The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which accredits social work master’s programs, requires at least one advanced concentration offering. The School of Social Work in Falk College today announced it will offer two new revised and renamed advanced concentrations to ensure that its curriculum prepares graduates in accordance with current best practices.

The concentrations include the Advanced Clinical Practice (formerly the Individuals, Families and Group, or IFG concentration) and Advanced Integrated Practice (formerly Community Organization, Policy, Planning and Administration, or COPPA concentration). The Advanced Clinical Practice concentration offers clinically focused students purposeful opportunities in coursework and practicum settings to obtain deeper clinical skills. For example, courses such as SWK 733—Social Work Practice in Mental Health will deepen the student’s therapeutic skills while SWK 781—Alcohol and Drugs in Social Work Practice, which was previously an elective, is now required. Practitioners need enhanced skills in assessment of substance abuse interventions given the prevalence of substance misuse and its frequent interaction with other mental health problems. SWK 761—Mental Health Policy, and SWK 776—Clinical Practice Evaluation will ensure students develop skills to asses effectiveness of direct practice interventions.

The Integrated Social Work Practice Concentration prepares graduates to work in the increasingly complex settings in community agencies. These settings expect students to possess practice skills and the ability to work and provide leadership in multi-disciplinary practice contexts. The revised concentration ensures all students have substantial direct practice skills by requiring two micro practice courses, plus Psychopathology (SWK 724) and Family Systems Theory (SWK 730). A new course, SWK 743—Advanced Integrated Social Work Practice helps students develop skills for interventions for community-based social work practice and in multi-disciplinary settings such as hospitals, schools and family agencies.

While social work licensing is fairly similar across states, there are sometimes differences in titles and requirements by state. In New York State In the field of professional social work practice, there are two licenses: a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). All students are eligible for the LMSW upon completion of the MSW program. An LMSW can seek the LCSW after three years of clinical social work practice. Previously, all Falk College MSW graduates, regardless of concentration, were LMSW eligible, but only students who followed the IFG concentration were LCSW- eligible for the LCSW. The program revisions announced today make all MSW graduates LCSW eligible in New York State, regardless of concentration.

This concentration revision does not change credit hours required for the M.S.W. degree (60 credits for those without a B.S.W. and 36 credits for persons with a B.S.W. eligible for Advanced Standing). Additionally, it is compatible with the MSW/MFT dual degree program and does not affect timeline for completion. For more information, contact the School of Social Work at (315) 443-5558.