Social Work Course Descriptions

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SWK 2200 - Service Learning - 2 cr.
Provides opportunities for students to perform service to the community and to engage in reflective learning on the meaning of that service. The services performed by students in this class will be with established non-profit and service agencies.


SWK 2220 - Core Concepts of the Social Work Profession - 2 cr.
Provides an introduction to the foundation of social work as a profession, outlining the primary knowledge, competencies, values, and skills that characterize contemporary social work practice. This entry-level course surveys a variety of professional practice settings, allowing students the opportunity for career exploration within the social work profession.


SWK 2240 - Intro Professional Social Work ( II ) - 4 cr.
Provides an introduction to the foundation of social work as a profession and outlines the primary knowledge, values, and skills that characterize contemporary practice. This entry level course surveys a variety of professional practice settings allowing students an opportunity for career exploration within the social work profession. In addition, the course reviews the historical and philosophical background of social work. Students demonstrate increased awareness of personal values in exploring both the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, and the Benedictine values. The course emphasizes the experience of populations at risk and analyzes factors that constitute being at risk Through the use of weekly classroom lectures, discussion, readings, audio visual tools, and service learning assignments, students increase awareness of the value of promoting social and economic justice across all levels of practice.


SWK 2777 - Topics in Social Work - 1-4 cr.
Selected topics.


SWK 3000 - Integrated Lab - 1-2 cr.
This integrative laboratory course facilitates students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and community-centered experiences. Specific lab curriculum will address topical themes related to content from social work core courses in which students are concurrently enrolled. The laboratory also serves as an opportunity for the organization and development of a professional portfolio. Students work with specific frameworks and templates, but individualize the content of their portfolios and capture their unique learning experiences and professional goals. Each student will have the opportunity to frame a specific purpose for their portfolio (e.g. job search or graduate school admission), designing the portfolio in a manner that accentuates their personal identity, perspectives, knowledge and competencies as a professional social worker.


SWK 3131 - Stat Meth. Evidence Based Prac ( V ) - 2 cr.
This course is the first of two courses designed to help students build a critical understanding of statistical concepts commonly used in the professional literature and for evidence-based practice. Students will learn to choose appropriate statistical analyses, conduct analyses, interpret findings, and communicate results clearly and effectively in the context of the helping professions. The concepts considered in this course include those related to the representation of information (descriptive statistics – mean, standard deviation, graphing) and those concepts related to drawing conclusions based on sample data (inferential statistics – probability, the normal distribution, hypothesis testing).


SWK 3132 - Stat Meth Evid Based Pra II ( V ) - 2 cr.
This course is the second of two courses designed to help students build a critical understanding of statistical concepts commonly used in the professional literature and for evidence-based practice. Students will learn to choose appropriate statistical analyses, conduct analyses, interpret findings, and communicate results clearly and effectively in the context of the helping professions. The concepts considered in this course include those related to the representation of information (descriptive statistics – mean, standard deviation, graphing) and those concepts related to drawing conclusions based on sample data (inferential statistics – probability, the normal distribution, hypothesis testing). Prerequisite: SWK 3131.

Prerequisite Course: SWK 3131


SWK 3315 - Psychosocial Aspects of Aging - 4 cr.
Provides an overview of the aging individual within a social context. The focus is on characteristics of today's older adult cohort, psychological processes in late life, the social context in which older adults live, and society's response to older adults. Topics include: demographics, stereo types and attitudes, research methods, theories of development, sensing and responding to the environment, cognitive processes, mental disorders and treatment, death and dying, sexuality, intimate relationships, family relationships, care giving, employment and retirement, finances, Social Security, social programs and political power of the older cohort.


SWK 3339 - Preparation for Field I - 1 cr.
Designed for junior social work students who will be participating in their field placement the following semester. Students have the opportunity to assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary placement documentation, and interview with at least two prospective field placement sites. In class and out of class assignments will cover junior placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the lenses of the NASW Code of Ethics, the student application process for agency field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, the effective utilization of agency supervision, and getting the most out of the field placement.


SWK 3350 - Understanding Systems of Privilege and Oppression - 2 cr.
Deconstructs systems of privilege and oppression using the vehicles of race and class. Contrasts varying experiences with systems of privilege and oppression within the United States. Connects these systems to our individual and collective socialization to allow for a critique of how each has been impacted by such systems. Examines the internal and external, individual and systemic supports for inequity and provides a framework for deconstructing, dismantling and resisting those systems of oppression, individually and collectively.


