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The Curriculum

The social work program at Kutztown University is a four year program leading to a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and follows a generalist curriculum. Students must complete 120 credits of course work, forty eight of which must be in in social work. Course selection is guided by the student's faculty advisor and is based on each individual's career and educational objectives. All students are given the opportunity to explore the arts, sciences and humanities through the Liberal Arts Education program. Through a well sequenced curriculum, individualized attention to the student's unique learning needs, a "hands on" internships supervised by chosen field instructors, and an energetic and knowledgeable faculty our students are well prepared to assume beginning professional responsibilities in a variety of social service agencies.  No credit is given to students for work or life experience.

Courses in the Social Work Major

 

SWK 100 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare

SWK 130 Poverty and Social Welfare

SWK 160 Human Behavior and the Social Environment (This course has extensive pre- and co-requisites. Students should discuss their individual situations with the program director or their academic advisor.)

SWK 200 The Professional Context of Social Work Practice (Students Will Be Required To Participate In A 30-Hour Volunteer Field/Laboratory Experience.  Students Are Asked To Keep A Block Of Class Time Open On Tuesday-Thursday (Morning Or Afternoon) So That They May Participate In This Field Experience.  Prerequisites: SWK 160, Human Behavior And Social Environment, And Its Prerequisites. Open Only To Social Work Majors And Minors. A Grade Of "C" Or Better Is Required In This Course To Enter SWK250.)

SWK 250 Social Work Practice with Individuals:  Practice I

SWK 255 Social Welfare Policy

SWK 265 Social Work Practice With Groups and Families: Practice II

SWK 280 Social Work Practice With Communities and Organizations: Practice III

SWK 360 Methods and Practice of Social Work Research (Prerequisites: MAT 017 and  PSY/SOC/POL 200 or MAT140 only.)

SWK 379 Independent Study

SWK 381 Field Instruction In Social Work  I

SWK 382 Professional Seminar In Social Work I

SWK 383 Field Instruction In Social Work II

SWK 384 Professional Seminar In Social Work II

 

  In addition to the above, social work majors select three of the following elective courses:

SWK370 Selected Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (elective)

SWK 285 Essential Skills for Helping People

SWK286 Social Work and Substance Abuse

SWK/SOC 290 Social Gerontology and Social Welfare

SWK/NUR 320 Case Management—An Interdisciplinary Approach

SWK 328 Child Welfare and Social Work Practice

Course Descriptions

Course Description: SWK 100 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare

This course provides an overview of the development of social welfare and social work practice in the United States and across the globe.  The historical development of social welfare is related to the emergence and the development of the social work profession.  The course introduces social work knowledge, values, and skills. The Generalist Intervention Model with its planned change process is also introduced as an approach to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.  Students are exposed to the breadth of the social work profession as well as its Code of Ethics.  Required of all social work majors with a grade of C or better.    Prerequisite: None.  3 s.h. 3 s.h.

Course Description: SWK 130 Poverty and Social Welfare

This course defines poverty and examines groups in poverty in the United States.  It traces poverty in America from a historical perspective, reviews major social welfare programs designed to respond to poverty and examines their effectiveness.  Special populations and groups at risk encountered by social workers in practice will be examined with emphasis on viewing individual, family, and community functioning from a person and environment perspective. Major oppressive institutions and their effects on people in poverty are examined.  Social work methods for social change to prevent, alleviate and resolve poverty are introduced.  Required: SWK majors must attain a grade of C or better in this course.  3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 160 Human Behavior and Social Environment and Social Work

