Curriculum

The curriculum of the Social Work Program at Mount Vernon Nazarene University provides the knowledge, skills, values, and ethical foundation that a social worker must acquire and internalize for competent, effective professional practice. Integrating person-in-environment, strengths, empowerment, and systems perspectives with an evidence-based practice model, a graduate is prepared for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Field education is an essential component of the curriculum, and students must complete a minimum of 400 hours of supervised social work practice in a professional agency. Field experience helps students improve their skills and apply classroom content in actual on-the-job experiences.

Course List:

Social Work Curriculum Credit Hours
ITDS2051 Personal Development and Research Skills 1
SWKR3093 Foundations of Generalist Social Work Practice 3
SWKR3113 Social Justice and Advocacy 3
MATH2063 Introduction to Statistics 3
SWKR3003 Social Science Research Methods 3
SWKR3063 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
SWKR3013 Social Work Micropractice 3
SWKR3073 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SWKR3123 Social Work Mezzopractice with Groups 3
SWKR3132 Social Work Practice with Families 2
SWKR3141 Preparation for Field Education 1
SWKR4013 Social Work Macropractice 3
SWKR4033 Analysis of Social Policy 3
SWKR4002 Integrated Social Work Seminar 2
SWKR4010 Social Work Practicum 10
Total 46

Course Descriptions:

ITDS2051: Personal Development and Research Skills

This five-week, self-directed course equips students with strategies that will help them successfully navigate critical elements of their chosen GPS programs, including important MVNU policies, procedures, and resources. It also introduces students to navigation and use of MVNU's learning management system, college-level research skills and application of current APA formatting and style guidelines, and effective techniques for avoiding plagiarism. The impact of both personality type and learning style on the student's educational experience will also be explored, as well as additional important elements connected to overall student success and retention, including critical thinking and active reading skills, effective time management skills, prior learning assessment, and academic support and career development services available to non-traditional undergraduate MVNU students.

SWKR3093: Foundations of Generalist Social Work Practice

An orientation course for adult social work degree-completion students. Course content includes foundation concepts for generalist social work practice, the core values and ethics of the profession, social work practice perspectives, historical context of the social work profession, basic practice skills, the use of critical thinking skills, library research skills, and principles of the American Psychology Association writing style.

SWKR3113: Social Justice and Advocacy

A study of the relationship between social problems, social policies, and social programs within historical, philosophical, and institutional contexts with an emphasis on social and economic justice and human rights. Co-requisite: EDTC3011.

MATH2063: Introduction to Statistics

A study of basic descriptive and inferential statistics with emphasis on applications in business, biology, and social sciences.

SWKR3003: Social Science Research Methods

A study of empirically-based concepts and methods used in sociology, social work, and criminal justice for social research including community/societal needs, micro-level intervention, and program effectiveness. Emphasis is given to both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. Prerequisites: SOCL1013 and MATH2063.

SWKR3063: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

A study of a basic framework for creating and organizing empirically based theories and knowledge of human behavior and the social environment. Special emphasis is given to the reciprocal relationships between individual behavior and the larger social environment, social work ethics, and the impact of cultural human diversity, discrimination, and oppression on the individual's ability to reach or maintain optimal health and well-being. Prerequisite: Admission to the Social Work program.

SWKR3013: Social Work Practice with Individuals

A study of empirically-based knowledge, skills, values, and ethics required for generalist social work practice with individuals. Special emphasis is given to the application of evidence-based practice and to developing systems and person-in-environment perspectives for effective generalist practice.

SWKR3073: Human Behavior and the Social Environment II

A study of adult human behavior and the social environment in individual and family systems. The unifying framework is constructed with person-in-environment and social system perspectives. Special emphasis is given to the impact of cultural human diversity and discrimination and oppression, particularly with regard to the individual's and family's ability to function effectively throughout the adult developmental journey.

SWKR3123: Social Work Practice with Groups

A study of the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics required for generalist social work practice with groups.

SWKR3132: Social Work Practice with Families

A study of the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics required for generalist social work practice with families.

SWKR3141: Preparation for Field Education

A one credit-hour course designed to prepare students for the senior social work practicum experience. The course will guide students through the application process, community agency interviews and subsequent agency match. The students will develop an understanding of departmental field policy, agency expectations regarding professionalism, and identification of personal impairment. During the course students will complete all applications materials, including a professional resume, background check, and field consent forms.

SWKR4013: Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities

A study of empirically-based knowledge, values, ethics, and skills of generalist social work practice within organizations and communities.

SWKR4033: Analysis of Social Policy

A study of the integration of federal, state and local social policy and generalist social work practice. Special emphasis is given to frameworks for influencing, formulating, analyzing, and implementing social policy, especially as social policy impacts populations-at-risk. Prerequisite: Admission to the Social Work program.

SWKR4002: Integrated Social Work Seminar

A forum to integrate evidence based social work knowledge, skills, values, and field practice. Special emphasis is given to processing professional development issues, internalizing a professional identity as a social worker, and job preparation, graduate school application, and licensure. Prerequisites: Admission to the Social Work program and admission to the practicum experience. Co-requisite: SWKR4010.

SWKR4010: Social Work Practicum

A supervised field experience of 400 volunteer hours in a community agency applying the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics of generalist social work practice. Prerequisites: Admission to social work, admission to the practicum experience. Co-requisite: SWKR4002.

Required Social Work Foundation Courses

SWKR1013: Intro to Social Work

An introduction to the profession and practice of social work. Special emphasis is given to the emergence of social work as a profession, values and ethics, practice roles and settings, as well as diverse population groups and the impact of social and economic injustice on individuals, groups and societies, The course is designed to provide a complementary foundation core of knowledge, skills, and dispositions for the profession and practice of social work.

SWKR2003: Cultural and Human Diversity

This course will provide content which looks at the differences and similarities in the experiences, needs, and beliefs of people distinguished by culture, ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental ability, age, or national origin. This course has content that promotes understanding, affirmation, engagement, and respect for people from diverse backgrounds. The content emphasizes the interlocking and complex nature of culture and personal identity. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the dynamics and consequences of the social and economic injustice, oppression, and discrimination experienced by diverse and marginalized groups in the United States.

SWKR2013: Interviewing and Documentation

An introduction to professional communication and professional record-keeping and documentation utilized in the social work profession.

SWKR 1023: Field Observation

A supervised volunteer field observation experience in a community social service agency. On-line class sessions will focus on the integration of field experiences and professional issues.

Additional Required Cognate Courses

BIOL1014: Principles of Biology with Laboratory

A study of life processes, organization and structure common to animals, plants, and microbes. Laboratory exercises are included.

PSYC1013: General Psychology

An introduction to psychology with emphasis on the biological and social perspectives. Special emphasis is given to the scientific method, psychological terminology, and prominent theories.

PSYC3063: Abnormal Psychology

A study of the major psychiatric and adjustment disorders. Special emphasis is given to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) classification systems and biomedical, psychoanalytic, and behavioral theories of causation and treatment. Prerequisite: PSYC1013.

SOCL1013: Introduction to Sociology

An introduction to basic principles in understanding patterns of social relations. Includes the major theoretical perspectives and methods for obtaining sociological knowledge. Special emphasis is given to the sociological examination of the major institutions in society.

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