SWK 3360 - American Social Welfare Policy - 4 cr.
Examines the history, current structures and future of social welfare policy, and the role of social policy in social work practice. Course content includes: identification of local, state, federal and international political processes that shape the development of domestic and international social policy; analysis of current limitations and strengths in social policy; application of research relevant to existing and potential social policy; and consideration of controversial policies and social reform strategies. Policy analyses of the following issues are examined: income redistribution, poverty, discrimination, child welfare, mental health, housing, healthcare as well as other relevant economic/political/ organizational systems. The purpose of the course is to challenge students to recognize and understand the relationship between social problems, social values, social institutions, client advocacy, and social change as they prepare for entry-level generalist social work practice.


SWK 3362 - Human Behavior Social Envrnmnt - 4 cr.
Provides students with knowledge and understanding of the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and social environments through a social systems approach as affected by biological, cultural, environmental, psychosocial and spiritual factors across the life span. Content includes empirically-based theories and knowledge that focus on the interactions between and among individual, family, small group, organizational and community roles in human behavior as related to social work practice. Course focuses on cultural, ethnic and lifestyle diversity and its effects on achieving health and well-being. Prerequisite: SWK 2240, PSY 1105 or 2208, BIO 1102, or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: BIO 1101, PSY 2208, SOC 1125, SWK 2240

Corequisite Courses: SWK 3360, SWK 3370


SWK 3370 - Generalist Social Work Practice - 0-2 cr.
The first of the four practice courses. This course provides students with the fundamental concepts, principles and skills necessary to engage in beginning generalist social work practice at the baccalaureate level. It explores the unique aspects and challenges of the social work profession, emphasizes the professional commitment and values necessary to provide service to culturally diverse and vulnerable populations, promotes understanding and use of a strength's practice perspective, examines the NASW Code of Ethics, and introduces the generalist intervention problem- solving method for practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Students develop interviewing skills and the professional use of self. Prerequisites: SWK 2240,PSY 1105 or 2208, and admission into the social work program.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 2280, SWK 2240

Corequisite Course: SWK 3362


SWK 3380 - Child Welfare - 4 cr.
Examines the social welfare system as it affects children in American society. Students learn about critical factors that affect the needs of children and families in contemporary society. Child maltreatment, protective intervention, family preservation, family assessment and alternative substitute care are some of the key issues addressed. Students also learn about human service agencies and programs providing services to children and families. Course content includes theory, practices services and research in the field of child welfare.


SWK 3383 - Social Work with Individuals and Families - 0-4 cr.
The second course in the social work practice sequence. This course builds on the knowledge and skills taught in SWK 3370. Students continue to demonstrate mastery of interviewing skills and application of the generalist intervention model on amore advanced level working with individuals, couples, and families. This course includes information on and practice with: contemporary social work practice theories, social histories, individual and family assessments; assessment of suicidal potential and Duty to Warn; treatment plans; three generational genograms; and eco-maps and professional documentation skills. Students participate in role playing, client case analyses and ethical practice dilemmas. Prerequisites: SWK 2240 and 3370.

Prerequisite Courses: SWK 2240, SWK 3362, SWK 3370


SWK 3385 - Social Work Research and Evaluation - 4 cr.
Qualitative and quantitative approaches to building evidence-based generalist social work practice. Students acquire knowledge and develop skills necessary for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of practice interventions and social service programs. Course goals are to prepare students to be competent consumers, producers, and communicators of social science research. Course content includes: steps in practice research; ethnic-sensitive research practice; empirical research strategies for assessing micro, mezzo and macro social work interventions; developing and implementing a research project; and effective use of computer technology as an integral part of both research and human service practice. Recommended Prerequisite: PSY 3331.

Prerequisite Course: PSY 3331


SWK 3390 - Understanding Immigration/Refugee IOssues in Social Work Practice - 2-8 cr.
Through the utilization of "participatory action research" learning, students will be immersed in social work practice issues and methods of service delivery with refugee and immigrant populations in present day Minnesota. Professional helping methods will focus on the unique aspects and challenges necessary for effective, culturally sensitive interventions. A bio-psycho- social-spiritual model of system assessment is infused. Students participate in classroom, community and service-learning opportunities. Students have the option to participate in a more in depth service experience through registering concurrently in SWK 3555 with permission of the instructors. Prerequisites: completion or concurrent enrollment in SWK 3362 and SWK 3370 or consent of instructor.


