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Social Work Course Descriptions

General Education Program: 46-49 University Requirements

Social Work Major:

SWK 101   Introduction to Social Work and Human Services

3 credits

A general survey course introducing students to social work and human services in contemporary society. Professional knowledge, values, and skills for intervention and the nature of interdisciplinary approaches to complex problems and issues are included. Students explore the special concerns of those most vulnerable and discriminated against. Students participate in interviews with practicing professionals and field trips to a variety of social agency settings.

SWK 111   Interpersonal Skills

3 credits

(Also PSY 111)

A general purpose skill development course that enhances assertive behavior, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and group member skills for effective teamwork in organizational environments. Consideration is given to multicultural variables that influence human relations skills.

SWK 204   Special Topics

1-3 credits

A detailed examination of a current issue or topic in social work.

SWK 210   Statistical Techniques for Research Data Analysis

3 credits

Prerequisite:Appropriate math placement test score or MAT 001 with a grade of C or higher

An interdisciplinary introduction to the basic principles of data analysis with an emphasis on application. Students apply these principles to data analysis in their respective areas of study. The applied focus is on the computerized application of summary statistics, one-/two-/multi-sample tests, linear models, association tests, randomness/normality tests, and probability distributions, as used across a variety of community and organizational settings. Other techniques may be added as appropriate for specific disciplines.

SWK 301   Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

3 credits

Corequisites: SWK 311; 321; 331

(Admission to the major required)

This course incorporates theories derived from the liberal arts foundation, including physical science, biology, sociology, and political science. An ecological systems framework is used to integrate these various theories in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of person and environment dynamics. This understanding is then used to develop a holistic assessment approach, which is a distinguishing feature of generalist practice. Emphasis is on the application of this integrated systems framework in the assessment phase of work with individuals, families, and small groups.

SWK 311   Generalist Practice I: Natural Resource Systems

3 credits

Corequisites: SWK 301; 321; 331

(Admission to the major required)

This course provides a theoretical framework for practice based on three professional assumptions: a regard for human dignity and social justice as fundamental for a democratic society, a recognition of the interconnectedness between person-environment well-being, and the acceptance of holistic problem-solving as optimal for achieving individual and social change. Emphasis is on individuals, families, and groups whose concerns may immediately initiate direct services provision on their behalf. These services engage both natural supports and societal resources to favorably influence client well-being. Theoretical content in SWK 301 is conjointly used to implement an ecological social systems approach to assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

SWK 312   Generalist Practice II: Societal Resource Systems

3 credits

Corequisites: SWK 322; 352

(Admission to the major required)

As an extension of SWK 311, this course focuses on societal units (the professional's agency, other community organizations, the social work profession at large, and the social welfare institution) where concerns exist that may initiate indirect services provision. These services engage colleagues, agency constituents and clients, other professionals, community members, and regional or national groups to critically reflect upon and favorably influence the public well-being through changes in social policies, programs, and practices. Theoretical content from SWK 301 is conjointly used to implement an ecological social systems approach to assessment and intervention. Content from SWK 331 and 352 is used to evaluate policy and program at agency, community, state, regional, and national levels and to suggest strategies for intervention.

SWK 321   Skills Laboratory I

3 credits

Corequisites: SWK 301; 311; 331

(Admission to the major required)

A basic skills development course linked to the theoretical content of the concurrent foundation courses. Emphasis is on direct practice skills for working with clients (individuals, families, and groups) to effect changes in their private well-being.

SWK 322   Skills Laboratory II

3 credits

Corequisites: SWK 312; 352

(Admission to the major required)

A basic skills development course linked to the theoretical content of the concurrent foundation courses. Emphasis is on indirect practice skills for working with agency, community, and societal organizations to improve the social well-being for the common good of all through changes in policy, programs, and service delivery.

SWK 331   Policies and Programs

3 credits

Corequisites: SWK 301; 311; 321

(Admission to the major required)

This course examines frameworks for analyzing social welfare policies and programs, and the social worker's role in policy development and implementation. Special emphasis is placed on a policy's differential impact on women, minorities of color, or other vulnerable groups who may be discriminated against by age, social class, sexual orientation, geographic location, etc. Selected policies related to income assurance, health, mental health, family-child welfare, and older adults are examined in detail.

SWK 352   Research Methods

3 credits

Prerequisite: SWK 210

Corequisites: SWK 312; 322

This course presents the basic principles and methods of social science research. Students are introduced to techniques for critical analysis of the professional practice literature and how they, as consumers, can incorporate research findings into practice. Students acquire knowledge and skills for applying research with their social work practice as well as in the area of program evaluation. Students conceptualize research questions, determine appropriate designs and methodologies, and incorporate qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Professional values, ethics, and sensitivity to human diversity are subsumed within the conduct of research.

