Social Work (SW)

SW 215. Diverse Populations. (3 Credits)

This course addresses issues of vulnerability and social justice experienced by individuals and families in today’s world. The material covers categories of vulnerability such as AIDS, Alcoholism, Disabilities Personality Disorders, and Depression. Other discussions will cover issues of life circumstances such as Immigrants and refugees, returning servicewomen and veterans, survivors and victims of terrorism, homelessness, individuals with intellectual disabilities and children in foster care or bullying. Students will also explore and discuss the problems facing social work professionals. Issues to be discussed will include the significantly increasing difficulty of providing services to vulnerable populations, the concern serious problems continue to emerge in modern society and resources are not as available as experienced by previous generations.

SW 225. Social Work & Social Welfare. (3 Credits)

This course is the first in the social work curriculum to begin the process of establishing a knowledge base for practice. As a foundational level course, it is of significant importance in the curriculum. Students will study the history of social work through the eyes of those who set out to change the world through the establishment of the profession of social work and their advocacy in the field of social welfare. They will be introduced to the roles and responsibilities of professional social workers, the mission of the profession as it relates to social and economic justice, and the importance of advocating for the poor and the disadvantaged. Students will learn skills of self-reflection and self-regulation in the management of personal values and professionalism. Students will learn the importance of ethical behavior. They will learn about advocacy and the importance of research and life-long learning. This course addresses the multitude of current and dynamic issues facing social workers today. It addresses the importance of professional social work in critical practice settings and how the profession is making a difference in changing the world through advocacy for social and economic justice.

SW 235. Introduction to Child Welfare. (3 Credits)

This course provides the student with foundational level knowledge on the historical and statutory basis for child welfare practice. The students will examine all components of the current child welfare system and its federal mandate. Students will learn about and discuss issues of child maltreatment/abuse, the rights of children and parents, and the significance of family in a system with the authority of the government to intervene and/or remove children who are at risk of harm. Students will gain a working knowledge of the definitions of child abuse and neglect. They will learn about and discuss theories of practice, family systems, and the policies that effect practice in child welfare.

SW 245. Agency-Centered Volunteer Social Work Experience. (3 Credits)

This course provides students with an experience in a social service agency through 120 hours of volunteer service. Students will volunteer in a social service agency 8 hours a week for 15 weeks. Additionally, students will meet as a group four times in person and four times online throughout the semester to share information about their respective placements. This course provides an introduction to agency-based social work practice. The placements are determined the semester prior to taking the course.
Prerequisite: SW 225.

SW 306. Social Welfare Policy and Programs. (3 Credits)

This course further develops an understanding of contemporary social welfare policies and programs, including private, public, and combined programs. It examines the various historical, political, economic, and societal influences on the development of social welfare policy and service delivery and/or the policy-making process. It also provides a framework to analyze and evaluate social welfare policies and programs. Context for policy analysis includes human diversity, human rights, and social and economic justice. Policies related to child welfare, physical and mental health, assistance to the poor, social insurance, hunger, shelter, and civil rights based on gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and immigration will be discussed. For social work majors with upper division status or consent of instructor.

SW 310. Research Methods I. (3 Credits)

This course introduces research methodology pertinent to the evaluation of human service programs, and discusses the rationale for conducting evaluations. Among the topics discussed are the relationship of evaluative efforts to program design and implementation, threats to validity of program evaluation, constructing a measurement plan and designs for program and evaluation. Program evaluation knowledge, skills and techniques, such as needs assessment, operationalization of variables, levels of measurement, statistical significance, efficiency and outcome evaluation are introduced. This course emphasizes this methodology when conducting formative evaluations, i.e., needs assessment, program development, and market research.

SW 326. Skills & Methods of Social Work Practice I. (3 Credits)

This course is the first in a sequence of three required social work practice courses. Practice I focuses on the development of skills and strategies for helping individuals within a variety of social work and host settings. Key concepts of generalist practice are applied to the development of relationship building and interviewing skills. Generalist Practice is examined as a problem-solving process, which includes engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. Students learn to view clients and client systems from a strengths perspective.
Prerequisites: SW 225 and 235.

