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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - SOW6368
Tracking Number - 2698

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2012-06-05
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: Change
Course Change Information (for course changes only): The only change is the title of the course to Social Work Practice with Groups.
Comments: to GC 4/2/12; to USF Syst 4/5/12; to GC 4/16/12; to SCNS 4/16/12; SCNS appd eff 6/1/12. Note - Pre-req changes not made, not noted in Change box. Corrected 6/5/12

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2011-12-14
  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: 6368
  10. Full Title: Individual, Family & Group Treatment III
  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:
  23. Corequisites:
  24. Course Description: This course is focused on groups as a primary method of clinical social work intervention. Elements of group structure, group process, and the stages of group development with a special emphasis on diversity issues are included.

  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? Required course for all MSW students
  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.) MSW degree plus two years practice experience.
  29. Objectives: This course is designed to provide social work students with an opportunity to develop conceptual, perceptual and executive skills for social work practice with a variety of groups.
  30. Learning Outcomes: After the completion of this course the student will:

    1, Engage in reflective practice.

    Measurement: Professional recordings

    2. Work effectively with diverse populations.

    Measurement: Analytic paper on leadership and diversity, co-leadership paper and student evaluation, large group facilitator

    3. Assess the quality of clients’ interactions within their social contexts.

    Measurement: Analytic paper on group dynamics and co-leadership paper and student evaluation

    4. Attend to the interpersonal dynamics and contextual factors that both strengthen and potentially threaten the therapeutic alliance.

    Measurement: Professional recordings, co-leadership paper and student evaluation

    5. Critically evaluate, select, and apply best practices and evidence-based interventions.

    Measurement: Evidence-based or empirically supported group paper

  31. Major Topics: Group Treatment

    Group processes

    Group development

  32. Textbooks: Toseland, R.W. & Rivas, R.F. (2012). An introduction to group work practice (7th ed.).

    Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: No other purchases required.
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: A. Professional recordings 20%

    B. Analytic papers 24%

    C. Empirically supported group work 20%

    D. Co leadership of a group paper and student evaluation 15%

    E. Internship group presentation 6%

    F. Large group facilitator 15%


    All students are active participants in all meetings. This outline is a contract between the student and the instructor. It is a working instrument that guides learning throughout the semester. A class environment that is conducive to learning requires respect for all participants. Students and instructor are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

    As a methods course, attendance and participation are critical to successful learning. Participation includes voicing opinions, facilitating discussion, and speaking knowledgeably regarding the assigned readings. Participation will reflect quality, quantity and demonstrated respect for diversity and differences within the classroom. Developing a professional presence is a core objective in the course; no uses of pagers, cell phones, preparation of material for other coursework, or disrespectful conversations are appropriate in the learning environment.

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: A. Professional Recordings.

    The first half of each class will include lecture, discussion of the readings, presentations, role plays, and demonstrations. The second half of each class beginning with week 3 and lasting through week 13 will be our own in-class group (ten weeks). There will be two in- class groups, each lasting 5 weeks. These groups will be educational/support groups. They are not therapy groups. Students are expected to be authentic and demonstrate appropriate professional boundaries. The focus on the groups will be topics that are applicable to all MSW social workers such as a MSW student stress management group or a MSW transitional group from student to professional. Every student will have the opportunity to be a group member, group leader and a critical observer.

    These professional recordings will help students to engage in reflective practice where they will learn from experience. As student group facilitators, students will be encouraged to attend to the interpersonal dynamics and contextual factors that both strengthen and potentially threaten the therapeutic alliance. Student group members and observers will be encouraged to reflect in the professional recordings how interpersonal dynamics and contextual factors both strengthen and potentially threaten the therapeutic alliance.

    Each student will submit a one page professional recording in the class following the previous group experience. This professional recording is to address both the process and the content of what was experienced during the group session.

    These papers will be returned to you during the following class. The instructor will be the only reader of these papers. (Ten papers @ 2 points each = 20 points). If a group is missed, the student may make up the assignment by writing a two page paper based upon the readings for the day. However, since students are expected to attend class, this assignment may be made up only once.

    Basic Group Rules:

    Confidentiality is the top priority

    Pass is always an option

    Be kind with giving and receiving constructive criticism and confrontation

    Respect the feelings and opinions of others

    B. Eight Analytic papers. A one page double-spaced typewritten paper is due for eight chapters summarizing the readings assigned for the day (see course calendar). Students must complete an analytic paper on chapters 3, and 5, (Understanding Group Dynamics and Leadership and Diversity).

    Students may choose the other 6 chapters that they are most interested in summarizing. Each chapter paper is worth three (3) points and may only be turned in the day the chapter is reviewed. The paper should identify and discuss at least three key points from the reading. Be prepared to discuss these points in class. (Total 24 points). Since students are expected to attend class, and student may choose the chapters, these assignments may not be turned late.

