Social Work BSW Course Descriptions

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This course is an introduction to the field of social welfare and the professional of social work. The historical background within which social welfare arose provides the context for in-depth learning about specific social problem areas. This course serves to introduce prospective social work majors to the field of social welfare and social work, help them arrive at career decisions and prepare for future social work courses. Students are introduced to generalist social work practice, empowerment, and the Black experience, as a means for providing the necessary beginning knowledge and skills for working with individual, groups, families, communities, and organizations. Credit, three hours.

This course provides an examination of the structure, function and interaction of economics, politics and social welfare. The interrelation between the nature and scope of the U.S. economic and political systems is explored. Focus is on social welfare policies and programs within the context of economic and political demands. Selected social welfare problems are surveyed and examined. This course will attempt to apply the principles of political economy to the world of Social Work. What is the basis of this discipline, and how can this method of inquiry enhance our understanding of it. What? How? And Why? Do we do what we do as social workers? Prerequisites: Social Work 101. Credit, three hours.

Human Behavior and Social Environment I is the first part of a two-semester course. This course, a study of the various components of human behavior, is developed to provide a framework for studying the factors that shape the development of individual growth and social interaction as a means for developing a conceptual model for viewing human behavior from a holistic perspective. An ecological approach will be used that stresses: (1) the major areas of normal developmental milestones from the perspective of significant biological, cognitive, psychological and socio-structural variables, (2) life cycle stages and their associated life events, and (3) human diversity and its effect on human behavior. Prerequisites: Junior standing, Sociology 101, Sociology 203, Biology 100. Credit, three hours.

Social Work students visiting South Africa

Continues focus of HBSE I. Includes issues such as death and dying; stress and coping; and normal and abnormal behaviors. Prerequisites: Social Work 302. Credit, three hours.

This course communicates the underlying statistical methods used in the analysis of social data. The course presents the basic concepts and assumptions of statistical theory applied in the logical development of statistical inferences. Descriptive and inferential statistics (parametric and non-parametric) are covered. Emphasis is on the interpretation of statistics in social work research, literature, and evaluation. The course emphasizes a generalists perspective in social work practice problem solving. Basic concepts include centrality; estimation of variability; probability and the normal distribution; precision of estimate; group differences; ANOVA; single subject design regression and correlation. Prerequisites: Mathematics 101 and Mathematics 102. Credit, three hours.

Students form small groups to experience various aspects of group life (group goals, leadership, communication and decision making, conflict, cohesion and norms, culture and stages of group development) and participate in total class sessions for mini-lectures and demonstrations of course content. Through readings, class discussions and experimental learning in these task groups, students integrate theory and action in group dynamics. The instructor serves as resource person and consultant to the small groups to foster their mutual aid in learning. Prerequisites: Social Work 101 and Psychology 201. Credit, three hours.

This course provides a framework for the understanding of social welfare policies and programs and the historical and contemporary forces that have shaped their development in Western Europe and the United States and connects definitive issues of social policy and planning to the structure of social service program planning and delivery. The role of the social work profession in the formulation of social policy with special reference to advocacy and social action will be examined. Prerequisites: Junior standing. Credit, three hours.

Consistent with the generalist perspective to social work practice, the purpose of this course is to ensure that the student is able to analyze social welfare policies within a specific conceptual framework. To this end, students will, among other things, examine residual and universal social welfare benefits and related policies regarding their goals, recipients, form of benefits, how social welfare programs are financed, their effectiveness and adequacy, etc. While examining specific programs and policies, the course will explore the myriad social problems that give rise to social welfare programs and policies. The course will also examine the degree to which the concept of social and political justice bears on the nature and scope of social welfare programs and the policies that govern them. Prerequisites: Social Work 315. Credit, three hours.

39-341. SEMINAR IN HELPING. 3:3:0
This course is the first in a four course practice sequence. This course gives the student knowledge about entry level skills for the worker in activities and transactions with individuals, groups, families, organizations, institutions, and community systems. The second course, Social Work Practice Seminar I is structured as an experiential laboratory in which students begin to develop the entry level skills for generalist practice. In this course, the general method of social work practice will be introduced; a problem-solving approach, systems theory, and an ecological perspective will be highlighted. Students will become familiar with the general method's six (6) identifiable stages: engagement and problem identification, data collection, assessment and identification of possible interventions, intervention, evaluation, and termination. Within the context of a Black Experience and the philosophy of empowerment, application of social work values, promotion of social and economic justice, and service to diverse groups will be highlighted as they pertain to each topic. Prerequisites: Junior standing, Social Work majors only. Credit, three hours.

