Department of Social Work & Gerontology
The social work curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation in theory and practice of social work that enables the student to competently assume the role of an entry-level generalist social work professional. This is accomplished through courses offering a sound theoretical base, combined with the optimum amount of field related experience on the baccalaureate level. The curriculum builds upon, and is integrated with, the basic university liberal arts requirements, in the humanities, social, behavioral, and biological sciences.
The student who successfully completes the Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) Program will acquire the specialized knowledge and skills to effectively practice generalist social work and be educated and encouraged to identify and affirm the ethics and values of the profession. This includes an appreciation for the value, dignity and individuality of all human beings and a conviction regarding the equality of all people, regardless of gender, race, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or disability. These values would also include a desire to promote social and economic justice with a will to translate these values into action. The Social Work program is most rigorous and requires a strong sense of commitment on the part of the student. Any professor who finds the student’s writing to be inadequate will inform the student that a referral to the Writing Center will be made. The student must attend appropriate sessions at the Writing Center and provide the Social Work Department Chair with evidence of having completed recommended writing sessions.
Acceptance to GCU does not guarantee acceptance as a social work major. The student will be accepted as a social work major after completion of SW101 Foundations of Social Work and SW203 Introduction to Social Welfare with a grade of C or better. The student Policy and Procedures Manual clearly outlines the acceptance process to be followed by each student. The Field Manual and Policy and Procedures Manual may be found at http://www.georgian.edu/academics/undergraduate/social-work/.
The B.S.W. program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Students graduating from the program are granted state certification upon application to the State Board of Social Work Examiners.
Additionally, students who conclude their B.S.W. studies with a 3.0 average in major courses are eligible for advanced standing recommendation into graduate Master of Social Work (M.S.W) programs.
CSWE 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards
The nine Social Work Competencies are listed below.
- Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
- Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
- Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
- Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
- Engage in Policy Practice
- Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
Social Work (SW)
This course will serve as an introduction to the profession of social work. Students will learn about the historical underpinnings of the profession as well as the myriad social systems that influence contemporary social work practice. This foundation course will familiarize students with the social, political, and economic factors that impact policy development. Students will begin to connect policy with practice and will develop an understanding that policy initiatives shape practice behavior. Upon completion of this course, students will begin to identify as a professional social worker and will be knowledgeable of the values, ethics, and principles embraced by the vocation. Students will develop the perception of social worker as an agent of change wherein our professional responsibility is grounded in advocacy for human rights and social justice for marginalized and oppressed people and communities.
The study of the social welfare matrix, beginning with an historical perspective and tracing social service development to present-day systems, as well as the history of the social work profession. Focuses on means through which the individual, family, group, organization, and community problems and/or needs are identified, referred to, and met by the social welfare system. Emphasis on foundation of professional values and ethics. Lectures in conjunction with 40 hours of required volunteer service.
Corequisite(s): SO101 or permission of the instructor.
This course gives the student the opportunity for intensive study of a pertinent area or problem in social work generally not covered by the outlined curriculum. The topic is announced prior to the semester the class is offered. Topics include: Spirituality of Self, Grant Writing, Forensic Social Work, Religion and Spirituality, Disaster Response, Spanish for Specialized Work Settings.
Prerequisite(s): designated by instructor.
The Human-Animal Bond is designed to help the student understand and appreciate the relationship between Homo sapiens and the animal kingdom. This course explores the relationship between cruelty to animals and subsequent violence towards people, as well as the relationship between the development of child protection agencies and the ASPCA (American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Controversial issues of animal intelligence, animal consciousness, animal emotions, and animal rights are explored. The domestication of animals and their use as pets, therapeutic agents, and workers is highlighted within the debatable context of the biblical concept of “dominion.” Within this arena, pet therapy and grieving the loss of pets are discussed. This course examines the unique capabilities of several species and in some instances addresses the manner in which said capabilities have benefited the human race. Finally, the course addresses the place of animals in the larger context of ecology and the sustainability of our planet.
Examine the world of chemical addictions and behavioral addictions with emphasis on the biological, social, psychological, and environmental aspects. Investigate possible causes of addictive behaviors, symptoms, and treatment options including therapeutic and pharmaceutical treatments.
Prerequisite(s): designated by instructor.
