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Social Work & Human Services Undergraduate Courses

Human Services

HSRV-H 202 Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Abuse I (3 cr)

As an introductory course in drug and alcohol studies, this course is designed to provide students with a basic overview of the physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of substance abuse.  Course material includes an introduction to classification, physical characteristics, physiologic and psychological effects, biochemical mechanisms of action, subjective and objective effects of commonly abused mood altering substances, the culture surrounding use, and implications for treatment.  Students will be introduced to legal, ethical, personal, and societal implications of substance abuse, as well as terms and concepts used in substance abuse treatment, intervention and prevention fields.

HSRV-H 204 Introduction to Gerontology (3 cr)

Basic introduction to the field of gerontology and the role of the human services professional.

HSRV-H 205 Treatment Issues in Alcohol and Drug Abuse (3 cr)

This course focuses on treatment of individuals impacted by drug and alcohol abuse.  Content builds on previous learning in (H202) Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and complements other courses in the Human Services Drug and Alcohol series of classes.  It includes discussion of methods of treatment, continuum of care, selected treatment intervention models, and the functions of screening instruments, assessment, diagnosis, accurate treatment placement and aftercare.  Further treatment strategies with special populations are explored.

HSRV-H 211 Dynamics of Group Behavior (3 cr)

Despite changes in theoretical approaches and methods, the primary context of service delivery to chemically dependent clients remains the treatment group.  Humans are social beings by nature, and group settings and interactions can bring unique opportunities and motivations for individual change.  The experience of being in a group can enhance the individual’s social skills, self-awareness, growth potential.  New attitudes, behaviors, and responses can be learned and practiced.  Human service workers must possess knowledge of group dynamics and processes, and must be able to competently apply group skills to help empower individuals make personal and environmental changes to reach their therapeutic goals.

This course increases students’ understanding of basic group interventions with chemically dependent individuals.  This course focuses on group structure, dynamics and processes.  Students will experience development of group leadership skills, ethical implications, and the influence of personal characteristics of the group leader on the group itself.  Students will be encouraged to examine their own personal leadership styles and will begin to practice specific techniques to move clients toward therapeutic change and help manage relapse.

HSRV-H 301 Service Needs of Older Adults (3 cr)

This course addresses the basic service needs of the older adult. The topics to be addressed will include nutrition, health, and housing. A case management approach will be used.

HSRV-H 302 Psychological Aspects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (3 cr)

This course is designed to help students become familiar with a broad range of theories, principles, terms, procedures, and techniques related to the psychological dynamics that contribute to and maintain addictive behaviors. Because the course specifically focuses on psychological dynamics, emphasis is on perceptions, defenses, and functioning at the level of the individual. Students will explore psychological explanations of stages of addiction, maintenance of addictive behaviors and recovery from addiction, including the roles of cognitive errors, distortions and defense mechanisms. Psychological profiles typical in addictive behaviors will be examined and discussed. Students will be introduced to various assessment instruments and techniques, as well as DSMIV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for substance abuse and dependence. Finally, the class will explore the recovery process from a strengths-based perspective and begin to identify psychological perspectives of relapse.

HSRV-H 303 Counseling Needs of Older Adults (3 cr)

This course addresses the emotional and psychological needs of the older adult. Topics to be covered will include retirement, loss, companionship, isolation, sexuality, autonomy and others. Focus will be on assessment, delivery of services, and referral.

HSRV-H 304 Basic Counseling Skills (3 cr)

This course is designed to introduce students to basic counseling skills and techniques.  Skills such as listening attending, interviewing and treatment planning will be discussed and practiced by students.  Students will be introduced to motivational interviewing techniques.  The course will consist of didactic and experiential teaching methods in order to enhance students’ learning.  Since this course is largely oriented around skill development with addicted clients, attendance and participation are crucial to student learning.

  • Prerequisite: Six credits of alcohol/drug, gerontology, or psychology.
HSRV-H 323 Social Systems Aspects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (3 cr)

This course introduces students to social systems such as family, peer groups, and cultural systems as they interrelate with persons abusing alcohol and other drugs.  The course  includes substance abuse in the workplace and in organizations.  Course material will focus on the culture of addiction and the culture of recovery in the context of these social systems.

HSRV-H 361 Counseling Substance Abusers and Their Families (3 cr)

Counseling Substance Abusers and Their Families provides students insight into family dynamics around substance abuse.  The student gains an appreciation for the role family dynamics play in maintaining, preventing, and alleviating substance abuse.  The student begins to understand substance abuse and use as integral elements in an addicted family system.  The student is introduced to intervention techniques to help families.

HSRV-H 401 Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Seminar (3 cr)

This course is designed to assist the student in the development of counseling skills and strategies for services to alcohol and other drug dependent clients.  A variety of theories, modalities, and client characteristics will be discussed.  The student will become familiar with assessments, treatment plans, and evaluations as strategies for intervening with addicted clients.  A heavy emphasis will be placed on intervention techniques.

