Social Work Course Requirements

The major consists of 55 credit hours of required courses consisting of 10 foundation courses, four field education courses, and four professional practice courses. A minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale is required in social work courses for acceptance into the major, to remain in the program, and for graduation.

General Education

The following specific general education courses must be chosen to meet the requirements for the social work major:

  • MTH 115

    Introduction to Statistics

    3 credits

    Topics covered: descriptive statistics, probability, binomial, chi-squared and normal probability distributions, tests of hypotheses, linear correlation and regression, and analysis of variance. Prerequisites: Grades of C- or better in MTH 095 or competency in arithmetic and algebra.

Foundation Courses

  • SWK 100

    Introduction to Social Work

    3credits

    This course introduces students to the profession of social work and its fields of practice. It provides an introduction to social work theories, values, and skills and defines how generalist social workers use their professional expertise to help people solve a variety of problems and improve their lives. The history of social work and its linkage to social justice issues and social welfare policy will be explored.

  • SWK 110

    Human Behavior and the Social Environment

    3 credits

    This course provides students with the knowledge and understanding of human behavior and development across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on investigation and application of bio-psychosocial and systems theories, strengths perspectives, empowerment, and resiliency on human development and behavior within the scope of generalist social work practice. Attention to dimensions of diversity related to culture, race/ethnicity, gender, age, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status on human development and behavior are stressed.

  • SWK 200

    Social and Economic Justice

    3credits

    This course provides an introduction to central debates in the sociological literature on diverse groups. Topics include power and inequality, prejudice and discrimination, social justice, and social policy.

  • SWK 250

    Generalist Social Work Practice I

    4 credits

    This is the first course in the practice methods sequence, in which students are introduced to the knowledge, values, and skills, within the framework of generalist social work practice. The application of generalist practice skills including assessing personal competence, interviewing, assessment, intervention, resource referral, communication, and documentation will be presented. Generalist practice skills will be integrated with strengthsbased, empowerment, ecosystems, and evidence-based practice frameworks. Emphasis will be placed on generalist practice models of intervention-case management, advocacy, solution-focused counseling, and crisis/trauma management with diverse clients. The interaction and effectiveness between social service agencies and social welfare policy in responding to social problems will be explored.

  • SWK 270

    Spirituality, Religion, and Professional Practice

    3 credits

    This course presents a conceptual model of spirituality, religion, and social work practice. Paradigms from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions with specific emphasis on Catholic social teachings will provide students with an approach to spiritually-oriented practice that is practical and applicable. Students will explore their professional and spiritual self in an effort to assist them in discovering and developing effective use of their spiritual self and that of the clients they serve.

  • SWK 300

    Social Issues and Social Welfare Policy

    3 credits

    Presentation of the history and current structures of social welfare policy and social services in the United States. Social, economic, and political policy analysis will be utilized as a model for studying the role of policy in the development and delivery of social services. Emphasis on the effectiveness of social policy to address issues related to vulnerable groups in society. Major social welfare policies that formed the foundation of social work will be studied as models to connect social policy and generalist practice skills.

  • SWK 350

    Generalist Practice II: Individuals and Families

    3 credits

    This is the second course in the practice methods sequence, and includes comprehensive focus on knowledge, values, and skills of generalist practice with individuals and diverse families using an integrated ecosystems and strength-based approach. Students will continue to study and further develop practice skills and apply Generalist Framework Sections I and II with particular emphasis on counseling, advocacy, communication, and assessment.

  • SWK 351

    Generalist Practice III: Communities, Groups, and Organizations

    3credits

    This is the third course in the practice methods sequence, and includes comprehensive focus on knowledge, values, and skills of generalist practice with groups, organizations, and communities. The Planned Change Steps Model: engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow up will be used for in-depth study of human behavior in the macro social environment, including group, community, and organizational theories and dynamics. Developing and managing agency resources, advocacy, and social action with populations at risk, ethical dilemmas in macro practice, working with the courts, stress, and time management will be included.

