Stages of the Bachelor of Social Work Curriculum

 

Beginning Stage: Exploring the Curriculum Foundation

This component includes the following courses:

  • SW 100 Exploring Social Work 
  • SW 230 Human Behavior and Social Environment I 

The overall goal of this component is for students to come away with a clear conception of what the profession of social work is about, especially generalist practice. Students will have explored their own values and competencies in comparison to the expectations of the profession and made a decision through application to the advanced BSW program that they are prepared to make mastery of the professional foundation their goal. SW 100 provides an overview of the profession, basically providing a rationale for the entire curriculum. It includes guest presenters from several work practice settings and includes a volunteer experience. SW 230 introduces students to the systems approach for organizing knowledge about people and their social environments. 

Upon completion of this component, the following will have been accomplished:

  1. The student understands and can describe core social work competencies, generalist practice and how the Social Work curriculum prepares them to enter generalist practice.
  2. The student will have assessed personal values, strengths, weaknesses, and goals for professional growth.
  3. The Social Work faculty will have directly observed the student in order to make recommendations concerning potential for continuance in the program. 
  4. A decision will be made for continuance or termination in the BSW curriculum.
  5. At this point the student may apply to and be admitted to the advance program; the student may apply and be denied admission, or the student may voluntarily chose to pursue another career path 

Middle Stage: Building the Knowledge and Skills for Generalist Practice 

This component includes the following courses: 

  • SW 331 Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • SW 341 Social Welfare Policy 
  • SW 370 Practice Methods I
  • SW 372 Practice methods II
  • SW 308 Research Methods II 

The goal of this component is to provide in-depth coverage of social work core competencies.   Upon completion of this section of the curriculum students will:

  1. Be able to discuss of all 10 core social work competencies.
  2. Have applied competencies in classroom activities, course assignments and exams.
  3. Have demonstrated practice behaviors that show mastery of core competencies.
  4. Show a level of intellectual, psychological and emotional maturity to suggest readiness for senior field placement.   

EP 2.1.1. Identification as a Professional Social Worker is covered extensively in SW 370 and SW 372 Practice Methods I and II.  SW 370 and SW 372 also include in-depth coverage of EP 2.1.2 Social Work Ethics and EP 2.1.4. Diversity and Difference in Practice.  SW 341 focuses primarily on EP 2.1.3 Critical Thinking, EP 2.1.5 Human Rights and Social and Economic Justice, and EP 2.1.8 Policy Practice.  EP 2.1.6 Research-Informed Practice and Practice-Informed Research are highlighted in SW 308.  EP 2.1.7 Human Behavior in the Social Environment and EP 2.1.9 are the focus of SW 331 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II.  EP2.1.10., which includes the major practice skills of Engagement, Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation, are the primary focus of SW 370 and SW 372 Practice Methods I and II, which are taken concurrently.  SW 370 focuses on direct practice interventions within generalist practice and SW 372 focuses on indirect practice interventions within generalist practice.  

Final Stage:   Social Work Competencies Action

This component includes the following courses: 

  • SW 440 Social Welfare Policy Analysis 
  • SW 473 Integrative Seminar I 
  • SW 474 Integrative Seminar II 
  • SW 472 Social Work Practice with Human Diversity 
  • SW 480 Field Placement I 
  • SW 481 Field Placement II 

This component is a sequence of courses for the senior year of the program. All prerequisites must be completed before entry and each of these courses is completed concurrently with field placement. The primary goal of this component is to integrate the competencies covered and demonstrated in previous courses with practice in the field. SW 472 emphasizes issues of human diversity in social work practice (EP 2.1.4). SW 473 emphasizes issues of social work professionalism and conduct (EP 2.1.1) and serves as a forum for processing field practice experiences. SW 474 continues this function during the winter semester. Students prepare for entry into the profession by developing a resume and by working on career planning. Policy is integrated with practice through SW 440. Building on SW 341, the course focuses the student's attention on policy issues in the field and the role of policy in professional social work (EP 2.1.8).  SW 440 also addresses critical thinking (EP 2.1.3.), and human rights and social and economic justice (EP 2.1.5) through assignments that require students to evaluate a social problem or issue related to their field placements and create policy and program recommendations to address the problem or issue.  SW 480 and SW 481 provide 30 weeks of field practicum in which the student completes assignments that demonstrate mastery of each of 10 core competencies.  Field placement is where students apply generalist practice knowledge, values and skills in an actual social work settings. Students are assessed in terms of these 10 competencies.