Stephen F. Austin State University

BSW Students

Curriculum

The major focus of the curriculum is generalist in perspective, with emphasis on the problem-solving framework. Values, ethics and ability to view the person-in-situation from a multilevel perspective are emphasized in social work practice courses, human behavior, policy, research, and field instruction components. Social work core courses use the person-in-situation concept to integrate material on minorities, gender, special populations, and poverty when working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The Social Work curriculum also focuses on the restoration, maintenance, or enhancement of client systems (individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities). In addition, courses from supportive disciplines such as biology, psychology, and sociology add to the student's understanding of problem solving.

Curriculum for Majors

Students are expected to follow the plan outlined in Curriculum for Majors in the selection of classes each semester. If the student adheres to the recommended plan, a degree in social work can be obtained in four years. The social work curriculum makes extensive use of prerequisites and co requisites in order to enhance the educational experience. Prerequisites help to ensure that students have the appropriate educational preparation to get the maximum benefit from courses. Co-requisites help to ensure that complementary material is taken concurrently. General education courses are typically completed before enrolling in courses from the supportive disciplines and the major. General education courses provide both a general and specific foundation in the liberal arts that enhances the educational experience of the social work major. Freshman level English courses provide a general preparation by helping the student to develop skills in composition, research and critical thinking that apply to all courses in the social work major. Courses such as political science and economics give the students a more specific background to understand and analyze social welfare policy and services. Courses in mathematics help students to develop analytical abilities that are essential for research methods courses. The courses in the social work major build upon this general education knowledge. In addition, social work courses build upon each other. For example, students must know about data collection and assessment in order to develop and implement intervention plans. It is important for students to observe course prerequisites and co requisites. A full description of each course including its prerequisites and co requisites may be found in the SFA General Bulletin. Click here for the BSW_Course_Sequence_2011-2012.pdf.

Course Descriptions

SWK 210: Introduction to Social Welfare (3 hrs.)- An introduction to social welfare institutions in the United States and the social problems to which these institutions deal. Major emphasis will be placed on the historical and philosophical development of social welfare services in the U.S., the institutions that deal with these problems, current issues related to these problems, and the functions of social work in delivering social welfare services.

SWK 215: Introduction to Social Work (3 hrs.)- An introduction to the social work profession and service provisions including the history, philosophy, values, and ethics of the profession. The Generalist Problem Solving Model is introduced. Prerequisites: non-majors- none; majors- PSC 141, 142, HIS 133 and sophomore standing.

SWK 225: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3 hrs.)- Study of the developmental stages of the life cycle with emphasis on tasks and mastery of outcomes of each stage. Biological, social, psychological, and cultural systems are examined in regard to human behavior, and interrelationships between persons and environments are emphasized. Prerequisites: non-majors- consent of the BSW Program Director; majors- BIO 121, 123, or 238.

SWK 300: Junior Practicum (3 hrs.)- An introduction to the provision of social work services in a community-based setting under the supervision of a professional social worker. The course requires six hours of supervised field experience per week and attendance in a practicum related seminar. Student must complete a total of 85 hours in the practicum setting approved by the school. Field placement fee: $50.

SWK 315: Social Welfare Policy and Legislation (3 hrs.)- Study of the history, philosophy, structure, and function of Social Welfare policy and Legislation. A survey of social welfare services and issues related to social and economic justice is emphasized. Prerequisites: non-majors- consent of the BSW Program Director; majors- SWK 215.

SWK 325: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3 hrs.)- Study of the dynamic interaction of persons and their environments, and assessment of social functioning in regard to the interrelationship of persons and environments. Emphasis on the concepts of crisis, coping, adaptation, and the development of problems in social functioning. Prerequisites: SWK 215 and SWK 225.

SWK 333: Generalist Social Work with Small Groups (3 hrs.)- An introduction to group formation, development, maintenance, and change/dissolution. Prerequisites: SOC 137 with a grade of C or higher in each course, SWK 225 or consent of the BSW Program Director.

SWK 340: Organizations and Communities: Structures and Functions (3 hrs.)- An introduction to communities and organizations as contexts for the helping profession.

SWK 350: Generalist Practice I (3 hrs.)- Acquisition and application of social work knowledge, values, and skills of the Generalist Problem Solving Model to professional helping relationships with individuals, families, and small groups. Prerequisites: SOC 335, SWK 325, and SWK 333.

SWK 355: Children's Services (3 hrs.)- An overview of social services for children using the dual perspective of intervention and social service delivery. Within the context of differential assessment and available social service programs, direct services to and interventions with children and their families are examined. Prerequisite: Consent of the BSW Program Director.

SWK 415: Social Welfare Policy and Legislation Analysis (3 hrs)- Policy and legislation analysis in Generalist Social Work Practice is the focus of this course. Issues related to social and economic justice is emphasized. Prerequisite: SWK 315.

