A Foundation of Strengths. A Vision of Justice. A Mission of Change.

Chapter 2: BSW Program & Curriculum

The undergraduate program of the KU School of Social Welfare prepares graduates for beginning level generalist social work practice. The program defines generalist practice as maintaining focus on the interface between systems (i.e., individual, families, groups, organizations, and communities), with particular emphasis on:

  • The strengths inherent in these systems.
  • The need to understand the role of gender, culture, sexual orientation, disability, race, and class in all phases of the social work process.
  • The promotion of social and economic justice for those disenfranchised on the basis of the attributes listed above.
  • The assumption of a critical perspective regarding different ways of knowing.

Beginning generalist practice uses multilevel methodology depending on the needs of the client system, and incorporates a knowledge, value, and skill base that is transferable between and among diverse contexts and locations.

Students are admitted to the School of Social Welfare as new freshman or transfer students. They advance to 500 level course work after meeting all advancement requirements. During 500 level course work, the student establishes a foundation of knowledge and skills in human behavior and the social environment, social work research, diversity, and an introduction to the fundamentals of social work practice. During the 600 level course work students take social work practice, social policy and program analysis, a seminar in professional issues, and two practice mini-courses. Students also take field practicum – a year-long course in which students acquire competence as beginning social work practitioners.

It is possible for students to complete these courses taking a part-time schedule. If you want to pursue this option, please talk to your adviser before scheduling your courses.

It is the student’s responsibility to become thoroughly acquainted with the degree requirements. Ultimately, the student is responsible for understanding and completing requirements for the degree.

 

BSW Required Course Work

SW 220 Social Work, Social Welfare and U.S
*This course must be completed prior to beginning 500 level course work. A grade of B or higher is required for advancement in the program. An introduction to the field of social welfare and its relationship to the social work profession, charged with carrying out its primary missions. Specific social welfare policies will be analyzed, particularly as those policies affect individuals and families in need.

500 level course work

Fall

SW 530 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
A study of theoretical frameworks for understanding human behavior. The theories include the developmental stages across the life cycle, abnormal behavior compared to normal, analysis of family and societal processes and their effects on the individual, and individual behavior in relation to social class, ethnicity, and cultural background.
SW 540 Fundamentals of Social Work Research
An examination of the basic concepts and principles of scientific inquiry as applied to the social work profession's quest for and utilization of knowledge. Positivistic and naturalistic methods of inquiry are covered. Other content includes conceptualization, operationalization, sample design, ethics, and culturally sensitive research practice. 
SW 555 Diversity, Oppression, and Social Justice: Culturally Competent Social Work
This course will provide the conceptual, theoretical and empirical knowledge base related to difference, oppression, social justice and empowerment. This knowledge is necessary for culturally competent social work practice in a multicultural society. 

Spring

SW 510 Fundamentals of Social Work Practice
Introduces the basic concepts of social work practice including the focus and context of practice, the nature of a social work relationship; basic skills and techniques common to practice such as interviewing, engagement, information gathering, etc. Introduction to problem solving and social work roles.
SW 532 Community and Organizational Dynamics and Human Behavior
An analysis of community and organizational life with emphasis on human behavior dynamics. Systems operation and change are considered and related to social functioning, especially as it impinges on social welfare objectives. 
SW 541 Social Work Research Seminar
Focus is on applying material learned in SW 540 to the critique of empirical work in the social work arena and to the development of a proposal for a practice-based research project. Emphasis on assessing relevance of research to special populations. Content on the interpretation of graphs, tables, and statistical measures provided. 

600 level course work

Fall

SW 601 Field Practicum

According to the Council on Social Work Education, field education is the signature pedagogy of the social work profession. Your practicum, also known as an internship, will help you to connect your classroom learning with a social work practice experience in the community. The Field Education Handbook (http://socwel.ku.edu/sites/socwel.ku.edu/files/docs/Resources/students/field-ed/FieldEducationHandbook-KUSSW.pdf) contains specific information about the roles and expectations of the School, the field, and the student in the practicum experience, as well as the policies and procedures of the Field Education Office. Learn more about Field Education (http://socwel.ku.edu/academics/degrees/bsw/bsw-fe/fieldeducation).

