SOW 210 - Introduction to Social Work 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
This course provides an introductory overview of the development and purposes of social work and social welfare and the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession. Content focuses on introduction to the major systems, problems, and populations with which social workers practice. Students are oriented to the various social worker roles and the basic qualities, skills, and functions of effective practice in each of these capacities.
The importance of the helping relationship and working in partnership with clients is emphasized. Students are introduced to the person-andenvironment, strengths, and empowerment perspectives, and the micro, mezzo, and macro system levels.
Topics covered include poverty and public welfare, child welfare, mental health, addictions, and medical social work, physical and mental disabilities, education and employment issues, immigration, family problems and services to families, criminal justice and juvenile delinquency, gerontological social work, racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and oppression, and the impact of discrimination and oppression on access to resources, services, and opportunities, and on the well-being of systems of all sizes.
This course is a prerequisite for all 300-level and 400-level social work courses and is open to non-social–work majors.
This course is required for all social work majors and is the prerequisite for all social work courses required for the major except SOW 303, which may be taken concurrently.
SOW 212 - Family Violence: Values, Dynamics, and Interventions 3 credits; Offered spring
This elective course aims to uncover the dynamics involved in the taboo subject of family violence. The underlying values and norms related to family, community, the state, and society are explored as they shape and, sometimes constrain, responses to children and others affected by family violence.
The course provides an overview of the various forms of family violence and approaches to understanding their effects on family members, with particular emphasis on child witnesses to domestic violence. Social, economic, and political factors are critically examined. Intervention approaches, such as risk assessment and maximizing collaboration among community resources, are addressed.
SOW/PSY 213 - Group Structures and Processes 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
This required course provides experiences in small group interaction with an emphasis on developing skills in group participation, leadership, problem solving, and decision making. Students develop an understanding of group processes through class exercises and written assignments.
Students are challenged to develop critical thinking, self awareness, communication skills, respect for differences among group members. Topics include the various roles of social work practitioners as group participants and facilitators, different group types, functions, and compositions ranging from grassroots community groups to therapy groups.
SOW 250 - Child Welfare 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
This elective course focuses on the broader perspectives that have guided and shaped policy in the area of families and children in the United States. Beginning with a historical view of the development of child welfare services, we will look at the emergence of the modern child welfare system in a multicultural society.
Overarching themes of the course will include the development of social policy as it affects families and children from different cultural backgrounds and the formation and function of the public child welfare system.
We will pay particular attention to the development of an infrastructure to support the needs of children and families, with particular attention to poverty, foster care, and child abuse.
SOW/PSY 250 - Multiculturalism in the Helping Profession 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
This required course focuses on developing awareness, sensitivity, and respect for people and groups of diverse cultural backgrounds and developing self awareness of one’s own experiences of culture and difference as well as one’s own biases and stereotypes. This course is taught from the framework of social work values of justice, respect and appreciation of diversity, dignity, and worth of the person, social justice, and the importance of human relationships.
Students are introduced to the concept of cultural competence with an emphasis on the need for social services to be culturally relevant and meet the needs of groups served. Students are introduced to the knowledge and skills required of professionals who practice cultural competence effectively.
Students are challenged to develop awareness of the relationship between culture and personal identity, as well as to the ways in which group membership can influence experiences, access to resources and opportunities.
SOW 301 - History of Social Policy and Services 3 credits; Offered spring; Required for all social work majorsPrerequisite for social work majors: SOW 210Taken concurrently with SOW 304, 310, and 311
This required course is taken in the second semester of the junior year. It builds on the introductory knowledge of social work and social welfare history obtained through SOW 210.
The course teaches students about the history of social welfare and the development of the social work profession, within the context of changing social, political, economic, spiritual, and global contexts. Students are challenged to begin to understand the ways in which social structures interact to create and maintain social conditions, as well as to lay the groundwork for change.
Students’ understanding of the history of social work and social welfare is applied in SOW 402: Social Welfare Development, Policy, and Services taken the following semester when students are in the first semester of their senior year.
SOW 303 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3 credits; Offered fall; Required for all social work majorsPrerequisites for social work majors: BIO 177, PSY 101, SOC 215, SOC 302, or SOW/PSY 250May be taken concurrently with or after SOW 210
This required course builds on knowledge of ecosystems theory applied to human development. Provides a conceptual framework to facilitate students’ understanding of human development and how to use this knowledge in professional generalist social work intervention with a variety of client systems.
The course focuses on human development from conception to the end of adolescence emphasizing interrelationships between biological, psychological, and social factors; cultural diversity; minority status; gender; age; sexual orientation; physical, mental, and emotional limits and abilities; and other issues of difference as they affect systems and their relationships with the environment.
SOW 304 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3 credits; Offered spring; Required for all social work majorsPrerequisite: SOW/PSY 303
This course expands on knowledge of human development and its application for the beginning professional generalist social work practitioner with a variety of client systems.
The conceptual framework focuses on human development from young adulthood through the aging process continuing to emphasize interrelationships between biological, psychological, and social factors; cultural diversity; minority status; gender; age; sexual orientation; physical, mental, and emotional limits and abilities; and other issues of difference as they affect systems in their relationships with the environment.