This course builds on the knowledge base of generalist social work practice which was covered in the preceding practice course, Seminar in Helping, and is structured as an experiential laboratory. The course will focus on two areas. The first area is interviewing strategies. Interviewing skills will be analyzed for the appropriate application with different size client systems (individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations), with different populations, and with different racial, ethnic, gender, age (and otherwise different) client populations. The second area is the development of interpersonal practice skills especially those which empower others, the use of interventive roles, and recording skills which are needed to work with individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations. Prerequisites: Junior standing, Social Work 341. Credit, three hours.

This course examines the ways in which oppression and discrimination are institutionalized in various sectors of American society and their effect on racial and ethnic groups. It explores the multiple faceted experience of being a person of color and/or a specific ethnic group in the United States. Institutional forces (economic, educational, familial, political and social welfare) are examined that influence the structure and status of racial and ethnic groups. Particular attention will be given to racial and ethnic disparities in health care delivery systems. Emphasis is on the connections among forms of oppression, the ideology of donation and subordination which perpetuates oppressions, and the role of social work in utilizing appropriate strategies in challenging oppression and fostering social change. Prerequisites: Social Work 101, Social Work 302, and Junior status or permission of instructor. Credit, three hours.

39-402. FAMILY VIOLENCE. 3:3:0
An examination of violence in the family, including child, spousal, sexual, and elderly abuse. Violence not only in America, but in other countries will be explored and compared. Emphasis will be on determining mechanisms, therapies and techniques, not only for treating the abuser and the abused, but in preventing violence in the family. Prerequisites: Psychology 201, Social Work 101, Junior status or permission of the instructor. Credit, three hours.

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of occupational social services. Content includes: an overview of the world of work, the history of occupational social welfare, organizational and structural arrangements of business, labor and trade unions, and the various social work roles in industrial settings. Program in mental health and substance abuse will be examined. Issues affecting special groups - women, minorities, and the handicapped - discussed. Prerequisites: Junior standing. Credit, three hours.

A study of parent involvement from an interdisciplinary approach, this course explores home-school collaboration from a holistic viewpoint using historical, educational, psychological, ethnic/social diversity, and sociological perspectives. The requirements, challenges and opportunities, as well as the roles and functions of early child care teachers and social workers within a complex ecological system of home/school/community will be examined, differentiated and compared. Students will be offered experiential opportunities to gain awareness and knowledge of social policies and governmental initiatives, as well as community agencies that support families and children and the implications for prevention and/or intervention with a variety of systems. Prerequisites for Social Work Department: Psychology 201, Sociology 101, Senior status or permission of the instructor. Prerequisites for Education Department: Psychology 201, Education 206, Admission to TEP status. Credit, three hours.

This is an introductory course in social work research methods. In an applied profession, knowledge of research principles is essential for understanding, critically evaluating, and competently utilizing the vast array of theories and methods available. In addition, the research process (as well as the skills involved in that process) provides a model for conscious, responsible, competent, and ethical practice. The course provides the student with the foundation skills for evaluating and critically reviewing his/her own practice. This course, then is designed both to develop such skills and to integrate this knowledge into a framework of professional social work practice from a generalist perspective. The course presents methods from the perspective that generalists can be proficient consumers of research and apply findings to practice. Prerequisites: Social Work 310. Credit, three hours.

Research and Evaluation Methods II is the second and final sequential research course offering in the BSW research curriculum. the course engages students in the scientific inquiry within the context of generalist social work practice and problem-solving. The course examines ways in which theoretical models underpin knowledge and skills for the application of methods associated with generalist social work practice. It examines the processes involved in research methodologies in studying individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Emphasis is directed toward framing hypothesis, research design and measurement. Continued consideration is given to the logic of various conceptualization and operationalization; sampling; and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Prerequisites: Social Work 413. Credit, three hours.

Content material is designed to address some basic and emerging issues in the broad area of service delivery. Emphasis is on the social work practitioner working with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations reflecting a broad spectrum of racial, ethnic, sexual, gender and cultural backgrounds and settings. Social issues such as perspectives on culture, sexual orientation, social change and advocacy, etc. are explored within the context of social work roles, responsibilities and functions. Additionally, issues related to organizational culture, policies and programs are assessed as to their mission and relevancy to the populations served. Prerequisites: Senior standing. Co-requisites: Social Work 450. Credit, three hours.

