Elective Clusters

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

In addition to the required courses, the social administration concentration in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program offers several other courses organized within three clusters: Community Organizing, Planning, and Development; Management; and Policy Planning, Analysis, and Advocacy. In choosing electives, students are strongly encouraged to focus their study by selecting the recommended courses from one of the clusters.

  1. Community Planning, Organizing, & Development
  2. Organizations & Management
  3. Policy Planning, Analysis, & Advocacy

In addition, students can apply to participate in a Program of Study.

This sequence of recommended courses provides the conceptual and substantive knowledge base and practice behaviors underlying professional practice in community organizing, planning, and development. Traditionally, the field of community organization has encompassed distinct modes or strategies of intervention – social planning, social action, and community development – by which professionals help community groups engage in purposive, collective change. More recently, such groups have sought to draw from multiple traditions and to build community across a number of boundaries to enhance the effectiveness of community responses to contemporary social welfare challenges. The goals of the Community Organizing, Planning, and Development cluster in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program are:

  • To introduce students to the important theories of community organization and change, so that students can assess the role and prospects for success of community-level interventions.
  • To instruct students in the major traditions of community intervention and to investigate the potential value of those traditions in confronting contemporary problems.
  • To familiarize students with the broader political, economic, and spatial environments within which urban and community action takes place.
  • To develop analytical abilities in strategic decision-making so that students may engage successfully in different modes of community intervention.
  • To develop the critical skills to evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies, actions, and programs.

These goals are realized through coursework and field placements, as well as student-initiated activities and other program offerings. Crown Family School faculty recommend that cluster students take the core community course (SSAD 48300), followed by at least one course in each of the two subsequent areas.

I. Community Core
48300 Theories and Strategies of Community Change

II. Community and Context
48200 Political Economy of Urban Development

III. Selected Strategies
45312 Urban Social Movements
48112 Community Organizing
64700 Organizing Coalitions for Change: Growing Power & Social Movements

This sequence of recommended courses teaches students analytic approaches and practice behaviors for enhancing the effectiveness of human service organizations serving disadvantaged populations. The goals of the Management cluster in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program are:

  • To familiarize students with the theories and analytical frameworks useful for developing and implementing effective organizational policies and practices;
  • To instruct students in strategies that can enable human service organizations to respond effectively to external threats and opportunities;
  • To help students develop competencies in modern management methods, such as staff supervision and development, negotiation, participatory decision-making, organizational development, and agency budgeting.

Crown Family School Faculty recommend that students choosing the Organizations & Management cluster take three or more Cluster courses and one or more Context courses. The following courses will be offered in 2022-23:

47300  Strategic Management: External Factors
46412  The Evaluation of Social Welfare Programs & Policies
49412 Nonprofit Organizations and Advocacy for Social Change
49600  Financial Management for Nonprofit Organization
62600  Philanthropy, Public Policy, & Community Change
64600 Quality Monitoring & Improvement for the Social Services

46922  Structuring Refuge: US Refugee Policy and Resettlement Practice
48112  Community Organizing
64700  Organizing Coalitions for Change: Growing Power & Social Movements

This sequence of recommended courses teaches students the conceptual and technical knowledge and practice behaviors underlying policy planning, analysis, and evaluation in social welfare. The goals of the Policy cluster in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program are:

  • To instruct students in modes of analyzing social welfare policies systematically through the construction and use of formal conceptual policy design frameworks, empirical evidence, and policy arguments.
  • To assist students in learning the analytical and quantitative skills of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, decision analysis, causal modeling, survey research, and field experimentation.
  • To deepen students' understanding of the political and ethical dilemmas which accompany most policy making and evaluation problems in social welfare.

Foundation course
45600 Policy Analysis: Methods and Applications

One substantive elective from the list below
42912 Work and Family Policy: Policy Considerations for Family Support
46412 The Evaluation of Social Welfare Programs and Policies
46622 Key Issues in Health Care: An Interdisciplinary Case Studies Approach
48800 Child and Family Policy
60312 Inequality at Work