Social Work Courses

SW 120 I Want to Help People

Students explore service to human beings as a profession, both vocation and avocation. Who needs help? Who helps? Where? How? What motivates people to help? Using the liberal arts as a foundation for helping people, students study opportunities in areas such as health care, social services, ministry, youth work, and the arts. The class includes lectures, discussions, speakers, and field visits. Open only to first-year students. Offered annually during Interim. Does not count toward social work major.

SW 122 Global Challenges

Students explore seven major challenges affecting the world’s people including population, resource management, economic integration, information, technology, conflict/security, and governance with an emphasis on their relation to global citizenship and human rights. This course examines issues from social science and global problem-solving perspectives with particular attention to how culture and place affect human experience. Students engage in discussions, forums, a global village activity, and an action project. Offered occasionally during Interim.

SW 125 Racism and Sexism in American Family Life

This course introduces students to the study of racism and sexism from a variety of disciplinary perspectives with special attention to the impact on women and on African-American and Latino families. Students examine the processes by which race and gender are socially constructed to benefit some and disadvantage others. Students consider how prejudice develops and learn strategies to communicate with people of diverse backgrounds. Counts toward family studies concentration and Racial and Ethnic Studies major and concentration.

SW 221 Social Work and Social Welfare

Students study the progression of the U.S. social welfare system from English Poor Laws through the Social Security Act to contemporary reforms and how its components (public, private, faith-based) interrelate to serve diverse populations. The development of social work, its foundational knowledge, values and skills, and its relationship to fields of social welfare are included. Students shadow a social worker for four hours. Offered each semester. Counts towards American studies major and family studies concentration.

SW 246 Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Humans relate to one another in families, groups, organizations and communities. Through social systems, cross-cultural, strengths and other theoretical perspectives, students apply prerequisite and advanced content material from biology, sociology, and psychology to assess situations encountered by social workers. Diverse examples are drawn from literature — Love in the Driest SeasonThe Color of WaterA Poison Stronger than Love and from students’ autobiographies. Prerequisites: Sociology 121, Psychology 241, and Biology 123 or 243; open to non-majors by permission of chair only. Offered annually in the fall semester.

SW 254 Inclusive Practice: Individuals and Families

Social work majors study the methods and skills of social work practice, particularly intercultural communication. They describe strengths and problems of diverse individuals and families; frame goals and plans for change utilizing the planned change process and the systems perspective; and use ethical decision-making, informed by the scientific method, grounded in the liberal arts, and concerned with social justice. Students demonstrate learning in videotaped role playing and have an agency interviewing experience. Prerequisites: Social Work 221 and concurrent enrollment in Social Work 246. Offered annually in the fall semester.

SW 258 Social Policy

Immigration policy and welfare reform exemplify how society’s values and needs translate into policies and programs. Social workers work for justice by creating, implementing, and evaluating policies in health, employment, housing, and child welfare. Students study policy formation and analysis that reflect interests and powers of diverse groups as well as economic and social needs of certain populations at risk. The course emphasizes policy impact on women, people in poverty, African-Americans, gay men and lesbians, and Latinos. Open to non-majors by permission of instructor. Offered annually in the spring semester. Counts towards American studies major and bio-medical studies concentration.

SW 261 Inclusive Practice: Groups, Organizations and Communities

Social work majors continue the methods and skills of generalist practice. They assess strengths and problems of diverse groups, organizations and communities and use the systems perspective to help client systems frame goals and plans for social change. Students scientifically assess macro-systems and develop plans for implementing change that are reflective, scientific, just, and grounded in the liberal arts. Prerequisite: Social Work 254. Offered annually in the spring semester.

SW 274 Research Methods in Social Work

Social work majors study scientific approaches to building knowledge for generalist practice and assessing effectiveness and efficiency of both individual practice and social service programs. Students learn to assess needs and progress, design case interventions, measure client satisfaction and assess program outcomes. They evaluate elements of practice with diverse clients and portions of programs with which they are familiar and apply ethical standards to scientific inquiry. Open to non-majors by permission of instructor. Offered annually in the spring semester.

SW 280 Social Realities in South Africa

Students study historical and contemporary realities of race, social class, health, welfare, and human rights in South Africa. This dynamic society provides unique opportunities to study the challenges and successes of inclusion, respect, and reconciliation in the post-Apartheid era. Students travel to three regions and meet with public, private, and community-based organizations. Special emphasis is on the status of women and children. Prerequisite: one course in political science, sociology/anthropology, social work, economics, psychology, family studies, or women’s and gender studies. Offered occasionally during Interim. Counts toward Africa and the Americas and family studies concentrations.

SW 294 Internship

SW 298 Independent Study

SW 373 Just Practice

This course immediately precedes Social Work 380: Field Practicum. Students integrate principles and skills of culturally competent assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation with diverse clients – individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. They role play diverse practice situations and articulate implications of social policy for cross-cultural practice. Brief immersion opportunities in diverse communities are included. Additional fee. Prerequisite: Social Work 261. For senior majors only. Offered annually in September.

SW 380 Field Practicum (3 credits)

In this “real world” experience, social work majors complete at least 400 hours in a rural or urban agency with structured learning about generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities from diverse backgrounds. Students engage in professional responsibilities with careful guidance and supervision from the field instructor and the field coordinator. Students attend a weekly evening seminar to integrate classroom learning, share experiences and obtain support. Prerequisite: Majors who have satisfactorily completed all foundation and required courses with numbers below 380. Offered annually in the fall semester.

SW 381 Social Worker as Professional

This capstone course is for senior majors. Students complete a portfolio to illustrate their readiness to begin practice as a generalist social worker. Classes emphasize auxiliary skills and knowledge in leadership. Students discuss emerging social work issues and provide peer assistance with portfolios. Evaluation includes: oral presentation, ethics case analysis, portfolio assignments, and overall mastery of program competencies. Prerequisite: social work majors who have satisfactorily completed Social Work 380. Offered annually in the spring semester.

SW 394 Academic Internship

SW 396 Directed Undergraduate Research: “Topic Description”

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or a .50 credit course.

398 Independent Research