Course Number Course Name Credit
SOWK 501 Introduction to Generalist Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 510 Human Diversity and Social Justice 3
SOWK 520 Human Behavior in the Social Environment 3
SOWK 540 Generalist Practice with Organizations 3
SOWK 560 Social Welfare Policy 3
SOWK 561 Generalist Practice with Individuals & Families 3
SOWK 562 Generalist Practice with Groups & Communities 3
SOWK 571 Generalist Practicum I 3
SOWK 572 Generalist Practicum II 3
SOWK 581 Social Work Research 3
SOWK 600 Social Work Bridging Course 3
SOWK 640 Trauma, Resilience & Spirituality 3
SOWK 661 Advanced Practice with Individuals 3
SOWK 662 Advanced Practice with Groups 3
SOWK 663 Advanced Practice with Families 3
SOWK 671 Advanced Practicum III 3
SOWK 672 Advanced Practicum IV 3
Elective 1 Choose your elective 3
Elective 2 Choose your elective 3
Elective 3 Choose your elective 3
Total Credits Needed:   48

Course Descriptions

SOWK 501: Introduction to Generalist Social Work Practice (3 sem. hrs.): An introduction to the knowledge, skills and values of social work practice.  Students will be assisted in understanding how social workers identify strengths and utilize a problem-solving process to address the needs of people in context of their social environments.  Particular attention will be given to students’ self-awareness and faith as they prepare to establish professional helping relationships within the context of a social agency.  Basic practice principles will be explored through the use of reading assignments, case studies, role plays, volunteer experiences in social agencies, and classroom lectures.  No prerequisites.

SOWK 510: Human Diversity and Social Justice (3 sem. hrs.): Historically the United States of America has prided itself on being the “melting pot,” that is, a country composed of various yet distinctive ethnic, racial, and cultural groups. More recently, the term “salad bowl” has been used. In this course, we will research the similarities and differences of the individuals and groups that are represented throughout society. This course will explore factors such as lifestyle development, sex and gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religion, physical and mental ability and socioeconomic status. The experiences of individuals and groups based on their similarities and differences will be explored within the context of their social interaction with each other, their interactions with majority groups and the dynamics of those interactions. Students will be assisted in using knowledge to inform practice by developing skills and strategies based on strength and empowerment. Particular attention will be given to values inherent within a Christian worldview. Material for thought and discussion will be provided by reading assignments, videos, students’ life experiences, field observation, and classroom lectures.  No prerequisites.

SOWK 520: Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3 sem. hrs.): The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, and cultural factors in human development and social interaction as part of the knowledge base for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. These factors will be used to examine the development of the individual over the lifespan and the individual's membership in a range of social systems. The knowledge gained from the integration of biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, and cultural factors will be used to focus on intervention within the social environment. Attention will be given to Christian faith development as an integral component of the course.  Prerequisite: SOWK 501.

SOWK 540: Generalist Practice in Organizations (3 sem. hrs.):  This course is a continuation of the exploration of the social work agency begun in SOWK 501: Introduction to Social Work.  To further gain understanding of the organization dynamic of the social work organization, students will use their field placement as a case study.  The central themes of the course are:

  • The variant ways social work agencies are organized to achieve their mission and carry out their function;
  • The impact of the agency on its social workers and clients;
  • The impact that social workers and clients can have on the agency.

Prerequisite: SOWK 501.  Co-requisite: SOWK 571.

SOWK 560: Social Welfare Policy 1 (3 sem. hrs.):  This course provides an introduction into the history of social welfare policy, services, and the social work profession. It explores current social welfare issues and the underlying rationale and values that support different approaches. Emphasis is placed on major fields of social work service such as: child welfare, environmental and social justice, health care, mental health, poverty and services to the aging. Students will explore US policy and programs from a strengths based approach. Great emphasis is placed on civil rights, social justice, and social change. Prerequisite: SOWK 501, SOWK 510, SOWK 520.

SOWK 561: Generalist Practice with Individuals and Families (3 sem. hrs.):  This course is a continuation of the exploration of the social work generalist foundation of practice, focusing on interpersonal practice with individuals and families, while integrating community, organizational, and policy contexts core to effective social work practice.  Drawing upon earlier knowledge of diversity, cultural competence, social justice and social change, the course integrates historical, contextual, and social science knowledge presented in the prerequisite courses and draws upon the field experience which is taken concurrently.  Included in the subject matter will be examination of ethics and values, and an understanding of the centrality of race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality and ability that play a role in the interpersonal dynamics of practice.  Prerequisite: SOWK 501, SOWK 510, SOWK 520.  Co-requisite: SOWK 571.

SOWK 562: Generalist Practice with Groups and Communities (3 sem. hrs.):  This course is a continuation of the exploration of macro social work begun in SOWK 540, Generalist Practice with Organizations.  The course is divided into two parts: 1) understanding group dynamics and leadership, and 2) applying group dynamics in a community context. Part one exposes students to an understanding of group dynamics and group functioning.  The second half of the course will apply those skills in the context of community and neighborhood.  Students will apply course knowledge in their field placement, practicing burgeoning skills in a real-world context. Prerequisite: SOWK 561 and 540. Co-requisite: SOWK 572.