  • Prerequisite: Six credits of alcohol and drug abuse courses.
HSRV-H 402 Integrative Seminar in Gerontology (3 cr)

Integration of gerontology knowledge and skills through completion of a special project in gerontology and participation in a seminar focused on the community and institutional care needs of older adults, along with the role of human services gerontology professionals.

  • Prerequisite: Fifteen hours in Gerontology.

Social Work

SWK-S 102 Understanding Diversity in a Pluralistic Society (3 cr)

This course covers theories and models that enhance understanding of our diverse society. It provides content about differences and similarities in the experiences, needs and beliefs of selected minority groups and their relation to the majority group. These groups include, but are not limited to, people of color, women, gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons. This course analyzes the interrelationship of race, class, age, ethnicity, and gender and how these factors influence the social values regarding economic and social justice. Course content will be integrated through student writing and presentations. (Replaced SWK-S 100 Fall 2012)

SWK-S 141 Introduction to Social Work (3 cr)

This course is an introduction to the profession of social work and the philosophical, societal, and organizational contexts within which professional social work activities are conducted. This course provides the opportunity for students to explore their interest in and potential for a career in social work.

SWK-S 200 Introduction to Case Management (3 cr)

Given current changing demographics, complex social problems, human service providers will serve a more diverse and perhaps more vulnerable population. A large number of clients will find it challenging to access the maze of increasingly decentralized social services. Case management may help to address some of these issues. This course will introduce various case management models and the roles and functions of case managers. It will highlight the nature of client participation and the mutuality of the helping process. Ethics and ethical dilemmas will be addressed. Skills for client centered, culturally competent case management will be explored.

SWK-S 221 Human Growth and Development in the Social Environment (3 cr)

This course assists the undergraduate social work student in building a foundation for understanding human behavior and development in diverse contexts across the life course. The course emphasizes the interdependence of dynamic interactions between a person and that individual’s environment, and thus introduces students to implications for human development through a person-in-environment lens.

SWK-S 251 History and Analysis of Social Welfare Policy (3 cr)

This course is designed to provide a historical perspective on the evolution of social welfare policies and programs and allow students to develop beginning policy analysis skills so that students will be able to identify gaps in the service delivery system and inequitable or oppressive aspects of current policy delivery. Students acquire knowledge of the prevailing social, political, ideological, and economic contexts that gave rise to the various social welfare policies and programs and have influenced how programs and policies have changed over time.

SWK-S 280 Introduction to Field Experience (3 cr)

Introductory field experience for testing interest in Social Work.

SWK-S 300 Contemporary Issues in Domestic Violence (3 cr)

This course will explore contemporary issues related to domestic violence, also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Students will review the history of the movement to end domestic violence. Theories of the cause of domestic violence will be surveyed along with local, state, federal and international public policy issues. Prevention and intervention models relevant to social work and other helping professions will be explored, as well as community level practice and contemporary research issues.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing.
SWK-S 301 Computer Technology for Social Workers (3 cr)*

Students may use this course to fulfill the computer course requirements for the undergraduate program or as an elective. This course is geared primarily for students with a low to moderate understanding of computers technology. It provides the student with the beginning level skills and knowledge necessary to function professionally in this technologically-based age.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 302 Law, Inequality and Poverty (3 cr)*

In 1996, Congress passed and President Clinton signed a welfare reform bill that represented a sharp break from the past. This course analyzes the origins of the law and its initial outcomes. The course will review social science and legal thinking about welfare programs and policies, emphasizing how they are influenced by and how they affect trends in the labor market and family structure.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 305 Child Abuse and Neglect (3 cr)*

This elective course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to child abuse and neglect from psychological, social, cultural, legal, and economic perspectives. Social workers in all professional work settings must know how to identify child maltreatment and family violence. Students must also be able to practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to the clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 306 Crisis Intervention (3 cr)*

This elective course focuses on the increasing number of complex and painful personal, couple and family crisis situations encountered by professional social workers in the course of service delivery. Crisis events are characterized by high stress responses in one or more persons within a short period of time, usually in response to some difficult social, interpersonal, intrapsychic, medical or developmental triggering events.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 307 Grief & Loss Across the Life Span (3 cr)*

This is an elective web-based course that will explore the complex components of grief and loss throughout the life span from an ecological and strength based theoretical perspective. The focus of the course will be to increase understanding, knowledge and compassion related to the impact of grief and loss on individuals, families, and communities at large. In addition, the course gives students an opportunity to explore and understand their perceptions and beliefs on death and dying, and how individual cultural differences influence that experience.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 312 Substance Abuse and Social Services (3 cr)*

The purpose of this elective course is to give students an overview of the field of addiction (alcohol & drugs) including discussion of several conceptual models and theories. The course focuses on self-help groups, assessment procedures, and current intervention strategies. Students are given an opportunity to explore special issues in the field among oppressed minorities that are of particular interest to them and to share their findings with other students.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 313 Poverty in the United States (3 cr)*

Working with persons experiencing poverty is a major focus of the social work profession. The primary purpose of this course is to examine the nature of poverty, both rural and urban, in the United States. To achieve this purpose, we will explore and examine the history of poverty in the United States, theories about the causes of poverty, and the effects of poverty on individual development.

