The University of St. Thomas

School of Social Work



Karen T. Carlson

Distinguished Service
Phone: (651) 962-5867
Fax: 651-962-5819

2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105

Office Location: SCB 216

Courses taught in Summer 2014 at UST
GRSW 625-01
Social Policy & Program Devel 1600-1900 M W SCB 205

3 Credit Hours

This course focuses on current social welfare policy, policy analysis and advocacy, connections between policy and practice, and social welfare program development. The content and effects of current social welfare policy are examined in the course, and policy analysis and the skills for policy advocacy are emphasized. The course carefully considers the connections between policy and clinical practice. A major focus of the course includes learning the stages of program development, which culminates in a group program proposal and presentation. Emphasized in the course are the frameworks of social justice, diversity and cultural contexts, and the application of research skills to all parts of policy and program practice.

Courses taught in Fall 2014 at UST
GRSW 540-01
Hum Behav & Soc Environ 1920-2145 T SCB 206

3 Credit Hours

This foundation course will explore the dynamics of human behavior and prepare a foundation of knowledge on which to build clinical practice skills. Through a study of systems theory, psychodynamic theory and the identification of the biological, psychological and sociological variables influencing development, students will gain a theoretical base for application to the assessment of client systems. Special emphasis in the course is on the important factors of human diversity (ethnic minorities of color, racism, enthnocentrism, aging, sexism, sexual orientation, and religion/spirituality) as they affect the dynamics of human behavior.

GRSW 580C-04
Meth of Social Work Research 1640-1905 W MNH 304

3 Credit Hours

This course focuses on learning generalist social work research methods and skills. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of research, allowing them to be both critical consumers and novice producers of research. Skills emphasized include critiquing and analyzing research literature, searching for relevant scholarly articles, writing literature reviews, developing research design, and understanding quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Discussed in the class are frameworks regarding evidence-based practice, diverse client systems, ethical research practice, and social justice.

GRSW 682-01
Applied Research Seminar 1920-2145 R SCB 205

4 Credit Hours

Candidates for the MSW degree must satisfactorily conduct a clinical research project, present the findings, and complete a final written and bound report. The purpose of the clinical research project is to provide the student with an opportunity to independently conceptualize a research problem, formulate a research design, implement the research, analyze the data, address ethical and cultural considerations, and disseminate the findings. The project is a logical extension of required research courses (GRSW 580 and GRSW 681) and requires application, integration, and further development of previously acquired skills and knowledge. The research must be relevant to clinical social work practice. The project must demonstrate an original and clear contribution to the body of social work knowledge in the student's selected area of focus. It should demonstrate the student's ability to integrate social work theory with research findings.

Committees and Positions:

  • TBA

Courses Taught:

  • Fall Semester, 2010
    • GRSW 682: Applied Research Seminar
    • GRSW 540: Human Behavior in the Social Environment
    • GRSW 580: Social Work Research Methods
  • Previously: (MSW)Foundations of Social Work Practice
    • Direct Practice with Adults
    •  Integrative Seminar (Capstone Course)
    •  Introduction of Social Work and Social Welfare
    • Child Abuse & Neglect
    • Alcoholism & Alcohol Problems
    • Independent Studies and Tutorials, including HBSE, Research

Research Interests:

  • Children and adolescents (depression, suicidality, aggression, violence exposure)
  • Poverty in rural and urban setting
  • Cultural competence

Academic Experience:

  •  1999-2000, Visiting Professor, Department of Social Work
  •  2000-2006, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Ohio University
  •  2007-2010, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Ohio University
    • Chair, BASW Program
    • Chair, Faculty Search Committee
    • Coordinator, Quarters to Semesters (Q@S) for the Department of Social Work
    • Department Chair
  • Ohio University, Athens, OH

Practice Experience:

  • Child Protective Services Worker, Supervisor, Child Protective Services, Lake County Department   of Social Services, Two Harbors, MN
  • School Social Worker, ISD 709, Duluth, MN
  • Case Manager, Team Leader, Group and Individual Therapist, Family Services of Madison,     Madison, WI 
  • Assessment/Intake, My Sister’s Place (DV Shelter), Athens, OH

Publications & Presentations:

  • To be completed

Consultation Experience:

  • Integrative Services of SE Ohio

Association Memberships & Affiliations:

  • CSWE
  • NASW-Ohio
  • SSWR

Other Activities:

  • Supervision: Students at the Psychology & Social Work Clinic, Ohio University
    • Practitioner at Washington County Group Home, Belpre, OH
    • MSW Graduate at Eve (DV Shelter), Marietta, OH, for Ohio LISW licensure