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Social Work


Social Work

Fredi Giesler, Chairperson

Department Office: Swart 230 
Department Telephone: (920) 424-1419

Code 93 or SOC WORK

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Altepeter Giesler
Aspensan Hansen
Brown Heller
Bruno Williams

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  • Undergraduate: The social work course of study will lead to the Bachelor of Social Work degree.

  • Graduate: The Department offers a Master's Degree in Social Work in collaboration with UW Green Bay.

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Summary of Fields of Study

Summary of Fields of Study

  1. The Goal(s)

  • The Department of Social Work offers a strengths based eductional program that guides and prepares Social Work students to be caring professionals with a commitment to knowledge, critical thinking, social justice values and generalist practice skills.

  • The Major(s)

    • The Department offers a baccalaureate of Social Work degree (Bachelor of Social Work), which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares students for beginning level social work practice.

  • The Minor(s)

    • None

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    Admission/Graduation Requirements

    Admission/Graduation Requirements

    • To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work degree, students must meet the following requirements:

    1. Successfully complete the University Studies Program (USP)

    2. Political Science 105 American Politics and Government

    3. Statistics: 3 credits from the following:  Math 107, 201, 301; PBIS 189: Psychology 203, Sociology 281

    4. Physical Education 105 Active Lifestyles

    5. Social Work 167, 220, and 298

    6. Prepare a plan for completion of remaining credits required for graduation

    7. Provide documentation of professional commitment to Social Work and volunteer participation

    8. Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of a 2.5 based on the credits outlined above in #1-4.  Earn a minimum of a grade of "C" in the courses outlined above in #5 a minimum of 2.75 GPA in these classes.

    9. Achieve a positive recommendation by faculty teaching Social Work 167, 220, 298 regarding development of professional competency.

    10. Document understanding and acceptance of ethical standards and demonstration of ethical conduct expected of social work professionals as stipulated by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (2008r)

    11. The BSW Admissions Committee may make exceptions to these standards, only upon submission of documented evidence by the applicant, which offers a convincing record of merit for reconsideration.

    • To be eligible for graduation with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, students must fulfill four additional expectations:  

    1. Meet remaining course requirements*

    2. Maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA in social work courses, with grades of “C” or better. The 2.75 GPA is to be calculated using all department courses.  
      Note:  If a Social Work student does not earn a "C" or above in a required Social Work class after two attempts, they must appeal to repeat the course for the third time to the Admission and Continuation Review Committee. The burden of proof is upon the student to demonstrate that their lack of success is due to exceptional circumstances.

    3. Be admitted to the Applied Generalist Practicum (Social Work 401)

    4. Successfully complete the Applied Generalist Practicum (Social Work 451)

    5. *Transfer students please note that this may require a completion time beyond four years

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    Required Core Courses

    Required Core Courses

    See section following for courses required.

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    The Major(s), with Emphases and/or Options

    The Major(s), with Emphases and/or Options

    Social Work

    Recommended for students who wish to qualify for state certification as a beginning level social worker or for entry into graduate schools of social work with advanced standing.

    • Required Units (crs.): 82 minimum

    • Required Social Work Courses:

      • Social Work: Social Work 105, 167, 220, 298, 340, 368, 376, 377, 378, 379, 395, 401, 410, 451, 468.

    • Additional Required Courses:

      • Physical Education: Physical Education 105
      • Political Science: Political Science 105 or 106
      • Statistics: Mathematics 107, 201 or 301 or PBIS 189 or Psychology 203 or Sociology 281
    • Electives:

    • Elective units (crs.) may be partially met by taking social work elective courses or by completing a minor in another discipline.

      • Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary Studies 265, 425, 426, 460.

      • Social Work: Social Work 110, 333, 371, 375, 443, 446, 456, 481.

      For description of those electives, which are Interdisciplinary Studies courses, see Interdisciplinary Studies. Please contact the Department of Social Work for information concerning elective offerings.

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    The Minor(s)

    The Minor(s)

    • None

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    Course Offering(s)

    Course Offering(s)

    Social Work   105                                           3 (crs.)

    Social Work Ethics in a Diverse Society

    Introduces the student to the framework of ethics in a diverse society for generalist practice, focusing in particular on women's issues. To clarify ethical issues, social workers will need to use ethical concepts paired with social work knowledge, skills and values, when dealing with populations at risk. This course presents the student with basic philosophical theories and moral and ethical decision making models to prepare the student to fully understand the logic systems of the client as well as one's own values and behaviors. Cross-listed: Social Work 105/Women's Studies 105. Students may receive credit for only one of the two cross-listed courses. Prerequisites: Open only to Social Work majors or Women's Studies majors/minors, or by consent of instructor.



    Social Work   110                                           1 (crs.)

