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Course Descriptions    

 
 

SWK 101 21st  Century Social Work
1 semester, 3 credits (Social Science Core)

Focuses on professional social work, practice methods, and services to underrepresented populations. Emphasizes a range of psychosocial problems experienced by at-risk groups in American society and efforts to foster social and economic justice. Current and historical functioning of the social welfare system and social and economic forces that give rise to America's underclass are evaluated. Juniors and seniors by permission.

 

SWK 220 Diversity and Culture in Social Work Practice
1 semester, 3 credits

"Cultural competence" includes awareness of one's own culture-based worldview, awareness of the worldviews of diverse clients, and skills in working across cultural differences. Such competence will be pursued through reflection and dialogue about students' own cultures and contacts with others of different cultures in reading, co-curricular exploration, and service learning.

 

SWK 253 Human Behavior Through the Lifespan
1 semester, 3 credits, (Social Science Core)

Students investigate biological, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of human development throughout the lifespan and consider the impacts that individual and environmental forces exert on behavior and adaptive functioning. Normative developmental tasks and abilities are used as reference points in understanding the strengths and problems of diverse populations.

 

SWK 254 Human Behavior in Social Systems
1 semester, 3 credits, (Social Science Core)

Common patterns of human behavior found in diverse family structures, groups, organizations, institutions, neighborhoods, and communities are examined through the application of a social systems perspective. Small and large group theory used to critically evaluate the context for behavioral norms, social roles, socialization, situational pressures within organizations resulting from various authority and leadership styles, organizational structures, and patterns of communication.

 

SWK 301 Current Issues in Social Work
1 semester, 3 credits

This elective offers in-depth examination and analysis of specific contemporary problems, their scope, their social policy implications, and the role of social work in addressing these problems.  Recent offerings include topics such as alcohol and substance abuse, violence against women, confronting HIV/AIDS, child welfare and youth at-risk, and international human services.

 

SWK 302 Problems and Practices with At-Risk Children and Families
1 semester, 3 credits

Designed to expose students to a variety of social and environmental conditions which place children at-risk for abuse, neglect, school failure, underachievement, health and mental health problems. A variety of behavioral, social, and mental health problems common to childhood and adolescence are examined. Contemporary treatment interventions and existing services are identified and evaluated.

 

SWK 304 Group Processes
1 semester, 3 credits

Group dynamics, stages of development in task and therapeutic groups are examined. Experiential learning through role plays in simulated group exercises assists students in learning the requisite group leadership skills associated with phase specific interventions. Particular attention is given to communication patterns within groups and conflict resolution strategies.

 

SWK 360 Social Policy
1 semester, 3 credits

Historical and contemporary factors influencing social policy development define the processes which American society uses to approach social problem identification. Examination and analysis of current policy issues through debate explicates the underlying and competing values in social welfare policies and the role of social workers as policy makers and shapers. Junior and senior social work majors or permission of instructor.

 

SWK 365 Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups
1 semester, 3 credits

Equips majors with basic practice skills necessary for social work interventions with individuals, groups, and families. Students learn to engage client systems, identify areas of client need, and write case management plans inclusive of goals and strategies to promote client well-being. Emphasis is on relationship building, interviewing skills, engagement, assessment, and Generalist problem solving strategies. Junior majors only.

 

SWK 366 Community and Political Practice
1 semester, 3 credits

Community development practice strengthens neighborhood bonds, builds social capital and networks. Through sustained organizing, communities are empowered to create grassroots organizations and focus on advocacy strategies to remedy social, political, and economic injustices.  Students learn to mobilize citizens to obtain collective power, to advocate for current relevant legislation in the RI General Assembly, and complete needs assessments. Junior majors only.

 

SWK 368 Research Social Work Students
1 semester, 3 credits

Students are prepared for empirically based practice by introducing them to social science research processes, basic study designs, and statistical procedures. Students will practice becoming knowledgeable consumers and beginning practitioners of empirical research by evaluating research reports, analyzing logic and methods of empirical inquiry, and conducting their own research projects. Prerequisite: Junior/Senior status.

 

SWK 370 Social Work Practicum & Seminar I
1 semester, 4 credits

Provides students with the opportunity to learn firsthand about social work practice, requires a minimum of eight hours weekly of professionally supervised practice activity in a community-based human service organization. A concurrent seminar advances learning about functioning in a professional capacity with client systems in an organizational context. Understanding and embodying ethical practice standards is emphasized. Junior majors only.

 

SWK 450 Social Work Practicum & Seminar II
2 semesters, 12 credits

First semester of a two-semester practicum, requiring a minimum of 16 hours weekly of professionally supervised, educationally directed practice experience. Students expand Generalist practice competencies focused on engaging individuals, families, organizations, and communities in deliberate change. Reflective, informed, evidenced-based, culturally competent habits of practice are emphasized. The concurrent seminar supports professional identification and peer supported learning.  Senior majors only.

 

SWK 451 Social Work Practicum & Seminar III

First semester of a two-semester practicum, requiring a minimum of 16 hours weekly of professionally supervised, educationally directed practice experience. Students expand Generalist practice competencies focused on engaging individuals, families, organizations, and communities in deliberate change. Reflective, informed, evidenced-based, culturally competent habits of practice are emphasized. The concurrent seminar supports professional identification and peer supported learning.  Senior majors only.

 

SWK 468 Research Methods II: Advanced Research Design and Statistical Analysis
1 semester, 3 credits

Building on SWK 368, this course stresses "hands-on" practice in applying statistical analyses via computation and statistical software such as SPSS to interpretation of standardized and student-created measures employed in typical social work research designs. Prerequisite: SWK 368 or permission of instructor.

 

SWK 488 Theory/Practice Capstone
2 semesters, 6 credits

Designed to consolidate didactic and field learning and integrate the professions' theories and practice models, students identify differential problem areas, tailor theoretical and practice models to meet the specific needs of populations-at-risk and diverse groups, and communities. Strategies to combat discrimination and oppression to promote social and economic justice are explored. Senior majors only.

 

SWK 490 Independent Study

Guided independent study/research into social work knowledge or practice involves task-framing, execution, and assessment as important student responsibilities, which must be specified prior to registration and developed throughout the semester in consultation with faculty.

 
 
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