The School of Social Work

The School of Social Work

Assistant Dean: Leah Lazzaro, D.S.W.
Director of the B.S.W. Program: Christa Hogan, Ph.D.
Director of the M.S.W. Program: Michael Cronin, Ph.D., LCSW
Director of the D.S.W. Program: Golam Mathbor, Ph.D.

Social workers are concerned with improving the health and quality of life of persons who are disconnected or excluded from larger society. Social workers engage in practice at all levels, from working with children to working with communities and governments. The profession and the program at Monmouth are particularly concerned with human rights and social and economic justice, the representation and support of vulnerable or oppressed segments of the population, and direct-action strategies to bring about positive change for the disenfranchised.

The central mission of the School of Social Work at Monmouth University is to prepare its graduates for professional social work practice that strives to secure human rights by advancing social, economic, and environmental justice for vulnerable populations.

The M.S.W. Program at Monmouth University prepares graduates for advanced social work practice in one of two unique concentrations:

On the foundation of a liberal arts tradition, students are engaged to broaden and challenge their understanding, analysis, and evaluation of human experiences and societies in the past and in the contemporary world, and of families and individuals of varied cultural and social contexts.

The curriculum supports this mission through three perspectives:

  1. social and economic justice through the advancement of human rights,
  2. strengths-based empowerment, and
  3. practice with families within a global context.

Families within a global context define the initial focal social unit for all social work practice at Monmouth University.

Our three perspectives inform both our B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs as they contribute to the development of students’ knowledge, values, and skills:

  1. To conceptualize and contribute to social work theory, knowledge, values, and skills on a generalist level for B.S.W. students, and on an advanced, concentration-specific level for M.S.W. students through three interrelated perspectives: social and economic and environmental justice through the advancement of human rights, strengths-based empowerment, and practice with families within a global context;
  2. Critically apply knowledge, values, skills, research, and ethics in their work with families, individuals, organizations, and communities, of diverse cultural contexts working collaboratively toward the prevention and solution of social problems
  3. Collaborate with and on behalf of vulnerable populations through advocacy, social action, volunteerism, service, education, and consultation, working from a strengths-based empowerment approach for social and economic and environmental justice and human rights.

School of Social Work Honor Society: Phi Alpha: Graduate and Undergraduate

Master of Social Work Specializations

There are two concentrations offered at Monmouth University at the graduate level:

Clinical social work builds on professional values, ethics, principles, practice methods, and the person-in- environment perspective of the profession. It reflects the profession’s mission to promote social and economic justice. Clinical social work practice shares with all social work practice the goal of enhancement and maintenance of physical, psychological (mental and emotional), cultural, social and spiritual well-being and functioning of individuals, families, small groups and communities.

Clinical social work services consist of engagement; assessment; diagnosis; intervention, including psychotherapy and counseling; client-centered advocacy; consultation; and evaluation addressing psychosocial challenges and/or impairment including emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders and addictions. Interventions responsive to all dimensions of diversity are utilized within the context of the therapeutic relationship guided by best practices and evidence-based guidelines.

The Clinical Practice with Families and Children (CPFC) specialization at Monmouth teaches students how to work with a variety of different populations of individuals and families at risk in ways that facilitate their empowerment. Through a selection of strengths-based approaches, the specialization addresses family- and child-focused concerns across a level of needs from poverty and homelessness to communication and interpersonal counseling.

Students choosing the CPFC specialization have a variety of practice settings to choose from, such as school social work, mental health settings, child abuse prevention, family and child centered clinical practices, and substance abuse settings.

Global and Community Practice augments generalist social work practice and is grounded in the values of the profession: service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry. Community practice involves taking planned action to build and strengthen capacity to address unjust systems and collective concerns of people in communities, groups, and organizations through supporting and developing local and global leadership. Community practitioners engage and collaborate with local and global stakeholders to meet their community’s needs and to thrive in the context of shifting social, economic, and environmental arrangements.

Global and community practice encompasses macro and mezzo dimensions of social work practice in communities; this specialization is referred to as a form of macro social work practice. The curriculum provides the practice skills, knowledge and experience necessary for practice emphasizing the interconnectedness of local and global communities such as advocacy, community organizing, program planning and development, and administrative leadership.

Doctorate of Social Work in Human Rights Leadership

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Human Rights Leadership at Monmouth University offers practicing social workers a program where they can distinguish themselves in the profession as leaders by championing human rights and acting as agents of change across local, national, and global communities. The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) is an advanced practice social work degree program focusing on a professional area of practice.

Students in the DSW program will be able to:

  1. Develop expertise in an area of human rights leadership in social work that encompasses diversity, equity and inclusion.
  2. Create and disseminate practice-relevant human rights leadership scholarship through multiple modalities and digital technologies
  3. Apply ethical decision making from a human rights and social justice perspective.
  4. Use and critically evaluate scholarship in human rights evidence-based practices.
  5. Design, evaluate and implement effective human rights programs and policies.

The DSW Program at Monmouth is offered as an online, synchronous model with one week-long, in person, summer intensive residency annually and one weekend residency each January, followed by course work that is completed online.

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice - Community-Law Enforcement Relations Track

Students who complete the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice - Law-Enforcement Community Relations Track will take 12 credits in social work during the course of this degree.  For those students who wish to continue to work toward a Master of Social Work degree, these 12 credits will transfer into the 54-credit M.S.W., allowing the student to have 42 credits left to complete for the Master of Social Work.

Graduate Certificate: Play and Expressive Therapies

The Graduate Certificate in Play and Expressive Therapies is an eighteen-credit program and provides the 150-course-hour requirement. Additionally, students in this program work toward acquiring the necessary 500 hours of experiential practice in play therapy and fifty hours of supervision, as required by the Association for Play Therapy (APT), Inc., for the Registered Play Therapist (RPT) certification.

Graduate Certificate: Clinical Social Work Licensure

The Graduate Certificate for Clinical Social Work Licensure is an 18-credit program designed for students that have completed a Master in Social Work (MSW) from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program, but need additional clinical course work to complete the educational requirements of the State of New Jersey to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Students must have a completed MSW degree and be a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) for admission to the certificate program.

Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey, Inc.

Since the fall of 2000, the School of Social Work at Monmouth University, in cooperation with the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey, Inc., has offered the course work needed for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certification. In the summer of 2004, the certification became a license. The Department of Social Work continues to work with the State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Marriage and Family Therapists, Drug and Alcohol Committee to provide the course work needed for the state-issued Licensed Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC).

The School of Social Work recognizes the need for addictions training to serve the substance abuse-affected population and their families. In order to serve this special population, the State Board requires that proper certifications be in place or in process.

Any M.S.W. student (in the C.P.F.C. concentration) who takes the elective course SW-604 Clinical Practice in Addictions (3 cr.) and a one-credit course that are offered each year here at Monmouth University will have completed the necessary course work towards his or her LCADC. Students who are completing their internship hours in a drug and alcohol placement may count those hours toward the required field hours for the LCADC as well as their M.S.W. degree. The course work and field hours are good for five years after they have been taken, and students are required to keep their own records. All other requirements towards the LCADC will need to be met by the student on his or her own, according to the State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Marriage and Family Therapists, Drug and Alcohol Committee. For additional information regarding the requirements for the LCADC, please contact:

State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners
Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee
PO Box 45040
124 Halsey Street, 12th Floor
Newark, NJ 07101