    Introduction to Community Social Welfare Resources (SS)

    Acquaints students with community agencies providing social welfare services.  Focus on the professional social worker's activities.  Designed for students considering a social work major and those seeking knowledge of community resources.



    Social Work   167                                           3 (crs.)

    Introduction to Social Work (ES) (SS)

    General survey course with an introduction to history, knowledge, values and skills of the profession. Designed for social work majors, people working in related fields and students undecided about a major. Informed sensitivity to all aspects of human diversity is emphasized, along with the importance of social work's responsibility to act as advocates on behalf of those who suffer discrimination, devaluing and oppression.



    Social Work   220                                           3 (crs.)

    Family Life Cycle Transitions (SS)

    Examination of theories and models of human development depicting the dynamics of family life, with special emphasis on the family life cycle.  Incorporates a generalist approach to understanding the diverse nature of family structures, how families and family members adjust to and confront change, and how the family matriculates through personal and family traumas and dilemmas related to childhood, adolescence, employment, marriage, parenthood, aging and retirement.  Attention also given to impact of cultural diversity on societal/family/environment interactions. Prerequisite: Declared Social Work major and Social Work 167.



    Social Work   298                                           3 (crs.)

    Interpersonal Skills in Social Work (SS)

    Introduction to theoretical models relating to basic interpersonal helping skills and the opportunity to practice and refine these skills, including self awareness, effective communication, assertive behavior and skills for effective teamwork in organizational environments, as well as for working with individuals and families. Attention to multi-cultural aspects of human relations skills, as well as opportunities for role play and practice of effective problem solving. Prerequisite: Declared Social Work major and Social Work 167.



    Social Work   333                                           3 (crs.)

    Poverty (SS)

    Examines the cultural and structural aspects of poverty and their impact on populations-at risk. Explores the particularly damaging effects of poverty on women, children and persons of color. Encourages exploration of societal and social welfare policies and practices which contribute to or reinforce impoverishment. Also encourages exploration of the need for practitioners to become more aware of and sensitive to the effects of poverty on human behavior and to examine how professionals in social welfare organizations relate to impoverished and oppressed persons.



    Social Work   340                                           3 (crs.)

    Research in Social Services (SS)

    Examines research methodology and the application of scientific process to generalist social work practice. Includes the development of an understanding of qualitative and quantitative methods; the appropriate use of deductive and inductive processes in theory testing, program evaluation and knowledge-building; and the application of critical thinking skills to the design, conduct and analysis of social research. Attention also is given to how knowledge-building can enhance the equitable distribution of resources, access to services and opportunities, and furtherance of social justice. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree.  Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 368, 378 and 379. Prerequisites: Social Work 376, 377 and 395.



    Social Work   368                                           3 (crs.)

    Social Welfare Institutions (SS)

    Study of factors which have historically shaped the development of social welfare with the goal of understanding its impact on populations-at-risk and how it is influenced by the dynamics and consequences of social and economic injustice, including all forms of human oppression and discrimination. It includes a critical approach for examining the social work profession's role as a humanizing and consciousness-raising force in affecting change. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 340, 378 and 379. Prerequisites: Social Work 376, 377 and 395.



    Social Work   371                                           3 (crs.)

    Child and Family Welfare (SS)

    Examines the historical trends in services to children and their families within the framework of supportive, supplemental and substitute services which have evolved over time as part of the service structure in child welfare. While recognizing the impact of impoverishment, changing family structures and other aspects of pressures on contemporary parenting, attention is given to resiliency forces and practitioner approaches which encourage parenting strengths and home-based intervention options as preventive strategies in child welfare services.



    Social Work   375                                           3 (crs.)

    Treatment and Mistreatment of Offenders (SS)

    Examines the application of generalist social work practice within the criminal justice system focusing on the change agent role in working with juvenile and adult offenders in both community-based corrections and institutional settings. Prepares social workers for an understanding of correctional models and their inherent values, bio-psycho-social theories of crime causation and develops assessment and intervention skills within a generalist framework.



    Social Work   376                                           3 (crs.)

    Generalist Practice I (SS)

    Introduces a theoretical framework for generalist practice, using differential professional strategies and roles to effect change and in a manner which promotes strengths, empowerment and socially just solutions for individual clients. Focus on values, knowledge and skill application to assessment, intervention and evaluation processes in micro-level practice. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree.  Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 377 and 395. Prerequisites: Social Work 167, 220 and 298.



    Social Work   377                                           3 (crs.)

    Generalist Practice I Interviewing Lab (SS)

    Generalist focused interviewing skills laboratory for use in micro, mezzo and macro systems. To be taken concurrently with the Practice I and Human Behavior in the Social Environment courses. Offers intensive development of active listening and interviewing skills in conjunction with the application of theoretical content for assessment, intervention and evaluation activities in practice. Prerequisite: Admission to the BSW Degree. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 376 and 395. Prerequisites: Social Work 167, 220 and 298.



