Mary Clay Thomas, program director
Doris Dodson, Gauri Rai, May Guenin
Students interested in social work may receive professional training by majoring in social work. This major requires a sequence of courses as described in the Social Work section below, including supervised field instruction in a social service agency. This field practicum, for 15 s.h. credit, provides an opportunity to develop and translate theoretical concepts into professional practice.
Requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work
51 semester hours
Two of the following electives: SOWK 124, SOWK 251, SOWK 272, SOWK 307, SOWK 277, SOWK 287/387, or SGS 261
Additional courses required as prerequisites for completion of the above include:
Civic Engagement Opportunities
• SOWK 355 requires students to complete 25 hours of service learning in designated community agencies.
• SOWK 400 engages students in the direct practice of social work where they fulfill 450 hours of a field placement.
• The Social Work Club allows students to work with area agencies to serve local residents and provide needed community service.
Social Work Course Descriptions
124 Aging (3 s.h.)
Introduction to dynamics of aging, including bio-psycho-socio aspects and special needs of aged persons. Participants will examine society’s provisions for the aged and methods used in working with their problems.
153 Introduction to Social Work (3 s.h.)
Explores career opportunities in social work. Special emphasis on the profession as it relates to practice with children, families, and other persons who experience problems with adjustment to their social environment. Participants will study philosophies, values, and attitudes that form a base for professional practice.
156 Interviewing in Human Service Professions (3 s.h.) (O)
Students will acquire knowledge and develop skills for effective communication which are essential for helping individuals and families in planning change, in the social work profession, as well as in other disciplines. Emphasis on understanding and development of interviewing skills. Class activities include role playing interviews.
235 Human Behavior and Social Environment 1 (3 s.h.)
Provides basic framework for creating and organizing knowledge of human behavior and social environment. Social systems, life-span, and strengths approaches to understanding HBSE introduced. Focus on individuals and families and impact of larger environment on these systems. *Prerequisites: SOC 100, SOWK 153, PSYC 111, and either BIOL 151 or BIOL/WS 252.
251 Child Welfare Services (3 s.h.)
Study of adoption, foster care, child care protective services, juvenile court, and other child welfare services for children in need of protection. We study the well-being of children and attitudes and values that define parents’ and society’s responsibilities to children.
272 Vulnerable Populations in Film (3 s.h.) (T)
This course provides students an opportunity to explore the enduring theme of vulnerable populations in society with the use of selected references from a variety of sources and relate this to commercial films. Students gain deeper understanding of vulnerable populations from a sociological and social work point of view and practice skills in writing.
275 Social Welfare Policy (3 s.h.)
Describes and analyzes policies and services rendered by local, state, regional, national, and international agencies and policy implications for social work practice. Students prepare to advocate for social policy changes designed to improve social conditions, promote social justice, and empower at risk populations. *Prerequisites: SOWK 153 and POLS 100.
277 Mindfulness Self Compassion (3 s.h.)
Self-care has been identified as one of the overlooked competencies in the social work profession. This course is intended to put the student on a better path to manage stress by teaching specific, concrete tools that can be used to decrease emotional stress and enhance life satisfaction. In this experiential course, students will be instructed in both informal and formal practices of mindfulness and self-compassion and how these practices can be used to provide a foundation of well-being. Course material will consider the latest scientific findings regarding mindfulness and self-compassion.
287/387 Social Work Field Observation (3 s.h.)
Through affiliation with a social service agency, students observe the nature of the client-worker relationship. Perceptual orientation and descriptive skills are emphasized through varied levels of observation. Internship requires placement for a minimum of 120 contact hours on a scheduled basis. Group supervision is also required. *Prerequisites: SOWK 153 and SOWK 156.
307 School Social Work (3 s.h.)
Teaches students the skills and knowledge needed to work in a school setting as a social worker. With an emphasis on planning, assessment, and successful interventions, students learn theoretical framework as applied in a school setting. Students also learn the value of interdisciplinary team planning, models of service delivery, program planning and the value of community resources. *Prerequisite: SOWK 153
317 Social Work Research (3 s.h.) (R)
Designed to increase knowledge of research as a tool for social work practice. Students acquire basic skills and knowledge to utilize existing social research for practice-related decision making and the capacity to carry out systematic methods of inquiry in their practice setting. *Prerequisites: SOWK 153 and INT 222.
335 Human Behavior and Social Environment II (3 s.h.)
Provides basic framework for creating and organizing knowledge of human behavior and social environment, along with social systems, lifespan, and strengths approaches acquired in HBSE I, to understand group organizational and community systems. Special attention given to the impact of human diversity, discrimination, and oppression in the context of groups, organizations, and communities. *Prerequisites: SOWK 153 and SOWK 235.
353 Social Work with Diverse Populations (3 s.h.) (D, W)
Provides understanding of and sensitization toward cultural diversity, to include race/ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, ablism versus disablism, and social class in the context of social work practice and policy, as well as generally. Personal values toward cultural identity, as defined above, are explored and discussed in the context of social work values and practice.
355 Social Work Practice I (3 s.h.) (C)
Assists students in developing knowledge and skills to work with individuals. Experiential techniques are employed to aid in integration of theory and practice. Many of the videotapes, class exercises, case studies, and role plays focus on the implications of cultural diversity and include application to vulnerable populations. *Prerequisite: SOWK 153.
365 Social Work Practice II (3 s.h.)
Assists students in developing knowledge and skills to work with families and groups. Experiential techniques are employed to aid in integration of theory and practice. Many of the videotapes, class exercises, case studies, and role plays focus on the many implications of cultural diversity and include application to vulnerable populations. *Prerequisite: SOWK 355.
375 Social Work Practice III (3 s.h.)
Assists students in developing the knowledge base necessary for understanding the contemporary American community, its structure, politics, its growth and/or decline, and roles and functions of various human service agencies and organizations within the community. Additional focus on how people can empower themselves for the purpose of improving the overall quality of life in communities. *Prerequisite: SOWK 365.
387 Social Work Field Observation (3 s.h.)
For course description, see SOWK 287/387. *Prerequisites: SOWK 153 and SOWK 156.
400 Field Instruction in Social Work (15 s.h.) (O, M)
Supervised field instruction in a social service agency provides seniors opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills in social work practice. The field work requires a semester block placement, five days a week, 8 hours per day, for a minimum of 450 contact hours on a scheduled basis. An integrating seminar is also required. *Prerequisites: Completion of all social work and general education required curriculum with a minimum grade of “C” in each social work course as well as successful completion of the program’s comprehensive exam.
401 Field Instruction in Social Work in Honduras (15 s.h.) (I, M)
Students travel to El Progreso, Honduras, and work with the Organization for Youth Empowerment in an international field placement. This course provides cultural, language immersion while working with impoverished Honduran youth in a social work setting. *Prerequisites: Completion of all social work and general education required curriculum with a minimum grade of “C” in each social work course as well as successful completion of the program’s comprehensive exam.