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Course Descriptions

SWK 1 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare

This course presents Social Work as a helping profession that has a unique combination of values, knowledge and skills with the purpose of improving the well-being of people and creating a more just society. Students are introduced to the various fields of practice where social workers address client needs and social problems. The course offers discussions of current events from the multiple perspectives of social work and case studies of social workers serving individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. There are also guest presentations of professionals who are engaged in activities such as combating hunger, assuring equal access to mental health services and assisting those involved in domestic violence. The course aids students in determining whether social work is a possible career choice for them.
Offered every semester, 3 credits

SWK 18 Research Methods
HPA 18 Research Methods

This course provides an overview of the scientific method as it applies to social work. In this writing intensive course students learn to read and interpret quantitative and qualitative research reports and to design sound and ethical research to increase the profession’s knowledge base with respect to human behavior and service development and delivery. Students learn to use research to guide their professional practice and to employ research methodology to evaluate their individual and their program’s effectiveness.
Spring Semester (Prerequisite: Junior Status), 3 credits

SWK 19 Statistics
HPA 19 Statistics

Statistical procedures, research design, sampling techniques, descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, dispersion, correlation, regression, tests of significance and reliability are all discussed as they apply to the specific needs of the health and human services.
Fall Semester (Prerequisite: HPA/SWK 18), 3 credits

SWK 30 Interdisciplinary Helping Professions

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the partnerships in mental health and human services between Social Work and other helping professions such as Psychology, Speech Therapy, Recreational Therapy, Occupations Therapy, Physical Therapy, Art Therapy, Movement Therapy and Nutrition. Practitioners from other disciplines will present an overview of their function with emphasis on working within the interdisciplinary team.
Elective course
Spring Semester (Open to Juniors or Seniors), 3 credits

SWK 31 Child & Family Service: The Practice

This course will provide students with an overview of the Child & Family Welfare system focusing on current practices. Students will be exposed to a variety of child and family welfare topics to include but not limited to child protection, foster care, adoption, prevention, family violence and the Court's role. The course will be taught from a generalist perspective examining how policy shapes practice. Students may be asked to critique current child and family welfare policies sharing their thoughts and opinions. The course is expected to prepare students for internships and employment in the field of child and family welfare by educating them on the complex issues surrounding children and families. It will involve guest lecturers with expertise on different aspects of child welfare.
Elective course
Fall Semester, 3 credits

SWK 50 Social Welfare Programs & Policies I

SWK 50 provides information about the development of social work as a profession including its tradition of advocacy, reform and commitment to policies inherent in the values of the profession. Students will gain an understanding of historical and contemporary social welfare services and examine how economic, political, and organizational systems influence social policies and diverse and at-risk populations. This course also provides students with knowledge of distinct social issues, and social service programs. It challenges students to interpret basic characteristics of social programs and policies in order to improve services for clients. Throughout the semester students explore inequitable treatment of specific groups and learn of the need for social justice to meet social needs. In addition, this course provides a basic understanding of the specific role of the social worker in policy practice.
Spring semester (Open to Freshmen & Sophomores; prerequisite SOC 1), 3 credits

SWK 51 Social Welfare Programs & Policies II

SKW 51 has two major foci: a) how and under what circumstances the definition and typification of social problems trigger policy responses and b) social work’s role in analyzing, evaluating and influencing policy. Students conduct an analysis of a policy that responds to any social problem of their choosing, and then deconstruct the historical, theoretical and ideological forces shaping the policy as it affects a population at risk. The uniquely-related class, age, gender, racial and cultural issues of oppressed populations and the barriers they experience when confronting the political and organizational processes that influence policy development are at the core of this semester’s inquiry.
Fall Semester (Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Status), 3 credits

SWK 60 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

The first in the 2-sequence course on understanding human behavior in the social environment, this course provides foundation knowledge of the multiple theoretical perspectives required for generalist social work practice. The focus is on understanding individual behavior across the life-span from conception through late childhood within the context of social systems including families, groups, organizations and communities. Biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors that affect human growth and development are examined along with problems including, child abuse/neglect, oppression, marital conflicts, mental illness, developmental disabilities, addictions and deviant behaviors. Special attention is given to social and economic justice and diversity variables including gender, ethnicity, culture and class as related to individuals’ ability to reach or maintain optimal health and well-being. Case material is introduced throughout the course to illustrate theoretical concepts.
Fall Only (Prerequisite: Junior Status; Soc 1, Bio 1 or 7, PSY 1, 2, SWK 1, 50 - Junior transfers can take as co-requisites), 3 credits