*Elective offered periodically through the School of Social Work

SWK-S 322 Small Group Theory and Practice (3 cr)

The course examines the significance of the small group as both the context and means for social development of individuals and as a vehicle for generalist practice. It includes discussion of the individual as a member of a variety of groups, including the family. The course covers group theories as well as mezzo practice strategies.

SWK-S 323 Human Behavior & Social Environment III: Community and Organizational Functioning (3 cr)

Theoretical and conceptual foundation of community and formal organizations, community research, institutional discrimination, distribution of community resources, and power and control as it relates to oppressed groups.

SWK-S 331 General Social Work Practice I: Theory/Skill (3 cr)

This course focuses primarily on the application of basic generalist social work skills that demonstrate an understanding and application of the continuum of social work practice in the helping relationship.
The course focuses on the beginning phase of the problem-solving process and related skills. This course is designed to provide students with a beginning understanding of generalist social work practice.

SWK-S 332 General Social Work Practice II: Theory/Skill (3 cr)

This practice course examines the middle and ending phases of the helping process and related skills. Students explore the helping relationship with various client system sizes, impact of agency policies and procedures upon practice and resolution of clients’ problems; practice evaluation.

SWK-S 352 Social Welfare Policy and Practice (3 cr)

This second course in social welfare policy builds on S251 by exploring in depth the current social welfare delivery system through policy analysis using a variety of frameworks and developing policy practice skills.

SWK-S 371 Social Work Research (3 cr)

The general goal of this basic social science research methods course is to introduce and develop skills needed to conceptualize a problem, make use of available literature, design a research strategy, evaluate, organize, and integrate relevant data (both existing and new), derive useful solutions based on knowledge, and communicate those solutions to clients and colleagues.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing
SWK-S 401 Integrative Practicum Seminar I (2 cr)

This course is designed to facilitate integration of material gained from social work practice and theory courses with the realities of practice in the field as they occur in the student's practicum placement, S 482 Social Work Practicum I.

SWK-S 402 Intergrative Practicum Seminar II (3 cr)

This second semester of field seminar provides a continuing forum for the integration of academic learning with agency-based field placement. Taken as a co-requisite with S 482 Field Practicum II, this course provides students with educational and administrative support to synthesize knowledge from all previous social work course and the experiential learning from field.

SWK-S 423 Organizational Theory and Practice (3 Crs.)

This course provides the theoretical and conceptual foundation for understanding organizational functioning and behavior, and introduces the knowledge and skills necessary for generalist social work practice and leadership within an organizational context. The course assists the undergraduate social work student in building a knowledge base about organizations and organizational life from the perspective of consumers, practitioners, and leaders.

SWK-S 433 Community Behavior and Practice Within A Generalist Perspective (3 cr)

This course provides the theoretical foundation for community functioning and behavior and the knowledge and skills of community interventions designed to mitigate social, political and economic injustice and bring social change. The orientation of this course is primarily based on systems theory, the ecological and strengths perspectives and concepts of conflict, power, empowerment, corporate domination, global interconnections, and advocacy.

SWK-S 442 Practice-Policy Seminar in Fields of Practice (3 cr)

Addresses practice and policy issues in specific fields of practice. Variable course topics include:

  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Addictions (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Aging (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Case Management (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Children and Families (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Health Care (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Mental Health (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Public Child Welfare (3 cr)
  • Practice-Policy Seminar: Youth and Adolescents (3 cr)
SWK-S 460 Scholarly Writing Seminar (3 cr)

This course prepares BSW/MSW students to successfully complete scholarly writing tasks. Topics addressed include expectations and standards for scholarly writing, conducting searches of professional literature, using effective paraphrasing and summarization skills, writing logically and coherently, and appropriately citing references adhering to APA format. The course is intended to support students’ efforts on writing tasks assigned in future courses.

SWK-S 472 Social Work Practice Evaluation (3 cr)

Practice-Research Seminar provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate their own practice and the effectiveness of social service programs within which they work, as well as to become critical consumers of the professional literature to guide their practice. This course reviews a variety of evaluation designs, methodologies and techniques applicable to evaluating generalist social work practice..

SWK-S 481 Social Work Practicum I (4 cr)

The course affords the student an opportunity to make application of practice knowledge, values, and skills within an organizational structure of a human service agency. In the agency settings, students are expected to demonstrate beginning competency in working with clients, utilizing community resources, interacting with other professionals, and in functioning effectively within an organization. Furthermore, students are expected to identify and work to alleviate (at a beginning level) oppressive conditions in the lives of their clients.

SWK-S 482 Social Work Practicum II (4 cr)

This course is the continuation of S481 agency-based field experience which provides opportunities for students to demonstrate the practice behaviors outlined in the competencies defined by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in preparation for professional practice at the BSW level. Demonstration of competencies requires the application and integration of classroom concepts and principles and the development of skills for generalist practice.

SWK-S 490 Independent Study (1-6 cr)

Prerequisite special permission. Individual study of an area of special interest.