  • SWK 370

    Research and Social Work Practice

    3 credits

    This course focuses on the foundation content in research and evaluation methods and designs that may be utilized by generalist practice social workers to evaluate practice and programs as well as advancing practice knowledge. The course will give attention to students developing understanding of the ethics of social work research and evaluation, and the special issues in conducting research and evaluations with culturally diverse and at risk populations. Students will become familiar with basic research and evaluation concepts and methodology. Prerequisite: MTH 115.

  • SWK 400

    Professional Synthesis of Generalist Social Work Practice

    3 credits

    The purpose of this course is to synthesize all social work knowledge, skills, and values achieved in previous courses to professional practice behaviors. Students will assess achievement of knowledge and skills according to 10 social work practice competencies (program competencies) and 41 practice behaviors. A case study presentation will be used to demonstrate the use of social work knowledge and values in practice behaviors. The portfolio will include assignments and self evaluations completed in previous courses and will be used for student assessment during the program exit interviews. Additional course content includes application of NASW ethics to professional practice. Prerequisite: Junior and senior SWK majors

Field Education Courses

(for junior and senior level social work majors only)

  • SWK 450

    Field Education I

    4 credits

    This course is experiential learning on the field of social work. Placements are found through the self-selection process. Students are now performing the duties and responsibilities of a social worker at a distinct placement site, therefore expanding their knowledge, skills and abilities of the human service field through direct practice. Requires 240 hours of field education at placement site. Prerequisite: junior or senior status social work major. SWK100, SWI110, SWK200, SWK250, SWK300, SWK350, SWK351, SWK370 Co-requisite: SWK455. In addition, students must attend a 3-hour practicum orientation.

  • SWK 455

    Field Education Seminar I

    2 credits

    Concurrent with SWK 450 Field Education I classroom seminar.

  • SWK 451

    Field Education II

    4 credits

    This course is experiential learning on the field of social work. Placements are found through the self-selection process. Students are now performing the duties and responsibilities of a social worker at a distinct placement site, therefore expanding their knowledge, skills and abilities of the human service field through direct practice. Requires 240 hours of field education at placement site. Prerequisites: junior or senior status social work major, SWK450, SWK455. Co-requisite: SWK 456.

  • SWK 456

    Field Education Seminar II

    2credits

    Concurrent with SWK 451 Field Education II classroom seminar.

Professional Practice Courses

Social work majors must select any four courses from any one or more of the following categories of courses. Human service majors must select any twelve courses from any one or more of the following categories.

  • Administration
  • Aging and Disabilities
  • Counseling and Case Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Families and Schools
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Social and Economic Justice
  • Expressive Arts and Integrative Therapies

    Administration

    • SWK 280

      Fundraising and Grant Writing

      3 credits

      This course focuses on methods of fundraising for nonprofit and social service agencies. Specific course content includes procedures for researching funding opportunities, development of a grant proposal, and communication with funders.

    • SWK 380

      Strategies for Evaluating Social Service Programs

      3 credits

      This course will explore research skills and resource information that will be useful in conducting program evaluations. It will focus on understanding and using research and evaluation methods in the interpretation and improvement of social work practice. The primary purpose of this course is to guide students to the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate their own practice and the effectiveness of social service programs. Students will analyze evaluations of the effectiveness of a variety of programs through exercises and case studies.

    • SWK 480

      Social Service Administration

      3credits

      This course presents principles and practice of social service management. Areas of emphasis include environments of social service agencies, planning and program design, organizational design, managing human resources, supervisory relationship, finances, and program goals. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status.

    Aging and Disabilities

    • SWK 251

      Palliative and Hospice Care

      3 credits

      This course provides a basic background on historical and contemporary perspectives on death, dying, and bereavement. Emphasis is given to current American practices regarding death, the grief process, care of the dying and dead, meeting the needs of the bereaved, and spiritual and ethical dimensions of death and dying. This course is recommended for students who understand death and dying as fundamental aspects of the human experience and/or are interested in careers related to social work, healthcare, geriatrics, and ministry.

