Social workers understand how diversity characterizes and shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersection of multiple factors including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Social workers appreciate that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim.

In keeping with the School's mission and the commitment to educate students for practice in a heterogeneous society, curriculum content on human diversity is integrated into nearly every course. In addition, students must take one or more courses from a list of approved first and second year offerings. The requirement in human diversity is intended to provide students with an analytical framework to understand human behavior and political processes in the environment of a diverse society to satisfy the following five goals:

  1. To promote respect for ethnic and cultural diversity as an integral part of social work's commitment to preserve human dignity.
  2. To foster knowledge and understanding of individuals, families, and communities in their socio-cultural and socio-economic contexts.
  3. To analyze the ethnic and political issues related to the patterns, dynamics, and consequences of discrimination and oppression.
  4. To develop skills to promote individual and social change toward social and economic justice.
  5. To provide a theoretical framework for integrating an approach toward diversity within students' own particular area of expertise (e.g., clinical, community, organization, management, etc.).

Each year students will be provided a list of courses that meet the diversity requirement. Students who would like to substitute a course must obtain a copy of the syllabus for that course and submit a written memo to the Dean of Students explaining why that course will meet the goals provided by the diversity requirement. Because the diversity requirement is intended to give students an analytical framework with which to integrate questions of diversity within their education at SSA, and to enhance the development of practice behaviors for work with diversity and difference in practice, no waivers of this course are considered. Approved courses in human diversity for the 2017-2018 academic year are listed below.

41212 Intersectional Approaches to Social Work with LGBTQIA Individuals and Communities
43300 The Exceptional Child
44122 Self Awareness and Social Work with Diverse Populations
44401 Sexuality across the Life Cycle
44712 Queer Theory in Social Work Practice
44800 Urban Adolescents in Their Families, Communities, and Schools: Issues for Research and Policy
45112 Contemporary Immigration Policy and Practice
45522 Creating a Context for Unity and Reconciliation in Global Post-Conflict Settings
46312 Race, Crime, and Justice in the City
46922 Structuring Refuge: U.S. Refugee Policy and Resettlement Practice
47232 Promoting the Social and Academic Development of Children in Urban Schools
47452 Smart Decarceration: A Grand Challenge for Social Work
47722 Structural Social Work Practice and the Mexican Experince in Chicago
47812 Human Rights and Social Work: Opportunities for Policy and Practice
48300 Theories and Strategies of Community Change
48422 Difference and Inclusion
60100 Drugs: Culture and Context
60200 Spirituality and Social Work Practice
60400 Poverty, Inequality, and the Welfare State
61212 Perspectives on Aging
61400 Social Meaning of Race
61912 Policing, Citizenship, and Inequality in Comparative Perspective
62022 Trans*forming Social Work
62912 Global Development and Social Welfare
63300 International Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy and Practice
63412 Cultural Studies in Education
64400 Spanish Language and Culture for Social Workers
65712 Immigration, Law and Society
65800 Adoption, Fosterage, Culture and Context

 

Elizabeth LeRoy

Elizabeth LeRoy, AM '15

“SSA has a lot to offer incoming students. The University has many resources for professional development as well that further enhance the coursework and fieldwork at SSA.”