    Social Work   378                                           3 (crs.)

    Generalist Practice II (SS)

    Continues the use of the generalist theoretical framework used in Generalist Practice I to its use in macro-level assessment intervention and evaluation. The emphasis is on examination and use of theoretical perspectives, application of ethical standards and employment of social worker values, practice skills and knowledge within community systems.  Taken in conjunction with Generalist Practice Community Lab, the course applies problem solving methods to identify and alleviate community problems. Concurrent Enrollment: Social Work 340, 378, 379. Prerequisites: Admission to the BSW Degree, Social Work 376, 377, 395.



    Social Work   379                                           3 (crs.)

    Generalist Practice II Community Lab (SS)

    Designed to be taken concurrently with Generalist Practice II, Research in Social Services and Social Welfare Institutions courses. Guided by the Department's vision statement, intensive hands-on participation and skill development for community and organizational practice activities is offered within a practice framework of community development, social planning, social advocacy and social action. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 340, 368 and 378. Prerequisites: Social Work 376, 377 and 395.



    Social Work   395                                           3 (crs.)

    Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SS)

    Integration of theories and models examining the complexity of person/environment functioning with respect to individuals, families, small groups, large organizations and communities. An ecological model will be used within a generalist practice framework to examine biological, cultural diversity, psychological and social determinants of human choices. This theory will be used to prepare the social worker for multi-level assessment of person/environment/interactions. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 376 and 377. Prerequisites: Social Work 167, 220 and 298.



    Social Work   401                                           6 (crs.)

    Applied Generalist Practice I

    The field practicum component, including 210 hours of educationally supervised generalist practice experience in a social service agency and weekly two-hour integrative seminar. Involves the application of social work knowledge, values and skills to social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, using appropriate theoretical frameworks and differential professional strategies of change. This course cannot be repeated without  a written appeal to the Social Work Admission and Retention Review Committee and acceptance of that Appeal. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Field Admission Process. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 410. Prerequisites: Social Work 340, 368, 378 and 379.  Pass/Fail



    Social Work   410                                           3 (crs.)

    Generalist Practice with Groups (SS)

    Examines theories of group behavior and their application within a generalist practice framework with families and people in small groups.  Emphasis on understanding group dynamics, phases of group development, group process and behavior, and skill development for working with various types of groups. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 401. Prerequisites: Social Work 340, 368, 378 and 379.



    Social Work   443                                           3 (crs.)

    Family Practice in Systems Perspective (SS)

    Application of family theory and current research findings to social work practice within families. Topics include role theory, communications theory, and major systems-oriented theories and techniques of family counseling and intervention. The family as a small problem-solving group. Prerequisite: Social Work 220 or consent of instructor.



    Social Work   446                                           1-3 (crs.)

    Independent Study (SS)

    See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites and proper contract form requirements.



    Social Work   451                                           6 (crs.)

    Applied Generalist Practice II (SS)

    Building on the competencies acquired in Social Work 401, this second term generalist practice experience includes 210 hours of supervised practice in a social work agency and weekly two-hour integrative seminar. Focuses on continuing enhancement of theory-guided generalist practice with all systems sizes, effective identification and resolution of ethical dilemmas, and increased autonomy of functioning. Prerequisite: Successfully meet continuation requirements. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 468. Prerequisites: Social Work 401 and 410.  Pass/Fail



    Social Work   456                                           1-3 (crs.)

    Related Readings (SS)

    See Related Readings under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites and proper contract form requirements.



    Social Work   468                                           3 (crs.)

    Social Welfare Policy (SS)

    This course prepares students to act as policy advocators, apply social work values and ethics to public policy analysis and implementation, to employ critical thinking skills to analyze policy practice, to advance policies that are socially just and to promote policies that facilitate the well-being of social service recipients. Social Welfare policy is viewed within the context of generalist practice and the social worker's role as a policy advocate and partner at all levels in society. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Social Work 451.



    Social Work   474                                           1-6 (crs.)

    Honors: Thesis

    Honors thesis projects include any advanced, independent endeavor in the student's major field of study, e.g. a written thesis paper and/or a research project and written report. Proposals (attached to an Independent Study Contract) must show clear promise of honors level work, demonstrate breadth and depth of a topic area beyond generalist practice education and be approved by the assigned Social Work adviser. Course title for transcript will be 'Honors Thesis'. Completed projects will be announced and presented to interested students and faculty. Prerequisites: Admission to the major, and Soc Work 340.



    Social Work   481                                           1-3 (crs.)

    Special Topics in Social Work (SS)

    Advanced course to investigate current and future issues in human services delivery systems with emphasis upon selective alternatives in social services. Participants will be provided with an in-depth opportunity to participate in seminars and/or field practice experiences which introduce career-oriented social work students and practicing professionals to innovative social services alternatives. May be repeated with other content for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

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