    • SWK 352

      Gerontology

      3 credits

      A bio-psychosocial approach to the study of the aging process. The course includes the  study of physical, mental, and social changes in people as they age, the effects of the aging population on society, and government and social policy issues related to senior populations. Course content will include the National Association of Social Workers professional credentials for the social worker in gerontology

    • SWK 452

      Adult and Senior Counseling and Case Management

      3 credits

      The study of professional counseling and case management techniques for direct practice  with senior adults. Course content will include the National Association of Social Workers professional credentials for the social worker in gerontology (SW-G). Prerequisite: Junior and senior status.

    Counseling and Case Management

    • SWK 231

      Interviewing and Counseling

      3credits

      An introduction to interviewing and basic counseling techniques and theory. Emphasis on  skill development, observation, human interaction, and the art of information gathering. Students will explore the field of professional counseling, enhanced therapeutic  communication, and social history assessment.

    • SWK 331

      Group Counseling

      3 credits

      Focuses on the basic issues and key concepts of group process for effective group  facilitation with a variety of populations.

    • SWK 332

      Crisis Intervention: Theories and Skills

      3 credits

      This course will examine the knowledge, theory and skills of crisis intervention. Crisis intervention strategies and methods attempts to empower individuals or parties currently undergoing a crisis situation by helping them to stabilize and solve problems causing extreme tension and stress. This course includes social work principles and methods of crisis intervention for many different situations, such as domestic violence, community violence, homelessness, psychiatric crisis and abuse and neglect.

    • SWK 431

      Advocacy and Case Management

      3 credits

      The study of theories and application of generalist professional practice skills for advocacy work and case management in the social service sector. Systems theory, bio-psychosocial, person-in-environment, and strengths perspective will be utilized for problem identification, assessment, resource development, treatment planning, therapeutic intervention, and case monitoring. Course content will include the National Association of Social Workers professional credentials for certified social work case managers (C-SWCM). Prerequisite: Junior and senior status.

    • SWK 432

      Counseling Theories

      3 credits

      This course is intended to introduce the social work student to the major theories of counseling in social work practice today. This course examines‎ the relationships between theories in social sciences and social work and explores their connections to the practice of social work.

      The intent of this course upon completion is to make students aware of major theoretical frameworks that have shaped social work and how theories have influenced the practice and field of social work.

    Criminal Justice

    • SWK 261

      Introduction to Criminal Justice

      3 credits

      Introduction to the study of behavioral sciences as related to interfacing with the court  system with an emphasis on the criminal justice system. Overview of working with adults, juveniles, families, and community issues. Areas  of emphasis include assessment and  evaluation and preparation for court proceedings, including court testimony.

    • SWK 361

      Law and Social Work Practice

      3 credits

      Social workers in all fields of practice need to understand how legal issues impact the concerns their clients face. This course will explore common legal issues such as income, food, and shelter; victims of violence; school social work and the law; abuse and neglect; mental health and addiction issues; criminal justice system; and immigrants, refuges and victims of human trafficking. Areas of emphasis will be on the interfacing of social work and the legal system when working with diverse populations.

    • SWK 362

      Juvenile Justice System

      3 credits

      This course is an introduction to the historical, legal, and theoretical foundations of juvenile justice. It explores the juvenile justice system by examining the nature of delinquency, classifications of juvenile offenders, alternative explanations for juvenile misconduct, juvenile courts and juvenile rights, and corrections. Areas of emphasis include agency operations, direct work with families and juveniles, assessment and evaluation, and preparation for court proceedings including court testimony.

