Curriculum: Bachelor of Social Work

Curriculum: Bachelor of Social Work
03.15.2024
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05.06.2024
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

Our Bachelor of Social Work online program is an associate to bachelor’s completion program. Students must have a minimum of 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution (*beginning in Fall 2024, the credit hour minimum will be reduced to 24 semester credit hours). If you have any questions about transferring your credits or the enrollment process, you can connect with an enrollment services advisor.

The BSW curriculum includes a combination of classroom-style learning and hands-on fieldwork wherever you are. Your field placement will provide you with high-quality opportunities to learn, develop skills, meet social workers in your community, and make a difference in the lives of the clients you serve. Field placements are arranged by the School of Social Work and are an important part of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) curriculum as you grow to assume the role of a professional social worker. This mixture of theoretical knowledge and real-world experience gives our graduates a competitive edge as they enter the workforce. BSW degree courses at UC Online focus on social welfare, human behavior, substance abuse counseling, and mental health awareness.

Through a partnership with CECH at the University of Cincinnati, students of our online social work program can gain additional credentials in Substance Abuse Counseling. By participating in this special course, students will fulfill the educational requirements for the Ohio Chemical Dependency Counseling Assistant Phase 1 (CDCA Phase 1) Exam or a similar exam in their home state. Students should check with their home state’s addictions counseling credentialing board for specific requirements.

Learn more about our recently added course, SW 4192: Introduction to Problem Gambling, Suicide and Substance Misuse Prevention. This course uses the SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), a five-step process used to help states and communities reduce risk-taking behaviors, promote resilience, and prevent problem behaviors in individuals and families across the life span.

Foundation Courses 9 Credits
Core Courses 27 Credits
Field Work 21 Credits
Total Credits 57

Foundation Courses

9 Credits
Course Title / Description Credit
SW3040
Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
Course: SW3040
Credit: 3
This is the first course of a two semester sequence required of all social work majors. Its bio-psycho-social systems approach focuses on the life stages of infancy, childhood and adolescence.The course utilizes a general systems theoretical approach that incorporates concepts from both the eco-systems and family life cycle perspectives. This course seeks to provide the student with a broad understanding of human behavior and developmental theories such as Erikson, Piaget, Bowlby and other psycho-social theories as well asthe research evidence that supports those theories. The primary goal of this course is the enhancement of the generalist's ability to apply these theoretical frameworks for direct practice, and to critically analyze policies and programs that affect both individual and family development.
3
SW3041
Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
Course: SW3041
Credit: 3
This is the second course of a two semester sequence required of all social work majors. Its bio-psycho-social systems approach focuses on the life stages of young adulthood through later adulthood. The course utilizes a general systems theoretical approach that incorporates concepts from both the eco-systems and family life cycle perspectives. This course seeks to provide the student with a broad understanding of human behavior and developmental theories such as Erikson, Glasser, and other psycho-social theoriesrelated to adulthood and aging as well as the research evidence that supports those theories. A primary goal of this course is the enhancement of the generalist's ability to apply these theoretical frameworks to direct practice, and to critically analyze policies and programs that effect both individual and family development.
3
SW3050
Introduction to Generalist Social Work Practice
Course: SW3050
Credit: 3
This course is the first in a series designed to prepare students for entry-level professional social work practice. A conceptual framework for practice at multiple levels of the client system is introduced. The framework uses ecological and systems theory to focus on the
3
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Core Courses

