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Disaster and Collective Trauma Focus Area

Disaster can strike unexpectedly, dramatically affecting communities, families, and individuals. The Disaster and Collective Trauma (DaCT) Focus Area as part of TSSW’s Master of Social Work program prepares aspiring social workers to treat the psychological consequences of these types of crises. As one of the few disaster and collective trauma programs in the United States, this program teaches students the skills required to make substantial change in their communities and assist individuals cope with the trauma associated with surviving disasters. Students who choose to pursue the DaCT Focus Area tailor their education and use an anti-oppressive lens with the goal of enhancing the well-being of diverse individuals, families, and communities recovering from disaster and collective trauma. 

The Disaster and Collective Trauma Focus Area appeals to students who:

  • wish to explore the theories of collective trauma, trauma adaptation , and disaster mental health
  • are interested in applied practice with individuals, families, or communities recovering from collective trauma, and/or disaster
  • are interested in the policies and programs that influence the ability of individuals, families, and communities to not only survive but thrive following collective trauma and disasters 

Focus Area Requirements

  • Two mandatory electives SOWK 7015 Collective Trauma and SOWK 7075 Disaster Mental Health and Trauma Intervention
  • FEMA Certificate in Introduction to Incident Command Systems + 3 additional specialized trainings in disaster/collective trauma
  • Attendance at DaCT meetings
  • Focused field placement
  • Must be a Tulane MSW student in good standing

See full MSW curriculum and DaCT curriculum and/or schedule of classes for more information.

Field Education

Every MSW student is required to complete 948 hours of field-based education. This integral part of the degree program pairs each student with an organizational partner in the individual’s city or town to start getting on the ground experience. The fieldwork experience and the rest of the curriculum are mutually supportive so that students have the opportunity to practice what they learn in the classroom, in their field placement. 

Contact Information

For Program Questions, contact Tona Zwanziger (Program Manager, Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy) / (504) 247-1453