Course of Study
Both in and out of the classroom, the foundation year is about case management and generalist practice; developing relationships with peers and mentors, and building your foundation.
Foundation courses are crucial to understanding how social work operates. You will gain knowledge in human behavior, social policy, research, diversity, and practice that will prepare you for the advanced clinical practice year.
You’ll learn about social work’s person-in-environment perspective, which includes theories about how surroundings and social interaction shape behavior. You’ll also learn the fundamental skill of transforming a basic one-on-one conversation into an opportunity for healing.
There is a wide range of social service delivery options provided by social workers. For many, foundation year fieldwork focuses on the agency setting and begins to show you how resources get allocated. You’ll also start to help assess clients’ circumstances and ensure they’re connected with the necessary services.
Depending the pace you set to complete your MSW degree, your foundation year might be longer than an actual year, but all foundation year courses, including fieldwork, must be completed before you can build on that and begin your advanced study and concentrations.
Building on the foundations of your first year, you’ll delve deeper into clinical practice and specific treatment methods.
You can take courses on different therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral treatment, couples and family therapy and group work. And you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in specific populations, like military veterans, recovering addicts, the elderly, or troubled teens.
Your advanced year fieldwork is about intervention at a clinical level. In your second year of fieldwork, you might be working with couples and families and experiencing how that differs from individuals or larger groups or dealing with divorce and infidelity and putting into practice intervention strategies that take into consideration a person’s unique experiences. You might have the opportunity to put into practice the contemporary therapies you’ve learned, like Motivational Enhancement, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. Whatever environment you’re in, you’ll be honing your skills and developing your sense of self as a professional social worker.