SWK 360   Practicum in Research I

1-3 credits

(Also CRJ 360, PSY 360)

Prerequisite: Permission

An introduction to the practice of developing research skills in the major. Students perform various tasks associated with the research process, including data collection, development materials, literature searches, data analysis, and report preparation.

SWK 362   Practicum in Research II

1-3 credits

(Also CRJ 362, PSY 362)

Prerequisites: SWK 360; permission

A continuation of SWK 360. Students further develop research skills in the major. Students perform various tasks associated with the research process, including collection of data and development materials.

SWK 404   Special Topics

3 credits

(Admission to degree candidacy required)

This course provides theoretical and/or applied learning opportunities in selected fields of practice along with an emphasis on practice skill enhancement and current practice innovations. These topics reflect the particular competencies and interests of the faculty as well as the considered needs and interests of students. A subtitle indicating the specific subject is added each time the course is offered.

SWK 411   Seminar I

2 credits

Corequisite: SWK 497

(Admission to degree candidacy required)

This course provides a forum for sharing practice accomplishments and issues that have arisen during the field experience. Students discuss weekly logs, field learning contract assignments, and other experiential learning. This discussion is directed toward strengthening the integration and refinement of generalist practice knowledge, values, and skills. An initial focus is on the expanded range of roles required of generalist practice in the assessment and intervention planning with clients, the agency, and others associated with practice activities.

SWK 412   Seminar II

1 credit

Corequisite: SWK 498

This course provides a continuing forum for sharing practice accomplishments and issues that have arisen during the field experience. Students discuss weekly logs, field learning contract assignments, and other experiential learning. This discussion is directed toward strengthening the integration and refinement of generalist practice knowledge, values, and skills. An additional focus is on agency-specific policy analysis, as well as termination and evaluation activities with clients and the service delivery system.

SWK 414   Independent Study

3 credits

Prerequisite: Permission

This student-designed learning experience is submitted in proposal form to a social work faculty member to develop a mutually acceptable independent study plan. This faculty-guided experience allows students to pursue a topic of interest not available through regular courses.

SWK 421   Family Intervention

3 credits

(Admission to degree candidacy required)

The course reviews issues of diversity in family forms and backgrounds, and significant historical changes in the structure and functions of American families. Students are introduced to a number of different models of family treatment, including structural, psychodynamic, communications/strategic, and crisis models. Assessment, intervention, and evaluation techniques specific to work with families are presented, while maintaining a holistic perspective that includes the social context of the family and relevant cultural aspects. Guest practitioners are brought in to share their experiences and perspectives about family interventions.

SWK 422   Law and the Helping Professions

3 credits

(Also PSY 422)

This course examines the Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Codes that guide helping professionals in their practice with clientele. Attention is directed toward assisting the helping professional recognize the legal duties and responsibilities within their professional lives. Emphasis is placed on the children's code, mental health/developmental disabilities, protective services, care records, mandatory reporting, abuse, domestic violence, and professional conduct.

SWK 432   Senior Seminar

3 credits

Prerequisite: Permission

This course integrates classroom and applied learning experiences in preparation for entry-level practice. Students develop a comprehensive paper about a contemporary social issue or concern currently impacting social work practice. In keeping with a generalist perspective, the paper addresses policy, research, and practice dimensions of the issue. It is presented and defended on the basis of its relevance, scholarship, and creative thinking. Students engage in reflective analysis of their professional development, complete résumés, and prepare to seek professional employment.

SWK 497   Social Work Internship I

4 credits

Corequisite: SWK 411

(Admission to degree candidacy required)

This course provides students an educationally guided generalist social work experience in an approved community social services agency. Students complete a minimum of 225 clock hours of applied practice in the agency (approximately 16 hours per week). A learning contract is used to focus on learning expectations, applied practice activities, a time frame for their accomplishment, and the suggested means for their evaluation.

SWK 498   Social Work Internship II

4 credits

Prerequisite: SWK 497

Corequisite: SWK 412

(Admission to degree candidacy required)

This course provides students a continuation of an educationally guided generalist social work experience in the same approved community social services agency as SWK 497. Students complete a minimum of 225 clock hours of applied practice in the agency (approximately 16 hours per week). Use of the learning contract is continued as a means of assuring a generalist approach to practice and a systematic plan for the application of learning.

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Did You Know?

Job growth for sonography graduates is expected to increase by 39% by the year 2022 (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, June 2014).

Campus Info

Marian University - Main Campus
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699

CALL: 1-800-2-MARIAN (1-800-262-7426)
EMAIL: admission@marianuniversity.edu  

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