George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Social Work Courses (SOCW)


New Century College

300 Introduction to Social Work (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. This course introduces students to the historical roots of the social work profession and social welfare. The social systems perpective is discussed as the framework for social work knowledge, values, and skills, and an understanding of professional values, ethics, the fields of practice, and settings of social work. The profession's commitment to the disadvantaged, social justice, diversity, and discriminated and oppressed groups is included as course content. Presentations by social work professionals, including alumni, from different fields of practice will supplement classroom discussion. s

301 Laboratory in Interpersonal Communication (3:3:0). Prerequisites: SOCI 101, SOCW 300 (or corequisite), PSYC 100, and sophomore standing; or permission of instructor. Emphasis on experiential learning of the biological, psychological, social, and cultural influences on the behavior of those who need and those who give help. Students examine their own behavioral and learning patterns, values, and attitudes to increase their ability to understand and help clients. Field service of at least 60 hours required. f,s

323 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I (3:3:0). Prerequisites: SOCI 101, SOCW 300 (or corequisite), BIOL 104, and PSYC 100; or permission of instructor. A social systems approach unifying and integrating concepts and knowledge from biology, anthropology, sociology, and psychology about human behavior. Applications to professional practice, from the social work literature, and to the field experience. f

324 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCW 323 with a minimum grade of C or permission of instructor. Examination of social systems theories as they pertain to the study of macro systems. Focus of study involves families, the social group, the formal organization, and the community. Student will apply theoretical concepts to contemporary social problems. s

351 Social Welfare Policy and Services I (3:3:0). Prerequisites: SOCI 101, SOCW 300 (or corequisite), PSYC 100, and GOVT 204; or permission of instructor. Introduction to social welfare, including its historical development, central concepts, institutional nature, and the functions of social work as a profession. Analyses of human service delivery systems, settings, and roles of social work. f

352 Social Welfare Policy and Service II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCW 351 with a minimum grade of C or permission of instructor. Analysis of various social welfare policies; components of policy in our society. Examines the political, economic, and cultural influences on the policymaking process. s

357 Methods of Social Work Intervention I (3:3:0). Open to majors only. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, SOCW 300 (or corequisite), and PSYC 100; or permission of instructor. Social work practice from a systems perspective. Particular emphasis on problem-solving activities with microsystems. The common core of knowledge, values, and skills essential to social work practice is analyzed to gain insight into social work functions and the role of the social worker as a change agent. f

358 Methods of Social Work Intervention II (3:3:0). Open to majors only. Prerequisites: SOCW 301 and 357, with a minimum grade of C in both courses, or permission of instructor; corequisite: SOCW 359. Continues a generic problem-solving model, focusing on group and macrointervention systems, settings, and skills. Emphasis on working with groups from treatment to task purposes. Group processes such as goal formulation, contract setting, composition, and termination necessary for effective worker intervention are part of the knowledge base of the course. Field service of 40 hours required. s

359 Methods of Social Work Intervention Seminar (1:1:0). Prerequisite: Must be taken simultaneously with SOCW 358. Weekly seminar to process learning related to 40 hours of field service in the community. Working with groups and communities, provides an experiential opportunity to practice group skills and analyze community intervention strategies.

400 Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. An overview of ethical and legal issues related to the human services professions. Some topics include responsibility, competence, duty to warn, confidentiality, professional relationships, and research. Clinical strategies relevant to legal and ethical issues are emphasized.

410 Alcohol and Substance Abuse: Policies and Programs (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Primary issues related to alcoholism and drug abuse including key concepts, theories, policies, and research regarding the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Emphasis on the impact of the policies and programs on the well-being of ethnic minority and disadvantaged service populations. sum

423 Social Work with Adolescents (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and concurrent field experience or permission of instructor. Major needs of adolescents with their implications for social work practice. Problems of family and peer group relationships; occupational choice; sexual and scholastic adjustment; and special problems of racial and cultural alienation; alcohol and drug abuse; and delinquency. Studies various theoretical orientations and evidence from research. Analyzes both individual and group approaches to counseling and treatment.