SWK 3395 - Social Work and Health Care - 4 cr.
This course extends and elaborates on the generalist approach to social work practice in the field of healthcare. Students are introduced to social work practice in the health care field. The course is designed to expose students to the environment, terminology, culture, and nature of work in health care organizations. Students will examine the roles and duties of social workers in a variety of health care settings, i.e., clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities, mental health clinics, rehabilitation centers, and community agencies. Through class discussions, readings, site visits, case studies, and presentations from area health care professionals, students will learn about practice modalities for populations with various diseases/conditions. Topics related to relevant health care and institutional policy issues will also be covered. Skill development will focus on psychosocial assessment, case planning, intervention strategies and documentation utilizing an electronic medical record, and working with the health care team. This course emphasizes ethics and human diversity related to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability.


SWK 3500 - Integrated Lab - 1-2 cr.
This integrative laboratory course facilitates students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and community-centered experiences. Specific lab curriculum will address topical themes related to content from social work core courses in which students are concurrently enrolled. The laboratory also serves as an opportunity for the organization and development of a professional portfolio. Students work with specific frameworks and templates, but individualize the content of their portfolios and capture their unique learning experiences and professional goals. Each student will have the opportunity to frame a specific purpose for their portfolio (e.g. job search or graduate school admission), designing the portfolio in a manner that accentuates their personal identity, perspectives, knowledge and competencies as a professional social worker.


SWK 3555 - Field Practicum I - 0-16 cr.
This course is designed to provide students an entry level opportunity to work in a social service agency, institution or organization in the role of a social work intern, 8-15 hours per week (120-280 total hours) during spring semester of their junior year. In placement, students prepare for effective social work practice within a pluralistic society including sensitivity to race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, handicap, or political or sexual orientation. Learning contracts are individually designed to meet the specific needs of each student and the requirements and opportunities available in each human service organization. Students participate in a weekly 100 minute small group seminar which emphasizes student-centered learning, personal/professional introspection and an opportunity to exchange information on agency placement experiences. Various general practice skills will be explored, including values, ethics, professional documentation, and intervention strategies. Students will be graded on a P/F basis. Prerequisites: SWK 2240, 3362, 3370, and 3339.

Prerequisite Courses: SWK 2240, SWK 3370

Corequisite Course: SWK 3383


SWK 3600 - Social Work and Technology - 2 cr.
Social Work and Technology is an online course for social work majors with any level of experience in the digital environment. Modern social workers use computers, internet, and software to meet the demands of their practice. Technological competency in social advocacy, privacy, confidentiality, use of critical thought, professional boundaries, and ethics will be applied. This course prepares learners for academic, professional, and practical success in emerging areas of practice.


SWK 3777 - Topics in Social Work - 0-4 cr.
Topics.


SWK 3999 - Prep for Field I - 1 cr.
Independent Study.


SWK 4000 - Integrated Lab III - 1-2 cr.
This integrative laboratory course facilitates students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and community-centered experiences. Specific lab curriculum will address topical themes related to content from social work core courses in which students are concurrently enrolled. The laboratory also serves as an opportunity for the organization and development of a professional portfolio. Students work with specific frameworks and templates, but individualize the content of their portfolios and capture their unique learning experiences and professional goals. Each student will have the opportunity to frame a specific purpose for their portfolio (e.g. job search or graduate school admission), designing the portfolio in a manner that accentuates their personal identity, perspectives, knowledge and competencies as a professional social worker.


SWK 4415 - American Indian Families ( I, II ) - 4 cr.
Traditional and contemporary concepts of American Indian families. The social and political changes that have impacted on Indian families will be identified and the degree of impact will be assessed.

Crosslist Course: INS 4415


SWK 4420 - Human Behavior & Amer Indian ( I, II ) - 4 cr.
Understanding of human behavior, cultural issues and their implication for human service interaction with American Indian communities. A systems approach will be utilized to address the issues of individual, family, community and societal behavior.

Crosslist Course: INS 4420


SWK 4440 - SWK Intervention with Groups - 0-4 cr.
This course is the third sequenced course of four practice courses required for all Social Work majors. The course incorporates knowledge and skill content developed in SWK 3370 and SWK 3383. Students examine the nature and development of social work group practice within task and treatment groups. Specific attention is given to group dynamics theory, leadership and group facilitation skills, stages of group development, theories and techniques adapted to a variety of treatment and task group settings, ethical standards for group practice, and cultural and ethnic consideration in social work group intervention. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate group facilitation and memberships skills in group labs. In addition, students receive instruction in implementing empirically based interventions in evaluating practice effectiveness. Prerequisites SWK 2240 and SWK 3370.