    C. Evidence-Based or Empirically Supported Group Work (see Appendix A)

    Students will critically evaluate, select, and apply, if applicable, evidence-based or empirically supported group work intervention(s) that may be applicable to the population, setting, presenting problem and/or purpose of the group that the student will be co-facilitating in the field. During this process of critically evaluating evidence, students will examine four main questions:

    1) What type of group intervention or model is currently being utilized in his or her internship that he or she will be facilitating?

    2) What evidence (i.e. anecdotal, clinical expert opinion, agency evaluations, non-peer-reviewed evaluations of the group intervention, book chapters, and manuals) is available from the agency or other sources to suggest that the current group intervention (model, curricula, or structure) is effective?

    3) What evidence (i.e. case studies, quasi-experimental studies, randomized clinical trials, empirically supported theory or treatments) is available in the empirical peer-reviewed scientific literature on group work interventions, models or methods that may be applicable to the group that the student is co-leading?; and

    4) Taking into account the information gathered from the first three questions, and considering the specific population (i.e. homogeneity and heterogeneity in race, ethnicity, sex, age, physical condition, cultural background, religious identity, sexual orientation, political beliefs, presenting problem, and other identifiable variables that may be relevant to group members and workers, and to organizational structures and processes) and the clinical expertise of the group facilitator(s), what evidence-based or empirically supported group intervention or method may be applicable to the group the student is co-leading in the field? Discuss the EBP that may be applicable and provide a rationale about why or why not the EBP (or components of the EBP) are being used. If a particular EBP group practice model or method is not being used, but the group is being guided by a theoretical orientation that has shown some evidence with the particular population served, please discuss this.

    After careful examination of these questions and discussion with the field supervisor, students will write a four to five page paper (20 points) addressing these four questions (at least 5 peer reviewed references should be included). This paper is due during the first half of the semester so that students may discuss and/or incorporate empirically-supported group practice methods and interventions when co-leading or leading an agency-based group. This paper is due Week 7.

    D. Co-Leadership of a Group and Student Evaluation (see Appendix B, C, D & E)

    Each student will co-lead a group in his/her internship, or at a location where USF School of Social Work has a current field agreement. This group will be planned in collaboration with the professor along with the supervisor in your agency. Please give the letter (Appendix B) to your supervisor. Also, please review the Group Work Agreement (Appendix C) form with your supervisor and return it to the instructor. The group may run anywhere from five to ten sessions. Requirements regarding this group include:

    --a four to five page paper (double spaced) submitted to the instructor (*15 points) (Appendix E)

    --an evaluation by your co-leader or field supervisor* (Appendix D).

    * This paper will only be graded and points will be earned if an evaluation is submitted to the instructor from the co-leader or field supervisor. Ten points will be earned for submitting a completed evaluation. Failure to submit the evaluation will result in zero points earned for the entire assignment.

    Please consult with your professor and your supervisor early in the semester to set up your group. If, after serious efforts you find that you will be unable to lead a group, an alternative assignment will be required.

    E. Class Presentation on internship group experience.

    Each student will present a 5 to 10 minute overview of their group experience at their internship (6 points). This does not need to be a formal presentation rather an informative discussion of: • Description of group [type, demographics, and context (where & when)

    • Challenges

    • Successes

    • Lessons Learned, including discussing how at least one of the course objectives was met.

    See Appendix F

    All written work in the course will be due at the stated deadline in the Course Calendar section. Without written permission from the instructor, 3 points off the total Empirically Supported Group Work paper will be earned per day late. Analytic papers may not be turned in late (thus points will not be earned). Student may make up the professional recording by writing a two page paper based upon the readings for the day. However, since students are expected to attend class, this assignment may be made up only once.

    F. Large Group Facilitator(s). On the first day of class, a blind draw will select a date during the semester that each student will lead the discussion and facilitate a group activity for the class regarding the topic assigned for that date on the course calendar. This discussion period is to be approximately 40 minutes. Two students may be assigned in most cases. These formal presentations are designed to have students practice facilitating educational groups, large group discussions and small group activities. Students are to incorporate group work methods to communicate content. Short video clips no more than 10 minutes in length may be used. Role plays, PowerPoint slides (no more than 10 slides), handouts, and other innovative methods are encouraged. Please discuss plans with the instructor prior to the assigned date. Students will be graded as to the comprehensiveness of the content introduced (at least five major points) and the student’s ability to facilitate discussion within the large group. (Total 15 points). See Appendix G

  36. Attendance Policy: 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.

    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.

    Students who experience an unforeseen circumstance such as a serious medical problem which interferes with their attendance or course assignments should notify the instructor immediately. Students and instructors should familiarize themselves with the USF Incomplete policy.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: 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. In the School of Social Work

    Procedures for Alleged Academic Dishonesty or Disruption:

    Student Academic Grievance Procedures - or

  38. Program This Course Supports: MSW
  39. Course Concurrence Information:

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or