Course Descriptions

SWK 800 - Military Culture, Customs and Traditions (3.0 credits)

This course will provide students with an understanding of two key areas of competency when engaging with Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF). These areas include an understanding of military culture as well as the strengths and risks of the military lifestyle on SMVF throughout the lifespan. The course stresses the importance of attending to the interrelatedness of contextual factors in the study of human behavior and how military culture and experience impact these factors.
 
Military’s cultural patterns, both historical and contemporary, will be presented. Command structure, uniform policy, core traditions, values, and language will be explored universally, as well as within each service branch. Students will learn how the military builds identity and cohesion, through training, indoctrination and simulation exercises. Awareness of social stigmas associated within military/civilian systems will be developed. Internal diversity issues, marginalization, and developmental stage concerns of SMVF populations are addressed throughout the course.Students will also examine the strengths and risk of a military lifestyle on SMVF. Students will become proficient in understanding the effects of serving during different eras so that they can engage with veterans and military members across the lifespan. Institutional Theory and Convergence Theory principles are analyzed providing a framework for ethical differences in civilian versus military attitudes and behavior.

Students will be exposed to military base and veteran’s hospital operations. SMVF interactions with students will promote knowledge of cultural variations.
 
This is an 8-week hybrid course and will require students to participate in both the on line and face to face classroom environments.

SWK 810 - Mental Health Issues, Assessment and Diagnosis (3.0 credits)

This course will examine the components of diagnosis, engagement and assessment of Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF).  Social, political, and environmental factors that impact the mental health of SMVF are considered. Mental health during deployment and post deployment will be considered  from a contemporary as well as a historical perspective.  Barriers to care such as systemic, social, and organizational barriers as well as the stigma surrounding mental health issues in a military context are explored. Cultural, racial, gender and spiritual differences among SMVF and how those differences impact mental health experiences are presented. A systems approach is used to allow students to take a uniquely social work perspective when considering the family life  cycle disturbances created with specific service related health and mental health issues. Students will learn the process of assessment of  the impact that physical injury, emotional, and/or sexual trauma have on the mental health in SMVF populations and their family members. Diagnoses of common comorbid conditions are examined. This course provides discernment of behavior specific to how SMVF’s symptoms manifest with in family, and in mental health, medical, business and educational settings.

This is a 15-week hybrid course and will require students to participate in both the online and face to face classroom environments.

SWK 814 - Policy Impact within Military Systems (3.0 credits)

This course will provide students with a framework for advanced policy analysis and strategies for policy change in order to support practice with troops, veterans, and their families. The course will focus on military and veteran programs and systems. The course emphasizes military culture and lifestyle and introduces students to historical policies and programs impacting veterans’ health care and benefits. This course takes into account the effects of repeated, extended separation, as well as active duty and veterans’ physical, psychological, and cognitive injury, and examines how policies and programs can be developed to ensure the provisions of seamless, quality services to a deserving population. Students will examine the policies, programs, and services that contribute to military and veterans’ family health and wellbeing and will be introduced to past and present issues and themes that impact service members, veterans, and their families.  National policies are reviewed for efficacy with vulnerable military populations (i.e. disabled veterans, members of the LGBT community, women, and veterans experiencing homelessness and substance abuse issues). Students are encouraged to consider how a social work approach may be particularly beneficial in responding to the complex and evolving needs of today’s military and veterans’ families.

This is an 8-week online course.

SWK 850- Theory, Treatment Planning and Intervention (3.0 credits)

This practice course focuses on theories of treatment and intervention skills that are needed in the helping process when working with Service Members, Veterans and their families (SMVF). Knowledge of population characteristics, and relevant physical health and mental health issues for current and former military members is emphasized. Students enhance their knowledge and skills in the interactive and reciprocal processes of therapeutic engagement, bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment, and research-informed clinical interventions and programs. In addition, students will be presented with traditional and complementary alternative treatments that they can then integrate into their practice. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of intervention efficacy with specific SMVF populations.

This is a 15-week hybrid course and will require students to participate in both the online and face to face classroom environments.