Prerequisite Courses: SWK 2240, SWK 3370, SWK 3383


SWK 4441 - Social Work/Community Systems - 4 cr.
Fourth course of the social work practice sequence. This course emphasizes the theories and skills necessary for beginning social work practitioners to bring about effectively planned change in community groups, organizations and institutions. The course content addresses: community theory and community practice skills; organizational and inter-organizational practice theory and skills; community organizing in a diverse society; macro social work research; and, theories and skills for professional development and macro level interventions. It provides students experiential learning opportunities. Prerequisites: SWK 2240 and SWK 3370.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 3331, SWK 2240, SWK 3370, SWK 3383, SWK 3385, SWK 4440


SWK 4449 - Preparation for Field II - 1 cr.
Designed for senior social work students in preparation for their senior field experience. Students have the opportunity to assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, complete necessary paperwork and interview with at least three field placement supervisors. Prerequisites: SWK 2240, SWK 3370, and SWK 3383.

Corequisite Course: SWK 3555


SWK 4470 - Independent Professional Project - 2-4 cr.
Senior project integrating coursework and field placement experience of the student's social work education. The project must address these nine basic foundation areas: values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, work with populations at risk, human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policies and services, social work practice, research, field practicum and internship. Prerequisite: SWK 3385 and admission to the social work program.


SWK 4500 - Integrated Lab - 1-2 cr.
This integrative laboratory course facilitates students’ understanding of their learning experience through critical reflection, lecture, experiential learning, small group interactions with faculty and peers, and community-centered experiences. Specific lab curriculum will address topical themes related to content from social work core courses in which students are concurrently enrolled. The laboratory also serves as an opportunity for the organization and development of a professional portfolio. Students work with specific frameworks and templates, but individualize the content of their portfolios and capture their unique learning experiences and professional goals. Each student will have the opportunity to frame a specific purpose for their portfolio (e.g. job search or graduate school admission), designing the portfolio in a manner that accentuates their personal identity, perspectives, knowledge and competencies as a professional social worker.

Prerequisite Course: SWK 4000


SWK 4555 - Senior Field Practicum - 1-16 cr.
A 400- to 560-hour social work internship in a social service agency, institution or organization during the senior year. The practicum provides students the opportunity to integrate direct practice with acquired theoretical knowledge and skills. A bi-weekly seminar facilitates the integration of classroom content and direct practice experience. Attention is given to the relationship between the purposes, values, and principles expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics and the professional practice of social work. Prerequisites: all social work courses except SWK 4470, and admission to the field sequence.

Corequisite Courses: SWK 4440, SWK 4441


SWK 4777 - Topics in Social Work - 0-4 cr.
Courses not a regular part of Social Work curriculum but taught because of s special need, interest or opportunity. Topics vary.


SWK 4999 - Independent Study - 1-4 cr.
Students select a particular topic of study with instructor. Individual student learning goals and method of evaluation are designed. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.


SWK 6100 - Social Welfare Policy and Service Delivery - 3 cr.
Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.


SWK 6101 - Direct Practice I - 3 cr.
Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.


SWK 6102 - Foundations of Human Behavior in the Social Environment - 3 cr.
Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.


SWK 6103 - Foundations of Social Justice - 3 cr.
Helps students understand the dynamics of economic, social, and cultural factors in the lives of clients and client systems. Strategies for advancing human rights and social and economic justice in various contexts are explored. Students will use knowledge of the effects of oppression, discrimination, and historical trauma on client systems to guide treatment planning and intervention.


SWK 6201 - Direct Practice II - 3 cr.
Examines and uses evidence-based practice theories and frameworks, methods, skills, ethics and values for service delivery in working with individuals, groups, families and communities. Emphasis on multi-dimensional approaches in engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation .


SWK 6202 - Research Design in Social Work - 3 cr.
Provides foundation-level knowledge of the scientific approach used in social work research methodology and evidence-based practice. Students gain knowledge and skills necessary to understand the problems that social workers in advanced clinical practice encounter as well as the methods for evaluating change in all areas of practice. Students gain an appreciation and understanding that research (both quantitative and qualitative) is a basic tool for advanced social work clinical practice. The course emphasizes the practice-research link focusing on ethics and human diversity related to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability.


SWK 6205 - Preparation for Field Practicum I - 1 cr.
Designed for graduate social work students who will be participating in the first field practicum placement the following semester. Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview with prospective field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness, personal learning style, how to choose a field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, and the effective utilization of supervision.


