SW-Social Work Courses
SW 100. Introduction to Social Work. 3 Hours.
This course introduces students to the value-based profession of social work. Students will have the opportunity to learn about social work's history, mission, professional values and theoretical frameworks (e.g. the systems/ecological perspective). Furthermore, students will explore areas in generalist practice and the varied roles and responsibilities of the social work profession. Students will be afforded the opportunity to examine their own personal values and how those values influence their views on social welfare problems and issues.
SW 200. Professional Communication in Social Work. 3 Hours.
This course introduces the techniques of professional writing for social work practitioners. The course is designed to enhance professional and academic writing skills. Students will study how to craft narratives for funding applications, case records, and advocacy materials. Students will be introduced to the APA style. Additionally, students will complete a technology module focusing on information technology skills such as word processing, using presentation software, and communication skills with digital and social media. This is a writing intensive course.
SW 203. Social Welfare History. 3 Hours.
This course provides an opportunity to review the history of U.S. social welfare and its relationship and impact on current social work practice. Additionally, the course explores, within a social justice context, the historical impact of social welfare policies on the well-being of individuals, especially vulnerable populations, and communities.
SW 207. Racism, Sexism and Other Isms. 3 Hours.
This course is intended to provide students with opportunities to examine various aspects of culture and cultural diversity as those aspects impact on the delivery of social services. The course also examines the impact of discrimination and oppression on various social service consumer populations.
SW 208. Disaster Preparedness. 3 Hours.
This course uses a multi-disciplinary perspective on aspects of domestic disaster preparedness and response for natural and man-made disasters. This course provides review of current recommendations on disaster preparedness, local, state and federal response networks and organizations, and psychosocial aspects of response including sheltering, crisis intervention and psychological first aid. This course does not cover international issues.
SW 222. Social Work Values. 3 Hours.
This course offers an introduction to the helping profession of social work with service learning opportunities in local social service agencies. A didactic classroom that focuses on self-awareness related values, professionalism and ethical practice. This is one of four foundation courses that student must successfully complete before fully admitted to the professional program.Must be concurrently taken with SW 222L Social Work Values Lab.
SW 222L. Social Work Values Lab. 1 Hour.
This course offers an introduction to the helping profession of social work with service learning and simulation opportunities in local social service agencies. The service learning lab integrates field observation with self-awareness related values, professionalism and ethical practice (SL).
SW 302. Social Welfare Policy Analysis. 3 Hours.
This course introduces analytical frameworks with which to evaluate contemporary U.S. social welfare policy. It is designed for students with basic knowledge of the history of social welfare. The course also examines the relationship between current policy and the practice of social work today. Additionally explored is the real-world impact of current policy on the well-being of individuals and communities, within a social justice context.
Prerequisites: SW 203 [Min Grade: C]
SW 305. Social Work in Perinatal Settings. 3 Hours.
This course covers issues facing families in perinatal settings, providing an overview of the social work role from a generalist practice model. This course covers practice issues related to services to families during pregnancy, delivery and childbirth, and the neonatal period. Topics will be covered from a multidisciplinary perspective, highlighting the impact of culture and diversity during specified times of life transition, including medical and psychosocial issues. Social Work interventions will be discussed using an evidence-based framework.
SW 313. Human Behavior and The Social Environment I. 3 Hours.
This course, the first of two required courses in Human Behavior and the Social Environment, is designed to prepare students to understand human development across the different levels of social systems. The course explores theories, concepts, and knowledge from conception through early adolescence. Content also includes discussion of how factors such as social class, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, age, race, ethnicity, and culture influence human development and behavior.
SW 314. Human Behavior in the Social Environment II. 3 Hours.
This course, the second of two required courses in Human Behavior and the Social Environment, is designed to prepare students to understand human behavior across the life cycle. The course explores theories, concepts, and knowledge from early adolescence through death. Students acquire knowledge and understanding of human beings as individuals, as members of families, and other social groupings, and as members of organizations, communities, and larger societal and cultural collectives. Content includes discussion of how factors such as social class, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, age, race, ethnicity and culture influence human development and behavior.
Prerequisites: SW 313 [Min Grade: C]
SW 320. Introduction to Research Methods. 3 Hours.
This course introduces students to research theory, methods and tools; and to expand their appreciation of the quintessential role of research in guiding practice. Qualitative and Quantitative research methodologies, sampling, data collection, and data analysis, as well as skills in critiquing research studies will be taught in the context of ethical standards governing evaluation and research as set forth in the NASW Code of Ethics. This course is a part of the core curriculum of the social work program. Quantitative literacy is a significant component of this course. Honors students will have additional research related assignments.
SW 321. Statistics for Social Work Research. 3 Hours.
This course provides the context for understanding the analysis and interpretation of quantitative data. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be covered, along with hypothesis testing and statistical significance. Students will become more familiarized with research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Quantitative Literacy is a significant component of this course.
Prerequisites: SW 320 [Min Grade: C]
SW 322. Social Work Practice I. 3 Hours.
This course provides generalist model application of social work with concentration on the micro-level that provides the student with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and competence needed for interventions at the beginning professional level. This course includes a service learning lab that allows students to practice a solution-focused relationship with emphasis on self-awareness, cultural-awareness, active listening, interviewing, and recording skills at all systems levels.
Prerequisites: (SW 222 [Min Grade: C] and SW 222L [Min Grade: C]) or SW 222 [Min Grade: C]
SW 322L. SW 322L Practice I Lab. 1 Hour.
