Eat! An Exploration of Self, Culture and Society Through Food - SW491 Section 731
    This class looks at the linkages between the food we eat and who we are, both 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 with food politics and policies. Global food consumption and food meaning will also be examined.
  • International Social Work and Development - SW491 Section 738
    Learn how other countries approach social work and how to design social solutions in an international context. Students will explore multiple view points and how to detect biases in international social work. Throughout the course you will explore how to navigate the experiential opportunities in international social work. Topics will include: global inequality and neocolonialism, human rights, international media analysis, root cause analysis, global social and comparative social work.

2 Credit Courses

  • Fairy Tales, Fables and Fantasy: Clues to a Child's Psyche - SW491 Section 732
    This course is designed to offer an understanding of the importance of fairy tales, fables, and fantasy literature across culture and lifespan, although 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, fairytales 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, fables, and fantasy, 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.

1 Credit Courses

  • Adolescent Addiction: Components, Treatment and the Justice System - SW491 Section 735
    This course is designed to cover the concepts of adolescent addiction, specifically related to definition/diagnosis, treatment approaches/modalities, co-occurring issues with adolescents, impact of trauma, and the intersection with the juvenile justice system. Through the use of a variety of resources in an online format, it is intended to add to a student`s knowledge base and understanding of the adolescent population. In addition, the course content will address the specialized needs associated with those who may one day seek this type of treatment.
  • Social Media and the Professional Identity - SW491 Section 791
    This course will guide the student in examining their professional identity and how their personal social media use correlates. Students will learn best practices, ethics and skills in managing social media for personal and professional use and explore current topics in this area.

Session B: 7/2/2018 - 8/16/2018

3 Credit Courses

  • Family Stress and Resiliency - SW491 Section 730
    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 effects of the larger systems in which families faced with stress, all are potentially at risk. This class 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 of how individual family members cope, the overall family dynamics, and the systems of support around the family. All these factors have the potential to make the time and negotiate change and stress. As part of this class, students are required to reflect on stress & resiliency in their own family. Examples of topics covered in the class include divorce and remarriage, mental illness, aging, violence, immigration, and LGBT families.

2 Credit Courses

  • Cults, Groupthink, and the Power of Persuasion - SW491 Section 737
    This course is designed to strengthen a student’s understanding of how groups function, why people join them, and how the power of a group impacts thoughts, behaviors, and choices – all within the context of groups recognized as cults (or those that have characteristics of cults). To build this knowledge, students will use a variety of resources to explore such topics as cult identification, influence, and the aftermath of being a member.
  • Intro to LGBTQ Studies in Social Work - SW491 Section 739
    This course aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, and their diverse and intersectional identities as it applies to social work practice and policy. Students will examine a variety of areas of relevance to LGBTQ populations including history, policy, theory, and contemporary issues.

Full Session (A and B): 5/14/2018 - 8/16/2018

3 Credit Courses

  • Child Welfare - SW471 Section 730
    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 policies 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 real-world needs of this client population. This class 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.
  • Substance Abuse and the Human Services - SW474 Section 730
    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/chemical deep 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.

2 Credit Courses

  • Combat Veterans: Embracing the Stories of War - SW491 Section 790
    This is a fully online, 2-credit course in which students have the opportunity to learn about the military cycle, the experience of war, and reentry challenges through first-person accounts of combat veterans and purposively designed immersive experiences.