An analysis of the family as a functional system within the larger society. It will concentrate on North American society and integrate comparative systems of global content. Areas included: majority and minority approaches to family life, sexuality, dissolution, blended families, gay and lesbian families, courting and mate selection, and marriage and family life in the middle and later years. Special attention will be devoted to the role of women both past and present as well as a focus on minorities. Develop beginning skills for understanding generalist practice with families. Emphasis will be given to Systems Theory and Family Systems theory.
SW253 is designed to provide a knowledge base in social and economic justice and the forces of oppression; the course explores how diversity characterizes and shapes the human experience and impacts the formation of identity. Areas of diversity include age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation. Content areas will focus on assisting the student to recognize the extent to which a culture’s structure and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or enhance privilege and power. A history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Gil’s analysis of social action will be considered as the basis for a way to turn a concern for social justice into action. The student will gain knowledge about theories of justice and strategies to promote human and civil rights by reading/viewing historical practices of non-violent movements that have advanced social and economic justice. As a way of teaching how individuals may incorporate social justice practice into organizations, institutions, and society to ensure basic human rights, each student will be asked to complete a social action project as a way to understand how to turn a concern for social justice into action. This may be utilized as a Service Learning Component. Please see the instructor for additional information if you are interested in the Service Learning Component.
Comprehensive social work-focused introduction to child abuse and neglect; the identification of child maltreatment and domestic violence is necessary for all social workers but especially for those who will work in child protective services. Family dynamics, an introduction to interventions, child welfare history, child welfare competencies, multiculturalism and social policy issues will be covered. This is a required course for all BCWEP recipients.
Learn the basic skills necessary to communicate as a generalist social work professional with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities such as nonverbal communication, active listening, responding, questioning, written communication, data collection, making referrals, project planning, negotiating, documentation, and offering legislative testimony.
Focuses on individuals from conception through infancy, early and middle childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and older age as they develop and have membership in families, groups, organizations, and communities. The impact of biological, social, psychological, and cultural systems will be explored as they affect and are affected by human behavior. Offered each fall.
This course focuses on individuals from conception through infancy, early and middle childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood and older age as they develop and have membership in families, groups, organizations and communities. The impact of biological, social, psychological and cultural systems will be explored as they affect and are affected by human behavior. Offered each spring.
This course examines research methodology and the scientific, analytical approach to gaining knowledge. Evidence based practice is examined and students are taught to employ critical thinking skills when analyzing research and practice. The use of computers and statistical packages is demonstrated. Qualitative methods, quantitative methods, secondary data research, program evaluation, and single systems design are all focused upon. 3 hours lecture and lab. Offered each spring.
This course will focus on the integration of theory and practice involved with intervention in groups, organizations, and communities. Generalist skills will be developed to contribute to group interaction, motivation, and overall development in the process of working with policy and program implementation, coordination of volunteers, fundraising, grant-writing, legislative testimony, marketing, working with community stakeholders and advisory boards, and needs assessments of program/agencies. Cultural competence and ethics will be integrated throughout the course. Offered each spring.
An introduction to the subject of social welfare development using an historical approach to illustrate the various forces—economic, social, cultural, philosophical, technological, etc.—that have affected the evolution of policies and provisions in the realm of social welfare. The focus is upon the political process in responding to need with the overriding theme of striving for social justice locally and globally. Offered each fall.
This course is designed to introduce the student to the variation in definitions of mental disorders as a result of intrasocietal differences and cross-cultural distribution of health and illness. Patterns and consequences of oppression and discrimination will be emphasized with special reference to ecological distribution of mental disorders, remedial opportunities, intrasocietal differences in the incidence of illness, and the seeking and response to intervention. This course builds on the student’s understanding of human development and the social environment. Offered each fall.
Prerequisite(s): SW306 or permission of the instructor.
This course provides the student with 125 hours of supervised experience in a social service agency performing all duties and responsibilities of the entry-level generalist social worker with various systems (groups, organizations, and communities) and preparation for professional responsibility in SW496, SW497, Senior Field Education. A weekly two-hour Integration Seminar is held in conjunction with SW390 to integrate classwork with field experience and develop beginning social work skills. Any professor who finds the student's writing to be inadequate will inform the student that a referral to the Writing Center will be made. The student must attend appropriate sessions at the Writing Center and provide the Social Work Department chair with evidence of having completed recommended writing sessions. Must have minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.5. Offered each spring.
