School of Social Work

Our Undergraduate Courses

SWO 201 Introduction to Social Work

This course is an introduction to the profession of social work. Students are introduced to the core values of social work and the code of ethics that emanates from those values. Oppression and social justice are central themes of this course. The practice of social work is considered from the perspective of a collaborative strengths-based model working with complex social service systems. The course familiarizes students with various roles, functions, and tasks that social workers perform in a variety of settings. It acquaints students with the primary skills and practices of professional social work. Taking this course will help students make a more informed decision about social work as a career. Cr 3.

SWO 250 Introduction to Social Welfare

Provides an introduction to the institution of social welfare through a review of social welfare history; the values and philosophy in America of treating the poor, the ill, and others in need; contemporary approaches to social policy; and possible alternative models of social welfare. Cr 3.

SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and skills of interviewing and assessment within the framework of a strengths perspective. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of ethics and the process of reflection within a generalist practice of social work. Prerequisites: SWO 201, SWO 250J, junior status at the time of preregistration for SWO 393, grade of C or better in all required social work and foundation courses, and overall GPA of 2.5. Offered spring semester only. This course has a service-learning component that requires students have time available for work in the community. Cr 3.

SWO 322 Community Services In Belize

This service-learning course provides students with an opportunity to understand and appreciate the diverse Belizean culture while collaborating with local agencies to address identified social needs. Service sites include an orphanage, a home for elderly, and work with a women’s group. Wintersession only—2 Saturday classes prior to departure. Prerequisite: SWO 201 or permission of instructors.

SWO 333 Social Work Research I

A study of the methods of social work research for social policy and social work practice. The course emphasizes both quantitative and qualitative research processes with the goal of enabling the student to be competent as a “practitioner searcher.” Prerequisites: SWO 201, SWO 250-; any introductory statistics course (MAT 120, PSY 201, SOC 307, or SBS 328). Cr 3.

SWO 334 Social Work Research II

In this continuation of SWO 333, students complete an empirical research project. Class members serve as a review committee for all research instruments used, learn the practical aspects of writing quantitative and qualitative research reports, and function as a research support group for one another. Prerequisite: SWO 333. Cr 3.

SWO 350 Social Welfare Policy

A critical examination of social welfare institutions, the social problems and social needs to which they are addressed, and the policy decisions that determine the organization and direction of social welfare programs. Prerequisites: ECO 101, SWO 250, POS 101, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 365 Examining Oppression and Valuing Diversity

This course is designed to provide a framework for understanding and respecting cultural diversity. The cultural aspects of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and ableness will be discussed. A central theme in organizing the course is the examination of the role of oppression in shaping the lives of members of various cultural groups. Prerequisites: SWO 201 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 367 Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity in Social Work Practice

Provides an understanding of varying concepts of homosexuality. Employs recent theoretical, empirical, and clinical literature to assess attitudes toward homosexuality. Examines motivation and skills to achieve constructive interaction between the professional and the homosexual. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 370 Human Behavior in the Social Environment

This course examines the ways in which normative and predictable human behavior throughout the life cycle is mediated by gender, race, age, sexual preference, class and culture. The implication of this knowledge for social work practice will be explored. Prerequisites: SWO 201, SWO 250; PSY 101, PSY 102 and introductory course in biology. Cr 3.

SWO 374 Sexual Harassment in Education and Work

This course examines sexual harassment in the workplace and education from three perspectives: mental health, sexual violence, and social justice. Students apply concepts from the behavioral and social sciences, from clinical and community practice to contemporary education and corporate environments. Environmental and cultural forces that influence discriminatory behavior are explored. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 375 Gender and Aging

A theoretical and practical course that informs students about aging issues affecting women and men differentially. Students will analyze the manifestations of aging and apply concepts drawn from the behavioral and social sciences. Service learning experience may be available. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 378 Professional Practice with Older People

Enhances skills in human service practice with older people. Analyzes the sources and manifestations of both healthy and problematic aging. Applies concepts drawn from the behavioral and social sciences, and from clinical and community practice. Translates a developmental rather than a custodial view into everyday direct service. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 380 Child Welfare

