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B.A. in Social Work

For continuation in the major, a student must earn a grade of C or better in courses requiring mastery of principles, methodology, and practice and demonstration of professional values and ethics considered necessary for satisfactory performance in the profession (SWK 335, 337, 436, 482, 484, 486, and 494). Internships may be repeated only with permission of the department. In major courses, students must also demonstrate English language skills commensurate with professional requirements.

In major courses, students must also demonstrate English language skills commensurate with professional requirements. Students are encouraged to have completed GSR 102 or the equivalent before beginning the major.


Summary of Requirements

General Studies 37
Pre-Major Courses 22
Major and Related Courses 47
Free Elective Courses 14

Required pre-major courses 22 hours

To be taken during freshman or sophomore year:

BIO 105Introduction to Human Biology4
ECO 205Introduction to Economics3
MAT 102Introductory Probability and Statistics3
PSY 101Introduction to Psychology3
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3

Choose six hours from the following:

GOV 110Basic American Government3
GOV 335American State and Local Politics3
GOV 346Political Parties3
GOV 348Interest Group Politics3
GOV 351American Constitutional Law: Powers and Checks3
GOV 352Civil Liberties3
GOV 353Civil Rights and Civil Rights Movement3
GOV 356Legislative Process3
GOV 360Public Policy3
GOV 370Human Rights3

Required social work courses 44 hours

SWK 203The Field of Social Work3
SWK 304Development of the American Social Welfare System3
SWK 307Human Behavior and the Social Environment I3
SWK 308Human Behavior and the Social Environment II3
SWK 318Human Diversity3
SWK 335Social Work Practice I: Individuals3
SWK 337Case Management3
SWK 436Social Work Practice II: Families and Groups3
SWK 441Research Methods in Social Work I3
SWK 442Research Methods in Social Work II-Data Analysis3
SWK 482Social Work Practice III: Organizations and Communities3
SWK 484Social Work Practicum I:Internship4
SWK 486Social Work Practicum II: Internship4
SWK 494Senior Seminar3

Elective social work and related courses 3 hours

Choose three hours:

FCS 306Contemporary Families3
FCS 309Marriages and Families: Diversity and Change3
FCS 333Child, Family, and Community3
FCS 334Parent-Child Interactions3
SOC 250Gender and Society3
SWK 201Social Work Practice and AIDS3
SWK 202Adoptive Family Systems3
SWK 265Child Welfare3
SWK 267Alcohol and Drug Addictions: Intervention Strategies3
SWK 495Special Topics1-5
SWK 499Independent Study1-3

BIO 105 - Introduction to Human Biology (4)

This course addresses human biology through the lens of evaluating scientific claims. Students will learn about select organ systems (reproductive, skeletal and muscular, immune and nervous systems) and about human genetics in a way that helps them make decisions relevant to their daily lives. The course focuses on developing skills that scientists use: basic experimental design, research methods, and scientific writing. It also teaches the language of biology and especially how to critique arguments related to human biology that we encounter in the media. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

  • Course Fee: $35.00

ECO 205 - Introduction to Economics (3)

An introductory macroeconomics course for liberal arts majors with emphasis on the economic issues that citizens are likely to encounter. The course is designed to help students understand the basics of United States and global economics including how the economy works and how economic policy is developed and implemented.

  • Prerequisite: GSR 102 or equivalent

FCS 306 - Contemporary Families (3)

This course focuses on present-day American families, comparing them to families throughout history and exploring implications for the future. Special attention is given to the racial and ethnic diversity of contemporary families and strengths and challenges these families confront. The impact families have on society along with the impact public policies have on families are examined throughout the course.

FCS 309 - Marriages and Families: Diversity and Change (3)

Covering basic concepts and research in the areas of marriages, families, and intimate relationships, students address the challenges and opportunities individuals have in these areas as they move through the lifespan. Topics include family structures and functions, sex/gender roles, courtship and dating, cohabitation, unions and marriages, parenting, divorce, remarriage, and stepfamilies, with an emphasis on the diversity of today's relationships today and how they have changed from the past.

FCS 333 - Child, Family, and Community (3)

This course uses an ecological approach to understanding the interactions of the child in the family and the community. Special emphasis is given to the ways that the family, community, and society can work together to provide the best environment for the development of children.

