Catalog 2013-2014

Social Work

www.plu.edu/sociology-social-work
socw@plu.edu

Within a program that is firmly based in the liberal arts, the social work major is designed to prepare students for beginning professional social work practice and further study in social work. Social work has both a heavily multidisciplinary-based body of knowledge and its own continuously developing knowledge base. The complexity of social issues and social problems that confront the modern-day social worker require this broad theoretical perspective. Social workers are involved in areas that are influenced by political, economic, social, psychological, and cultural factors. To that end, the program stresses an understanding of social science theories and methods. The curriculum provides a foundation for understanding the interaction of individual, family, and community systems, as the basis for generalist practice. Students learn a multi-method approach to social work practice that enables them to address a wide range of individuals, families, groups, community and organizational needs. Students enhance their commitment to informed action to remove inequities based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, social class, sexual orientation, disability, and age.

Admission to the Social Work Program

Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work must first apply and be accepted into the program. The social work program welcomes diversity and invites interest and applications from persons who seek to participate in a profession committed to helping people, now and in the future. Students may begin taking social work courses before being admitted to the program, but only admitted students are allowed to take 400-level courses. Students will be admitted to the Social Work Program for fall semester only. The priority date for applications is April 10, though applications will be accepted until available positions are filled. Enrollment is competitive based on intended graduation date.

Admission is determined by faculty evaluation of student applications on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Transcript that documents the completion of at least 40 semester hours of prescribed course work with a minimum grade point average of 2.75. In addition, the student must show successful completion of the following prerequisites: ANTH 102 or 334, BIOL 111, PSYC 101, SOCI 101, WRIT 101, and the PLU math entrance requirement. (Note: grades below C- do not transfer);
  • A personal essay which addresses: (a) interest in social work as a career, (b) life experiences shaping an interest in social work, (c) professional social work goals, and (d) an evaluation of personal strengths and limitations (details may be obtained from Social Work Program);
  • A summary of work and volunteer experience;
  • Two letters of recommendation that evaluate and document the applicant’s potential for success in social work education and practice;
  • Washington State Patrol Criminal History clearance (Applicants with a criminal record will be urged to explore their prospects for registering as a counselor or later being licensed as a social worker with the State of Washington);
  • Written agreement to comply with the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics (a copy of which is available from the Social Work Program);
  • Personal interview (may be requested).

Any falsification in the application for admission is grounds for dismissal from the program. Applicants who are not admitted to candidacy for the degree may reapply without prejudice.

Application materials are available directly from the Social Work Program in Xavier Hall, may be requested by calling 253.535.7295 or are available on the Social Work home page at the PLU Web site.

Continuation Policies

To remain in the program, a student must: (a) maintain a 2.75 grade point average in social work courses and a 2.50 overall grade point average, (b) demonstrate behavior which is consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics and University Code of Conduct, and (c) average 80% or better on benchmark assignments used to assess competence for practice.

BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE
Major in Social Work
52
semester hours, including


  • SOCW 245, 250, 350, 360, 460, 465, 475, 476, 485, 486, 498, and 499
  • 12 semester hours in sociology, including SOCI 101, 232; STAT 233 (must be completed at PLU)
  • 4 semester hours in elective SOCI or SOCW

Social Work majors are required to have the following prerequisites prior to entry to the program: ANTH 102 or 334, BIOL 111, PSYC 101

MINOR
18 Semester Hours, including:
  • SOCW 101 (190) or 201
  • 8 semester hours from the following: SOCW 245, 250, 350 or 360
  • 4 semester hours from the following: SOCI 232, 330, 362 or STAT 233 (Sociology)
  • 2 semester hours of SOCW 375

Social Work (SOCW) Undergraduate-Level Courses

SOCW 101: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare - A, SO

An introduction to human need and the field of social work. Provides an overview of services, models of service delivery, and professional social work values. Students visit agency settings and meet with social work practitioners. A volunteer experience in the field is a required component of this seminar-style course. (4)

SOCW 175: January on the Hill - A, SO

An intense experience of service and community work on Tacoma's Hilltop District and/or Tacoma's eastside where students learn firsthand about poverty and participate in community projects. (4)

SOCW 190: FYEP190: Inquiry Seminar

A four-credit seminar to introduce students to the methods and topics of study within a particular academic discipline or field. Students practice the academic skills that are at the center of the General Education Program. (4)

SOCW 245: Human Behavior and the Social Environment - SO

Students examine developmental theory through the lens of an ecological systems perspective and a biopsychosocial-spiritual framework, emphasizing power, privilege, and cultural differences (particularly race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation) as applied to individuals, families, groups, institutions, organizations, and communities locally and globally. Volunteer experience is required. (4)

SOCW 250: Social Policy I: History of Social Welfare - SO

Exploration of power, privilege and oppression emphasizing political process and global social change in the development of the American welfare state and the profession of social work. Students reflect critically upon personal and social values, social welfare systems and their performance, the impact of political ideology and compromise on vulnerable populations, and the function of professional social work. (4)

SOCW 287: Special Topics in Social Work

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 288: Special Topics in Social Work

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 289: Special Topics in Social Work

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 291: Directed Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with introductory study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as DS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

SOCW 320: Child Welfare, A Global Perspective

An examination of child welfare, including child abuse and neglect; child welfare services, including CPS, permanency planning, foster care, adoption; and the current status of child well-being around the world, exploring the impact on children of such issues as poverty, war, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, access to education, access to health care, care for orphans, street children. (4)

