The School of Social Work

Dean:  Robin Mama, Ph.D.

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: Elena Mazza, 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 social and economic justice, advance human rights, and improve the quality of life of vulnerable families, individuals, organizations, communities, and nations on the local, national, and global levels.

The MSW 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 justice through the advancement of human rights, strengths-based empowerment, and practice with families within a global context;
  2. To develop the skills to understand, analyze, and evaluate the quality of life and well-being of vulnerable families, individuals, organizations, communities, and nations that is grounded in a strengths-based empowerment approach for social and economic justice and human rights;
  3. To prepare social work practitioners to develop and systematically apply knowledge, values, skills, and ethics in their work with families, individuals, organizations, communities, and nations of diverse cultural contexts in working collaboratively toward the prevention and solution of social problems;
  4. To think critically, analyze, produce, and disseminate research that informs theory, policy, practice, and evaluation in social work;
  5. To collaborate with and support vulnerable populations through advocacy, social action, volunteerism, service, education, and consultation, working from a strengths-based empowerment approach for social and economic justice and human rights.

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

Master of Social Work Concentrations

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

Common to both concentrations is a commitment to the mission of the School of Social Work at Monmouth University: improving the quality of life of vulnerable individuals, families, groups, and communities on the local, national, and international levels.

The courses in the Clinical Practice with Families and Children (C.P.F.C.) concentration prepares students for advanced social work practice with individuals, couples, families, and groups. It builds on the foundation-year course work where the full complement of social work roles was explored. The advanced year, however, focuses primarily on clinical counseling skills and culturally competent use of self in complex working relationships with clients and client groups. While the emphasis is on clients’ strengths, and working together toward their empowerment is continued, students learn about and apply clinical skills to family, children, and mental-health agency settings; child welfare, criminal justice, and host settings in which clinical social work most often takes place.

The Global and Community Practice (G.C.P.) concentration primarily uses community development theory and practice to address developing-world social and economic justice, inequality, oppression, and discrimination issues in developed and developing countries. Culturally competent community development respects the integrity and worth of individuals and communities with diverse backgrounds. G.C.P. focuses the practice of social work at mezzo and macro levels with agencies and client populations within the context of global interdependence of social problems. Courses stress the knowledge, values, skills, and ethics of practice at the mezzo and macro levels, with specific content on the ethics of the International Federation of Social Workers and the declarations of the United Nations.

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
973-504-6582