Social Work (SW)

SW 212 -  Power, Privilege and Oppression: Advancing Social Justice  
Credits: 4  

This course explores social work values, provides opportunities to identify and clarify conflicting values and ethical dilemmas, and examines the impact of discrimination, economic deprivation, and oppression on groups distinguished by factors such as race, ethnicity, culture, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, national origin, etc. Students will consider linkages between various aspects of identity and inequality by evaluating existing systems of power, privilege and oppression, exploring theoretical debates, and examining multicultural and intersectional strategies of response. Specific attention is focused on critically analyzing and applying the social justice-based foundations of social work and the role of social workers in addressing unjust systems and structures that marginalize and disadvantage particular groups in contemporary America.

Prerequisites: SSP 100.   
Note(s): Fulfills Cultural Diversity and Social Sciences requirements; fulfills Bridge Experience requirement.  
SW 214 -  Death and Dying  
Credits: 3  

Analyses of death and dying from historical, cultural, and religious perspectives. Examination of theories of grief and mourning processes and of death-related practices, such as wills and funerals. Review of approaches to and strategies for working with the dying and their families. Students may examine their own attitudes toward death and dying.

SW 217 -  Obsessions and Addictions  
Credits: 3  

Approaches to individual situations and cultural variations in compulsive and addictive behaviors related to such matters as drugs, gambling, love, work, and material success. This course uses a comprehensive view of human addictions that involves a person's expectations, values, sense of self-worth, and alternative opportunities for gratification and treatment.

SW 219 -  Community Engagement  
Credits: 3  

A course designed to provide students with opportunities to engage with the broader community beyond Skidmore through service and to encourage critical reflection on their experiences. Students volunteer their services in local nonprofit agencies for six to eight hours a week and learn to assume the role of a volunteer to: understand the history of the nonprofit sector, research client needs, and demonstrate skills that promote effective and sensitive community service.

SW 220 -  Service Learning in Social Work  
Credits: 1  

Service-learning through partnerships with community agencies.  Service learning integrates academic work with community service.  Students learn to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to "real life" by getting hands-on experience in the community.  Service learning benefits students by enhancing their understanding of concepts learned in the classroom, promoting personal identity, fostering the development of civic responsibility, and giving them the opportunity to work with diverse populations in a "real world" setting.  Community partners benefit from the relationships formed and the services students contribute in response to community needs.  Students will engage in fieldwork with underserved and under-represented populations in local community agencies. Students will have the opportunity to practice basic communication and relationship skills, be introduced to social problems and issues, and learn skills relevant to social work theory and practice. 

Prerequisites:   
Corequisites: SW 222.   
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 222 -  Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare  
Credits: 3  

Introduction to social welfare and the field of social work from a historical, educational, and theoretical perspective. The course explores the values, knowledge, and skills required in the profession, along with their practical application in the field, and factors affecting social work practice, e.g., class, gender, race.

Note(s): Fulfills Social Sciences requirement.  
SW 224 -  Special Studies in Social Work  
Credits: 3  

One topic of current interest in an area of social work. Topics will vary from year to year depending on interests of faculty and needs of students, and might include social work practice with alcoholism and narcotic addiction, social work in correctional settings, social work with the developmentally disabled, social work with the aged, advocacy in social work, or the dynamics of racism in social work practice.

Note(s): May be taken three times with a different topic for credit.  
SW 225 -  Social Work With Children and Adolescents  
Credits: 3  

Reviews conceptions of and approaches to working with troubled children and adolescents. Topics include divorce, child abuse, learning difficulties, substance abuse, delinquency, foster care, and parent-child conflict.

SW 241 -  Research Methods for Social Justice  
Credits: 4  

Examination of the research process used by human service professionals. Students learn about social science methodology from the perspective of a future practitioner and research consumer. Topics include: problem formulation, measurement, design, qualitative and quantitative modes of observation, data collection, and analysis. The course addresses practical issues such as single-subject design, program evaluation, and the ethical dilemmas involved in conducting human subject research. As part of the writing requirement for the major, students will develop a feasible and thorough quantitative research proposal.

Note(s): Laboratory time is used for students to work directly with instruments and data.  
SW 244 -  Statistics for Social Justice  
Credits: 4  

The purpose of this course is to further develop students' ability to utilize and engage in research to advance human rights and social justice. Skills in research methodology (e.g., hypothesis generation, measurement, and instrument construction) will be reinforced and strengthened, with a focus on quantitative data analysis and interpretation. Students will learn and apply statistical techniques to analyze social issues. In addition to exploring how social differences (e.g., gender, race, class) can shape individuals’ life experiences, the course will focus on the use of statistics as a vehicle to better understand the injustices faced by certain individuals, groups, and communities. Students will consider the relationship between epistemology and methodology, with particular attention to the strengths and limitations of quantitative reasoning from a transformative perspective.

Prerequisites: SW 241 or another methods course or instructor permission; placement at AQR level or completion of an FQR course; SSP 100.   
Note(s): Fulfills Social Sciences requirement; fulfills Applied Quantitative Reasoning and Bridge Experience requirements.  
SW 253 -  Human Behavior and the Social Environment  
Credits: 3  

A multidisciplinary examination of theories and knowledge of human bio-psycho-social development from birth through later years. The course draws on research from biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science to study the impact of biological, psychological, social, and cultural systems on health and well-being. Students explore the range of social systems in which individuals live (families, groups, communities, and organizations) and study the importance of ethnicity, culture, gender, disability, and other elements of diversity in human development.