SWK 425: Multicultural Social Work (3 hrs.)- Study of the manner in which cultural diversity, ethnic diversity, and oppression influence assessment, planning, and intervention in social work. Prerequisites: non-majors- consent of the BSW Program Director; majors- BIO 121, 123 or 238 and SWK 225.

SWK 450: Generalist Practice II (3 hrs.)- Acquisition and application of social work knowledge, values, and skills of the Generalist Problem Solving Model to professional helping relationships with organizations and communities. Prerequisites: Completion of SWK 340 and SWK 350 with a grade of C or higher in each course.

SWK 455: Research Practicum (3 hrs.)- Application of social work knowledge and basic principles of social research to generalist social work practice. Prerequisites: SOC 478 and SOC 479.

SWK 470: Social Work Practicum I (6 hrs.)- Direct provision of professional services in individual field placements involving participation and supervision in community social service agencies. Supervision is provided by professional social workers. The course requires 16 hours of supervised field experience per week and practicum seminar attendance. Prerequisites: SWK 415, SWK 350, and SWK 450. Co requisite: SWK 480 and SWK 490. Field placement fee of $50. Cannot be taken concurrently with SWK 450. Consent of BSW Program Director required.

SWK 475: Social Work Internship (1-3 hrs.)- Advanced field experience for select students. Course eligibility: (1) completion of SWK 470, 480, and 490, or consent of the Program Director, (2) written application obtained from and submitted to the Field Coordinator. Prerequisites: SWK 450, 470, 480, 490, or consent of the BSW Program Director. Field placement fee $15. SWK 480: Social Work Practicum II (6 hrs.)- Direct provision of professional services in individual field placements involving participation and supervision in community social service agencies. Emphasis on macro-level practice and advanced practice. Supervision is provided by professional social workers. The course requires 16 hours of supervised field experience per week and practicum seminar attendance.Prerequisites: SWK 415 and SWK 450. Co requisites: SWK 470 and SWK 490. Field placement fee of $50. Cannot be taken concurrently with SWK 450. Consent of BSW Program Director required.

SWK 485: Topics in Social Work (3 hrs.)- Selected topics of current interest. A student may repeat this course for a maximum of three (3) times as topics vary. (a) Selected Social Service Organizations, (b) Selected Client Groups, (c) Selected Social Services.

SWK 490: Practicum Related Seminar (2 hrs.)- Analysis and evaluation of the field experience with the Field Coordinator including administrative issues related to the practicum, discussion of the student's progress, practicum assignments or requirements, and resolution of problems related to the field setting. Prerequisites: SWK 415 and SWK 450 with a grade of C or higher. Co requisites: SWK 470 and 480.

SWK 495: Independent Study (1-5 hrs.)- Special interest areas for individuals or tutorial groups. Prerequisites: senior standing and consent of the instructor.

† Co-requisites refer to professional social work courses for social work majors.

Field Instruction

In social work, some learning occurs outside the classroom, typically in the practical setting of an agency or organization employing social workers. Field Instruction provides students with the opportunity to be placed in a variety of fields of practice, including mental health, health care, substance abuse, child welfare, criminal justice and school/education. Approximately 80 agency sites are utilized for field instruction in the region. Field Instruction begins the process of applying knowledge, values, and skills obtained in class to practical settings. Two field experiences are built into the curriculum. The first occurs in the sophomore or Junior year and the second comes at the end of the senior year, when all other course work has been completed.

Student Advisory System

Faculty advisement of students is considered essential in the School of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin State University. The personal relationship with a faculty advisor helps each student progress through the program, become socialized into the social work profession, and eventually attain a social work degree. The advising of students is carried out by full-time faculty members.

All pre-social work and social work majors are assigned a faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the availability of an advisor. All faculty maintain regularly scheduled, posted office hours and are often available at other times if a student chooses to make an appointment. The primary duties of the faculty advisor are assessment with the student of aptitude and motivation for a social work career, performance in the discipline, and assistance in selection of areas of course work.

In addition to the assessment of a student's course work, faculty advisors discuss with the student problems that interfere with academic performance or other problems for which the student requests help from a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor helps the student assess the problem and suggests possible resources.

Advisors must meet with each student each semester for course selection. Social work majors should not drop or add any course without discussing changes with their advisor. During the semester that students are enrolled in SWK 325, student should make application to move from the pre-social work major to the major. Following their acceptance into the major they should meet with their advisor to prepare and file an official degree plan. Students may obtain the name of their assigned faculty advisor in the BSW Program office.

BSW Program Policies

The BSW Program policies are outlined in the BSW Student Handbook- BSW_Student_Handbook_2011-2012.pdf.