SWK 61 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

This writing intensive course is the second in the human development sequence and covers the understanding of individual behavior from adolescence through late adulthood within the context of social systems including families, groups, organizations and communities (SWK 60 covered infancy through pre- adolescence). Based on the theories learned in SWK 60, biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors that affect human growth and development are examined along with social problems including, substance abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse. The focus is on normal developmental challenges and growth, but the course also addresses common mental health difficulties. Special attention is given to social and economic justice and diversity variables including gender, ethnicity, culture and class as related to individuals' ability to reach or maintain optimal health and well-being. Case material is introduced throughout the course to illustrate theoretical concepts.
Spring Semester (Prerequisite: SWK 60), 3 credits

SWK 70 Social Work Practice I

The first of a two-course sequence, this course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and values essential for beginning generalist social work practice and entry into field placement. The course presents a generalist approach to social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. This course emphasizes generalist practice with individuals and organizations and the knowledge and skills applicable to intervention with these two target systems. The beginning phase of the helping process is highlighted.
Prerequisite of SWK 1 & SWK 50 and Co-requisite of SWK 79 or Co-requisite of SWK 1, SWK 50, & SWK 79 if student is in Junior status
Fall Semester, 3 credits

SWK 71 Social Work Practice II

The second of a two-course sequence, this course is designed to continue teaching the knowledge, skills and values essential for beginning generalist social work practice. Whereas the first course focused on practice with individuals and organizations, this course concentrates on practice with families, groups and communities. Social Work Practice II identifies variations in engagement, assessment and contracting with these three types of systems. All levels of intervention are discussed as they apply to practice with families, groups and communities. The middle and ending phases of the helping process are highlighted.
Spring Semester (Prerequisite: SWK 70 and Co-requisite of SWK 80), 3 credits

SWK 75 Diversity Sensitive Social Work Practice

This course is designed to draw a bridge between generalist social work practice and the impact of ethnicity, social class, and minority status. Students will be provided with the tools to make ethnic sensitive social work assessments and interventions. The focus of this course will be on examining the problems that face diverse cultures and populations at risk for discrimination and oppression as they attempt to negotiate their environment and to ameliorate the stressors that they confront. Through the use of the case method model of learning, students will be presented with material that presents dilemmas faced by diverse populations as they strive to function and survive in the United States. This course makes a linkage between material on diverse cultures and the social work role and demonstrates the connection between cross-cultural values, beliefs and the profession.
Spring semester (Prerequisite: Senior Status; SWK 71), 3 credits

SWK 79 Introduction to Field Placement

The purpose of this class is to orient junior level social work majors to the field practicum. The course requires one interview with the field director and at least one to two field agency interviews. SWK 79 prepares students for entry into the field practicum experience, and the concurrent Field Seminar class (SWK 80), by anticipating and responding to common concerns among entry-level students, explicating field program policies, and practically preparing the student for the agency selection and initial interviewing process. Students are introduced to and acquainted with the various roles and responsibilities of each of the field team members. In addition, the field contract, task/ assignment form, the learning contract, the process recording, the supervisory process, diversity and cultural competence issues in the field and the qualifications and challenges of developing ethical and professional behavior are explored. In preparing students for the “mechanics” of fieldwork, the seminar also takes time to validate the developmental challenges that students experience in mastering the demands of the field placement.
Prerequisite of SWK 1 & SWK 50 and Co-requisite of SWK 70 or Co-requisite of SWK 1, SWK 50, & SWK 70 if student is in Junior status.
Fall semester, 1 credit

SWK 80 Field Instruction I

Field Experience involves placement of the student in a social service agency or social work department of a larger institution. The student is required to intern for a minimum of 100 work hours during the standard Spring semester of the Junior year. The student is required to offer social work service to diverse clients or client systems under the direct, regular supervision of an agency field instructor agreed upon by the agency and the program.

The instructional techniques in the seminar parallel processes students will be utilizing in the field as a student and as a social worker. Students’ field experiences are processed using the problem-solving process. Developmental tasks are partialized or deconstructed into manageable parts; agency analysis, the supervisory process, the formulation of learning goals, struggles with diversity and ethical dilemmas, etc. These tasks are processed through journals and assignments that require reflection on the intersection between experience, knowledge, skills, and self. In class, students are also encouraged to collectively utilize the problem-solving process to help their peers’ in the resolution of learning dilemmas. Students are also continually reinforced to prepare agendas and actively assert their own learning needs in class and in supervision.
Spring semester (Prerequisite: SWK 79, co-requisite: SWK 71), 4 credits

SWK 90, 91 Field Instruction II & III

Taken during the senior year (approximately 400 hours), these two courses provide students with opportunities to test in the field setting the principles and concepts learned in the classroom. Students are assigned to social work agencies or social work programs. Students receive on site field supervision from a professional social worker and participate in individual and group faculty advisory seminars.
Fall and Spring Semester (Prerequisite: Senior Status, SWK 80), 6 credits each