SW 298 -  Explorations in Social Work  
Credits: 1  

A topical workshop, seminar, discussion group, service learning experience, or research project that can link to a regular social work course or serve as a freestanding course.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Courses integrating an exploration in social work carry 4 rather than 3 credit hours. The course may be repeated.  
SW 299A -  Professional Internship in Social Work  
Credits: 3  

Internship opportunity for students whose academic and cocurricular work has prepared them for professional activity related to social work. With faculty sponsorship and department approval, students may design experiences in such areas as direct work with specific populations, community organizations, and social welfare management, administration, and research.

Prerequisites: SW 334 or SW 333 or permission of faculty sponsor.   
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 299B -  Professional Internship in Social Work  
Credits: 6  

Internship opportunity for students whose academic and cocurricular work has prepared them for professional activity related to social work. With faculty sponsorship and department approval, students may design experiences in such areas as direct work with specific populations, community organizations, and social welfare management, administration, and research.

Prerequisites: SW 334 or SW 333 or permission of faculty sponsor.   
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 300 -  300 Level Elective  
Credits: 3  
SW 320 -  Service Learning in Social Work  
Credits: 1  

Service-learning through partnerships with community agencies.  Service learning integrates academic work with community service.  Students learn to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to "real life" by getting hands-on experience in the community.  Service learning benefits students by enhancing their understanding of concepts learned in the classroom, promoting personal identity, fostering the development of civic responsibility, and giving them the opportunity to work with diverse populations in a "real world" setting.  Community partners benefit from the relationships formed and the services students contribute in response to community needs.  Students will engage in fieldwork with underserved and under-represented populations in local community agencies. Students will have the opportunity to practice basic communication and relationship skills, be introduced to social problems and issues, and learn skills relevant to social work theory and practice. 

Prerequisites:   
Corequisites: SW 333 or SW 334  
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 324A-D -  Advanced Special Studies in Social Work  
Credits: 1-4  

An examination at the advanced level of current topics in social work not available in regular course offerings. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the interests of faculty and needs of students and will build upon previously completed coursework.

Note(s): The course in a different subject area may be repeated for credit.  
SW 333 -  Social Work Practice With Individuals and Families  
Credits: 3  

Part of a two-semester sequence designed to prepare students for entry-level generalist social work practice and to provide students with an overview of social work theory and its relation to practice. The course focuses on the knowledge, skills, and values needed for beginning social work practice with diverse individuals and families and addresses all phases of the helping process, including assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, termination, and follow-up.  Students will be encouraged to examine the relationship between theory and practice, and contextualize particular practice methods within a general theoretical perspective. Assignments emphasize critical thinking skills and theoretically grounded, research-based practice strategies.

Prerequisites: SW 222, SW 212, and SW 241 are required prior to enrollment in this course.  The course assumes students have also taken SW 253 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment OR are enrolled in SW 253 concurrently. Concurrent enrollment in SW 320 Service Learning in Social Work is also required.    
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 334 -  Social Work Practice With Groups, Organizations, and Communities  
Credits: 3  

Part of the practice sequence designed to prepare students for generalist social work practice. Student learn social work theory and practice methods employed by social workers in providing services to communities and organizations in a changing world.  Special attention will be given to professional relationships characterized by mutuality, collaboration, and respect, and on practices aimed to advance human rights and social justice.

Prerequisites: SW 212 and SW 222 are required prior to enrollment in this course. The course assumes students have also taken SW 241 - Research Methods for Social Justice OR are enrolled in SW 241 concurrently.  Concurrent enrollment in SW 320 - Service Learning in Social Work is also required.    
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 338 -  Social Policy and Social Justice  
Credits: 4  

The study of social policy, welfare program planning, and social service implementation, evaluation, and analysis. The class will interrogate the value, political, and societal issues that underpin policies and programs, giving specific attention to the evaluation of policies through research and application of principles of social justice. Students will examine reviews of selected policies on federal, state, and local levels as well as compare the social policies of the United States with those of other countries.

Prerequisites: SW 222 or permission of instructor.  
SW 340 -  Field Preparation Seminar  
Credits: 1  

Provides historical and current context for understanding the requirement of field instruction in social work programs. Students explore social work partnership with community agencies, the supervision process, and ways to enrich the practicum experience. Through in-class discussion, individual meetings with the instructor, and on-site agency interviews, students assess their areas of interest, professional and academic goals, and potential field practicum placements for SW 382, offered during the spring semester.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Open only to senior social work majors. Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 371 -  Independent Study in Social Work  
Credits: 3  

Individual reading and/or research in social work under the guidance of a member of the department. Open with consent of the department to qualified students. Individual conferences to be arranged.

SW 381 -  Social Work Field Practicum Seminar  
Credits: 3  

Provides discussion and analysis of practicum-related experiences and professional issues. A major purpose of the seminars is the development of professional judgment through examination of cases and practice situations encountered in field instruction.

Prerequisites: all required social work courses and permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Open only to senior social work majors. Not for liberal arts credit.  
SW 382 -  Social Work Field Practicum  
Credits: 12  

Thirty-five hours per week spent in social service agencies and related organizations in Saratoga County and the surrounding area. Specific placements made according to academic interests and needs of individual students.

Prerequisites: all required social work courses and permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Offered only to senior social work majors. Not for liberal arts credit. Must be taken S/U.  
SW 398 -  Advanced Explorations in Social Work  
Credits: 1  

A topical workshop, seminar, discussion group, service learning experience, or research project that can link to a regular Social Work course or serve as a freestanding course.

Prerequisites: permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Courses integrating an exploration in social work carry 4 rather than 3 credit hours. The course may be repeated.