This course teaches students to evaluate and apply biological, psychological, and social theories to client’s situation with a particular emphasis on the examination of the effects of the interplay of biological, psychological, social, economical and cultural elements of the social environment on human functioning.  The impact of social and economic forces on the individual's behavior are presented.  Systems promoting or deterring people in the  attainment and maintenance of optimal health and well-being are explored with particular attention on the effects of these systems on ethnic and racial minorities, sexual minorities, women, and persons with disability.  Required of all social work majors.  A grade of C or better is required in this course.  Prerequisites:  SWK 100, Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare;  SWK 130, Poverty and Social Welfare;  ANT 010, Cultural Anthropology;  ENG 001, English Composition I;  PHI 015, Critical Thinking,;  PSY 011, General Psychology;  PSY 125, Life Span Development;  SOC 010, Principles of Sociology;  BIO 010, Biological Science; BIO 140, Biology and Society;  Or by permission of the instructor.   3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 200 The Professional Context of Social Work Practice

The course builds upon and reinforces the foundation of generalist social work knowledge, social work values, ethics, attitudes, and skills introduced in the Introduction to Social Work course.  Students study the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and practice ethical decision-making. The course reinforces the skills necessary to implement the phases of the planned change model to social work practice with multi-level client systems (individuals, groups, families, communities, organizations).  Students will be required to participate in a 30-hour volunteer field/laboratory experience on the program’s established practicum days and must adjust their schedules accordingly.  Prerequisites:  Students must complete SWK 160, Human Behavior and Social Environment and Social Work, and its prerequisites, or take it concurrently with SWK 160, Human Behavior and Social Environment and Social Work, only with permission of the instructor.  Open only to Social Work majors and minors.  A grade of “C” or better is required of social work majors.  3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 250 Social Work Practice with Individuals:  Practice I

The Social Work Practice with Individuals course starts a series of social work practice courses in which the skills of the planned change approach are practiced with multi‑level client systems (individual, groups, families, communities, and organizations).  In this course students practice relationship building, interviewing techniques, case recording and further develop these skills, which were reinforced in the Professional Context of Social Work Practice course.  Attention to the evolution of social work practice from an historical and international perspective establishes the context for this introduction to practice with individuals in the agency setting.  Students will be expected to participate in a laboratory experience involving a helping relationship project.   Knowledge and skills relevant to engaging diversity in practice and advancing human rights and social justice will be emphasized.  Issues of ethical problem-solving, evidence-based practice and professional identity will be integrated throughout the course.  Required of all social work majors; open to majors only.  A grade of “C” or better is required in this course.  Prerequisite:  SWK 200, The Professional Context of Social Work Practice. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 255 Social Welfare Policy

The course defines social welfare policy in the context of social policy and examines its philosophical and historical roots.  The policy making process is examined and the major actors associated with it are identified.  A significant part of the course will be spent in the study of major welfare policies and the groups affected by them.  Strategies and involvement of people for policy change are examined.  A grade of “C” or better is required of Social Work majors in this course. Prerequisites:  SWK 100, Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare, POL 010, ECO 011 (which could be taken concurrently) and SWK 130, Poverty and Social Welfare, or permission of instructor. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 265 Social Work Practice with Groups and Families:  Practice II

This course is the second in the series of social work practice courses in which the skills of the planned change approach are practiced with multi‑level client systems (individual, groups, families, communities, organizations).  The course focuses on concepts, methods, and skills in social work practice with groups and families.  Family development and dynamics will be studied and social work intervention techniques with emphasis on planned change will be examined.  Through class discussions, exercises and group projects, students will apply their understanding of group dynamics and family assessment, and demonstrate social work practice skills with groups and families.  A grade of "C" or better is required in this course.  Required of all social work majors.   Prerequisite:  SWK 250. 3 s.h., 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 280 Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations: Practice III

This is the third course in a series of social work practice courses.  This course reinforces and applies social work knowledge, values, and skills using the planned change approach and focuses on intervention strategies with communities and organizations.  Students practice generalist social work within a systems theory framework.  A policy practice emphasis is applied for advocacy and change strategies with agencies and communities.  Particular attention will be given to strategies of change with disenfranchised and minority populations.  Open to majors only.  A grade of "C" or better in this course is required to enter SWK 381, Field Instruction in Social Work I, and SWK 382, Professional Seminar in Social Work I.  Prerequisite:  SWK 265, Social Work Practice with Groups and Families:  Practice II. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 360 Applied Methods of Social Work Research