    Families and Schools

    • SWK 340

      Counseling and Social Services in Schools

      3 credits

      This course examines the various roles of a social worker in the school setting, including the role of clinician, broker, advocate, educator, and consultant. There is an emphasis on learning skills in assessment, prevention, and intervention in providing services to “high risk” students, such as students in poverty and students with disabilities, and addressing issues such as teen parenting, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, bullying, and conflict management in the school setting. This course will cover issues that a social worker will find in all school aged children, including early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school and will cover both regular and special education regulations.

    • SWK 341

      Families and the Child Welfare System

      3 credits

      This course explores the history of the child welfare system and the emergence of the  modern child welfare system. Understand the impact of child abuse and neglect and how it relates to the foster care system. Ethics and values, as well as the importance of cultural  competence will be discussed and examined throughout the course.

    • SWK 440

      Introduction to Child Psychopathology

      3 credits

      This course will provide an introduction to mental health disorders frequently diagnosed in children. Examination of the impact childhood mental health disorders have on children, their families, and community. Emphasis on prevention and early intervention, as well as learning strategies to successfully work with challenging children in any environment. The importance of self-awareness and self-care will also be explored. Prerequisite: Junior and senior status.

       

    Health and Mental Health

    • SWK 371

      Human Sexuality

      3 credits

      This course offers biological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual views of human sexuality. Students will learn about gender differences, cross-cultural perspectives, pregnancy and birth, sexual orientation, communication, love, attraction, and sexual dysfunction. Special emphasis is placed on students developing a personal sense of values and ethics related to human sexuality and the importance of how sexuality influences one’s identity, relationships, and values.

    • SWK 372

      Introduction to Psychopathology

      3 credits

      This course will explore mental disorders and dispel myths and stigmas surrounding mental illness. Theories and knowledge pertaining to psychopathology important for social work practice in any setting will be emphasized. The examination of strengths and limitations of classification systems of mental disorders, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM-TR) and International Classification of Disease (ICD-10-CM). Current research regarding mental illnesses will be integrated throughout the course.

    • SWK 471

      Counseling and Case Management in Healthcare

      3 credits

      This course will provide generalist practice knowledge and skills essential to various social work roles in health and mental health settings. Case management and collaboration with health professionals in health and mental health settings (community mental health systems, hospitals, health centers, addiction treatment centers, rehabilitative services, long term care facilities, hospice care, and inpatient psychiatric units) will be examined including services for families and caregivers. An introduction to medical terminology and billing and coding will be presented. Current healthcare policy issues, legislation, and ethical issues will be integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: Junior and senior status.

    • SWK 472

      The Study of Addictions

      3 credits

      A bio-psychosocial approach to the study of addictions. This course offers an overview of addictions including definition, drug use patterns, and treatment needs among diverse populations, strategies in screening, assessment, and treatment. Current research, ethics, health promotion, and prevention will be integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: Junior and senior status.

    Social and Economic Justice

    • SWK 290

      Poverty and Social and Economic Justice

      3 credits

      This course examines the needs of families, neighborhoods, and communities struggling with high levels of poverty and its effects. The causes of poverty and the government’s role in creating antipoverty programs will be examined. Current federal and state programs and policies will also be assessed.

    • SWK 390

      International Social and Economic Development Policy

      3 credits

      This course examines international social and economic development issues as they relate to poverty, social service practices, and business. Students will discuss and understand the social, economic, and cultural factors that often pose a challenge to international social service practice, globalization, and economic development.

    • SWK 395

      Rural America: People, Policy, and Social Service

      3 credits

      The study of social and economic forces impacting rural America. Examination of farm policies, housing, education, workforce, aging, health, safety, and poverty. Emphasis on the role of federal and state policies and social service delivery systems.

    Expressive Arts and Integrative Therapies

    • SWK 322

      Fundamentals of Expressive Arts and Integrative Therapies

      3 credits

      This course introduces students in the helping professions to expressive therapy history, theories, modalities and methodologies. Through assigned reading, class lectures, and experiential exercises, students learn the distinctions between expressive art therapies and traditional talk/verbal therapies, when the use of art is appropriate to augment clinical work and when it is not, and ethical considerations unigue to client art process and the art product.

