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BSW Course Descriptions

 
Social Work Courses

SOWK100 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK 3 sem. hrs.

This course introduces the institution of social welfare and the profession of social work.  Students will look at some common human needs, and the services which meet them.  Values and issues related to the profession of social work, and roles assumed by social workers and related helping professionals in the social service delivery system, will be explored.  This course also serves as a beginning career testing opportunity.

SOWK115 HUMAN DIVERSITY 3 sem. hrs.

This course celebrates human differences, developing an appreciation of diversity and multiculturalism.  Students will learn the histories and cultures of many U.S. subcultures, including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, women, people with disabilities, sexual minorities and others.  No prerequisites. It can be taken as a free elective and part of the Women's Studies curriculum.

SOWK205 HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT 3 sem. hrs.

The course reviews significant concepts of systems theory.  This review orients the student's frame of reference in a way that promotes understanding and explanation of the subtle and complex relationship between human behavior and the social environment.  The course examines factors that shape behavior and the implications of these interactions for social work practice.  Prerequisites:  BIOL101, SOC100, PSYC101 and SOWK100.

SOWK250 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY 3 sem. hrs.

This second of three courses in the Services-Policy sequence for the Bachelor of Social Work introduces social policy and explains how policy decisions at all levels affect social services, its clients, and the performance of social workers.  Prerequisite:  SOWK100 and SOWK115 or permission of the instructor.

SOWK300 SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY 3 sem. hrs.

This course provides to the student an opportunity to examine critically and analytically the social welfare institution and its relationship to other institutions in our society.  Societal attitudes and views toward dependency and deviance, and the way these attitudes translate into social welfare policy and programs will be a unifying theme for the course.  The role of the social worker as broker, enabler, therapist, social planner, and advocate will be explored.  The necessity for the system to provide linkages between people and resources and to maximize choices and options for people will be a theme throughout.  Prerequisite:  SOWK100.

SOWK310 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I 3 sem. hrs.

This course presents the common core of knowledge, skills, and values essential to generalist social work practice.  It has a three hour per week required field component.  Prerequisites:  SOWK100, SOWK115, SOWK205, SOWK250.

SOWK312 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II 3 sem. hrs.

This course focuses on social work practice in the organizational and community contexts.  Students will learn methods of assessment, engagement, and intervention within organizations and communities, methods of promoting effective and humane operation of these systems, and methods of modifying them to be more equitable, just, and responsive.  Prerequisites:  SOWK310.

SOWK315 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH 3 sem. hrs.

This course provides an introduction to research in social work and its use in policy and practice.  The student will be exposed to the historical and ethical bases of social work research.  The student will be made aware of the language of research and how to interpret, evaluate and disseminate research findings.  Prerequisites:  SOWK205, PSYC225 or permission of the instructor.

SOWK375 MEDICAL SOCIAL WORK 3 sem. hrs.

This course provides the student with knowledge about human service delivery in the hospital setting.  Emphasis is on counseling techniques and roles which social workers and nurses assume in the medical settings.  Optional field experience will be available.  Prerequisite: PSYC101.

SOWK380 CHILD WELFARE 3 sem. hrs.

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the field of child welfare, its historical roots, the services provided to children in their own homes and elsewhere, the roles of child welfare workers in a variety of settings, and some of the problems and policy issues in our current child welfare system.  The issue of children's rights will be raised.  Films, readings, lectures, class discussions and exercises, student projects and presentations, agency visits, and speakers will be among the learning experiences.  This course is designed to flexibly meet student needs, and will allow for individually tailored assignments. No prerequisites.

SOWK385 HUMAN SERVICE ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING 3 sem. hrs.

The purpose of this course is to provide education and experience regarding the unique structure and philosophy of public and private human service organizations.  The vital elements of effective human service administration will be emphasized.  The significance of planning and sufficient information is also underscored.  Current issues in social administration will also be explored.

SOWK390 AGING AND HUMAN SERVICES 3 sem. hrs.

This course will study the social services which are available for the aging in the United States in general and Pennsylvania in particular.  It will examine some of the special problems of the aged, while also focusing on the variability of the aging population.  Service availability and various unique factors in service delivery to the aged will also be explored.

SOWK395 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN MENTAL HEALTH 3 sem. hrs.

This course is offered as an elective for level II social work majors and students in related disciplines who have completed at least 60 credits.  This course provides a framework for understanding the range of mental health disorders experienced by social work clients.  Students learn about mental health diagnoses, services, and policies guiding practice.  Mental health disorders will be examined from a stengths-based, bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual perspective as consistent with the social work tradition.  Prerequisites:  Level II Social Work major or permission of the instructor.

SOWK410 SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE III 3 sem. hrs.

This course builds upon SOWK310 and SOWK312 in developing professional knowledge, values and skills in working with individuals, families, and small groups.  It allows students opportunity to focus on a number of specific practice models, and to develop skills in particular social work roles.  This course has a three hour per week required field component.  Prerequisites:  SOWK310 and SOWK312.

SOWK490 INDEPENDENT STUDY 2-5 sem. hrs.

The Independent Study program aims to serve those students whose scholarly bent seems most clearly adapted to independent work.  Students are permitted to resolve problems and to earn credit for work performed outside the classroom requirement of any specific course in the curriculum.

SOWK495 INTERNSHIP:  SENIOR FIELD WORK 12 sem. hrs.

This course is a four day per week internship, in an approved agency, under professional supervision.  The Field Manual details course goals and objectives, placement criteria and procedures, and evaluation criteria.  Prerequisites:  All other required social work courses except SOWK496, which MUST be taken concurrently.

SOWK496 SENIOR SEMINAR 3 sem. hrs.

In the seminar students discuss placements, integrate theory and practice, and deal with professional issues, including involvement in professional organizations, professional graduate education, personnel and social welfare policies, and professional ethics.  Prerequisites:  All required Social Work courses except SOWK495, which MUST be taken concurrently with this course.