A continuation of SW313, the focus on the course will be the advancement of the knowledge, skills, and value of service delivery and accountability to individuals, families, and groups. The planned-change process using empirically-based interventions, its value to increase practice effectiveness, and the methods for promoting social and economic justice (analyzing, advocating, and offering leadership) will be integrated throughout the course as will the client systems’ strengths and resources using social systems theory. HBSE, P.I.E., social welfare policy, disability, and diversity will be included as they translate to generalist social work practice. Offered each fall.
This is a course designed to offer the student a theoretical base of knowledge to understand the role of the professional social worker as an advocate and change agent working towards the goal of social justice. The concept of advocacy is applied to individual and family work, agency policy, community organization, and legislative considerations. Students will integrate group dynamic theory and apply this practice into group facilitation. Appropriate social work skills are taught to empower the student to translate theoretical knowledge into social work practice. Offered each spring.
Provides the student with the opportunity to work in a social work setting on a part-time basis (200 hours total), performing all duties and responsibilities of the entry-level generalist social worker. A weekly two-hour integration seminar is held in conjunction with the field placement to discuss practical experience and develop advanced social work knowledge, values, and skills. The course is open to seniors only and fulfills senior capstone experience. Any professor who finds the student’s writing to be inadequate will inform the student that a referral to the Writing Center will be made. The student must attend appropriate sessions at the Writing Center and provide the Department of Social Work chair with evidence of having completed recommended writing sessions. A 2.5 average in major courses must have been achieved. Offered each fall.
Prerequisite(s): SW390, minimum GPA in major courses as listed in course description.
A continuation of SW496, SW497 provides the student with the opportunity to work in a social work setting on a part-time basis (200 hours total), performing all duties and responsibilities of the entry-level generalist social worker. A weekly two-hour integration seminar is held in conjunction with the field placement to discuss practical experience and to develop advanced social work knowledge, values, and skills. Fulfills senior capstone experience. Must have a mininum 2.5 average in major courses. Offered each spring.
Prerequisite(s): SW496, senior status, minimum average in major courses as lised in course description.
This course is designed to deal with the well-being of older persons and will provide students with an understanding of the roles and status of older people in our society. Theories of aging will be discussed along with the psychosocial, ecological and political implications of current theories. The course will examine the various issues that affect the elderly psychologically and socially, with regard to the individual, family, community and society. Examination of specific problems facing the current aging population will also be examined.
Presentation of the older adult in the context of family. Communication and counseling skills will be emphasized, along with family structure and processes, and evaluation of individual and family counseling techniques.
This course will examine the aging process through the course of later life. Structural, functional and biochemical changes will be examined along with physiological theories of aging. Class will focus on the important biological and physiological changes that occur during senescence.
Analysis of issues and challenges posed by factual and attitudinal relationships between aging and mortality. Specific problems that confront the elderly and the helping practitioner in dealing with death and dying will be explored. Among the topics to be studied are the experience of death and treatment of the dying; survivors and the bereavement process; and ethical issues.
This course will examine the effects of death and dying on the individual, families of the individual, the community and society. Among the topics to be studied are the experience of death and treatment of dying, the psychological stages of death, nursing homes, cultural aspects of dealing with death, the hospice concept, and medical ethics.
Megan Sherman, Assistant Professor of Social Work; Chair, Department of Social Work; Director of the Bachelor of Social Work Program
Ph.D., M.S.W., Fordham University
B.A., Albertus Magnus College
Colleen Diveny, Instructor of Social Work; Coordinator of Field Education, Department of Social Work
M.S.W., Fordham University
B.S.W., Georgian Court University
Annette S. Rosenfeld, Instructor of Social Work; Coordinator of Field Education at RCSJ--Cumberland, Department of Social Work
M.S.W., University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Eastern University
Renee R. Space, Lecturer in Social Work; Director, Bachelor of Social Work Program at RCSJ-Cumberland
D.S.W., Capella University
M.S.W., Temple University
B.S., York College of Pennsylvania