SOWK 571-572: Generalist Practicum 1 and 2 (3 sem. hrs. each:  The field experience is the signature pedagogy of social work education and provides an opportunity to apply classroom learning in a supervised social work setting under observation by experienced social work practitioners.  The 400-hour generalist practicum occurs in a social work agency or host setting.  Students carry beginning, direct-service responsibilities.  Agency placement is made the semester previous to start of the field experience in consultation with the Field Advisor.  Graded on a P/F basis.  Pre-requisites: SOWK 501, 510, 520 and 560. Co-requisites for SOWK 571: SOWK 561 and 540. Co-requisites for SOWK 572: SOWK 562 and 581.

SOWK 581: Social Work Research (3 sem. hrs.):  This course provides an introduction to scientific methods of inquiry concerning the phenomena encountered by direct service social work practitioners. Particular attention is given to evaluation and interpretation of research findings, research design and implementation, basic statistical measures, evaluation of service delivery, evaluation of students' own practice, the implications of human diversity for research design and interpretation, and the ethical context of the research process.

The course introduces students to research methods used by social workers. The organizing theme of the course is the relationship between research and social work practice. The course focuses on three main elements. 1) First, the course is designed to provide you with a general introduction to basic knowledge and skills that are necessary for the design, evaluation, method, and utilization of social work research. 2). Second, the course is designed to help you understand how to apply research principles to different types of research from either an agency perspective or a practitioner’s perspective. 3.) Third, the course will equip you to be a more knowledgeable user of research, a capable evaluator of your own practice, and, ultimately, a qualified research team member.  Co-requisite: SOWK 572 Generalist Field Practicum 2

SOWK 600: Social Work Bridging Course (3 sem. hrs.):  Provides knowledge, skills, and values required for advanced practice. This course builds upon students’ foundational knowledge of generalist practice in engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation they acquired in their BSW program. This course surveys theories of human behavior, policy, research, and practice to promote the needs and capacities of populations at risk.  This course will assist students to think critically about social work practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.  Specifically, students will be able to articulate the generalist social work practice model, its roles and functions, and demonstrate an understanding of all levels of practice.  Students will demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate and synthesize empirical research as a tool for evidence based practice and policy.

SOWK 640: Trauma, Resiliency, and Spirituality (3 sem. hrs.):  This course addresses human suffering in the wake of trauma and the potential for spirituality to build resilience and bring healing.  Students will explore types of trauma, micro and macro strategies for intervening with traumatized clients, the importance of personal and client self-care when dealing with primary and secondary trauma, and the meaning-making model of spirituality to assess and intervene with traumatized clients.  Particular attention will be paid to ethical considerations, cultural competence with the traumatized, a trauma-informed perspective informed by a strengths and resilience paradigm, and ways that clients develop resilience and learn to cope with the after-effects of traumatization.  Co-requisite: SOWK 672.

SOWK 661: Advanced Practice with Individuals (3 sem. hrs.):  This course builds upon the first year of Generalist Practice (SOWK 561) and teaches direct social work practice with individuals at an advanced level, with emphasis upon assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation.  Theories used provide models for understanding human behavior, and how to plan, implement, and evaluate change.  Theoretical schools include: cognitive-behavioral, brief solution-focused, and problem-solving approaches.  Each model provides knowledge and skills in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the individual.  Specific attention is paid to the person-in-environment perspective, cultural competence, and the ethics and values of the profession of social work.  The competency of research-informed practice and practice-informed research for selecting approaching interventions and evaluation of practice is a key component of the course.  Prerequisite: SOWK 561. Co-requisite: SOWK 671.

SOWK 662: Advanced Practice with Groups (3 sem. hrs.):  Building upon SOWK 562 (Generalist Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities) this course advances the knowledge required to work collaboratively with a variety of groups: task, educational, self-help, committees, boards, and treatment groups.  Drawing upon a strengths-based paradigm, students learn, develop and practice group leadership skills with diverse clients both in the classroom and in the concurrent field experience, focusing on beginning, leading and terminating groups.  Attention is paid to issues of mutual aid, empowerment, social/economic/environmental justice and group practice with at-risk populations.  Evaluation of group outcomes using qualitative and quantitative methods will be examined.  Prerequisite: SOWK 562.  Co-requisite: SOWK 672.

SOWK 663: Advanced Practice with Families (3 sem. hrs.): Building upon SOWK 561 (Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families) this course advances the knowledge required to work with families in diverse practice settings.  Theories introduced earlier will be applied to the process of engaging, assessing, intervening, and evaluating practice with families considering how various strategies enhance the strengths of a family while advancing justice with oppressed groups in work with families.  The impact or social systems on family functioning will be emphasized. Students will understand and apply process designed to move families from a problem focus toward optimal functioning.  Offered concurrent with SOWK 671 (Advanced Social Work Field Practicum 3), students will have opportunity to apply learning in the field setting and use field experiences to assist their critical thinking and practice skills that prepare them for professional practice as MSW prepared professionals.  Prerequisite: SOWK 561.  Co-requisite: SOWK 671.

SOWK 671-672: Advanced Practicum 3 and 4 (3 sem. hrs. each):  The field experience is the signature pedagogy of social work education and provides an opportunity to apply classroom learning during 500 hours of supervised social work setting under observation by experienced social work practitioners.  The practicum occurs in a social work agency or host setting.  Students carry intermediate to advanced, direct-service responsibilities.  Agency placement is made the semester previous to start of the field experience in consultation with the Field Advisor.  Graded on a P/F basis.  Pre-requisites: SOWK 571, 510, 572. Co-requisites for SOWK 671: SOWK 640 and 661. Co-requisites for SOWK 672: SOWK 663 and 662.