This course reviews the classic social and behavioral research process and develops skills in formulating research problems and questions, conducting a comprehensive literature review, establishing hypotheses and choosing research designs.  Data collection instruments, analysis techniques and report writing are emphasized.   Ethical and moral issues which arise when dealing with human subjects, as well as sensitivity to cultural diversity of research participants are included.  Emphasis is placed on social work practice evaluation techniques, including single-subject as well as experimental and quasi-experimental designs.  Computers and information technology for social work practice are introduced.  This course must be taken concurrently with SWK 382, Professional Seminar in Social Work I, or with permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: MAT 025, and either PSY/SOC/POL 200 or MAT 140 or permission of instructor. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 381 Field Instruction in Social Work I

This is the first of two semesters (total 480 hours) of field instruction in social welfare agency settings which are required under the supervision of a professional social worker.  Students apply foundation knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of professional generalist practice.  Through supervision students enhance their awareness of self, develop written and oral communication skills necessary for analysis of professional practice, and apply critical analytic skills for implementing and evaluating agency policies and programs.  Students operationalize the unique values, functions and roles of professional social work practice and develop competency in identifying and assessing situations where the relationship of people and their social environment needs to be enhanced or changed.  The professional responsibility of advocacy toward change and recognition of the impact of policy and programs on oppressed groups is an integral part of the applied learning.  A grade of "C" or better is required in this course to enter SWK 383, Social    Work Field Instruction II.  Must be taken concurrently with SWK 382, Professional Seminar in Social Work I.  Offered in fall only.   Open only to majors.  Required of all majors.  Prerequisites: SWK 250, Social Work Practice with Individuals: Practice I, and its prerequisites. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.     

Course Description: SWK 382 Professional Seminar in Social Work I

This is the first of two semesters of Professional Seminar in Social Work which are required.  The Seminars complement the Field Instruction and provide a structured learning opportunity where students process their practice experiences and integrate the common base of social work values, skills, and knowledge of generalist social work in a systems theory perspective.  The Seminars also assist students to expand their knowledge of the human services field beyond the confines of their own placement.  Topics and policies of social work and social welfare are discussed, based in large part, on the experiences of students in the field through written logs, client summaries, and classroom discussions of experiences including feelings about their social work practice.  Must be taken with SWK 381, Field Instruction in Social Work I.  A grade of "C" or better is required in this course to enter SWK 384, Professional Seminar in Social Work II.  Offered in Spring only.  Open to majors only. Required of all majors.  Prerequisite:  SWK 280, Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations:  Practice III, and its prerequisites.  3 s.h. 3 c.h.                      

Course Description: SWK 383 Field Instruction in Social Work II

This is the second semester of field instruction (a total of 480 hours) in social welfare agency settings which is required under the supervision of a professional social worker.  Students apply foundation knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of professional generalist practice.  Through supervision students enhance their awareness of self, develop written and oral communication skills necessary for analysis of professional practice, and apply critical analytic skills for implementing and evaluating agency policies and programs.  Students operationalize the unique values, functions and roles of professional social work practice and develop competency in identifying and assessing situations where the relationship of people and their social environment needs to be enhanced or changed.  The professional responsibility of advocacy toward change and recognition of the impact of policy and programs on oppressed groups is an integral part of the applied learning.  An agency-based research project is required in this semester of fieldwork.   Must be taken concurrently with SWK 384, Professional Seminar in Social Work II.  Offered in Spring only.  Open only to majors. Required of all majors. A grade of C or better is required in this course. Prerequisites:  SWK 381, Field Instruction in Social Work I, and SWK 382, Professional Seminar in Social Work I. 3. S.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 384 Professional Seminar in Social Work II

