Denise Burnette, Ph.D.
Professor and director
Phone: (804) 828-2859
The Ph.D. Program administers the curriculum that leads to the Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work.
SWKD 701. Quantitative Research Methods. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students with master's-level course work in research methods and introduction to statistics, graduate standing in social work or permission of program director. Focused on concentrated study of principles of the quantitative, scientific method for knowledge building, and practice- and policy-related research. Special emphasis on the different stages of research methods, including problem formulation, sampling, measurement, design and data collection within the context of professional values, ethics and commitment to social justice.
SWKD 702. Quantitative Data Analysis. 4 Hours.
Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students with master's-level course work in research methods and introduction to statistics, graduate standing in social work or permission of program director. A required foundation course in a sequence focused on concentrated study of principles of quantitative scientific method for knowledge-building and practice- and policy-related research. Special emphasis on the application of descriptive and inferential statistical techniques within the context of applied social work research.
SWKD 703. Philosophical Issues in Social Work Knowledge Building. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: admission to Ph.D. program in social work or permission of program director. This seminar focuses on assisting seminar participants to develop and refine their understanding of the logical foundations and the underlying meta-framework for modes of inquiry in science. Of particular focus will be the social sciences including social work. Using a paradigm perspective, the seminar will investigate the epistemological, ontological and methodological implications for knowledge building for social work.
SWKD 704. Multiparadigmatic Qualitative Methods and Analysis. 4 Hours.
Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits. Focuses on assisting participants to develop and refine their understanding of and skills in qualitative research from multiple paradigmatic perspectives. The course will investigate a variety of qualitative strategies that allow for examination, exploration and/or description of phenomena by theory building, theory testing or constructing meaning. Emphasis will be on a range of qualitative methods for collecting empirical material and methods for the analysis of those data, including decisions about the use of computer analysis.
SWKD 705. Multivariate Analysis in Social Work and Human Services Research. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: master's-level course work in research methods and introduction to statistics, graduate standing in social work or permission of program director, and SWKD 701 and 702. The third of a three-semester course sequence focused on concentrated study of principles of the quantitative, scientific method for knowledge building and practice- and policy-related research. Special emphasis on the application and interpretation of multivariate statistical techniques within the context of applied social work research.
SWKD 708. Social Science Foundations for Social Work. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the Ph.D. program in social work or permission of program director. This doctoral seminar focuses on theories and conceptual approaches used as the knowledge base for social work practice. Emphasis will be given to developing the abilities of students to identify the essential elements of theory, determining the knowledge building purposes of theory and articulating the rationale for selection of theories as a basis and guide for scholarly inquiry. In addition, theories are officially evaluated for their implicit assumptions, values, empirical support and potential usefulness for students' own specialized area of study. Classic and contemporary theories covered will be drawn from the social sciences with an emphasis on those appropriate for the social change and social justice concerns of social work.
SWKD 710. Social Work, Social Welfare and Social Thought. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: doctoral program admission or permission of instructor. Required seminar for social work doctoral students. Examination of social work, its roles and functions in relation to contemporary social problems, social policy and social work practice interventions that provide solutions to these problems. Analysis of issues of social welfare and the social work profession relating to structure, functions and history from the perspective of social work values, ethics, professional standards and concern for social justice. Designed to foster a critical perspective on the profession in its environment and provide grounding in the historical and cultural traditions and major streams of social thought influencing the profession, its development and the American system of social welfare.
SWKD 715. Development and Evaluation of Social Work Practice Theories and Models. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A required seminar for second-year doctoral students that builds on behavioral science theory and research methods/data analysis courses. This course offers analytical and comparative perspectives on classic and contemporary theories and models of change that underlie real-world social work practice interventions, services, programs and policies across system sizes, and the research approaches and methods used to evaluate their implementation and impact. Students discover existing practice theories and models of change related to their own substantive interest in solving a pressing social problem or human challenge and propose a new theoretically and empirically grounded change strategy that contributes to the science of social work, including the advancement of social justice and/or an appreciation of diversity.
