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Mission and Goals

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Curriculum

Sequence of Courses

(Students entering Fall 2011 and later)

Sequence of Courses

(Students entering

before Fall 2011)

Course Descriptions

Program Advisory Board

Department Faculty

Field Work

Community Service Learning Internship Options

Social Work Association

Title IV-E Program

Student Handbook

Field Handbook


About Social Work

Social Work in West Virginia

Baccalaureate Social Work (BSW)

Social Work Links


Competency Exam, Primary Trait Analysis, Learning Agreement, and other presentation resources

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

SOWK 201. INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK (3)
Sophomore-level course designed to introduce the beginning-level social work student to the issues and knowledge with which social welfare and social work are concerned. Through examination of the scope of social welfare as a concept, the structures that havegrown out of it, and the theory and practice techniques which enable the structures to function, this course will attempt to lay the base for later, more detailed and advanced study of basic policy and practice concerns. The students will be introduced to the generalist concept of social work practice upon which the undergraduate curriculum is built and will have the opportunity to explore their own readiness to identify with the values, principles, and practices of the social work profession. Required for all social work majors. Prerequisites: SOCI 203, PSYC 203, or consent of instructor.

SOWK 300. COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING (3)
Community Service Learning provides students an opportunity to actively participate in both the classroom and the community to foster an awareness of social issues and citizenship development. The course emphasized interactive, experiential education by placing curricular concepts in the context of community. Students use critical thinking skills as they evaluate and synthesize these concepts through actual problem solving. Students see connections between service and learning through writing, reflection, and discussion as they evaluate experiences, analyze agency, and meet in seminars to process their experience.

SOWK 301. SOCIAL WELFARE AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION (3)
A survey of the historical development of social welfare institutions and the societal processes devised to deal with social welfare concerns. Special attention is given to the origin and development of the American social welfare system as well as current trends and issues in the social welfare field. Prerequisites: SOCI 203 and SOCI 205.

SOWK 305. HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I (3)
This course presents a transactional multi-dimensional approach to understanding human behavior. Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: Environmental Forces and Development in Early Life (SOWK 305) is the first of a two-semester course offering. Human Behavior in the Social Environment II: Macro Forces and Adolescent and Adult Development (SOWK 306) is the companion course offered in the spring semester. The primary texts, Dimensions of Human Behavior: Person and Environment (Part I) and The Changing Life Course (Part II) are overlapping in both semesters. Understanding human behavior requires examination of the biological, psychological, social and spiritual elements of human existence. These aspects of the life of every human person can be understood in various environmental contexts, including the physical environment, social institutions and social culture, formal organizations, communities, social movements, small groups, and families. Over the course of two semesters, each of these eight dimensions will be studied. The emphasis in SOWK 305 is on development through middle childhood, and on theoretical interpretations of human growth, including the work of Freud and Jung. Prerequisite: PSYC 203.

SOWK 306. HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II (3)
This course presents a transactional multi-dimensional approach to understanding human behavior. Human Behavior in the Social Environment II: Macro Forces and the Life Cycle (SOWK 306) is the second of a two-semester course offering. Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: Environmental Forces and Development in Early Life (SOWK 305) is the companion course offered in the fall semester. The primary texts, Dimensions of Human Behavior: Person and Environment (Part I) and The Changing Life Course (Part II) are overlapping in both semesters. Understanding human behavior requires examination of the biological, psychological, social and spiritual elements of human existence. These aspects of the life of every human person can be understood in various environmental contexts, including the physical environment, social institutions and social culture, formal organizations, communities, social movements, small groups, and families. Over the course of two semesters, each of these eight dimensions will be studied. The emphasis in SOWK 306 is on development from adolescence through old age, and includes an examination of death and dying. Prerequisite: SOWK 305.

SOWK 311. SOCIAL WORK METHODS I (3)
An introduction to the basic interviewing techniques and skills utilized in social work practice. The mechanics of conducting interviews, gathering information, and recording interviews will be covered. Techniques used in one-to-one interviews, multiple interviews, and groups will be discussed.

SOWK 312. SOCIAL WORK METHODS II (3)
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of direct person-to-person social work practice and the theories of human behavior used in social work intervention. A major aim of the course is to acquaint the student with techniques, strategies, and assumptions in functioning as a change-agent. The basic social work values, problem-solving processes, decision-making methods, and means of collecting and analyzing data are covered. Prerequisite: SOWK 311.

SOWK 313. SOCIAL WORK METHODS III (3)
This course is designed to be an introduction to the topic of administration and supervision in the human services. The purpose of the course is to give BSW level practitioners a knowledge and skill base for beginning administrative and supervisory practice. The content of the course will include an exploration of formal organizations, management styles and theories, issues in supervision, interpersonal and organizational communication, program planning, and evaluation as a function of social planning. The format of the course is designed to combine formal lecture presentations with experimental exercises, simulations, and films in an effort to explore the materials from a variety of perspectives. Prerequisite: SOWK 311 and 312 or consent.

SOWK 325. ORIENTATION TO FIELD PRACTICUM (1)
This seminar for junior-level students meets once a week to prepare students for field experience and to facilitate the application and interview process needed to secure a field placement. Students must complete a portfolio, a series of interviews, and a proposal for a learning contract. Topics to be covered include (1) professional boundaries and liabilities, (2) diverse client populations, (3) practice settings, (4) legal, ethical, and practical concerns in the field experience practicum. This course will more formally address issues and elements of vital concern to both field candidates and field agencies which have been covered more informally in the past. This seminar will structure and organize work that students and faculty have been doing outside the course-for-credit format.