    • SWK 420

      Assessment and Advanced Clinical Practice with Individuals Using Expressive Arts Therapies

      3 credits

      Students will be introduced to specific assessment tools, techniques, and fundamental issues regarding diagnostic indicators which arise in expressive therapies. Using these assessment tools and indicators, students will also learn advanced practice skills in expressive art therapy, challenges in working with some populations, and self-care and burn-out prevention strategies through use of expressive arts.

    • SWK 422

      Equity and Social Justice in Expressive Arts and Integrative Therapies

      3 credits

      Because of the cross-cultural appeal of art and other expressive vehicles, expressive arts therapy is well-suited to a wide range of clients in a wide range of settings. Art is also an equalizing media, making expressive arts therapy an inherently viable option for exploration of equity and social justice issues within the United States and internationally.

      Through didactic and experiential exercises, students will become familiar with basic issues of equity and social justice. Students will also be introduced to expressive therapy prompts, directives and invitations designed to help clients process issues of inequality and/or injustice and illicit change in individuals, families, groups, or communities in which these issues have been problematic.

    • SWK 424

      Working with Families and Groups Using Expressive Arts Therapies

      3 credits

      This class will focus on multi-client systems in which expressive therapies will be utilized to promote fundamentals of family systems and groups process theories.

    • SWK 426

      Expressive Arts and Integrative Therapies Project and Thesis

      3 credits

      A final project along with a 50 page, APA Style thesis describing the project, will be required of each student who wishes to complete the Expressive Arts and Integrative Therapies Certificate. The project may coincide with a field placement or stand alone as a spate event which in some way incorporates Expressive Arts therapies into a family, school workplace, community or organization. Fundamental knowledge of expressive arts and integrative therapy, assessment, advanced skill, systems or group theory, and attention to issues of equity and social justice should be included in the project and final thesis.

    Application to the social work program includes:

    1. Personal statement. One to three pages. Your statement should address the following: Why I am choosing social work? What experiences have led me to social work? Social work values include: social justice, service, dignity and worth of person, importance of relationship, integrity, and competence. Describe what these values mean to you.

    2. Reading the National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics and commit to following the ethical standards in academic work and professional practice. Copies available at www.nasw.org.

    3. Transcripts of all university work and major application on file with the registrar’s office.

    4. An interview with a social work faculty member.

    5. Students may submit application after completing SWK 100 Introduction to Social Work or SWK 110 Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

     

    Transfer Students with the AAS Degree

    Students who transfer to the social work program with the AAS degree in human services are required to complete the following courses.

    Social Work Professional Practice Courses: select four to equal 12 credits

    49 credit hours in social work courses

    Required Courses

    • SWK 110

      Human Behavior and the Social Environment

      3 credits

      This course provides students with the knowledge and understanding of human behavior and development across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on investigation and application of bio-psychosocial and systems theories, strengths perspectives, empowerment, and resiliency on human development and behavior within the scope of generalist social work practice. Attention to dimensions of diversity related to culture, race/ethnicity, gender, age, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status on human development and behavior are stressed.

    • SWK 250

      Generalist Social Work Practice I

      4 credits

      This is the first course in the practice methods sequence, in which students are introduced to the knowledge, values, and skills, within the framework of generalist social work practice. The application of generalist practice skills including assessing personal competence, interviewing, assessment, intervention, resource referral, communication, and documentation will be presented. Generalist practice skills will be integrated with strengthsbased, empowerment, ecosystems, and evidence-based practice frameworks. Emphasis will be placed on generalist practice models of intervention-case management, advocacy, solution-focused counseling, and crisis/trauma management with diverse clients. The interaction and effectiveness between social service agencies and social welfare policy in responding to social problems will be explored.