SW 327. Field Education I. (3 Credits)

This course engages the student in the practice of beginning social work skills and tasks within an agency setting over a period of one semester (15 weeks). It is designed for the senior level student and requires an average of 16 hours per week in the agency for a minimum of 216 hours. SW 327 Field Education I is taken concurrently with SW 328 and SW 436.
Prerequisites: SW 310, 346, 306, 347 and 410.

SW 328. Field Seminar I. (3 Credits)

This course is taken concurrently with SW 327, Field Education I. A seminar format will provide for the sharing of practice experiences and practice issues that occur during field practicum. Discussion topics will focus on agency orientation, self-awareness issues, engagement skills, critical thinking skills, ethical dilemma awareness and the development of the professional self. The seminar will provide for the integration of field experience with classroom learning through discussion and assignments. For Social Work majors with senior standing.

SW 346. Human Behavior in the Social Environment I. (3 Credits)

This course develops the person-in-environment concept used in social work practice. Using the theoretical lens of systems theory, the course focuses on the formation of identity and how diversity in the human experience impacts identity. Students will learn about the multiple factors that comprise diverse experiences throughout life, and how those factors influence the formation of identity. Factors that will be examined include age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. For Social Work majors with upper division status or consent of instructor.

SW 347. Human Behavior in the Social Environment II. (3 Credits)

This course uses the generalist practice model to examine groups and group processes as manifested in communities and organizations. Students will learn the skills and techniques of group practices, the process of planning, engagement, and assessment of group members and their organizations at multiple levels of practice. Students will apply knowledge and skills to assess the environment and create change at the community and organizational levels of practice. Theoretical frameworks utilized include Systems Theory and the Strengths Perspective.
Prerequisite: SW 346.

SW 360. Trauma: Prevalence, Impact, and Coping. (3 Credits)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the prevalence and impact of trauma on both our clients (individuals, families and communities) and on the helping professionals who are serving those coping with trauma. The coursework presented will enhance the skills and knowledge base of all students of health and mental health professions and will be particularly useful to students interested in working directly with survivors of trauma. The impact of trauma is surrounded by a complex set of issues and topics that will be addressed such as survivors of domestic violence, veterans, individuals struggling with addictions, individuals with life-threatening illness/injury, survivors of abuse and neglect, and other vulnerable populations. There will be a particular emphasis on strengths, resiliency, coping, multicultural issues, and systems factors. This course also introduces beginning skills of helping individuals, families and groups within a trauma-informed framework. Grounded in the values and ethics of the profession, students learn the application and evaluation of direct practice skills used in the initial phase of helping. Finally, students will evaluate the secondary stresses connected with a helping profession.

SW 365. Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior. (3 Credits)

This course investigates the physiological, psychological and social implications of drug use and abuse. Common drugs such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol as well as the less common and illegal drugs such as marijuana, LSD and cocaine are studied.
Prerequisites: (SOC 101 or PSY 101).

SW 375. Understanding Death and Dying. (3 Credits)

This course examines the role of family, church and other social institutions in our experiences with death and dying. The student will study current theories and practices related to death and dying from the standpoint of developmental and learning theory, and social and cultural attitudes and practices. Theories regarding grief and loss are included. The student will learn social work intervention skills and methods for working with the dying and survivors.
Prerequisites: (PSY 101 or SOC 101).

SW 392. Aging and the Social Environment. (3 Credits)

This course investigates the processes of human aging within the social environment. Social gerontology is concerned with the nonphysical aspects of aging. Particular emphasis is placed on its social, psychological, and spiritual aspects, although attention is given to the impact of aging on biological functioning. Group processes, ageism, and social forces that affect the aging process are examined.
Prerequisites: (SOC 101 or PSY 101) and PSY 230.