SOCW 325: Social, Educational, and Health Services in Tobago - C

Explore strengths and needs of Tobago and effects of history and colonialism on the development of community problems. Through service learning, interaction with agency staff and community members, readings and reflections, develop an understanding of the meaning of service in another culture and deepen one's own ethic of meaningful service. (4)

SOCW 329: Compassionate Practice: Spirituality and Contemplation in the Helping Professions

An introduction to spirituality and contemplation designed for students who anticipate their career in the helping professions including, but not limited to, social work, psychology, nursing, sociology, and education. Students will have an opportunity to explore and develop their own spiritualities and also learn to incorporate spirituality and contemplation in their professional client assessment, and personal, professional development. (4)

SOCW 345: Gerontology

Explore the reality of growing order in America and around the world. Learn about adult development, needs and services for older adults, and advocacy with them. Consider providers of services to elderly adults. Ponder how society cares for older people. Calculate the fate of Social Security as baby boomers age. Explore Gerontology as a field of social work practice. Service Learning is a vital component. (4)

SOCW 350: Social Policy II: Social Policy Analysis

Students develop legislative policy practice and advocacy skills, and examine the impact of policy implementation, administration, and governmental structure on services to vulnerable populations. Critical thinking is used to analyze contemporary global and local policy in income assistance, health/mental health, child welfare, homelessness, and services to seniors. Prerequisite: SOCW 250. (4)

SOCW 360: Social Work Practice I: Interviewing and Overview of Generalist Practice

Students learn the conceptual framework of generalist practice and apply the ecological systems perspective to practice. This course introduces engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation in the context of social work both locally and globally. Students are able to learn intentional interviewing skills and apply those skills within various models of practice and across cultures. Prerequisite: SOCW 245. (4)

SOCW 375: Social Services in the Community

Completion of a minimum of 50 hours of work in a community setting. Through written work, students reflect on their experiences, their personal growth, and the mission of the agency. May be repeated for credit up to two semester hours. Prerequisite: SOCW 175 or 245 or 360. (1)

SOCW 387: Special Topics in Social Work

Selected topics as announced by the department. Topics relevant to current trends and issues in the field of social work. (2 to 4)

SOCW 388: Special Topics in Social Work

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 389: Special Topics in Social Work

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 460: Social Work Practice II: Families and Groups

Grounded in the framework of generalist social work practice, the second social work practice course examines theoretical models and practice skills for assessment and intervention with families and groups. Emphasizes the importance of culturally sensitive practice. Introduces students to group dynamics and group development. Prerequisite: SOCW 245, 360. (4)

SOCW 465: Social Work Practice III: Macropractice

Using the generalist social work practice framework, students develop engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation skills for local and global practice with organizations, and communities. As professional social workers, students map community assets, examine community development, and advocate for diverse and marginalized groups. Students recognize social service organizations as a changing context for professional practice and research. Prerequisites: SOCW 245, 250, 350, 360, and 460.(4)

SOCW 475: Field Experience I

Students are placed in social service agencies where, under supervision, they demonstrate the generalist skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation of practice. They apply ethical principles in interactions with clients and staff, demonstrate critical thinking, engage and embrace diversity, demonstrate and apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment. Pass/Fail. Prerequisites: SOCW 245, 350, and 360; to be taken concurrently with SOCW 460 and 485; requires consent of instructor. (3)

SOCW 476: Field Experience II

Continuation of SOCW 475. Students practice and refine the generalist skills of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. Through their deepening identification with the social work profession, they analyze how their agency responds to changing contexts and reflect on ways to engage in policy and advocacy practice. Pass/Fail. Must be taken concurrently with SOCW 465 and 486. (3)

SOCW 485: Field Experience Seminar I

Students integrate the theories and skills from their coursework with experiences in their field settings, applying theories of human behavior and the social environment. They write and analyze a case and practice self-reflection by developing a plan to evaluate their own practice. Must be taken concurrently with SOCW 475. (1)

SOCW 486: Field Experience Seminar II

Students continue to grow in their professional identification and behavior. They make a formal case presentation to professional social workers, demonstrating their application of knowledge, values, and skills and their competence in engagement, assessment and intervention. They evaluate their own practice. Must be taken concurrently with SOCW 476. (1)

SOCW 487: Special Topics in Social Welfare

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 488: Special Topics in Social Welfare

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 489: Special Topics in Social Welfare

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

SOCW 491: Independent Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with advanced study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as IS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (1 to 4)

SOCW 495: Internship

To permit undergraduate students to relate theory and practice in a work situation. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as Intern: followed by the specific title designated by the instructor in consultation with the student. (1 to 12)

SOCW 498: Capstone Proposal - SR

Students select a topic for their capstone, complete a preliminary literature review, and develop an outline for their final capstone, to be completed in SOCW 499. Prerequisites: SOCW 245, 350, and 360. (1)

SOCW 499: Capstone: Senior Seminar - SR

This integrative seminar requires students to explore a field of generalist practice across all of the competencies of the social work profession, including reciprocal relationships between research and practice, the policies that impact practice, global perspectives, typical ethical issues, role of diversity, evidence-based interventions and ways they may evaluate their practice. This culminates in a paper and public presentation. Prerequisites: SOCW 245, 350, 360, 460, 475, 498, and SOCI 232. (3)