In-Person Summer Electives

Session A: 5/14/2018 - 6/28/2018 (All 1 Credit Courses)

  • Advanced Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment - SW891-Sec 303 - Class meets 5/17 & 5/18 from 9:00-4:30, location TBD
    Effective adolescent substance abuse treatment requires different and unique perspectives than adult substance abuse treatment. Adolescent treatment requires that the clinician or program understands what creates change in adolescents, the unique challenges and strengths of adolescents, understanding of philosophies of adolescent substance abuse treatment, and understanding the best practice interventions that can be tailored to an adolescent client. These topics and more will be discussed throughout this course. This course will use a variety of engagement techniques for learning, including small group, visual aids, and practical techniques.
  • Doing the Right Thing in Times of Uncertainty: Ethical & Transformative Leadership - SW891-Sec 301 - Class will meet June 1 from 9:00-4:30, Room 300 Human Ecology, MSU campus
    Leading social or organizational change with integrity, especially in times of uncertainty such as these, takes a solid set of resources (concepts, skills, and tools) that many social work managers, leaders, and macropractitioners lack. Drawing on some of the best writing and thinking in the fields of leadership, social and organizational change, and ethics, this course provides the participants with the concepts and tools necessary for effective ethical leadership and management, with an emphasis on transformative leadership/change management. These tools include an approach to the resolution of the ethical dilemmas inherent in leadership, change agentry, and a wide variety of macro social work practices.
  • Finding Opportunities in Crisis: A Practical Approach to Crisis Intervention Work - SW891-Sec 305 - Class meets 6/7 & 6/8 from 9:00-4:30, Room 300 Human Ecology, MSU campus
    Crisis work can be some of the most challenging and rewarding work in the mental health field. Individuals and families in crisis present professionals with a unique opportunity to have a major impact in a very short amount of time. Crisis intervention also comes with its own notable risks. In this two-day course, you will go through the basics of crisis intervention from the moment of first contact to the aftercare you arrange. You will learn about the importance of how family dynamics can affect crises in addition to the other risk factors that influence crisis work.

Session B: 7/2/2018 - 8/16/2018 (All 1 Credit Courses)

  • Dialetical Behavior Skills Training - SW891-Sec 302 - Class meets 7/12 & 7/13 from 9:00-4:30. Room 300 Human Ecology, MSU campus
    DBT is a multi-modal treatment. Although skills training is a single mode, it is by far the most popular mode of DBT. Many programs begin implementing this mode in the beginning of learning how to develop their DBT program. Perfect for support staff, those working on the front lines, and for direct care clinicians, this course will primarily focus on the concepts and the foundation of the DBT skills while at the same time helping those clinicians experienced in DBT expand their knowledge. You can also expect to learn how to structure and format a skills training group, understand the roles and functions of facilitators, begin to teach the concepts of the DBT skills, identify and confront specific therapy-destroying behaviors found in group, lead meaningful mindfulness exercises, and assign specific homework assignments to help strengthen skill generalization.
  • Ethical Use of Technology in SW - SW891-Sec 307 - Class meets 7/19 & 7/20 from 9:00-4:30. Room 300 Human Ecology, MSU campus
    Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media advances have left many professionals confused about the potential benefits and challenges of incorporating technology into practice. Many of us are also unaware of the best ways to protect our online identities and how to create a professional online presence. This course will give you tools and strategies for separating personal and professional online identities, with a focus on the new NASW rules and regulations around technology use in professional practice (professional networking, continuing education, evidence based practice, professional consultation). This course will also provide ethical considerations of technology and social media related to each (connecting with clients online, “safe sharing,” protecting online identities, professional conduct online). You will learn best practice strategies for online professional interaction via small and large group discussions and practical applications. Please bring your laptop, tablet, or smart phone to fully participate in this course.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety - SW891-Sec 701 - Class meets 7/26 & 7/27 from 8:00-3:45, Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City, MI
    Anxiety disorders are extremely prevalent; however, finding access to evidence based treatment remains a challenge. The focus of this skill-based mini course is on the concepts, theory, principles, and procedures appropriate to the assessment and effective cognitive-behavioral therapy of adults with anxiety disorders. In addition, the diagnostic changes in the anxiety disorders spectrum that occurred in DSM-5 will be addressed. The course content reflects advanced material of current relevance for effective clinical practice and issues associated with effective assessment and implementation of a variety of anxiety disorders.

You can also download the In-Person Summer Electives flyer for more details.