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Department of Social Work
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Albertson Hall 103
Phone: 785-628-4755
Email: socialwork@fhsu.edu
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Social Work Course Descriptions

SOCW 260: Introduction to Social Work
Introduction to the social service delivery systems in the United States, with an emphasis on the social work profession: its mission, philosophy, ethics, values, diverse fields, and ethnocultural perspectives. Observations of social service agencies and guest speakers provide a career orientation to the social work profession.

SOCW 310: Social Welfare Policy and Services I
Examination of the historical evolution of social welfare and the social work profession, with focus on the social policies which comprise the foundation of the welfare state in the United States. Present patterns of social welfare services are to be examined. Emphasis is on the historical evolution of contemporary social problems. Oppression, discrimination, social justice issues and policies, and their impact on diverse populations at risk will be explored.

SOCW 320: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
Critical analysis of perspectives on the person and on the physical and sociocultural environment. The focus is on the fit between person and environment, with attention to biological, psychological, and social dynamics that impair or facilitate person/environment fit. There is particular concern with the process of social and cultural stratification and oppression within society, communities, institutions, organizations, and groups, and the effects of confrontation and contact between those cultures and the dominant American culture is reviewed, with special attention to social work issues. The rural environment as a context affecting biological, psychological, and social dynamics is considered.

SOCW 322: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II
Examination of development in the intertwined individual and family life cycles as a transactional process involving the material interaction of environmental, bio-psycho-social, economic, and ethnocultural factors, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and family structure. The focus is on the evolving fit between the developing individual and family and the risk and protective factors in a changing environment. Special attention is paid to how the process impacts Western Kansas populations at risk. There is particular concern with develop- mental settings, including family, school and work and the ways they impact and are impacted by developing individuals and families, concepts of diversity, values and ethical issues, and theoretical perspectives as they apply to social work practice area examined.

SOCW 362: Methods of Social Research
The process of knowledge production and research design. Selected aspects of the philosophy of science and the logic of inquiry are related to the basic techniques of qualitative and quantitative research.

SOCW 380: Generalist Practice: Intro to Practice
As the first of five generalist practice courses, this foundation course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice. Self-awareness, problem-solving, interviewing, professional relationships, intervention planning and skills, and ethics are explored. This course focuses on individuals but introduces family, group, organizational, and community systems. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas urban/rural regions is emphasized. The student will complete fifty (50) hours of non- paid service in a community agency of the student's choice, with the instructor's approval.

SOCW 381: Generalist Practice: The Helping Relationship
As the second generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice with individuals. This course builds upon the generalist problem-solving model, interventive methods, and planning introduced in SOCW 380. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

SOCW 382: Generalist Practice: Group Systems
As the third generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with group systems. This course builds upon the generalist social work process. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/ rural regions is emphasized.

SOCW 410: Social Welfare Policy and Services II
This is the second of two social welfare policy and services courses and builds upon SOCW 310. This course is designed to provide entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social welfare policy/practice. Emphasis is upon the processes and methods of designing, enacting, implementing, and evaluating social welfare policies/services at the local, state, and federal levels. Value and ethical considerations related to policy, evaluation frame- works, and research methodologies are presented. Various organizational and political processes used to implement/influence welfare policies/ services are reviewed.

SOCW 420: Human Behavior and the Social Environment III
An analysis for social workers of causes and dynamics of problems in person-environment fit and the associated difficulties in biopsychosocial functioning. Primary focus is on substance abuse. The course also introduces a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Students are asked to consider the impact of the rural, western Kansas environment on problem dynamics and service system response.

SOCW 461: Generalist Practice: Family Systems
As the fourth generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with family systems. This course builds upon the generalist social work problem-solving model. An ethno- cultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

SOCW 462: Generalist Practice: Organizational & Community Systems
As the last of the five generalist practice courses, this course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice with organizations and communities. This course builds upon the concepts/processes of problem-solving, planned change, and intervention methods from previous practice courses, with the emphasis on organizational and community knowledge skills, and strategies of change. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

SOCW 463: Introduction to the Practicum
This course prepares students for the required field practicum in the final semester of the social work program. Interviewing, stress and time management, court testimony, documentation, career objectives, and practicum site selection are specific goals of this course. Students learn a theoretical context upon which to base the practicum.

SOCW 467: Social Work Professional Seminar
A capstone seminar that accompanies the field practicum and enables social work majors to integrate theory, values, skills, ethics, and ethnocultural competence. Emphasis is on self- analysis and evaluating one's own practice.

SOCW 468: Field Practicum
A field experience that provides social work majors with supervised learning experiences within selected social welfare agencies. A capstone seminar accompanies this practicum in order to enable students to integrate and apply classroom learning in a field setting. An ethnocultural practice perspective is emphasized. The field practicum prep course, Introduction to the Practicum, is taken the semester immediately preceding the practicum. Five hundred (500) hours of field practicum experience are required.

SOCIAL WORK ELECTIVES

SOCW 615: Topics in Social Work: Social Work and the Law
The subject matter for this course will vary from semester to semester. Topics will include areas of major interest and concern related to social work practice. Examples are topics such as social work and the law and co-occurring disorders.

SOCW 615: Topics in Social Work: Mass Trauma Intervention
This course will examine current service delivery models of early intervention by first responders and long term follow up by community multidisciplinary counseling resources. Specific mental health intervention strategies will be examined relevant to the post traumatic effects of disaster and violence on specific victim populations such as children, adolescents and adults, and culturally and ethnically diverse minority groups.

SOCW 620: Spirituality & Aging: The Empowering Relationship
Students will learn a multicultural approach to concepts of spirituality, aging, and empowerment in American society. The course will also examine the role of social workers and gerontology professionals in relationship to the impact of chronic illness on the psychosocial, economic and spiritual contexts of aging adults in our society.

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