School of Social Work

BA in Social Work

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (commonly referred to as a BSW) prepares the student for professional practice of social work at the entry level. Students with a BSW can become licensed at the LSW level in the State of Maine.

The major in social work consists of 45 credits in required social work courses. In addition, 30 credits of foundation courses must be completed in other departments. Some of these foundation courses may also be used to satisfy the Core curriculum requirements as appropriate. Students shall not be eligible to repeat a class more than once without the written permission of the director of the School of Social Work.

To major in social work, all students must maintain a 2.5 over all cumulative grade point average, and a grade of C (2.0) or better in all major and foundation classes. In order to prepare for the field work component in the School of Social Work, students must take SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I in the spring semester preceding their field work year.

To qualify for enrollment in SWO 393, students must: 1) have at least 60 credits at the time of preregistration and have successfully completed math readiness, EYE, English composition, statistics, SOC 100, PSY 101, POS 101, ECO 101, HRD/SBS 200, SWO 201 and SWO 250; and 2) continue with a 2.5 cumulative GPA overall. At the time of enrollment, transfer students may be approved by advisor and BSW coordinator but must, at minimum, have completed SWO 201 and SWO 250. Students are required to maintain the 2.5 GPA and achieve a grade of C or better in all social work and required foundation courses to complete the major. Please see the Student Handbook and Field Work manual on our website (http://usm.maine.edu/swo) for additional information about requirements of field work. All required courses with their pre-requisites can be viewed there.

The School of Social Work uses a web-based data collection platform called Tk20.  Tk20 provides a system for portfolio development and assessment that enables the collection, monitoring, and analysis of student progress in class and in the field. The School of Social Work will use Tk20 to collect essential data for ongoing program evaluation that is required by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for accreditiation. Students use Tk20 to store course syllabi and other course work. The USM School of Social Work requires all social work students to purchase a Tk20 Assessment System account for a one-time subscription fee of $103. that covers the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. The subscription allows students to access records for up to 10 years.

During the field work year which occurs in the student's last academic year, each student is placed in a community social service agency approved by the School of Social Work. Placements begin only in the fall semester and continue throughout the academic year. By the end of the spring semester, each student will have completed 480 hours of field work. All students should refer to School guidelines governing field work for more information and directions.

Required Social Work Courses
     SWO 150 Professional Writing Laboratory for Social Workers\
     SWO 201 Introduction to Social Work
     SWO 250 Introduction to Social Welfare
     SWO 333 Social Work Research I
     SWO 334 Social Work Research II
     SWO 350 Social Welfare Policy
     SWO 365 Examining Oppression and Valuing Diversity
     SWO 370 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
     SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I
     SWO 403 Methods of Social Work Practice II
     SWO 404 Methods of Social Work Practice III
     SWO 411 Field Work I
     SWO 412 Field Work II
    * 1 SWO Elective

Required Foundation Courses in Other Departments
     ENG 100 College Writing
     ECO 101 Introduction to Macroeconomics
     POS 101 Introduction to American Government
     PSY 101 General Psychology I
     An introductory statistics course (MAT 120, PSY 105, or LCC 150)
     SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
     HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development
     or PSY 220 Psychology of the Lifespan
    

Three intermediate-level (200-399) social science electives. These electives may be from sociology, psychology, criminology, SBS, anthropology, geography, political science, economics, or women's studies courses (and one of these may be a second SWO elective*). These elective courses should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor. These may not all be in the same discipline, with the exception of either external transfer students or Lewiston-Auburn College students.

* A student may take a second social work elective, in which case only two (2) social science electives are required.

Recommended Course Sequence

During the first years at the University, with the assistance of professional advisors, students enroll in a combination of classes fulfilling their Core curriculum requirements, required foundation courses for social work (classes in other fields required by the major), and the major itself. Once students earn 54 credits, social work faculty advisors work with students to plan for social work major courses. Because many classes are prerequisites for other classes, students must carefully sequence their courses with help from their advisors. The model below indicates the desired program for social work majors; starred (*) classes indicate the class is a prerequisite for other social work requirements.

Model Schedule

Year 1
     EYE Entry Year Experience
     English Composition
     Mathematics readiness requirement
     PSY 101 General Psychology I*
     SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology*
     General Electives

Year 2
     ECO 101 Introduction to Economics*
     HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development*
     POS 101 Introduction to American Government*
     SWO 150 Professional Writing Laboratory for Social Workers
     SWO 201 Introduction to Social Work*
     SWO 250 Introduction to Social Welfare*
     Statistics (in math, psychology, sociology, or SBS at Lewiston-Auburn College)*
     SWO 365 Examining Oppression and Valuing Diversity
     General Electives

Year 3
     SWO 333 Social Work Research I
     SWO 334 Social Work Research II
     SWO 350 Social Welfare Policy
     SWO 370 Human Behavior and Social Environment
     SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I
          Prerequisites: students must:

      • have at least 60 credits at the time of preregistration and have completed math readiness, EYE, English composition, statistics, SOC 100, PSY 101, POS 101, ECO 101, HRD/SBS 200, SWO 201 and 250 at the time of enrollment, except in some cases transfer students
      • have a 2.5 cumulative GPA overall

     Social work elective, 300 level or higher
     Electives in sociology, psychology, criminology, or SBS, anthropology, geography, political  science, economics or women's studies (or one additional upper level SWO elective).
     General electives

Year 4
     SWO 403, 404 Methods of Social Work Practice II and III
     SWO 411, 412 Field Work I and II (full year)
     Social Work elective, 300-level or higher
     Any remaining sociology, psychology, criminology, SBS, anthropology, geography, political science, economics or women's studies (or one additional upper level SWO elective) electives.
     General electives

To assure consistency and avoid confusion, it is important that social work majors meet with their advisors on a regular basis. Students receiving advising from a designated professional advisor for the social work major until they earn 54 credits, at which time they should start meeting regularly with their assigned social work faculty member. Professional and social work faculty advisors collaborate closely to support students. Advising in the School of Social Work is a mutual process of exploring career objectives, reviewing School requirements, designing the best possible combination of required courses and electives, determining proper course sequencing, and facilitating a collaborative relationship between the student and the School.