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WSU School of Social Work offers new certificate to strengthen clinical practice

July 9, 2014

WSU School of Social Work offers new certificate to strengthen clinical practice

The Wayne State School of Social Work has created a new graduate certificate program to give post-master’s social workers advanced preparation in clinical social work theory and applied clinical practice.

The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Social Work Theory and Practice, which is accepting students for the Fall 2014 term, is an 18-credit program that will increase social workers’ preparedness to engage in higher levels of personal practice, teach M.S.W. clinical courses, and obtain leadership roles within the clinical community.

According to Arlene Weisz, director of the School of Social Work’s doctoral program, the program is particularly attractive to students who are undecided about pursuing a course of doctoral study as well as those who would like to study at a post-master’s level with the research requirements associated with doctoral study.

“For undecided students, participation in the certificate program may ultimately lead them to apply for admission to the regular doctoral program,” said Weisz, noting that all certificate credit hours are applicable to the Ph.D. Program. “For those who don’t wish to undertake a Ph.D., this certificate offers a short course of study expressly designed for their clinical interests.”

Specifically, the certificate will enhance social workers’ capacity to work within various theoretical systems associated with contemporary clinical social work practice, particularly those involving client development, personality, behavior and psychopathology. It will also increase their knowledge of current research, evidence-based treatments, and diagnostic classifications for a range of conditions and disorders. Finally, it will help students identify the role of oppression, social and political factors, and environmental considerations in the relationships they have with clients and colleagues.

The new certificate is closely aligned with the doctoral program’s Clinical Scholarship Track, which was launched two years ago to increase the number of social work Ph.D.s who teach clinical practice as well as conduct clinical research in academic and other settings. Jerrold Brandell, coordinator of the Clinical Scholarship Track, said the new certificate is “consonant with our school’s longstanding tradition of offering exceptional clinical social work education and training.”

“We’ve conducted numerous surveys of alumni, local agencies and community professionals, all of which revealed a strong interest in advanced clinical education,” Brandell said. “This certificate is unique to our region and underscores the School of Social Work’s responsiveness to the direct practice needs of communities we serve.”

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