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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - SOW6362
Tracking Number - 2746

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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 title of the course is changing to "Social Work Practice with Couples and Families." It is also changing from a 4 CR. to a 3 CR. course.
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: 2012-02-07
  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: 6362
  10. Full Title: Individual, Family, and Group Treatment II
  11. Credit Hours: 4
  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 designed to provide students with theory, practice skills and techniques for social work practice with couples and family systems. Emphasis is given to family centered social work practice.

  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?
  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 in SOW is the MSW. That plus 2 years practice experience is required
  29. Objectives: The course objectives are: to understand how family models emerged historically, to understand the major theoretical and practice differences, and to become critically analytical as to the fit between knowledge and practice from the family therapy field and social work practice.
  30. Learning Outcomes: After the completion of this course the student will:

    1. Identify and use knowledge of relationship dynamics, including power differentials

    Measurement: Family Case paper, role-play

    2. Recognize and manage personal biases as they affect the therapeutic relationship in the service of the clients’ well-being

    Measurement: Genogram, role-play

    3. Identify and articulate clients’ strengths and vulnerabilities

    Measurement: Family Case paper, role-play

    4. Use the evidence based practice process in clinical assessment and intervention with clients

    Measurement: Family Case paper, Wiki

    5. Assess clients’ coping strategies to reinforce and improve adaptation to life situations, circumstances, and events

    Measurement: Family Case paper

    6. Develop intervention plans to accomplish systematic change

    Measurement: Quizzes, Family Case paper

  31. Major Topics: Couple therapy models

    Family therapy models

    Family Assessment

    Family Treatment planning

  32. Textbooks: Nichols, M.P. (2011) The Essentials of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

    McGoldrick, M. & Carter, B. (2010). The Expanded Family Life Cycle: Individual, Family, and Social perspectives (4th ed.). New York: Allyn & Bacon.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: No other lab purchases required.
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: GRADING SCALE

    1. Role-Play 15 pts.

    2. Genogram 10 pts

    3. Wiki 30 pts

    4. Family Case Paper 25 pts.

    5. Quizzes (2 @ 10pts each) 20 pts

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: 1. Genogram of your own family is worth 10 points of your grade (see Appendix for grading rubric).

    Students are required to develop a genogram of their family going back at least three generations. Structure (marriages, births, deaths, divorces, etc.) as well as relationships, social problems (substance abuse, violence, mental illness, teen pregnancy), medical problems, professions, and roles, etc. should be identified. Students need to attach a paper in which they identify and discuss the themes and patterns found within their family and identify what patterns they wish to modify in their current families. Approximately 3-5 pages including the following three headings and content:

    A. Introduction – Briefly describe the cultural background(s) of your family, as well as U.S. regional and class influences. Describe your position in the family.

    B. Structural Assessment – Describe the family relationships, patterns, conflicts, cutoffs, and triangles that are evident in your family.

    C. Impact on Client Family Work – Up to this point and reflecting for your future work with families, how does your position in your family, patterns, and events affect how you assess and work with families. This paper will be kept confidential and will not be discussed with others.

    2. Family Role-Play is worth 15 points of your grade (see Appendix for grading rubric).

    Each student’s “Family Role-Play” will be videotaped in class for the purpose of completing this assignment. Each week a student will be randomly selected to role play as a family social worker with a randomly selected family comprised of members of the class. The family social worker will utilize the theory noted in the syllabus for the week in which they are selected. The video will be uploaded on Blackboard. The student will observe their video on Bb and then provide a written critique of themselves, due the week after their role-play. The Instructor will also provide the student with formal written feedback. Both critiques should use the assignment rubric.

    This assignment represents the lab portion of the course. During most course meetings, students participate in role-plays involving a student worker offering services to a family system. The focus on family role-play is to practice engaging, assessing and intervening with a family system using a specific theoretical approach studied in required text readings and discussed that day in class. Students will be randomly selected to participate in weekly role-plays. This class is intended to be a safe environment for all to continue developing their skills and although it can feel uncomfortable at time, it is important to remember that only practice will improve practice skills. Students will respect others’ views and opinions.

    3. Wiki is worth 30 points of your grade (see Appendix for grading rubric).

    Students can choose to complete the assignment individually or in a group of two or three. The assignment is due one week before the designated date of the theory noted in the syllabus, so that students can read the wiki before the class in which the theory will be discussed and role-played.

    Students will create a wiki (quick website) that will be used to expound on a specific model of family therapy. The wiki should include: Historical information and background on the theory and founders, key concepts, techniques and interventions, role of therapist, how change occurs, how the model views problems, a summary of the empirical literature regarding the theory- specifically the different family problems the research suggests the model claims to address, one multimedia component (video, audio, picture, graph)links to useful sites, reference list of resources. You will be required to use at least 8 other resources besides your text. Only two of those resources can be internet resources. Your wiki will be due one week before the theory is presented in class.

    To accomplish this, students will be provided with their own "wiki" (user generated website) on BlackBoard where they will post all information and findings. Students will input text, develop histories or enhance your page with imagery, audio (or video), web links, or documents. To begin, click here to view a quick tutorial on how to create a page and populate it with content. A second tutorial will be posted on BlackBoard.

    3. Family Case Paper is worth 25 points of your grade (see Appendix for grading rubric). Students will choose one family case from their work or field practicum and write about the following:

    I. Present the facts of the case and a thorough description of the family strengths, vulnerabilities, and coping strategies. Describe the family structure and relationships. Approximately 2 pages.

    II. Describe how you as the practitioner manages power differentials. Identify your personal biases toward the family and how you are actively managing them. Approximately 1 page.

    III. Choose one problem which the family is struggling with and review at least 5 empirical research articles regarding “best family practices” for intervening with the problem. Also review 5 other articles, books, and/or online sources regarding the problem. Write a summary of the information you found including causes and consequences of the problem and the best research supported family treatments for the problem. Approximately 3-4 pages.

    IV. Based on the research information you learned, develop a family intervention plan which includes family goals, objectives, and interventions in sync with the type of family interventions supported by the research. In other words, if Solution Focused Family therapy is the best practice for the family’s problem, then write family goals, objectives, and interventions which correspond to Solution Focused therapy. The objectives are measurable and time-limited. Approximately 2-3 pages.

    5. Quizzes There will be two quizzes worth 20 points of your grade (worth 10 points each). One quiz will be based on the various family therapy models and the other quiz will ask students to develop a Family Intervention plan based on a case study provided by the Instructor.

  36. Attendance Policy: ATTENDANCE POLICY

    Students are expected to be on time and prepared to participate when class begins 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 can not be “made up” once missed. Accordingly, attendance is required at all class meetings. There are no excused absences (except for military leave, jury duty, or religious holidays that are planned in advance). A student is considered absent if he/she arrives more than 30 minutes late to class, leaves 30 or more minutes early or does not come to class. Students are allowed to miss 1 class (if classes meet once per week) or 2 classes (if classes meet twice a week) without penalty. After that, 5% off of the total grade will be deducted for each missed class. Students are responsible for any missed material due to absences or lateness.

    If a student misses more that 20% of classes or ____ classes, he/she will automatically receive an “F” for the course.

    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.

    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 --


    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. I reserve the right to submit assignments to this detection system. Assignments are compared automatically with a huge database of journal articles, web articles, and previously submitted papers. The instructor receives a report showing exactly how a student's paper was plagiarized.

    All late assignments will be deducted by 10%.

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

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