This is the second of two required semesters of Professional Seminar in Social Work.  The Seminars complement the Field Instruction and provide a structured learning opportunity where students process their practice experiences and integrate the common base of social work values, skills, and knowledge of generalist social work in a systems theory perspective.  The Seminars also assist students to expand their knowledge of the human services field beyond the confines of their own placement.  Topics and policies of social work and social   welfare are discussed, based in large part, on the experiences of students in the field through written logs, client summaries, and classroom discussions of experiences including feelings about their social work practice.  An agency-based research paper is required. Must be taken with SWK 383, Field Instruction in Social Work II.  Offered in Spring only.  Open to majors only. Required of all majors.  A grade of C or better is required in this course.  Prerequisites:  SWK 381, Field Instruction in Social Work I, and SWK 382, Professional Seminar in Social Work I. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Electives

Course Description: SWK 285 Essentials Skills for Helping People

This is a course for social work majors and minors who wish to practice skills as they are carried out in professional social work practice.  Students will engage in Problem-Based Learning, a cooperative learning experience in which the skills introduced in our social work sequence up to SWK200, Professional Context of Practice, will be reinforced and practiced as students follow a case study from engagement and assessment to termination and evaluation.  These skills will include developing empathy, creating professional relationships, active listening, strength-based assessment, self-assessment, policy analysis and advocacy, social work record keeping, practice evaluation, and the use of supervision in practice.  This is a course in which students develop an appreciation for life-long learning by engaging actively in a real social work case study, which provides the vehicle for the hands-on practice of course material.  The course will count as an elective in the social work program.  Prerequisite:  SWK200 and its prerequisites or permission of the instructor.  3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 286 Social Work and Substance Abuse
This survey course provides students with an introduction to substance abuse.
  The students will explore current understanding of the prevention of substance abuse/dependence; components of comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs, populations at risk and evidence-based practice.  The person-in-environment perspective will be used as an overarching framework for assessment, delivery, and evaluation of services.  In addition, students will be introduced to the professional literature available for lifelong learning. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 290 Social Gerontology and Social Welfare

This course is aimed at analyzing the process of aging from a sociological perspective and studying the resources that our society provides for the over‑sixty population through social welfare measures.  There will be double pronged emphasis:  one placed upon various social  problems confronting them in American society; the second emphasis will be on the array of social welfare services available, the social policies implicit in the provision of such services, and the social work practices that enable older persons and their families to secure such services.  Prerequisite:  SOC 010, Principles of Sociology, or SWK 100, Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare.  Prerequisite for Social Work majors:  SWK 250, Social Work Practice with Individuals: Practice I. A grade of “C” or better is required of social work majors. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 320 Case Management:  An Interdisciplinary Approach

The course will cover principles, theory, and the historical development of case management as an interdisciplinary method of delivering health and human services.  Emphasis will be placed on the development of skill in implementing the phases of this method of practice (Assessment, Goal Setting, Case planning, Monitoring progress, and Termination and Evaluation). Appropriate groups of client populations will be identified and issues related to their unique needs in relation to their social environment will be examined.  Required: a grade of “C” or better for social work majors.  Prerequisites: SWK 250, Social Work Practice with Individuals: Practice I; or NUR 299, Adaptation of the Nurse as a Professional Person, and NUR 312, Adaptation of the Individual and Family; or by permission of the instructor. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.

Course Description: SWK 328 Child Welfare and Social Work Practice

This course introduces the student to the field of Child Welfare and examines both social policy and social work practice concerns.  Emphasis will be placed on child protective services, foster care, and adoption.  Developmental issues, as well as natural and foster family functioning will be studied. Special social work intervention strategies such as foster and adoptive family assessment, abuse assessment, and child advocacy will be learned. A grade of “C” or better is required of social work majors. Prerequisites: SWK 250, Social Work Practice with Individuals, Practice I, or by permission of the instructor. 3 s.h. 3 c.h.


 

 

 

 

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Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
A Member of the State System of Higher Education

The BSW and MSW Programs at KU are Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

   
     
 

Contact Info: 
 
Social Work Department
Old Main 27
Kutztown, PA 19530
Tel. (610) 683-4235
Fax (610) 683-4383

Dr. Janice A. Gasker
BSW Program Director
E-Mail:  gasker@kutztown.edu

   
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