Group of first year students at orientation

First Year Core

For current students who began Fall 2023 or earlier, including advanced standing students who will begin in Summer 2024

Required courses in the first two quarters of the first year provide students with a common foundation of knowledge concerning social welfare issues, human development, direct practice intervention strategies, and social research and practice behaviors related to these areas of knowledge. This foundation provides the background for concentration in advanced practice in clinical work or in social administration. Fieldwork placements in the first year are continuous for three quarters. They provide direct practice experience with distressed people and the institutions established to help them.

Courses (SW)

Core Curriculum courses are distributed in the following manner for students in the day program:

Autumn Winter Spring
SSA 30000 SSA 30000 SSA 30200/32700
SSA 30100 SSA 30100 Concentration or Elective
Diversity CORE SSA 30200/32700 Concentration or Elective
Field Work Field Work Field Work

Core Curriculum courses for the Extended Evening Program (SW-EEP) are offered during the first and second years of study.

This two-quarter course introduces students to the issuesand problems associated with social welfare interventions at the community, agency, and policy levels. Students are expected to learn and develop competencies in analyzing the components of current policies, designing programmatic alternatives, anticipating substantive, operational, and political advantages and disadvantages, weighing benefits against financial costs, and making sound choices among imperfect alternatives. While focusing on public policies, the course will include consideration of the impact of policies and programs on individuals and families. The course will give students a thorough grounding in several critical areas of social work practice, including poverty and at least two social service areas such as mental health and child welfare. 

This two-quarter course emphasizes the design and practice ofsocial work interventions at the individual, family, and group levels. Students are introduced to the values, theories, concepts, skills, and empirical evidence that form the base for direct social work practice and develop competencies related to this area of practice. Complementing 30000, material is presented to examine needs, resources, and potential for change at the individual, family, and group levels, as well as to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of various options for intervention. Students will develop skills in identifying and defining problems, implementing and refining intervention strategies, evaluating the impact of clinical interventions, and weighing the ethical considerations of various choices. Particular attention is given to developing intervention approaches for working with underserved groups.

This course focuses on the generation, analysis, anduse of data and information relevant to decision making at the case, program, and policy levels. Students learn competencies and develop practice behaviors related to the collection, analysis, and use of data related to fundamental aspects of social work practice: problem assessment and definition; intervention formulation, implementation, and refinement; and evaluation. The course covers specification and measurement of various practice and social science concepts, sampling methods, data collection strategies, and statistical and graphical approaches to data analysis. All incoming day students will take a research placement exam to determine their research course. Students who pass the exam will be eligible to take a concentration research course in the first year, either clinical research (44501) or data analysis (48500).

This course teaches biological and social science conceptsconcerning human development that are fundamental to social work practice: social and ecological systems; life course development; culture, ethnicity, and gender; stress, coping, and adaptation; and social issues related to development over the life course. It prepares students to use these conceptual frameworks to guide the process of assessment, intervention, and evaluation; and to critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment. Students with extensive background in the socio-cultural, socio-economic, psychological, and cognitive contexts of human growth and behavior need to register for an advanced course.

Human Diversity Requirement (SW)

Social workers understand how diversity characterizes and shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersection of multiple factors including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Social workers appreciate that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation, as well as privilege, power, and acclaim.

In keeping with the School’s mission and the commitment to educate students for practice in a heterogeneous society, curriculum content on human diversity is integrated into nearly every course. In addition, students are required to take two courses with a focus on diversity, oppression, and discrimination. The Crown Family School categorizes its diversity related courses as foundational or specialized. At least one of the two diversity courses must be from the foundational list. The requirements in human diversity are intended to provide students withan analytical framework to understand human behavior and political processes in the environment of a diverse society to satisfy the following five goals:

  • To promote respect for ethnic and cultural diversity as an integral part of social work’s commitment to preserve human dignity.
  • To foster knowledge and understanding of individuals, families, and communities in their socio-cultural and socio-economic contexts.
  • To analyze the ethnic and political issues related to the patterns, dynamics, and consequences of discrimination and oppression.
  • To develop skills to promote individual and social change toward social and economic justice.
  • To provide students a theoretical framework for integrating an approach toward diversity within students’ own particular area of expertise (e.g., clinical, community, organization, management). 

Each year students will be provided lists of courses that meet the foundational and specialized diversity course requirements. Students who would like to substitute a course must obtain a copy of the syllabus for that course, and submit a written memo to the Dean of Students explaining why that course will meet the goals provided by the diversity requirements. Because the diversity requirements are intended to give students an analytical framework with which to integrate questions of diversity within their education at Crown, and to enhance the development of practice behaviors for work with diversity and difference in practice, no waivers of this course are considered.

Foundational Diversity Courses

Courses on this list are squarely focused on understanding oppression, discrimination, diversity, racism or difference, and/or how social workers intervene based on these understandings. The knowledge and skills conveyed in these courses should be applicable to a broad array of groups and social conditions. Students will not be able to waive this requirement based on previous coursework; it is assumed that with a variety of classes that meet the requirement, each student will be able to find one that adds to their previous knowledge and skill base. 

Approved 2020-2021 Foundational Diversity Courses
44122 Self-Awareness and Social Work with Diverse Populations
45732 Prejudice and Discrimination: Individual Cost and Response
47812 Human Rights and Social Work: Opportunities for Policy and Practice
48422 Difference and Inclusion
61400 The Social Meaning of Race
63600 Culturally Responsive Intervention, Assessment, and Treatment


Specialized Diversity Courses

Specialized diversity courses need not have their sole focus on diversity, oppression, and discrimination, but these issues must constitute a substantial proportion of the class content. These courses may use a focus on (a) a vulnerable population, or (b) a setting or field of practice, or (c) a specific theoretical orientation, issue, or perspective to provide a context for discussions on diversity, oppression, and discrimination

41205 Restorative Justice Interventions: Anti-Racist Practice + Facilitation
41212 Intersectional Approaches to Social Work with LGBTQIA Individuals and Communities
43300 The Exceptional Child
43622 Life Course Development: Immigrant Adolescents and Their Families
44401 Sexuality across the Life Cycle
45112 Contemporary Immigration Policy and Practice
46312 Race, Crime, and Justice in the City
46522 Clinical Practice with Survivors of Torture and Political Violence
46922 Structuring Refuge: U.S. Refugee Policy and Resettlement Practice
47232 Promoting the Social and Academic Development of Children in Urban Schools
47452 Smart Decarceration: A Grand Challenge for Social Work
47722 Structural Social Work Practice and the Mexican Experience in Chicago
49850 Critical Self Awareness for Practitioners of Color in Social Work
60100 Drugs: Culture and Context
60400 Poverty, Inequality, and the Welfare State
61212 Perspectives on Aging
62022 Trans*forming Social Work
62812 Examining Historical Trauma: Intergenerational Responses to the Holocaust
62912 Global Development and Social Welfare
63012 Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation: Cultivating Practice Skills for Social Justice
63300 International Perspectives on Social Policy and Social Work Practice
63412 Cultural Studies in Education
63900 Male Roles and Life Course Development in Family, Community, and Civil Society
64400 Spanish Language and Culture for Social Workers
65500 Harm Reduction at the Intersection of Policy, Program, and Clinical Practice
65712 Immigration, Law, and Society
65812 Making Kin: Adoption and Fostering in a Global Perspective
66300 Gender Considerations in International Social Work Practice