425 Planning and Organizing for Community Change (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Designed for senior social work students with an interest in pursuing community organization as a professional career specialty. Students are provided with a basic understanding of community organization and planning, with special emphasis on conducting a needs assessment in the community. Student examine the environmental context in which administrative and community practice occurs. The role of social workers as planners and agents of social change is explored.

430 Social Work and the Law (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of the instructor. Introduces students to the social worker's role in the legal system, familiarizes students with legal processes and their application to issues of interest to social workers and their clients, including child abuse, foster care, reproductive rights, juvenile justice, and legal rights of the poor/women.

435 Social Work with the Aged (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. A survey of the issues related to working with the aged population. A study of biological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of aging, as well as the unique problems that are intricately involved with service delivery to aged persons. Students examine the forces that impinge upon the aged person and explore critical issues related to extended life span, family changes, institutionalization, and the role of the aged persons in society. Students are challenged to increase their sensitivity and knowledge of aged citizens.

453 Senior Practicum I (5:0:0). Prerequisites: SOCW 301, 323, 324, 351, 352, 357, and 358, with a grade of at least C and recommendation of faculty. Open only to social work majors. Under supervisory instruction provided by field agencies, students are involved two days per week in learning through participation in the provision of service to individual clients, families, groups and/or communities, and in activities sponsored by or involving professional social workers. Weekly seminar and periodic faculty-agency consultations. f

454 Senior Practicum II (5:0:0). Prerequisites: SOCW 453, with a grade of at least C and recommendation of faculty. Field experience and weekly seminar. s

455 Senior Practicum/Block Placement (10:0:0). Prerequisites: SOCW 301, 323, 324, 351, 352, 357, 358, and 471; completion of all required social work courses except electives; social work major with 90 hours; GPA of 3.50 (in social work); and recommendation of the faculty and director of field instruction. Under supervisory instruction provided by field agencies, students are involved four days per week in learning through participation in the provision of service to individual clients, families, groups, and/or communities, and in activities sponsored by or involving professional social workers. Weekly seminar or individual meetings with faculty liaison, and periodic faculty-agency visits. s

471 Research in Social Work (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SOCI 221 or PSYC 300, six credits of social work courses, senior standing, or permission of instructor. Must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Principles and the theory underlying scientific inquiry. Emphasis on the use of research in social work practice, steps in conducting research, and utility of research efforts in developing and evaluating social work knowledge and skills. f

475 Selected Topics in Social Work Policy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. In-depth study of special areas of social work that are of interest to students, faculty, and the social work community. Topics vary.

483 Selected Approaches to Social Work Intervention (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours or permission of instructor. Taken simultaneously with SOCW 453 or 454 (Senior Practicum). Opportunity to examine critically personal use of different approaches to social work intervention currently employed in practice settings. Students have an opportunity to use with clients the technical skills these approaches require. May be taken more than once for credit. Topics vary.

499 Independent Study in Social Work (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: 90 hours and a research proposal approved by instructor before enrollment. Investigation of a research problem in the field of social work.

510 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Child and Family Welfare (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Upper-division undergraduate or graduate standing. Provides student with an in-depth understanding of the child and family welfare systems in the United States and other countries by examining factors that contribute to child and family dysfunction and by assessing family support programs. Particular emphasis will be placed on vulnerable and at-risk populations.

511 Health Status of Vulnerable and At-Risk Women, Children, and Families (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Upper-division undergraduate or graduate standing. Provides students with an in-depth understanding of the physical, social, and psychological factors that influence the health status, behaviors, and outcome of vulnerable populations in the United States and Latin American countries. Race, ethnicity, gender, and institutional arrangements are critical areas of focus in understanding the health trajectory of these groups.

598 Special Topics in Social Work (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Upper-division undergraduate or graduate standing.


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