SW 410. Research Methods II. (3 Credits)

This is the second in a series of two research courses designed to teach students research methodology pertinent to the evaluation of human service programs and individual practice. Students will learn about and discuss the rationale for conducting such evaluations. The written research report is emphasized with student participation in a class designed research project and written paper. Each section of the written research design and report is discussed in depth with continued knowledge building of research methodology. Among the topics discussed and practiced through assignments and written paper are: writing a title, an abstract, the literature review, hypothesis formation, and methodology including the operationalization of variables, sampling, data collection and tools, procedures, and ethics, analysis of and writing results, and the ethical dissemination of findings. For Social Work majors with upper division status or consent of instructor.
Prerequisites: SW 310 and MATH 205.

SW 425. Social Work Practice in Health Care. (3 Credits)

This course offers a comprehensive examination of social work practice in a healthcare setting. The course examines current practice settings and issues impacting health care. It examines the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). The contents of the course examine the integration of physical and behavioral health care, evidence-based practice, transdisciplinary care, and the increased focus on primary health services associated with prioritized prevention, wellness, and chronic illness intervention. It examines issues associated with managed care and the escalating costs of health care. This course identifies skills, ethical perspectives, techniques, and stresses associated with contemporary health and patient care. The course utilizes a systems perspective to service delivery. It places a significant emphasis on the importance on the need for social workers to be attentive to individual, patient, and institutional provider needs.

SW 426. Skills & Methods of Social Work Practice II. (3 Credits)

This course is designed to help students further develop social work practice skills for helping groups and families. Students learn how group work is utilized as a method in social work practice. Various types of groups are examined including task groups, interdisciplinary team meetings, and treatment groups. Students learn skills for forming and conducting groups with different client groups. Generalist practice often requires viewing client situations from a family perspective. Students learn to apply concepts from systems theory to understanding the interpersonal dynamics of family functioning. Working with families and groups utilizes a professional problem solving process to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate practice with groups.

SW 427. Field Education II. (3 Credits)

This course is designed for the senior level student and engages the student in supervised direct service activities within an agency setting. This course provides practical experiences in the application of theory and skills acquired in the social work curriculum. The placement requires an average of 16 hours per week in an agency for a minimum of 216 hours.
Prerequisites: SW 327 and 328.

SW 428. Field Seminar II. (3 Credits)

Field Seminar II is taken concurrently with SW 427 and SW 490. A seminar format will provide a continuing forum for the integration of field experience with classroom learning through discussion and assignments. Discussion topics will focus on the professional use of self, the use of supervision in practice, an agency-specific policy analysis, and agency provision of service. For Social Work majors with upper division status.
Prerequisites: SW 327, 328 and 436.

SW 436. Skills & Methods of Social Work Practice III. (3 Credits)

This course focuses on developing an understanding of larger systems, and skills for practice within that context. The material includes a macro level perspective of social justice, oppression and advocacy, and a review of various theoretical perspectives, including systems theory and the strengths perspective, as they apply to macro level practice. Discussion will center around an examination of traditional and nontraditional social action strategies, including community organization, development and advocacy. Students learn agency and legislative advocacy skills with a specific focus on human rights and social and economic justice. Social work values and ethical perspectives related to social change are analyzed.
Prerequisites: SW 306, 310, 326, 346, 347, 410 and 426.

SW 490. Senior Integrative Seminar. (3 Credits)

This course provides the student with the opportunity to integrate classroom and practicum experience for application in their entry level professional practice. This course is the culminating integrative process for the baccalaureate generalist practice social work student to further develop and refine communication and problem solving skills, to exercise peer support and evaluation skills; and to increase self-awareness through group interaction, values clarification, and discussion and analysis of policy and practice issues in the context of social work values and ethics. This course is a self-directed readings, critical inquiry, and discussion seminar. For Social Work majors with upper Division Status. Taken concurrently with SW 427 and SW 428.
Prerequisites: SW 327 and 328.