Chatham University

Social Work Curriculum

The social work program offers a major in social work leading to a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A liberal arts foundation is an integral part of an undergraduate social work education and provides an essential context for understanding human behavior. The B.S.W. prepares students for entry-level generalist social work practice as well as graduate education in social work and related fields. Bachelor level social workers are employed in all areas of human services and health care. They are also eligible for advanced standing in graduate programs in social work.

Students who are interested in pursuing a social work major may declare a social work major at any time by completing the major declaration form available from the Registrar or on-line. Students must also apply for admission to the professional sequence of the social work program. This process is required to help ensure that students possess both the academic ability and personal maturity necessary for beginning social work practice. To apply for admission to the professional sequence, students must either: 1) be enrolled in or have completed Social Work 102; or 2) be at least a second-term sophomore. Specifics of the application process may be obtained from any member of the social work faculty.

Program Requirements

+ Major Requirements

18 courses, including:

BIO135 Applied Human Biology

This course is designed to introduce non-science majors to major aspects of human biology. The course will be taught as a series of modules covering the basic biology of various human systems followed by applications that are appropriate to the needs of students.

3
PSY101 General Psychology

An introduction to the scientific study of behavior with an emphasis on the origins of behavior, learning, social influences, physiological factors, individual differences, personality, and adjustment and maladjustment.

3
PSY213 Statistics and Research Design

This course is designed to introduce students to essential research tools. Topics include frequency distributions, indices of central tendency, variability, and various inferential statistics, including nonparametric techniques. This course also examines research design procedures with an emphasis on analysis of variance. Priority given to psychology, social work and forensics majors. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101

3
PSY314W Foundations of Behavioral Research

This course examines the scientific method employed by psychologists. Topics include sampling, validity and reliability, experimentation, and field research. Students also conduct laboratory assignments on areas within learning, cognition, and social psychology. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and 213 or permission of the instructor.

3
SWK101 Introduction to Sociology

The goal of the course is to introduce students to basic sociological concepts and methods, including socialization, groups, social institutions, collective behavior, and social change. Emphasis is placed on conceptual and methodological tools necessary for the scientific analysis of human interaction and on society's fulfillment of human needs through health, education, and social welfare systems.

3
SWK102 Introduction to Social Issues, Women, and Social Work

This course examines selected social issues as well as related social welfare policies and programs. It introduces the profession of social work, key aspects of the professional knowledge base, fields of practice, and populations served by social workers.

3
SWK201W Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

This course examines the development of individuals, couples, and families from birth to adolescence within the framework of relevant biological, psychological, sociological, and social work research and theory. Additionally, it examines the evolution of families, groups, organizations, institutions, and communities as systems and their influence on human development and behavior. Attention is also given to the interactions of systems that influence development as well as the impact of gender, race, ethnicity, social, and economic influences on systems and behavior, and implications for social work practice. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 or permission of the instructor.

3
SWK202 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

This course is a continuation of Social Work 201. It examines the development of individuals, couples, and families from adolescence to death within the framework of relevant biological, psychological, sociological, and social work research and theory. Additionally, it examines the evolution of families, groups, organizations, institutions, and communities as systems and their influence on human development and behavior. Attention is also given to the interactions of systems that influence development as well as the impact of gender, race, ethnicity, social, and economic influences on systems and behavior, and implications for social work practice. Prerequisite(s): SWK 201 or permission of instructor.

3
SWK321 Social Welfare and Social Justice

This course examines the history, development, context, and current status of the American social welfare system. The American system is compared with policies and programs in other countries. The specifics of major welfare programs such as Social Security and Temporary Aid to Needy Families are explored.

3
SWK322W Social Welfare: Women and Policy

This course is designed to examine current issues and policies that impact the lives of women and to explore methods of creating or modifying policies. This course wil utilize a comparative policy framework to explore the strengths and weaknesses of current interventions regarding their promotion of social and economic justice.

3
SWK351 Practice 1: Interviewing and Assessment with Individuals

This course introduces generalist social work practice, including its philosophy, domains, and values. The role of the practitioner and an overview of the helping process provide the foundation for the study and practice of basic interviewing skills. Prerequisite(s): SWK 102. Open only to social work and psychology majors, or with permission of the instructor.

