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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - SOW6348
Tracking Number - 2660

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Current Status: SCNS Liaison Notified of Graduate Council Approval - 2012-04-05
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: Change
Course Change Information (for course changes only): We are changing the title of the course from Theories of Clinical Practice: Issues in Race and Culture to Diversity and Social Justice to better reflect the course content.
Comments: to GC 4/2/12; to USF Syst 4/5/12; to GC 4/16/12; to SCNS 4/16/12

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2011-11-04
  2. Department: Social Work
  3. College: BC
  4. Budget Account Number: 0-1261-000
  5. Contact Person: Lisa Rapp-Paglicci
  6. Phone: 8139741809
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: SOW
  9. Number: 6348
  10. Full Title: Diversity and Social Justice
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum):
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: This course is an introduction to the study of diverse cultures, abilities and norms which comprise our global society. The course centers on the inherently diverse client systems that generalist practitioners will be called upon to interface with.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for accreditation
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? Every MSW student must take this course.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) The terminal degree plus two years practice experience are required.
  29. Objectives: This course is designed to develop the theoretical and practice knowledge necessary for students to begin culturally competent professional social work practice as generalists. The course will develop student's skills in multicultural assessment.
  30. Learning Outcomes: After the completion of the course the students will:

    1. Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppose, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power;

    Measurement: Midterm Exam; Proverbs Assignment; Concept Analysis Paper;

    2. Gain sufficient self-awareness to mitigate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups;

    Measurement: Proverbs Assignment; Concept Analysis Paper;

    3. Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of diversity in shaping life experiences;

    Measurement: Proverbs Assignment; Concept Analysis Paper;

    4. View themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

    Measurement: Proverbs Assignment; Concept Analysis Paper;

    5. Advocate for human rights and social and economic justice.

    Measurement: Midterm Exam; Concept Analysis Paper

  31. Major Topics: Diverse cultures

    Social Justice

    Multicultural practice and assessment

  32. Textbooks: 1. Lum, D. (2011) 4th Edition. Culturally Competent Practice: A Framework for Understanding Diverse Groups and Justice Issues. CA, USA: Brooks/Cole-Cengage Learning

    2. NASW National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (2001) Standards For Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. Washington D.C.: NASW Press (Available at

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: No other purchases are required.
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Considerable emphasis is placed upon the quality of class discussions. Consequently attendance and active participation in class discussions are required. All participation in the course must be in accordance with the principles and standards of conduct contained in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. The course supports an interactive-integrative model of critical thinking on the part of both the instructor and students, during which the students and the instructor become learners. Students take responsibility for their learning and a feedback loop is established between the instructor’s self-reflection and the students’ response to it, leading to further student-instructor self-reflection experiences. This perspective requires active participation, discussion, and open communication by all students and the instructor.

    A class environment that is conducive to learning requires respect for all participants. Students are expected to arrive on time and to conduct themselves in a respectful, considerate manner. All participants in the class need to respect the environment by being on time, turning off cell phones, pagers and headphones, avoiding extraneous talking and refraining from reading non-class material.

    The aforementioned also applies to participation in Blackboard discussion boards. Blackboard will be used routinely for announcements, posting of course materials, and creation of discussion boards, etc. Refer to the USF Computer and Network Access agreement ( for Blackboard rules. Throughout the semester, students will participate in discussion board forums regarding the various class discussions, and the movies viewed in class. These postings must reflect critical consciousness as defined by Freire. These postings must reflect the same respect accorded to peers and instructor in the classroom, and must demonstrate critical thinking and challenge of traditional or popular beliefs and values. In other words, “I agree” in response to another student’s posting does not constitute an appropriate posting. Students will need to substantiate their comments with quotes from their textbooks, supplementary readings or class discussions.


    1. Proverbs across the Globe Assignment 30%

    2. Midterm Exam 30%

    3. Integrative Paper 40%

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: 1. Assignments and Exams-

    Social workers must be able to communicate both verbally and in writing. Written assignments with significant spelling and grammatical errors should not occur. If you are in need of assistance in completing your written assignments, please visit the writing center ( or (813) 974-9572) on main campus.

    Late papers will not be accepted unless arrangements have been made prior to the assigned date WITH instructor’s approval.

    a. Proverbs across the Globe Assignment (30%)

    Proverbs are an essential component to socialization across cultures (Rahill, et al., 2011). They are used to transmit social and religious values, as well as to reinforce knowledge and behavior that are essential to a culture’s existence and identity. For this assignment, students are provided an initial sample of proverbs from around the globe, related to various themes, including but not limited to: prejudice, virtue, discrimination, social progress, the commonality of persons across different groups and others.