27 Credits
Course Title / Description Credit
SW3042
Mental Health Perspectives in Social Work
Course: SW3042
Credit: 3
This course will focus on social work with individuals who suffer from mental illness. It will include an overview of the systems of the service that are currently in place and interact with individuals and families who suffer from the effects of mental illness and mental disorders. Issues for clients and families will be explored and the history of mental illness will be examined in relation to progress that has been made in the service system. Social justice, ethical issues, and the elimination of stigma for persons with mental disorders will be focused on. Human diversity will be examined in relation to treatment issues. The course focuses on approaches that enhance problem-solving and coping strategies and are empowering and supportive to clients, both individually and in groups and families.
3
SW3051
Human Diversity and Generalist Social Work Practice
Course: SW3051
Credit: 3
This course is designed to prepare students to recognize and address issues of diversity in Social Work practice through the acquisition of knowledge and skills for cultural competence. Cultural competence "refers to the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities..." (NASW, 2006). In addition, this course distinguishes implications for culturally competent practice with diverse groups at the micro, mezzo, and macrolevels. As students gain greater understanding of the strengths, values, family structure, and communication styles of various groups within our society, they will demonstrate the ability to establish a working relationship across lines of difference. Human suffering, oppression, and discrimination result from social and economic injustice. With this in mind, this course also includes an emphasis upon identifying and eradicating forms of institutionalized oppression and discrimination.
3
SW3031
Social Welfare Policy
Course: SW3031
Credit: 3
This course builds upon the basic content of social welfare policy introduced in previous social work courses (SW1050 or SW3030). It presents a framework for analyzing social welfare policy and programs. The framework is applied to examples from policy areas of special interest to social workers, including income maintenance, health care and personal social services. Studentsare exposed to some of the major contemporary themes in social policy including universalism andselectivity, entitlements and state control, blockgrants versus open-ended funding, cash/in-kind benefits, privatization, decentralization, the social role of government, and selected topics on the public agenda (e.g. welfare reform, homelessness, child and family welfare).
3
SW4050
Generalist Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations
Course: SW4050
Credit: 3
This course builds on Introduction to Generalist Social Work Practice and Generalist Social Work Practice with Groups by applying ecological and systems theory and the problem-solving framework to generalist social work practice with macro systems. Students will examine social work theory and methods for practice with communities and organizations. Skills for analyzing organizations, identifying needs for change, and planning and implementing interventions for changing organizational policies and procedures will be emphasized. The definitions of community will be examined, and skills for assessing communities' needs as well as planning and implementing interventions to improve community well-being will be highlighted. Attention is focused on the ways issues of human diversity affect organizations and communities, and on enhancing the ways organizations can promote social and economic justice for groups experiencing oppression and discrimination. SW4050 is to be taken concurrently with SW4060, SW4070 and SW4080.
3
SW3052
Generalist Social Work Practice With Groups
Course: SW3052
Credit: 2
This course builds upon Introduction to GeneralistSocial Work Practice by using ecological and systems theories and the problem-solving frameworkfor generalist social work practice with groups. The main focus of this course will be on the stepsof group development including planning a group, clarifying purpose, group composition, group cohesion, assessing group process and member goal achievement and termination processes. Students will develop leadership skills including communication, engagement, facilitation of group process and self-awareness in the group leader role. This course will provide opportunities for students' skill development through experiential groups. Students will learn both task and treatment modalities and the appropriate selectionof specific interventions based on research evidence for effective and ethical group practice.Issues of human diversity and their impact on group development will be emphasized.
2
SACN1000
Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling
Course: SACN1000
Credit: 3
This course is designed to provide an overview of the field of substance abuse counseling and its graduate level academic trajectories (counseling, social work, psychology, etc.) Students will be oriented to the learning expectations of the program and the university consistent with UC's baccalaureate competencies. Students will develop a portfolio, including a career plan and personal learning contract, which will be supplemented throughout the course of the substance abuse counseling program.
3
SACN2000
Basic Pharmacology
Course: SACN2000
Credit: 3
This course provides students with concepts in pharmacology explored through the lens of substance use disorders. Students will gain an understanding of the human nervous system, learning how it reacts to addictive drugs and the physiological reasons one becomes dependent. In addition, students will learn about clinical trials and the research designs used to test the safety and efficacy of prescription medications. Finally, students will explore the role of drug therapies, including opioid replacement therapies,in substance abuse treatment settings.
3
SACN2011
Drugs and Behavior
Course: SACN2011
Credit: 3
In this course, students will review the individual, family, and societal factors that are associated with individual substance use. In addition, this course will explore the biochemical and predisposition variables of chemical dependency, as well as the psychological and behavioral effects on the dependent person and the family system. Primary therapeutic and relapse interventions are presented as well as an overview on prevention models.
3
SACN2021
Assessment and Diagnosis in Substance Abuse Counseling
Course: SACN2021
Credit: 3
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to clinical assessment and diagnostic processes in substance abuse counseling. The students will learn the key elements of the multidimensional assessment process, which will include the use of various screening and assessment tools, proper interviewing techniques, and impediments to the assessment process. Students will be introduced to the Multiaxial System in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) with specific concentrations on substance use disorders.
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Field Work Courses

Students must successfully complete all required courses and be in good academic standing (earned a grade of a C- or better and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or greater) before beginning the field work courses.

