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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 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.
Every Semester, 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.
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Status
Fall, 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.
Prerequisite: Junior Status; Soc 1, Bio 1 or 7, PSY 1, 2, SWK 1, 50. Junior transfers can take as co-requisites
Fall, 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, 3 credits

POL 80 Administrative Behavior

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the origins of and current trends in administrative and organizational behavior. Students read classical articles, written by major organizational theorists and material from the text that addresses current administrative practices for improving organizational effectiveness. Topics include individual and group behavior, foundations of organizational structure, leadership, technology and work design. The assigned readings will provide a basis for in-class writings, discussions, experiential exercises and viewing related films.
Spring semester, (Prerequisite: Senior Status), 3 credits