A study of the policy and practice issues affecting children in current society, including implications for social services and institutional change. Prerequisites: SWO 201 and SWO 250Jor permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 381 Social Work with Children

This course explores the application of social work skills and knowledge in professional interactions with children and adolescents within the context of social welfare agencies. The focus is on the skills involved in treatment as well as knowledge about family and community systems. Prerequisites: SWO 201, SWO 250J or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 383 Social Work with Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers

Considers migration patterns and flows across the globe, introduces critical concepts in immigration and U.S. immigration policies. Community-based services will be explored with a focus on concepts such as cultural competence, diversity, empowerment, anti-oppressive social work, and critical multicultural approaches. Service-delivery efforts/approaches with the population will be considered. Prerequisite: Juniors standing or permission of instructor. Cr. 3:

SWO 385 Sexual Abuse of Children and Adolescents

This course will examine the application of social work skills and knowledge to the issue of sexual abuse of children and adolescents. An up-to-date review of the latest research and clinical findings will be presented. Attention will be given to a variety of issues as well as the value dilemmas presented by client situations. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 388 Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Issues

Examines the use and abuse of psychoactive substances: street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Consideration of the history, pharmacology, and physical and psychological affects of each substance. Exploration of prevention and treatment models, with special reference to those in use locally. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 391 Mind/Body/Spirit Connections in Social Work Practice

Examines mind/body/spirit connections in social work practice with regard to stress and its management (meditation, breath control, other relaxation techniques), stress-related illness and personalities, contemporary therapies (mainstream and culturally specific), and spirituality. Prerequisite: SWO 201, junior standing, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

SWO 393 Methods of Social Work Practice I

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and skills of interviewing and assessment within the framework of a strengths perspective. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of ethics and the process of reflection within a generalist practice of social work. Prerequisites: EYE, MAT101, English Composition, statistics, Soc 100, PSY 101and 102, Biology and lab, HRD 200, POS 101, ECO 101, SWO 201, SWO 250, junior status at the time of preregistration for SWO 393, grade of C or better in all required social work and foundation courses, and overall GPA of 2.5. Offered spring semester only. This course has a service-learning component that requires students to have some time available for work in the community. Cr 3.

SWO 397 Department Projects

Individual or group projects, requiring independent study or field work in some aspect of social welfare, to be selected by students in consultation with a particular faculty member. Prerequisites: Department permission and application prior to registration. Cr var.

SWO 403 Methods of Social Work Practice II

Examines the dilemmas of professional human service workers in bureaucratic systems and the effects of professionalization and the bureaucracy on consumers. Develops a range of methods aimed at better meeting client need with particular reference to strategies of organizational change and community organization. Class discussions and assignments are based on field work experiences. Prerequisites: SWO 393 and a C or better in all required social work and foundation courses, and an overall 2.5 GPA. SWO 411 taken concurrently. Cr 3.

SWO 404 Methods of Social Work Practice III

This course is a continuation of Methods of Social Work Practice II. It explores the contextual nature of generalist social work practice within a strengths perspective. Emphasis will be placed on the processes of engagement, assessment, and intervention with individuals, families, and groups. Family systems, group, and crisis models of intervention will be presented. This course must be taken concurrently with SWO 412 (Field Work II). Prerequisites: SWO 393, SWO 403. Spring semester only. Cr 3.

SWO 411 Field Work I

For social work majors: a required internship of 16 hours per week in approved agency settings, designed to relate social work theory to practice under professional supervision. Fall semester only. Must be taken as the first in a two-course sequence. Prerequisites: SWO 201; SWO 393; a C or better in all required social work and foundation courses, and an overall 2.5 GPA. SWO 403 taken concurrently. Fall semester only. Cr 6.

SWO 412 Field Work II

A continuation of SWO 411. Spring term only. Must be taken as the second in a two-course sequence. Prerequisites: SWO 393, SWO 403, SWO 411, and SWO 404 (concurrent). Cr 6.

SWO 456 Issues in Social Welfare and Social Work

A seminar for social work majors that addresses significant issues confronting the social welfare system and the profession. Prerequisite: social work major or permission of instructor. Cr 3.