    • SWK 270

      Spirituality, Religion, and Professional Practice

      3 credits

      This course presents a conceptual model of spirituality, religion, and social work practice. Paradigms from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions with specific emphasis on Catholic social teachings will provide students with an approach to spiritually-oriented practice that is practical and applicable. Students will explore their professional and spiritual self in an effort to assist them in discovering and developing effective use of their spiritual self and that of the clients they serve.

    • SWK 300

      Social Issues and Social Welfare Policy

      3 credits

      Presentation of the history and current structures of social welfare policy and social services in the United States. Social, economic, and political policy analysis will be utilized as a model for studying the role of policy in the development and delivery of social services. Emphasis on the effectiveness of social policy to address issues related to vulnerable groups in society. Major social welfare policies that formed the foundation of social work will be studied as models to connect social policy and generalist practice skills.

    • SWK 350

      Generalist Practice II: Individuals and Families

      3 credits

      This is the second course in the practice methods sequence, and includes comprehensive focus on knowledge, values, and skills of generalist practice with individuals and diverse families using an integrated ecosystems and strength-based approach. Students will continue to study and further develop practice skills and apply Generalist Framework Sections I and II with particular emphasis on counseling, advocacy, communication, and assessment.

    • SWK 351

      Generalist Practice III: Communities, Groups, and Organizations

      3credits

      This is the third course in the practice methods sequence, and includes comprehensive focus on knowledge, values, and skills of generalist practice with groups, organizations, and communities. The Planned Change Steps Model: engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow up will be used for in-depth study of human behavior in the macro social environment, including group, community, and organizational theories and dynamics. Developing and managing agency resources, advocacy, and social action with populations at risk, ethical dilemmas in macro practice, working with the courts, stress, and time management will be included.

    • SWK 370

      Research and Social Work Practice

      3 credits

      This course focuses on the foundation content in research and evaluation methods and designs that may be utilized by generalist practice social workers to evaluate practice and programs as well as advancing practice knowledge. The course will give attention to students developing understanding of the ethics of social work research and evaluation, and the special issues in conducting research and evaluations with culturally diverse and at risk populations. Students will become familiar with basic research and evaluation concepts and methodology. Prerequisite: MTH 115.

    • SWK 400

      Professional Synthesis of Generalist Social Work Practice

      3 credits

      The purpose of this course is to synthesize all social work knowledge, skills, and values achieved in previous courses to professional practice behaviors. Students will assess achievement of knowledge and skills according to 10 social work practice competencies (program competencies) and 41 practice behaviors. A case study presentation will be used to demonstrate the use of social work knowledge and values in practice behaviors. The portfolio will include assignments and self evaluations completed in previous courses and will be used for student assessment during the program exit interviews. Additional course content includes application of NASW ethics to professional practice. Prerequisite: Junior and senior SWK majors

    • SWK 450

      Field Education I

      4 credits

      This course is experiential learning on the field of social work. Placements are found through the self-selection process. Students are now performing the duties and responsibilities of a social worker at a distinct placement site, therefore expanding their knowledge, skills and abilities of the human service field through direct practice. Requires 240 hours of field education at placement site. Prerequisite: junior or senior status social work major. SWK100, SWI110, SWK200, SWK250, SWK300, SWK350, SWK351, SWK370 Co-requisite: SWK455. In addition, students must attend a 3-hour practicum orientation.

    • SWK 455

      Field Education Seminar I

      2 credits

      Concurrent with SWK 450 Field Education I classroom seminar.

    • SWK 451

      Field Education II

      4 credits

      This course is experiential learning on the field of social work. Placements are found through the self-selection process. Students are now performing the duties and responsibilities of a social worker at a distinct placement site, therefore expanding their knowledge, skills and abilities of the human service field through direct practice. Requires 240 hours of field education at placement site. Prerequisites: junior or senior status social work major, SWK450, SWK455. Co-requisite: SWK 456.

    • SWK 456

      Field Education Seminar II

      2credits

      Concurrent with SWK 451 Field Education II classroom seminar.

    The social work program does not grant credit for life experience or previous work experience.