Field Education: B.S.W. students have one practicum placement during the senior year, concurrent with enrollment in the practice courses. Senior B.S.W. students attend classes 2 days a week and field practicum 2 days a week throughout fall and spring semesters. Seniors spend a minimum of 480 clock hours in practicum. Practicum is a 12-credit-hour, year-long course graded on an S/U basis. A satisfactory (S) grade is a requirement for the B.S.W. degree. At the end of the first semester, a grade of P is given for satisfactory progress toward completion of the course. No credit is given for partial completion (fewer than 12 credit hours) of practicum.

SW 610 Social Work Practice Seminar I
Focuses on learning and implementing the problem-solving and interaction models of practice to be applied to individuals, families, and small groups. Concurrent with SW 601, practicum; students bring issues with clients to class for discussion.
SW 620 Social Policies and Program Analysis
Conceptual models for the analysis of social welfare problems and policies are developed. The frameworks are applied to the problem of poverty and major policies and programs developed to cope with that problem. In addition, the model is used to examine social welfare problems/needs being addressed in the students' practicum agencies. The focus throughout is on the understanding and application of analytic framework.

SW 630/631/632/633 (two courses required)

SW 630 Antisocial, Aggressive Behavior in Childhood and Early Adolescence
This course explores the theories and methods related to practice with children whose behavior is disruptive, oppositional, aggressive, or otherwise antisocial. Emphasis is placed on using protective and risk factors to design appropriate interventions. 
SW 631 Intimate Partner Violence
This course provides students with a beginning understanding of intimate partner violence including definitions, prevalence, theoretical frameworks, dynamics, and consequences for the individual, the family, the community and society. Students will develop skills required to assess, intervene, and prevent domestic violence cases. 
SW 632 Substance Abuse and Social Work Practice
This course will offer BSW students a very basic understanding of concepts associated with social work practice with people who confront challenges with alcohol and other drugs. Students will learn about substance abuse problems currently prevalent, recognize behavior related to substance abuse disorders and applicability of generalist social work practice models in developing interventions.
SW 633 Crisis Intervention
This course will provide undergraduate social work students with a basic introduction to crisis intervention, including theoretical models, the evolution and use of crisis theory and the design of interventions across a broad range of crisis situations.

Spring

SW 601 Field Practicum

According to the Council on Social Work Education, field education is the signature pedagogy of the social work profession. Your practicum, also known as an internship, will help you to connect your classroom learning with a social work practice experience in the community. The Field Education Handbook (http://socwel.ku.edu/sites/socwel.ku.edu/files/docs/Resources/students/field-ed/FieldEducationHandbook-KUSSW.pdf) contains specific information about the roles and expectations of the School, the field, and the student in the practicum experience, as well as the policies and procedures of the Field Education Office. Learn more about Field Education (http://socwel.ku.edu/academics/degrees/bsw/bsw-fe/fieldeducation).

Field Education: B.S.W. students have one practicum placement during the senior year, concurrent with enrollment in the practice courses. Senior B.S.W. students attend classes 2 days a week and field practicum 2 days a week throughout fall and spring semesters. Seniors spend a minimum of 480 clock hours in practicum. Practicum is a 12-credit-hour, year-long course graded on an S/U basis. A satisfactory (S) grade is a requirement for the B.S.W. degree. At the end of the first semester, a grade of P is given for satisfactory progress toward completion of the course. No credit is given for partial completion (fewer than 12 credit hours) of practicum.

SW 612 Social Work Practice Seminar II
Second of two-course sequence extends the work begun in SW 610. Examines interventive strategies applicable to practice with larger systems. Models of community organization and community development are presented. Concurrent with SW 601, practicum; students work on individualized, agency-related projects.
SW 621 Social Policy Analysis and Advocacy
The course builds on SW 620 using the conceptual models to examine a range of social welfare problems/needs, policies and programs. Emphasis is on advancing student's understanding and skills for using the analytic framework and building policy advocacy skills. Attention given to the role of social workers in the legislative process for shaping social welfare policies.
SW 623 Seminar in Professional Issues
Seminar in the philosophy, values, and issues in contemporary social work and social welfare. Seminar will address areas such as conception of professional and professionalism, ethics and values, standards, licensing, and professional regulation, accountability and professional responsibility. *Note some sections of this course complete a professional portfolio. Keep all graded BSW assignments and syllabi.

Social Welfare Events