FCS 334 - Parent-Child Interactions (3)

This course explores the influence of parents on children and children on parents. Special attention is given to how their roles and relationships change. Important issues confronting parents and children today are addressed and students learn a variety of positive discipline techniques.

  • Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

GOV 110 - Basic American Government (3)

This course covers discussion of the basic structures of American government (the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary), important processes such as elections and basic principles and theory of governance in the American system.

GOV 335 - American State and Local Politics (3)

This course introduces students to the study of state and local government and politics. This course provides students with insight into the political processes that most affect Americans' lives: state and local politics. Many of the policy innovations made on the state and local levels affect policy of other states as well as the federal government. Students will be introduced to the structures and theories of governance at the state and local levels.

GOV 346 - Political Parties (3)

A study of the major and minor parties in the United States, their history, composition, organization, leadership, resources, politics, distribution of power, and influence on the formation and execution of public policy. The role of pressure groups.

GOV 348 - Interest Group Politics (3)

This course will cover the formation of interest groups; their interactions with government (lobbying, campaign donations, amicus briefs, protests, etc.); interest group theories; and their impact on the quality of democracy, policy and justice. Interest groups for specific categories of people, including Deaf people will be focused upon.

GOV 351 - American Constitutional Law: Powers and Checks (3)

This course is an in-depth examination of the powers of government under the Constitution. Primary focus is upon Articles I through VII and topics such as judicial, legislative and executive powers; federalism; regulation of commerce and property rights; war powers.

GOV 352 - Civil Liberties (3)

This course will provide an in-depth analysis of the Bill of Rights, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Current controversies, such as the conflict between privacy and national security, abortion rights and the death penalty will be examined in more depth

GOV 353 - Civil Rights and Civil Rights Movement (3)

This course will provide an in-depth look at equality in the US. Amendments 13, 14, 15 and 19 will be emphasized and the evolution of their interpretation in the Supreme Court will be studied. At the same time, the influence of movements for abolition, women's suffrage and women's rights, civil rights on the interpretation will be studied. In addition, current movement for equality in the disability and GLBT communities will be discussed.

GOV 356 - Legislative Process (3)

A study of the formal and informal procedures of Congress and the relation between the legislature, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

GOV 360 - Public Policy (3)

An intensive examination of relationships among policy goals, policy strategies, and policy outcomes that lead to the allocation of societal resources (who gets what, when, where, and how). This course will identify the relationship between policy outcomes and the political institutions, political parties, interest groups, lobbyists, and the political environment.

GOV 370 - Human Rights (3)

The diverse beliefs of nations and classes, world divisions, and the racial rivalry reflected in various systems of law and politics all give changing meaning to such phrases as human rights and fundamental freedoms. This course will look at these rights and freedoms within the different belief systems, world divisions, and racial rivalries. Special attention will be given to the deaf communities in United States and their struggle to achieve full human rights and freedom.

MAT 102 - Introductory Probability and Statistics (3)

Basic concepts of probability and statistics, and applications to the sciences, social sciences, and management. Probability, conditional probability, Bayes Formula, Bernoulli trials, expected value, frequency distributions, and measures of central tendency. Credit will not be allowed for MAT 102 if student has previously passed MAT 130; 102 will not be counted toward a major in the department.

  • Prerequisite: GSR 104 or MAT 055 or the equivalent, or permission of the Mathematics Program Director.

PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology (3)

An introduction to the scientific study of human behavior, providing an overview of the major problems, methods, and contributions of psychology. Content areas include development, language, learning, cognition, physiological psychology, motivation and emotion, perception, psychometrics, personality, and abnormal and social psychology. The course can be taken in one of two formats: traditional lecture or individualized instruction.

  • Prerequisite: GSR 102 or the equivalent

SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology (3)

Sociology attempts to understand how societies function. The course explores how social forces influence our lives and our chances for success. It also examines social groups, the relationships among social groups, and the ways groups get and maintain power.

  • Prerequisite: GSR 102 or the equivalent

SOC 250 - Gender and Society (3)

This introductory course explains sociological perspectives on gender. Focusing on American experiences with gender, the course covers gender socialization, gender roles, and gender inequality. This course also addresses "nature vs. nurture" debates, which seek to understand to what extend gender roles are formed by biology or society.

  • Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

SWK 201 - Social Work Practice and AIDS (3)

This course is an elective that examines topics related to understanding the psychosocial issues associated with HIV/AIDS and the various roles human service professionals assume for the delivery of services. The course provides an opportunity for students to explore personal and societal values related to HIV/AIDS and to gain a beginning knowledge of the types of assistance available to persons living with the illness. Particular attention is given to the impact of HIV/AIDS upon families and care givers in the context of coping strategies and the human service delivery system's response to their needs.

  • Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

SWK 202 - Adoptive Family Systems (3)

The course explores the strengths and challenges of adoptive family life from a systems perspective and introduces current theory and research that informs social work practice in the field of adoption. The course addresses from a developmental perspective the life long impact of adoption on the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children. Topics discussed include emotional processes involved with infertility and the decision to adopt, adoption and developmental stages, issues related to open adoption, and transracial adoptions.

  • Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

SWK 203 - The Field of Social Work (3)

This course is an introduction to the profession of social work. It is the required first course for social work majors and is also open to students exploring the field of social work as a possible career. The course traces the historical development of the social work profession within the context of the social welfare system, introduces the generalist model of social work practice, surveys the major field of practice and populations served by social workers, and addresses the role of evaluation and research in the profession. Guest speakers from the community and field trips to community agencies provide exposure to programs and services and the roles of social workers.

  • Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

SWK 265 - Child Welfare (3)

This course introduces the student to the fields of child welfare with an emphasis on child maltreatment. It looks at child abuse and neglect in all its forms (physical, sexual, emotional) in an ecological context (individual, familial, social, and cultural forces that interact with one another to cause abuse). Students are introduced to the historical context of child maltreatment, the current social policies that are in place that affect the protection of children, and the role of the social worker in child protection. Also covered are the procedures for child abuse investigation and reporting, interviewing the child and family, and the role of the court system. Controversial issues and opposing viewpoints are considered such as imprisonment of abusers, effectiveness of prevention programs, foster care, and proposed policy changes designed to reduce violence and harm to children.

  • Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

SWK 267 - Alcohol and Drug Addictions: Intervention Strategies (3)

This course prepares the student in one of the helping professions to understand the primary issues related to the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, including narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and marijuana. The impact of drug use on the individual, the family, and society will be examined, including the psychological ramifications of children of alcoholics and drug abusers. Emphasis will be on the development of intervention skills and identifying the person who is abusing chemicals. Knowledge of community resources and programs, with attention given to accessibility to deaf substance abusers, will be covered.

SWK 304 - Development of the American Social Welfare System (3)

This course explores the history and values of the social work profession in relation to the development of the social welfare system as well as traditional American values involved in the evolution of the current system. It also considers various conceptions of social welfare, their application in social welfare programs, and their implications in practice. Issues and policies that affect diverse populations who have experienced oppression and discrimination are examined.

  • Prerequisite: SWK 203

    Prerequisites/corequisites: ECO 205; GOV 101,102 or HIS 111, 112

SWK 307 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3)

The course examines human behavior from conception through very old age. Throughout the course, the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth of individuals and families (micro systems) are studied. Each aspect of development is examined in the context of the environment's influence upon optimal growth. Additionally, attention is given to the interplay among culture, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity upon human behavior through the life course.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of the department

SWK 308 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3)

The course explores human behavior in communities, organizations and groups (macro systems). An overarching ecosystems perspective is emphasized for understanding how each macro system can enhance people's optimal health and well-being. Aspects of diversity are incorporated throughout the course in the form of issues that affect human behavior. Throughout the course, content about the macro social environment is directly related to generalist social work practice using case material.

  • Prerequisites: SWK 307; Junior standing or permission of the department

SWK 318 - Human Diversity (3)

This course provides students an opportunity for examination of personal attitudes, stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions that affect ethnic-competent professional practice. Attention is given to increasing students' knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and sensitivity to diversity, oppression, and racism, and the implications of each for social work and other human services. While the course addresses the cognitive and conceptual aspects of learning, primary emphasis is on the affective process. In addition to learning about racism, discrimination, power/powerlessness, and ethnocentrism, students participate in experiential groups and role play. These exercises provide opportunities to explore new ways of thinking, feeling, and responding to people who experience discrimination or oppression because of their race, ethnic background, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation, or because they are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing.