SOWK 320. CHILD WELFARE SERVICES (3)
An introduction to the areas of child welfare problems, needs, and services in America. The historical development of child welfare services is surveyed as well as dealing with major current issues. Course content includes public and private agencies and specialized services in the categories of dependent and neglected children, delinquent children, physically and mentally handicapped children, adoptions, foster care, and institutional services. Prerequisite: SOWK 301.

SOWK 402. SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY (3)
An interdisciplinary consideration of the sociological, psychological, and biological processes of aging with emphasis on modes of social intervention. Important aspects of the demography of the aged are clarified, as is the aging's relationship with the family. Studies in changes in intelligence, memory, brain function, and behavior accompany a look at the physiological aspects of the psychology of aging. Normal and pathological physical changes and the effects of exercise receive attention. Discussions of environmental and social issues such as prolongation of life, institutionalization, economics, neighborhood planning, public policy, and community services are examined in their particular applications to older persons and the aging processes. Strategies and techniques of the development and delivery of social services are presented. Prerequisites: SOWK 301, 305, 311, 312, or consent of instructor.

SOWK 404. SOCIAL WELFARE SEMINAR (3)
Gives the advanced undergraduate student an opportunity to explore further and integrate, in a generic way, knowledge learned in individual courses covering many other areas of content. There is in-depth analysis of social work values, professionalism, social change, and systems of delivering human welfare services. Prerequisites: SOWK 301, SOWK 311, SOWK 312.

SOWK 407. FIELD EXPERIENCE IN SOCIAL WORK I (3)
The culmination of the social welfare student's course work in which the student will be expected to transform theory into practice through direct delivery of human welfare services in an approved community agency under the direction of a qualified supervisor. The student works in an agency 10 hours per week and attends a two-hour seminar held weekly on the University campus. The University faculty and the agency supervise work closely to insure the student undergoes an intense, thorough, broad experience in direct service to people in need. Prerequisites: SOWK 311, SOWK 312. Note: All students required to complete field work must fill out a field work application form in duplicate during the semester preceding the proposed field work. Forms can be obtained from the chair of the Social Work Department.

SOWK 408. FIELD EXPERIENCE IN SOCIAL WORK II (3)
Continuation of Field Experience in Social Work I. Note: All students required to complete field work must fill out a field work application form in duplicate during the semester preceding the proposed field work. Forms can be obtained from the chair of the Social Work Department.

SOWK 409. FIELD EXPERIENCE SEMINAR (2)
Weekly seminar which aids the student in meeting the objectives of the field experience program and in applying, in an integrated manner, the theoretical concepts and principles learned in the classroom to the actual delivery of social services. Through use of the case presentation format, the student will be exposed to a variety of change agent, client, target, and action systems and will further develop the ability to analyze and evaluate differing interventive approaches and techniques. The seminar will also expand the student's knowledge of and experience with group problem-solving and professional relationships. Prerequisites: SOWK 311, SOWK 305 or consent of instructor.

SOWK 410. FIELD EXPERIENCE SEMINAR (2)
Weekly seminar which aids the student in meeting the objectives of the field experience program and in applying, in an integrated manner, the theoretical concepts and principles learned in the classroom to the actual delivery of the social services. Through use of the case presentation format, the student will be exposed to a variety of change agent, client, target, and action systems and will further develop the ability to analyze and evaluate differing interventive approaches and techniques. The seminar will also expand the student's knowledge of and experience with group problem-solving and professional relationships. Prerequisites: SOWK 311, SOWK 305, or consent

SOWK 411. FIELD EXPERIENCE IN SOCIAL WORK III (3)
The culmination of the social welfare student's course work in which the student will be expected to transform theory into practice through direct delivery of human welfare services in an approved community agency under the direction of a qualified supervisor. The student works in an agency 20 hours per week and attends a two-week seminar held weekly on the University campus. The University faculty and the agency supervisor work closely to insure the student undergoes an intense, thorough, broad experience in direct service to people in need. Prerequisites: SOWK 311, SOWK 312, SOWK 407, SOWK 408.

SOWK 412. FIELD EXPERIENCE IN SOCIAL WORK IV (4)
This course will be completed in the final semester of the social work student's field instruction. The student will be expected to continue applying theory to practice through direct delivery of human services in an approved community agency under the direction of a qualified supervisor The student works in an agency 20 hours per week and attends a two-hour seminar held weekly on the University campus. The University faculty and the agency supervisor work closely to insure the student undergoes an intense, thorough, broad experience in direct service to people in need. Prerequisite: senior majors only.

SOWK 415, SOWK 416. READINGS IN SOCIAL WORK (3 each)
Selected, in-depth analysis of specialized areas of social welfare. The class is structured around intensive reading in a concentrated area with follow-up discussion groups. Each student prepares a research paper exploring some aspect of the topic under study. Content areas include historical analysis, policy formulation, practice theory, comparative policy and theory, and research theory and methodology. Prerequisites: SOWK 301, SOWK 310, SOWK 311 or permission of the instructor.

SOWK 417. SEX AND GENDER IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY (3)
This course explores changing roles for women and men in contemporary society. Rapid social change creates crisis and opportunity for individuals and society. Women and men are presently undergoing transitions in the social psychological, economic, and political spheres of their lives. Students critically analyze some of the current changes in gender roles. Lecture material is integrated with experiential material in the form of classroom activities. It is assumed that students have a basic knowledge of core concepts in sociology and social work. Prerequisite: SOCI 203 General Sociology or permission of instructor.

 

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