SWKD 722. Evaluation of Human Service Programs. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Ph.D. program standing or permission of instructor. Application of social research methods to the planning and development of evaluation research in human service programs. Covers the planning and evaluation cycle, categories of evaluation (evaluability assessment, needs assessment, social indicators, asset mapping, process, performance, outcome and impact), roles of evaluators and stakeholders, development and use of program theory, and dissemination of evaluation results for policy and program improvement.
SWKD 724. Constructivist Inquiry. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Ph.D. program standing or permission of program director. The purpose of this course is to: 1) contrast interpretive and functionalist (positivist) inquiry paradigms and note the conditions under which each is the paradigm of choice for research; 2) clarify the relationship between constructivist and qualitative methodologies; 3) acquaint the student with some of the more common constructivist methods and to offer opportunities in applying those methods; 4) prepare the student to act as a peer reviewer or auditor in a constructivist inquiry.
SWKD 726. Seminar on Social Work Education and Teaching. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Enrollment requires Ph.D. program standing or permission of program director. This doctoral seminar prepares students to become effective and ethical social work educators. The course focuses on teaching and learning approaches in higher education, assessment of educational outcomes, curriculum design and course development, roles and responsibilities of faculty members, and historical and contemporary trends in social work education.
SWKD 728. Academic Writing: Effective Writing, Manuscript Preparation and Publication. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students admitted to the Ph.D. program in social work or with permission of the instructor. This course provides the opportunity for doctoral students to enhance and refine the academic writing skills necessary for productive social work scholarship. The course focuses on understanding and mastering the structure, process and elements of high-quality academic writing as well as respectful and helpful reviewing. Students will especially examine scholarly writing in and for journal articles, books, book reviews and doctoral dissertations. Students will be exposed to the literature on the “how tos” of scholarly writing itself and develop their own skills in being a juror/professional reviewer. Special emphasis is placed on the development of an intellectual community in which excellence in written expression is valued. The explicit goal is established that each student should use the course to prepare one or more scholarly products during the course related to her/his/their substantive area.
SWKD 791. Topical Seminar. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Study of the current state of knowledge and research within a specialized area of concern to social policy and social work.
SWKD 792. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.
Semester course; 1, 2 or 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the program director. Independent reading and study in selected areas under the supervision of a member of the faculty. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits that count toward the 36 required credits. May then be taken for an additional 1-12 credits to accommodate the need for continuous enrollment required of all students between completion of required course work and passage of the comprehensive examinations.
SWKD 797. Directed Research. 3 Hours.
Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisite: completion of first-year Ph.D. courses in social work or permission of program director. The course provides doctoral students the opportunity to do hands-on research prior to the dissertation project that is relevant to their substantive area or individual learning needs. The topic and specific project will be initiated by the student and implemented in collaboration with a School of Social Work faculty member. A proposal for a directed research course must be submitted that specifies how the student will gain experience, knowledge and skills in one or more aspects of conducting a research project, including conceptualization of the question; development of a graphic or visual schema; measurement design and/or instrument development; qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods research design and implementation; data collection or data management; data analysis; and dissemination of findings. Students may create their own project or dovetail with existing student or faculty projects.
SWKD 798. Intergrative Seminar. 1 Hour.
Semester course; 1 seminar hour. 1 credit. This seminar in the final semester of course work is a capstone course designed to highlight and extend the integration of learning, stress the "wholeness" of the doctoral experience and more intentionally embrace the program themes related to integration, critical thinking, and social justice and diversity. The course serves as organizing structure for understanding gaps in one's own knowledge base, practice peer mentoring and leadership in nurturing an intellectual community, and cooperatively plan final aspects of comprehensive exam study. It is seen as one vehicle for understanding the context of the student's line of inquiry and for deepening professional development, identity and career preparation as a social work scholar and leader. Graded as S/U/F.
SWKD 898. Dissertation Research. 1-16 Hours.
Semester course; 1-16 credits. Prerequisite: successful completion of comprehensive examinations or permission of program director. Students are required to complete 16 credit hours. May be taken for additional credits until dissertation is formally accepted.