    Specific Instructions to Proverbs across the Globe Assignment

    1. The task is to research and identify similar proverbs from across cultures that might be considered to hold very divergent sociocultural and religious perspectives (Example: Christian and Muslim; Mormons and Hindus, etc);

    2. Use the internet, books, journal articles as well as live interviews of “different” students and faculty members from across the campus and in their neighborhoods, to discover proverbs from various cultures that transmit sociocultural and religious values;

    3. Create a table (similar to the example provided in Appendix A), including but not limited to the topics provided in the example;

    4. Discuss your research experience, the benefits or pitfalls of using an eclectic array of sources to inform their knowledge of concepts related to diversity;

    5. Discuss the common elements which you have discovered in the proverbs from diverse cultures, the similarities and differences to proverbs used in their own socialization process and life experience, the relevance of the proverbs they have researched to the social work values, “importance of human relationships” and “social justice;

    6. Discuss the extent to which the proverbs you discovered may oppose your own cultural values, and/or may marginalize or alienate clients from the diverse backgrounds reflected in your table of proverbs;

    7. Discuss how this exercise impacts your development of culturally proficient skills and your ability to utilize the strengths of cultural resources in your roles as an advocacy broker and as a promoter of human rights and social justice.

    b. Midterm Exam (30%)

    The midterm exam will include items that assess students’ understanding of the various systems involved in interactions between people and their environments [including] interpersonal systems [such as] cultural reference groups” and social structures such as organizations and institutions (Hepworth et al., 2010, p.16). This exam will also assess the extent to which students understand the social construction of human diversity and multiculturalism, their awareness of the importance of the interaction between self and other members of our global society, and their views of themselves as life-long learners, whose practice with diverse clients is informed by and contributes to research, and whose primary informants are the diverse clients whom they engage. The midterm exam will comprise multiple choice and True/ False questions.

    c. Concept Analysis Paper (Final Exam) (40%)

    This assignment has several functions: (1) to deepen your understanding of the meaning of a basic concept that appears relevant to your research-informed practice as a generalist practitioner with your chosen client system, (2) to increase your familiarity with how this concept has been and is currently used by researchers and others today, (3) to enhance your balanced view of the concept/ issue’s meaning, and 4) to enhance your understanding of how this concept and related concepts impact your ability to advocate for human rights and social justice. Through the use of various bibliographic sources and databases, you are expected to demonstrate enhanced knowledge about the origins, meanings, and numerous current uses of the concept/ issue you will choose. You have been provided a list of concepts from which to choose (Please see “Specific Instructions for Concept Analysis Paper” in Appendix B).

    Through the use of various bibliographic sources and databases, you are expected to demonstrate enhanced knowledge about the origins, meanings, and numerous current uses of the concept/ issue you will choose. The spirit of the exercise is one of critical inquiry, library research, and exact documentation. This assignment involves substantial preparation and work; thus it’s best to start on it as soon as possible. It will be due two weeks before the end of class (See course calendar)

    The exercise is meant to help you anchor the concept more securely in your understanding of diversity, human rights and social justice, thereby improving the coherence and relevance of your practice-informed research, which will ultimately become research informed by practice. It is also meant to familiarize you with numerous bibliographic and other sources relevant to evidence-informed research.

  36. Attendance Policy: ATTENDANCE POLICY

    Students are expected to be on time and prepared to participate when class begin as well as be present throughout the entire class meeting. Classroom exercises, discussions, role-plays, guest speakers and other in-class experiential exercises are essential for a student’s professional learning and continued development of self-awareness. This form of learning cannot be “made up” once missed. Accordingly, Attendance is required at all class meetings. Excused absences are limited to the following instances: documented illness, deaths in the immediate family, and other documented crises, military duty, jury duty, religious holidays (consistent with University policy, 10-045), court-imposed legal obligations other than jury duty, and special requirements of other courses (must be documented by the faculty member of record). A student is considered absent if he/she arrives more than 30 minutes late to class, leaves 30 minutes or more early, or does not come to class. Students are allowed to miss two classes (for classes that meet twice weekly; or one class for classes that meet only once per week) without penalty. After that 5% off of the total grade may be deducted for each missed class, at the faculty member’s discretion.

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails and MoBull messages for important general information.

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: ACADEMIC DISHONESTY POLICY

    Any form of cheating on examinations or plagiarism on assigned papers constitutes unacceptable deceit and dishonesty. Disruption of the classroom or teaching environment is also unacceptable. The University of South Florida has very specific policies and procedures regarding academic dishonesty or disruption of academic process. If you have any questions, please refer to the University’s Undergraduate Academic Dishonesty policy at

    • Procedures for Alleged Academic Dishonesty or Disruption:

    • Student Academic Grievance Procedures --

    Use of plagiarism tracking software:

    The University of South Florida has an account with an automated plagiarism detection service which allows instructors to submit student assignments to be checked for plagiarism. The instructor reserves the right to submit assignments to this detection system, whereby students’ assignments are compared automatically with a comprehensive database of journal articles, web articles, and papers previously submitted at USF and at other universities. The outcome of this process is a detailed report generated to the instructor indicating the presence and extent of any plagiarism.

    All written work including discussion board postings will be submitted by the deadline indicated in the course calendar unless prior arrangements have been made prior with the instructor. Written assignments completed outside of class are submitted on the due date per course outline. Any exception results in the loss of one point per day. The syllabus and course calendar are working instruments that serve as a guide during the semester. Students and instructor are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

  38. Program This Course Supports: MSW
  39. Course Concurrence Information: Masters Counseling Rehab

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