This course is a continuation of GRSW 501 and is also taken concurrently with a field placement which serves as a practice lab for theory and skills learned in the classroom.This course focuses on several practice applications: group theory and process (both task and treatment groups), agency change, and understanding the dynamics of unintended discrimination and oppression. As with the first course, student self-awareness and self-assessment are critical to developing a solid foundation for authentic practice.
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.
This course focuses on developing the knowledge and skills of the student to be an evaluator of social work practice as well as to be an active participant in adding to the knowledge base of social work. Students will propose, carry out, and present research findings for both a quantitative and qualitative research project. Both research projects include writing a literature review, designing and implementing research methods including human subjects review, collecting and analyzing data, and synthesizing and writing research findings. An emphasis is placed on research writing skills, single system design, and practice and program evaluation. Discussed in the class are frameworks regarding evidence-based practice, diverse client systems, ethical research practice, and social justice.
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:
BSW Practice Content Committee
BSW Policy Content Commitee
MSW Research Committee
Task Force to Eliminate Violence Against Women - SCU
Writing Committee - SCU
SOWK 340 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SOWK 355 Communication & Interviewing Skills
SOWK 375/376 Junior Practicum
SOWK 391 Social Policy for Social Change
SOWK 401 Generalist Practice with Small Systems
SOWK 402 Generalist Practice with Large Systems
GRSW500 History & Philosophy of Social Work
GRSW 501 Theory/Practice of Social Work
GRSW540 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
GRSW625 Social Policy & Program Development
GRSW682 Applied Research Seminar
Current research interests:
Sexual violence prevention
Domestic violence prevention
Culturally sensitive practice and policy
Social Work Education
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
MSW, University of Minnesota
MBA, University of Nebraska at Omaha
BSBA, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of St. Benedict, 4.5 years
Part-time MSW Instructor, Augsburg College, 1/2 year
Area Training Manager, University of Minnesota, 2 years
Child Protection Social Worker, Hennepin County, 3.5 years
Diversity Trainer, Family Services, Inc., 1/4 year
Program Director/Advocate, Simpson Transitional Housing, 2 years
Business Consultant/Trainer, Women Venture, 2 years
House Supervisor, Case de Esperanza, 1.3 years
Valandra, (Summer 2007). Reclaiming Their Lives and Breaking Free: An Afrocentric Approach to Recovery from Prostitution. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 22,(2), 195-208.
Valandra (2007, June). Learning Modules: Skills for Practice – Essay: Letter of Oppression. In Spandl, S. (Ed.). Social Work for Social Justice Resource Guide. St. Paul: School of Social Work, College of St. Catherine and University of St. Thomas.
Valandra, (2005, Spring). Hearing the Voices of African American Children Healing from Sexual Abuse. Child Welfare Section Connection. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers
Valandra, (2002). Rhythms of My Heart: Healing From Within. [CD]. Key of V! Productions. Richfield, Minnesota.
Valandra (2011, June). Legacies of resilience: African American mothers’ experiences with sexual mistreatment and intergenerational parenting. Paper presented at the 17th Annual Midwest Qualitative Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN
Valandra (2011, June). Reflexivity and Professional Use of Self in Qualitative Inquiry with African American Survivors of Sexual Trauma. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference. Cedarville, Ohio.
Valandra (2009, May). Navigating the Complexities of Expectations and Experience: Female Students of Color Create a Sense of Belonging in Higher Education. Paper presented at the The 5th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. May 20 - 23, 2009. Urbana/Champagne, Ill.
Gilgun, J. Valandra, Sharma, A. (2009, Jan). Critical Race Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis as Tools for the Examination of Race and Racism in Social Work Practice. Workshop presented at the 13th annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference. January 15 - 18, 2009. New Orleans, LA
Gibson, P. & Valandra. (2007, October). Study Abroad: A Model for Preparing Faculty to Conduct International Courses. Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Program Meetingof the Council on Social Work Education, October 27 - 30, 2007, San Francisco, CA.
Valandra. (2004, April). Treatment Strategies: It Don’t Work Cuz I Ain’t Broke. Presentation at Child Abuse Prevention Conference, April 13, 2004, St. Paul, MN
Valandra (2003, October). Through the Eyes of a Client-Practitioner: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Presentation. Presentation at St. Louis County Human Service Conference, October 9 – 10, 2003, Duluth, MN
Valandra (2007, June). The Heart of the Matter: Integrating Catholic Social Teaching in Macro Practice Curriculum. Social Work for Social Justice Conference. College of St. Catherine and University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Valandra (2007, May). What Do Social Workers Really Do? Keynote Presentation. Senior Social Work Banquet, Social Work Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, St. Joseph, Minnesota.
Valandra (2007, April). Reclaiming Their Lives and Breaking Free: An Afrocentric Approach to Recovery from Prostitution. Research Poster Symposium presented at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Valandra. (2006, April). The Face of Oppression. Listening Ear Crisis Center, April 18, 2006, Alexandria Mn
Valandra (2005, July). Prism of Victimization: Culture, Age, & Ability. The 2005 Institute on Victim’s Studies. St. Cloud State University. July 26, 2005, St. Cloud, MN
Valandra. (2005, April). Domestic Violence – A Silent Epidemic. Keynote Presentation. Take Back the Night. April 29, 2005, St. Cloud, MN.
Valandra. (2005, April). Resources: What You Can Do About Child Sexual Abuse. Creative Memories. April 12, 2005, St. Cloud, Minnesota