SWK 335 - Social Work Practice I: Individuals (3)

This is the first course in the social work practice sequence and emphasizes the generalist model as the framework for all social work practice using a problem-solving approach. A major focus of the course is on the development of skills for practice with individuals within the context of social work values and ethics. Cross-cultural considerations and other differences between social worker and client are addressed throughout the semester. The course includes a weekly lab that provides opportunities for learning interviewing skills through the use of videotapes and role play.

  • Prerequisites/corequisites: SWK 203, 307; open to social work majors only

SWK 337 - Case Management (3)

Case Management is a required course in the practice sequence. It introduces students to case management and the various methods of intervention used with the process. Among the case management processes discussed are assessment, intake interviews, and documentation. Specialized practice skills used by case managers are also discussed. Students are taught methods for determining benefit eligibility, learn the rules and principles for referral making, and acquire knowledge related to the major income and maintenance and support programs. Ethical and legal issues surrounding case management in the context of client autonomy, informed consent, and confidentiality are discussed and applied to case material. The course includes a pre-field experience that requires weekly visits to a human services organization for the purpose of observing the case management process. The course is open to social work majors only.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in SWK 203,307,335.

SWK 436 - Social Work Practice II: Families and Groups (3)

This course focuses on the development of knowledge and skills for social work practice with families and groups. Particular attention is given to families in which one or more members is deaf or hard of hearing, to other minority families, and to practice issues with groups of deaf people and groups of other minority people.

  • Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in SWK 335, 337
    Co-requisite: SWK 484

SWK 441 - Research Methods in Social Work I (3)

The focus of this course is on the development of knowledge and skills for systematically monitoring and evaluating social work practice. The course covers quantitative and qualitative methods, ethical issues in research, special considerations in cross-cultural research, the value of single subject designs for evaluation of practice, critical analysis of research studies, and use of research findings in professional practice.

  • Prerequisite: SWK 335

SWK 442 - Research Methods in Social Work II-Data Analysis (3)

This course focuses on statistical and qualitative methods of data analysis that provide tools for social workers to evaluate their own practice and programs. Included are descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, content analysis of case studies, and inductive analysis of informant interviews and focus groups. The course also introduces students to the use of the computer in data analysis and provides hands-on experience with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and with the Ethnograph software package for qualitative data analysis.

  • Prerequisite: SWK 441

SWK 482 - Social Work Practice III: Organizations and Communities (3)

This course focuses on the development of skills for planned change in organizations and communities. The problem-solving process learned in previous social work practice courses is applied to problem analysis, goal formulation, and implementation of change within organizations and communities. Field practicum agencies, human service organizations, and other programs and services in the community are assessed, needs and problems are identified, and strategies for planned change are developed. Specific attention is given to strategies for change that will benefit traditionally underserved populations such as deaf and hard of hearing people, racial and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, gays and lesbians, and older people.

  • Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in SWK 436.

SWK 484 - Social Work Practicum I:Internship (4)

This course is part of a sequence with SWK 486. Each semester students have approximately 225 hours of practicum. They spend 16 hours per week within a practicum agency carefully selected to provide professionally supervised experiences and opportunities to develop skills for generalist social work practice working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

  • Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in SWK 335, 337

    Corequisite: SWK 436 and permission of the department

SWK 486 - Social Work Practicum II: Internship (4)

This is the second semester course following SWK 484; students remain in the same practicum agency to ensure that there is sufficient time to develop plans and implement interventions at all levels in the attainment of skills for generalist social work practice. There are again approximately 225 hours of internship.

  • Prerequisites: SWK 484; Grade of C or better in SWK 436

SWK 494 - Senior Seminar (3)

This course taken in the final semester of the major focuses on furthering the process of integrating social work knowledge, values, and skills. Students draw upon and apply knowledge of generalist social work practice and the specific knowledge, values, and skills required for work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The objective of this course is to enhance the students' ability to practice social work in the internship and to be prepared as beginning professional level generalist social workers upon completion of the program.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in SWK 436 and SWK 484 Corequisite: SWK 486

SWK 495 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

SWK 499 - Independent Study (1-3)

Intensive supervised study and research on topics of the student's selection.

  • Prerequisite: Independent study form, permission of the department
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