21 Credits
Course Title / Description Credit
SW4060
Social Work Research I
Course: SW4060
Credit: 3
This course covers the basic concepts and methodologies used in empirical investigations of social work problems, in particular, the philosophic bases of scientific inquiry, techniques and principles of measurement, research designs, data collection, and descriptive data analysis. Experimental, single system, survey, longitudinal, and cross sectional designs are discussed in relation to knowledge generation, practice and program evaluation, and knowledge utilization in social work. Students will use knowledge gained to develop a proposal for a research project to be carried out in Research II.In addition, the influence that personal values have on the conceptualization of research questions will be examined as well as the need to appreciate human diversity when conducting research. The profession's Code of Ethics will be explored to ensure students understand and follow ethical guidelines when conducting research (e.g.,protection of human subjects, informed consent, confidentiality), and mechanisms for compliance (e.g. Institutional Review Boards) will be examined.
3
SW4070
Social Work Field Learning I
Course: SW4070
Credit: 5
Field Learning I is the first semester of the year-long internship designed to give senior BSW students opportunities to apply social work knowledge, values and skills to practice situations. In this placement, the fundamental principles of generalist social work practice will be carried out through engagement, assessment, intervention, or prevention activities with individuals, small groups, families, communities, and organizations. Students will develop their ability to identify the ways that contexts impact the client's circumstances with special attention to the ramifications of diversity matters as well as social and economic justice concerns. Critical thinking skills will be called upon to analyze the ethical aspects of client situations and students will be required to use available research to inform practice.
5
SW4080
Social Work Field Seminar I
Course: SW4080
Credit: 1
This is the first semester of the year-long senior Field Seminar designed to promote the integration of social work knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom with the experiences gained through the concurrent agency-based field placement. In this course, students will consider common experiences and concerns encountered in beginning fieldwork as they develop an understanding of the organization, take on the role of social worker, and initiate the helping process with clients using the person-in-environment perspective. By reflecting on their own practice, students will begin the transition to professional social worker.
1
SW4051
Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
Course: SW4051
Credit: 3
This is the final course in a series designed to prepare students for social work practice. This course builds on previous courses by using ecological and system theories and the problem solving framework for generalist social work practice with individuals and families. Students will explore ethical dilemmas and develop criticalthinking skills through application to field work experiences. A major focus will be refinement of skills for the planned process of change, including engagement, assessment, goal setting, treatment planning and intervention, evaluation, and termination. Managing the helping relationshipand goal-setting in the cross-cultural context andwith involuntary clients will be emphasized. Assessment skills will be enhanced through the useof previously acquired knowledge of theories of human behavior and development, issues of diversity, and mental health perspectives. Intervention methods taught may include solution focused, motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral, crisis intervention and family treatment strategies. Students will learn to select appropriate interventions based on research evidence for effective and ethical
3
SW4061
Social Work Research II
Course: SW4061
Credit: 3
This course provides the student with an in-depth examination of research methodologies employed in social work practice. In particular, investigationmethods used at the Micro and Macro levels of practice will be explored. In addition, the influence of personal values, the organizational context, and human diversity on the formulation and research implementation will be a primary focus. Students will utilize information technology for the purposes of: (1) data collection, analysis, and presentation; (2) information management; and (3) information retrieval, as they revise and carry out the research project developed in Research I.
3
SW4071
Social Work Field Learning II
Course: SW4071
Credit: 5
Field Learning II is the second semester of the year-long internship designed to give senior BSW students opportunities to apply social work knowledge, values and skills to practice situations. In this placement, the fundamental principles of generalist social work practice will be carried out through engagement, assessment, intervention, or prevention activities with individuals, small groups, families, communities, and organizations. Students will be able to identify the ways that contexts impact the client's circumstances with special attention to the ramifications of diversity matters as well as social and economic justice concerns. Critical thinking skills will be called upon to determine optimal ethical intervention strategies and students will be required to use available research to inform practice.
5
SW4081
Social Work Field Seminar II
Course: SW4081
Credit: 1
This is the second semester of the year-long senior Field Seminar designed to promote the integration of social work knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom with the experiences gained through the concurrent agency-based field placement. In this semester, students will consider common experiences and concerns encountered in fieldwork as they integrate theory and knowledge with the person-in-environment perspective to assess and intervene in client situations, reason through ethical dilemmas, use research to inform their practice, and identify ways to advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. By reflecting on their own practice, students will continue the transition to professional social worker.
1
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