39-440. WELFARE OF CHILDREN. 3:3:0
Reviews historical perspectives of approaches on child welfare in the context of today's law, programs, services, and funding. Examines the complexity of government responsibility for service delivery. Explores the differentials of the public-private systems as they are reviewed in the traditional child welfare settings handling abused, dependent, neglected, and delinquent children. Examines the shift in emphasis from separation of children from the families to innovative, creative approaches to keep children at home. Utilizes a family-centered perspective. Addresses issues of law and funding, the related systems of mental health and education, and effort to look at services for a child and his family, the impact of advocacy groups on child welfare policy with implications for the practitioner. Case material documents and analyses each phase of the course outline. Prerequisites: Junior standing. Credit, three hours.

This course is a continuation of the principles and practices of the generalist perspective covered in Seminar in Helping and Social Work Practice Seminar I. It provides more in-depth knowledge of social work practice with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities.
Students will be provided with an understanding of various interventive strategies and the criteria necessary for choosing appropriate social work practice interventions. Students will begin to identify and analyze their own individual style of working with each of the aforementioned client groups. Practice issues such as alternative paradigms in practice, ethnic sensitive practice, psychopharmological considerations in practice, empowerment for working with minorities, women and other diverse populations will be emphasized. Prerequisites: Social Work 342, Co-requisite: Social Work 450. Open to social work majors only. Credits, three hours.

39-450. FIELD INSTRUCTION I. 6:3:0
Students are placed in a social work agency for their first practical experience and afforded an opportunity to integrate theory and knowledge base of social work learned in class with the actual setting of the social welfare field. Agencies selected for use as field placements are those committed to the value of training undergraduate social work students for generalist practice and who have indicated a willingness to structure actively a number of learning experiences for students. Students are responsible for making their transportation and housing arrangements. Prerequisites: all prior required general education, co-requisite and social work courses as defined by the Social Work program. Open to social work majors only. Credit, six hours.

39-451. FIELD INSTRUCTION II. 6:0:12
Continuation of experiential practice opportunities in a social service agency approved by the program. Students are exposed to continued in-depth correlation of theory and practice for entry level into the employment field. Agencies selected for use as field placements are those committed to the value of training undergraduate social work students for generalist practice and willing to structure actively a number of learning experiences for students. Agency field instructors have met the criteria set by the Council on Social Work. Students are responsible for making their own transportation and housing arrangements. Prerequisites: All prior required general education, corequisite and social work courses as defined by the Social Work Program (See curriculum plan). Open to social work majors only. Credit, six hours.

39-460. SENIOR SEMINAR. 3:3:0
Provides an integrative experience to the students of course and field materials. Students are given an opportunity to assess and define their learning needs as based on practice skills and theoretical background, and plan and develop structured learning experiences. Focus is on the development of an individual social work practice frame of reference. Explores careers and graduate school systems with emphasis on practice skills required for entrance into the post-graduate market. Pre-requisite: Social Work 441. Co-requisite: Social Work 451. Open to social work majors only. Credit, three hours.

This course is an overview of and an introduction of the field of Gerontology and social work with and on behalf of older persons. Developmental stages of older persons are studied and aging is presented as a normative aspect of the life cycle. Theories of aging and adaptation are reviewed as are effects of the social environment upon older persons. Based on this foundation, students explore interventions particularly suited to work with and for older persons at the individual, family, group, community, and policy levels. Issues of the aged poor, females, minorities, rural residents and other diversities are explored. Policies, program and services for the elderly are studied. The goal of this course is to prepare generalist social work practitioners to work with older clients and their families and with service delivery systems addressing the needs of this clientele. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credit, three hours.

This course introduces students to the field of addictions. The primary objective is to help social workers and other helping professionals understand the uses and abuses of licit and illicit drugs, addictive behavior, i.e. eating, gambling, smoking, etc., and the impact of addiction of individuals, families and society. The role of the helping professionals in the identification, prevention, treatment of these dependencies and the social problems related to them, i.e. racism, economic, gender and cultural barriers, etc. will be explored. Credit, three hours.

Explores the nature and varieties of human sexual expression, the reason and effect of societal controls and changing definitions of normal sexual behavior. The application of social work services to problems associated with human sexuality, treatment and prevention are stressed. Prerequisite: Senior level status or permission of director of program. Credit, three hours.

39-470. INDEPENDENT STUDY. 1-3:3:0
Provides the opportunity to undertake individual, in-depth, supervised study of a practice theory or social issue. Prerequisites: Senior level status and prior written consent of instructor. Credit, one to three hours.