Social Work

Social workers help people from all walks of life with all kinds of problems in all kinds of settings. They use their deep understanding of human development and behavior, as well as how people interact with social, economic and cultural institutions, along with specialized skills, to help individuals, families, or communities in need. 

“Social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness. They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families, and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life.” – National Association of Social Workers

Social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States, and the demand for trained social workers increases every year. A social work degree from FHSU will prepare you for a rewarding career helping those who need it most.

Department of Social Work

Courses

Introduction to the social service delivery systems in the United States, with an emphasis on the social work profession: its mission, philosophy, ethics, values, diverse fields, and ethnocultural perspectives. Observations of social service agencies and guest speakers provide a career orientation to the social work profession.

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Examination of the historical evolution of social welfare and the social work profession, with focus on the social policies which comprise the foundation of the welfare state in the United States. Present patterns of social welfare services are to be examined. Emphasis is on the historical evolution of contemporary social problems. Oppression, discrimination, social justice issues and policies, and their impact on diverse populations at risk will be explored.

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Critical analysis of perspectives on the person and on the physical and sociocultural environment. The focus is on the fit between person and environment, with attention to biological, psychological, and social dynamics that impair or facilitate person/environment fit. There is particular concern with the process of social and cultural stratification and oppression within society, communities, institutions, organizations, and groups, and the effects of confrontation and contact between those cultures and the dominant American culture is reviewed, with special attention to social work issues. The rural environment as a context affecting biological, psychological, and social dynamics is considered.

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Examination of development in the intertwined individual and family life cycles as a transactional process involving the material interaction of environmental, bio-psycho-social, economic, and ethnocultural factors, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and family structure. The focus is on the evolving fit between the developing individual and family and the risk and protective factors in a changing environment. Special attention is paid to how the process impacts Western Kansas populations at risk. There is particular concern with developmental settings, including family, school and work and the ways they impact and are impacted by developing individuals and families, concepts of diversity, values and ethical issues, and theoretical perspectives as they apply to social work practice area examined.

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The process of knowledge production and research design. Selected aspects of the philosophy of science and the logic of inquiry are related to the basic techniques of qualitative and quantitative research.

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As the first of five generalist practice courses, this foundation course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice. Self-awareness, critical thinking, problem-solving, professional relationships, and ethics are explored. This course focuses on the organizing frameworks of social work practice, including (but not limited to) systems theory, the strengths perspective, and the generalist practice model. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas urban/rural regions is emphasized. The student will complete fifty (50) hours on nonpaid service in a community agency of the student's choice, with instructor approval. The course culminates with the student application for advancement into the BSW program.

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As the second generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice with individuals. This course builds upon the generalist problem-solving model, interventive methods, and planning introduced in SOCW 380. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

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As the third generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with group, organizational and community systems. This course builds upon the concepts/processes of problemsolving, planned change, and intervention methods from previous practice courses, with the emphasis on group, organizational and community knowledge skills, and strategies for change. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

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This is the second of two social welfare policy and services courses and builds upon SOCW 310. This course is designed to provide entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social welfare policy/practice. Emphasis is upon the processes and methods of designing, enacting, implementing, and evaluating social welfare policies/services at the local, state, and federal levels. Value and ethical considerations related to policy, evaluation frameworks, and research methodologies are presented. Various organizational and political processes used to implement/influence welfare policies/ services are reviewed.

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An analysis for social workers of causes and dynamics of problems in person-environment fit and the associated difficulties in biopsychosocial functioning. Primary focus is on substance abuse. The course also introduces a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Students are asked to consider the impact of the rural, western Kansas environment on problem dynamics and service system response.

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As the fourth generalist practice course, this course provides entry-level knowledge, values, and skills for social work practice with child and family systems. This course builds upon the generalist social work problem-solving model with an emphais on working with families and with child welfare systems. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

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As the last of the five generalist practice courses, this course provides entry-level theory, knowledge, research, values, and skills for social work practice with organizations and communities. This course builds upon the concepts/processes of problem-solving, planned change, and intervention methods from previous practice courses, with the emphasis on organizational and community knowledge skills, and strategies of change. An ethnocultural perspective with particular focus on Western Kansas, urban/rural regions is emphasized.

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As the last of five practice courses, this course prepares students for the required field practicum in the semester of the social work program before the field experience. Interviewing, stress and time management, court testimony, documentation, career objectives, and practicum site selection are specific goals of this course. Students learn a theoretical context upon which to base the practicum.

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A capstone seminar that accompanies the field practicum and enables social work majors to integrate theory, values, skills, ethics, and ethnocultural competence. Emphasis is on selfanalysis and evaluating one's own practice.

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A field experience that provides social work majors with supervised learning experiences within selected social welfare agencies. A capstone seminar accompanies this practicum in order to enable students to integrate and apply classroom learning in a field setting. An ethnocultural practice perspective is emphasized. The field practicum prepatory course, Introduction to the Practicum, is taken the semester immediately preceding the practicum. Five hundred (500) hours of field practicum experience are required.

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The subject matter for this course will vary from semester to semester. Topics will include areas of major interest and concern related to social work practice. Examples are topics such as social work and the law and co-occurring disorders.

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The subject matter for this course will vary from semester to semester. Topics will include areas of major interest and concern related to social work practice. Examples are topics such as social work and the law and co-occurring disorders.

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This course is designed to provide an understanding of dispute resolution and particularly the use of mediation in family conflicts. The major topics include the mediation process, developing active listening and negotiation skills, divorce and child custody issues, parent/child issues, and simulated role plays. The course will feature materials from texts, articles, handouts, films, speakers, and student participation in actual case mediations.

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This course is designed to provide an understanding of dispute resolution and particularly the use of mediation in family conflicts. The major topics include the mediation process, developing active listening and negotiation skills, divorce and child custody issues, parent/child issues, and simulated role plays. The course will feature materials from texts, articles, handouts, films, speakers, and student participation in actual case mediations.

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Students will learn a multicultural approach to concepts of spirituality, aging, and empowerment in American society. The course will also examine the role of social workers and gerontology professionals in relationship to the impact of chronic illness on the psychosocial, economic and spiritual contexts of aging adults in our society.

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Students will learn a multicultural approach to concepts of spirituality, aging, and empowerment in American society. The course will also examine the role of social workers and gerontology professionals in relationship to the impact of chronic illness on the psychosocial, economic and spiritual contexts of aging adults in our society.

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A short term, concentrated study of some topic or unit. Opportunity is given for group and individual participation to fit needs of the student.

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A short term, concentrated study of some topic or unit. Opportunity is given for group and individual participation to fit needs of the student.

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Reading and/or research programs to fit the individual needs of advanced undergraduates in social work. Topics are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

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Reading and/or research programs to fit the individual needs of advanced undergraduates in social work. Topics are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

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For social work majors with good academic standing. Provides practical experience in community organizations and social agencies. Systematic recording and reporting of the work experience and supplementary reading are required.

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For social work majors with good academic standing. Provides practical experience in community organizations and social agencies. Systematic recording and reporting of the work experience and supplementary reading are required.

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Last updated: 09/04/2019