SOW 310 - Social Work Practice Theory I 3 credits; Offered spring; Open to social work majors onlyPrerequisites: SOW 210 and 303 Corequisites: SOW 301, 304, and 311
This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of the generalist practice model, the basic characteristics and purposes of social work practice theory, and the concepts of systems theory and the ecological framework. This course builds on the fundamental knowledge, values, and skills of social work and the generalist social work model introduced in SOW 210.
The course is organized around engagement, assessment and communication skills with diverse populations as primary tasks of the generalist social work practitioner.
Students take SOW 311 concurrently, which affords the opportunity to experience the connections between practice theory and issues of Human Behavior and the Social Environment and policy.
SOW 311 - Field Experience in Social Work I 3 credits; Offered spring; Required of all social work majors; Open to social work majors only Prerequisites: SOW 210 and 303 Corequisites: SOW 301, 304, and 310
Field experience supplements students’ theoretical exposure to social work by providing an initial practical experience in the field. Each student is placed in a social service agency eight hours a week under the supervision of a professional social worker, for the purpose of understanding the nature, structure, and function of that agency.
Emphasis is placed on the development of professional abilities and attitudes particularly as these relate to work with diverse client systems. Students attend a weekly integrative seminar where the experiential component of the field placement can be integrated with the theoretical component presented in SOW 310 (taken concurrently) and prior learning is processed through class discussion.
SOW/PSY 344 - Crisis Intervention 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
This elective course will provide an introduction and overview of crisis intervention from its historical development to its present utilization.
Emphasis will be on awareness of basic theory and principles of crisis intervention, trauma and the practical application of specific skills and techniques. Discussion will focus on situational and developmental life crises.
SOW 402 - Social Welfare Development, Policy, and Services 3 credits; Offered fall; Required of all social work majorsPrerequisites for social work majors: SOW 210, SOW 301, POL 205, or PHI 320, taken concurrently with SOW 10, SOW 411, and SOW 445
This course presents methods of analyzing and evaluating social welfare policies, programs, and services in the context of current social, economic, and political realities.
It is directed toward enhancing students’ critical thinking and judgment as they assess current social issues that affect various client systems, determine methods of intervention for change, and further evaluate personal practice style in relationship to social policy at the level of agency, or of local and federal government.
SOW 410 - Social Work Practice Theory II 3 credits; Offered fall; Open to social work majors only Prerequisites: SOW 210, 301, 303, 304, 310, and 311Corequisites: SOW 402, 411, and 445
This course continues the generalist problem-solving model with major focus on planning, goal setting and interventions with various client systems. There is significant emphasis on sensitivity to issues of discrimination and oppression at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Communication skills as they relate to each component are emphasized. Students are encouraged to further integrate concepts learned in Human Behavior and the Social Environment and in the social welfare policy and services courses.
SOW 411 - Field Experience in Social Work II 3 credits; Offered fall; Required of all social work majors Prerequisites: SOW 210, 301, 303, 304, 310, and 311Corequisites: SOW 402, 410, and 445
This course is a continuation of SOW 311. Students continue in an eight-hour per week placement under the supervision of professional social workers. They are provided greater exposure to the various social service agencies through a placement at a different agency with a diversified client population.
The student’s responsibilities at the agency reflects increased generalist professional knowledge that minimally includes assessment of data, goal setting and planned intervention, and appropriate use of various beginning professional generalist social work roles. Students integrate the theory presented in SOW 410, which is taken concurrently, and the field experience in a weekly seminar, in which peer supervision skills are also developed.
SOW 412 - Senior Seminar 3 credits; Offered spring; Open to social work majors onlyPrerequisites: SOW 210, 301, 303, 304, 310, 311, 402, 410, 411, and 445Corequisite: SOW 488
This seminar is taken concurrently with SOW 488. The primary focus of learning is the process of evaluation and termination in working with various client systems and diverse populations, and the integration of research and peer supervision in evaluating one’s own practice.
Additional emphasis is placed on ethical decision making in a social work practice. The secondary purpose is the integration of all previous theoretical learning within social work and related courses with the practical experience in the field. Seminar is limited to seniors who have completed all other degree requirements.
SOW 445 - Research in Social Work 3 credits; Offered fallPrerequisites: MAT 110 and 111 or MAT 113 and 114Corequisite: SOW 402, 410, and 411
This course introduces students to social work research and its applicability to social work practice. Students learn to appreciate the scientific method and analytic approach to knowledge building.
Students plan and conduct agency-based research which is qualitative and/or quantitative to become a better consumer of research. Emphasis is on developing skills to prepare students to evaluate their own social work practice.
SOW 488 - Social Work Internship/Field Practicum 6 credits; Offered spring; Open to social work majors onlyPrerequisite: Limited to seniors who meet departmental QPA, have completed all other courses for the degree, and have been approved for the internship by the program director and field coordinator. Corequisite: SOW 412
The final practicum is a 16-hour-per-week social work placement under the direction of an MSW supervisor. Students are expected to develop a strong professional commitment and identity and to demonstrate the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to function effectively as a beginning-level social work practitioner.