SWK 6255 - Field Practicum I - 0-6 cr.
Provides students with the opportunity to integrate direct practice with acquired theoretical knowledge and skills. The seminar facilitates the integration of classroom content and direct practice experience from the field experience. Attention is given to the relationship between the purpose, values, and principles expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics and evidence-informed practice of social work. The practicum socializes students to perform the role of practitioner and contributes to the development and assessment of requisite foundation competencies.


SWK 6300 - Assessment and Differential Diagnosis - 4 cr.
Presents assessment and diagnostic techniques associated with mental health and mental disorders within the context of the life-span (child; adolescent; adult; and aging perspectives). Categories of psychiatric disorders are considered with respect to their differentiating characteristics, explanatory theories, and relevance for social work practice according to the DSM, ICD, and other diagnostic tools. Students will learn models of assessment to evaluate human functioning throughout the life-span. Addresses the impact of race, ethnicity, social class, age, gender, and other sociocultural variables on the diagnostic processes.


SWK 6302 - Evidence-Based Intervention and Treatment - 4 cr.
Develops the knowledge and skills necessary for working with client systems using principles of evidence-based practice. Students will become familiar with evidence-based practices as a central approach to practice, as well as specific evidence-based interventions to use for client wellbeing. Students will learn to examine the research literature to determine the various levels of scientific support for specific interventions,, essential principles for translating research into practice, and how to identify appropriate treatment outcomes that reflect quality practice with diverse groups.


SWK 6400 - Policy and Services in Diverse Settings - 3 cr.
Prepares students to critically engage in policy practice within an area of specialization. Building on foundational knowledge, the course examines advanced skills in the development, analysis, advocacy, and implementation of policy as it pertains to practice with individual clients, families, groups, interdisciplinary teams, and service providers. Focus includes service delivery systems, technological advances, and ways of changing regulatory strategies. Consideration will be given to the effects of age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation on social welfare policy practice.


SWK 6402 - Practice Evaluation I - 2 cr.
Focuses on the research process within the context of advanced social work practice. Content covers the theory and practice of evaluation as a method of assessing advanced social work practice. Emphasis is on developing the knowledge and skills required to critically assess empirically-based evidence for practice with clients across the life-span and to design ethical and feasible approaches to practice evaluation.


SWK 6404 - Advanced Practice with Groups - 2 cr.
Advanced practice course that helps students develop an understanding of how advanced clinical social work practice applies to the context of groups. Students learn to facilitate group dynamics and apply major theoretical frameworks with culturally sensitive modifications to various types of treatment and task groups.

Prerequisite Courses: SWK 6101, SWK 6201, SWK 6300, SWK 6302


SWK 6405 - Preparation for Field Practicum II - 1 cr.
Students assess their interests and abilities, familiarize themselves with available advanced clinical field placement sites, explore and develop professional interviewing skills, complete necessary documentation, and interview and familiarize themselves with prospective advanced clinical field placement sites. Assignments will cover placement readiness for advanced clinical social work, preferred supervision style, how to choose an advanced clinical field placement site, the role of the professional social worker through the NASW Code of Ethics, student application process for the advanced clinical field placement, interviewing skills, contracting with an agency, developing a learning plan, the effective utilization of clinical supervision and licensure standards.

Prerequisite Courses: SWK 6101, SWK 6201, SWK 6255, SWK 6300, SWK 6302


SWK 6501 - Advanced Practice - 4 cr.
Focuses on reinforcing, integrating and building advanced social work practice skills, including engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation of clients with special attention devoted to complex practice situations encountered by social workers. Students learn practice skills and strategies through evidence-based approaches and theories to promote change in client systems. Topics vary according to practice situation. Course may be repeated when topics vary.


SWK 6502 - Practice Evaluation II - 2 cr.
Focuses on practice evaluation methods to assess advanced social work practice effectiveness and guide practice decisions for client and community well-being. This course will focus on the direct application of the analytical skills and knowledge associated with developing and implementing evaluation designs that are appropriate for advanced social work practice.


SWK 6555 - Field Practicum II - 0-6 cr.
Integrates acquired knowledge, skills, and values through an advanced social work field practicum experience. The seminar facilitates the integration of classroom content and direct practice experience in the field. Attention is given to the relationship between the purpose, values, and principles expressed in the NASW Code of Ethics and evidence-informed, advanced social work practice. The field practicum socializes students to perform the role of a clinical practitioner and contributes to the development and assessment of advanced clinical competencies.

Prerequisite Course: SWK 6205


SWK 6777 - Topics in Social Work - 4 cr.
Description coming soon.