3
SWK352 Practice 2: Interventions with Individuals and Families

Building on the knowledge and skills acquired in Social Work 351, this course focuses on direct practice with individuals and families, including the assessment, middle, and termination phases of social work practice. Skills for working with diverse populations will be illustrated and practiced using videos and role playing. Prerequisite(s): SWK 351. Open only to social work majors.

3
SWK354 Practice 3: Working with Groups

This course examines the essential components of generalist social work practice with groups. Topics include group typology, formation, development, and processes. Strategies for effective leadership with small and large groups are explored using both didactic and experiential methods. Prerequisite(s): SWK 351; Open only to social work majors.

3
SWK355 Practice 4: Working with Organizations and Communities

Organizational and community theories are examined and linked to agency design and administration, community organization, and social planning. Models of intervention are evaluated in terms of existing power structures, underlying assumptions, and potential for enhancing social and economic justice. Strategies based on the strengths perspective and aimed at empowering disadvantaged groups receive special attention. Prerequisite(s): SWK 351; Open only to social work majors.

3
SWK460 Integrative Seminar in Social Work 1

The capstone course of the social work program, this seminar requires students to synthesize and integrate their professional knowledge with field experience. Topics include ethics, professional practice, critical thinking, and integration of research in practice, and career development. Co-requisite: Field placement.

2
SWK461 Integrative Seminar in Social Work II

The capstone course of the social work program, this seminar requires students to synthesize and integrate their professional knowledge with field experience. Topics include ethics, professional practice, critical thinking, and integration of research in practice, and career development. Co-requisite: Field placement.

2
SWK498 Tutorial: Social Work

4
SWK499 Tutorial: Social Work

4

12 credits of field placement from the following:

SWK451 Field Placement I

Students participate in a practice experience with the opportunity to apply social work knowledge, ethics, and practice skills. Students work closely with their field instructors, as well as meeting weekly with social work faculty. Students must complete a total of 12 credits of field placement. Prerequisite(s) or Co-requisites: SWK 352, 354, 355; Co-requisite in the fall term, SWK 460 and in the spring term, SWK 461.

1
SWK452 Field Placement II

Students participate in a practice experience with the opportunity to apply social work knowledge, ethics, and practice skills. Students work closely with their field instructors, as well as meeting weekly with social work faculty. Students must complete a total of 12 credits of field placement. Prerequisite(s) or Co-requisites: SWK 352, 354, 355; Co-requisite in the fall term: SWK 460 and in the spring term, SWK 461.

2
SWK453 Field Placement III

Students participate in a practice experience with the opportunity to apply social work knowledge, ethics, and practice skills. Students work closely with their field instructors, as well as meeting weekly with social work faculty. Students must complete a total of 12 credits of field placement. Prerequisite(s) or Co-requisites: SWK 352, 354, 355; Co-requisite in the fall term: SWK 460 and in the spring term, SWK 461.

3
SWK454 Field Placement IV

Students participate in a practice experience with the opportunity to apply social work knowledge, ethics, and practice skills. Students work closely with their field instructors, as well as meeting weekly with social work faculty. Students must complete a total of 12 credits of field placement. Prerequisite(s) or Co-requisites: SWK 352, 354, 355; Co-requisite in the fall term: SWK 460 and in the spring term, SWK 461.

4
SWK455 Field Placement V

Students participate in a practice experience with the opportunity to apply social work knowledge, ethics, and practice skills. Students work closely with their field instructors, as well as meeting weekly with social work faculty. Students must complete a total of 12 credits of field placement. Prerequisite(s) or Co-requisites: SWK 352, 354, 355; Co-requisite in the fall term: SWK 460 and in the spring term, SWK 461.

5

Preparation for professional social work practice necessitates a broad range of course work. Accreditation requirements preclude interdisciplinary majors. There is no social work minor. Students interested in the social work major are advised to meet with a member of the faculty early in their academic careers to develop a course sequence plan.