This service learning lab focuses on generalist model application of social work practice at the micro level. The lab emphasizes systems theory and strengths perspectives to examine individuals and families, and gives students the opportunity to discuss and practice necessary skills for practice. This lab allows students to practice working with individuals and/or families in local social service agencies, using ethical and professional standards based on NASW Code of Ethics (SL). Students will complete 32 hours in service learning and/or simulation experiences.
SW 339. Child Welfare in Social Work. 3 Hours.
This course addresses issues children face in today’s society and identify possible intervention strategies. This course will also identify current trends in service delivery and relevant policy issues concerning the health and well-being of children. Students will have the opportunity to examine the diversity of families in today’s society to better understand and appreciate the roles children play in their family systems.
SW 422. Social Work Practice II. 3 Hours.
This course focuses on generalist model application of social work practice at the mezzo and macro levels. The course emphasizes systems theory and strengths perspectives to examine groups, communities and organizations, and gives students the opportunity to discuss and practice necessary skills for practice. This course must be taken in conjunction with the required service learning lab that allows students to practice working with groups, communities and organizations in local social service agencies, using ethical and professional standards based on NASW Code of Ethics. (SL). Must be taken concurrently with SW 422L Practice II Lab.
Prerequisites: SW 322 [Min Grade: C] or (SW 322 [Min Grade: C] and SW 322L [Min Grade: C])
SW 422L. SW 422L Practice II Lab. 1 Hour.
This service learning lab focuses on generalist model application of social work practice at the mezzo and macro level. The lab emphasizes systems theory and strengths perspectives to examine groups, communities and organizations, and gives students the opportunity to discuss and practice necessary skills for practice. This lab allows students to practice working with groups, communities and organizations in local social service agencies, using ethical and professional standards based on NASW Code of Ethics (SL). Students will complete 32 hours in service learning and/or simulation experiences.
SW 428. Medical and Mental Health Social Work. 3 Hours.
This course provides an introduction to and overview of working with people called “patients” in medical and mental health. Through this course, students will obtain a basic understanding on how to effectively assist individuals, groups, families, and communities impacted by various illnesses. The role of the social worker on the care team in various settings will be examined. The course also examines special population groups, resource allocation, service delivery, and legal and ethical considerations.
SW 432. Juvenile Law and Process. 3 Hours.
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the study of juvenile justice in the United States; to examine the components of the juvenile justice system including laws, court processes, and corrections. The course will examine the history and philosophy behind the original juvenile court and explore recent developments in the field. The course will include exposure to Juvenile Case Law as well as issues related to ethics, social development, community influences, rehabilitation, and reintegration of offender.
SW 452. Birmingham Neighborhood Studies. 3 Hours.
This is an interdisciplinary course that explores the visual and material culture, history, and urban development of four Birmingham neighborhoods in transition. It emphasizes community engagement through active study of Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods. Students will study and learn about the history of select Birmingham neighborhoods from different disciplinary lenses (social work, history, and art history), examine artifacts and documents related to them, and engage and collaborate with community members in order to develop written and creative projects based on their research. Projects will be presented at an exhibition at the end of the semester. This course requires significant time spent off-campus, in the Birmingham community. During the first several weeks of class, we will take field trips during class to the four different neighborhoods. Field trip permissions must be completed.
SW 454. Working in Addiction and Recovery. 3 Hours.
This course examines the impact of substance use disorder on individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions and communities. This course is recommended for students who want to expand their knowledge and sensitivity for understanding the special problems that substance use disorder brings to society. Course content includes identification of the various drugs of abuse, major theories of addiction, and examination of the psychological and physiological consequences of substance use disorder.
SW 478. Special Topics in Social Work. 3 Hours.
Study of current issues in social work.
SW 490. Practicum in Social Work/SL. 9 Hours.
This course integrates social work knowledge and values with application of professional helping skills. Students participate in a full-time placement in approved social service agencies under supervision of master's-level social workers. This is taken concurrently with SW 494.
Prerequisites: (SW 422 [Min Grade: C]) or (SW 422 [Min Grade: C] and SW 422L [Min Grade: C])
SW 494. Practicum Seminar. 3 Hours.
This capstone course in Social Work is an integrative seminar that must be taken concurrently with SW 490 (Practicum in Social Work). The seminar reviews basic social work tools that will enhance the students' work with client systems by providing opportunities to increase their knowledge of the social work profession, practice collegiate collaboration for the benefit of clients, and engage in strategies for problem-solving. The seminar also provides a forum to review students' practicum experiences, discuss social work practice issues, and reflect on the relationship of these experiences to their overall social work education program. Social Work Honors Students will be required to complete an additional 100 hours involved in community based research.
SW 496. Social Work Honors Seminar. 3 Hours.
This course is designed to enhance students’ problem solving skills, critical and independent thinking, and application of research/evidence-based practice. Faculty mentors will assist students in exploring social work practice interest areas and will provide preparation for graduate study and/or professional careers in Social Work. This course is required for all Social Work Honors students.
SW 498. Independent Study I. 1 Hour.
This course provides opportunities for Honors students to initiate their research project and receive one-on-one mentorship. Social Work Honors students will attend a monthly seminar session to present their progress on projects. This independent study is required for all Social Work Honors students. Instructor’s permission is required.
SW 499. Independent Study II. 1-3 Hour.
This course provides opportunities for student to pursue their specific interests in social issues and topics. Students will work closely with a faculty member to design readings, assignments, and/or activities to meet their learning goals. Instructor’s permission is required.