Empower others to solve human problems in their own communities and around the world.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
The social work major is one of the newest at KWU. Read our statement on our Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
This program is offered:
Social Work Program Mission Statement
To equip baccalaureate-level social workers for a lifetime of empowering individuals, families, groups, organizations and societies to solve human problems both in their own communities and around the world. To develop leaders and practitioners who will advance the well-being of people, and promote inclusion, diversity, equity and social justice through education, community engagement, interdisciplinary studies, advocacy, leadership and lifelong learning.
BSHS 110 Introduction to Social Work and Human Services
This course introduces students to the field of social work and human services. The student will gain a basic knowledge of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base which focuses on prevention as well as remediation of problems and improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The student will develop an understanding of the work of social work and human services professionals to improve accessibility, accountability and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery.
SOWK 225 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
This course is an exploration of how individual characteristics and social environments influence human behavior. It also covers the various ways in which social workers respond to these factors in their effort to change the way people behave. Additionally, this course provides an overview of human growth and development.
SOWK 332 Social Work with Individuals, Families and Groups
This course provides students with an overview of the social work practice, focusing on individuals, families and groups. As such, the course will provide students with an introduction to the variety of interventions with those groups, as well as an opportunity to develop foundational counseling skills. Students will also gain experience working with and/or participating in therapeutic groups
SOWK 342 Social Work with Communities and Organizations
This course provides students with an overview of social work practice within communities and organizations. As such, the course introduces students to community organization and development practice, both on local and international levels. It also includes teachings about the diversity of social service organizations and how to provide leadership that promotes effective social work practice.
SOWK 352 Principles of Counseling Practice
This is a skill development course that focuses on exposure to a variety of counseling techniques and provides opportunities for roleplaying of hypothetical therapy situations. In addition to learning these basic counseling skills, students will have an opportunity to practice counseling skills established as the national standard for substance abuse counselors, be reviewed and examined on those skills and receive training in the use of assessment tools.
SOWK 252 Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue
The course will help students recognize signs and symptoms of compassion–fatigue and vicarious trauma. In this course, students learn to manage their stress levels and increase self-care practices, connect with the rewards of their work, build their resiliency and commit to making successful changes in their life and future organization. This class is a personal exploration to help build the self-awareness necessary to manage the impact of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. Please be aware that the class work can be emotionally challenging.
SOWK 340 Social Welfare Policy Practice
This course provides students with an overview of social welfare policy in America. It also evaluates specific social welfare policies and practices in the context of social justice and the problems which social policy seeks to address nationally and internationally.
SOWK 140 Social Justice
This course provides the philosophical foundations of social policy. As such, it addresses the following questions and dilemmas: Does justice require mercy? Should justice dictate a correct way to behave? What would just political institutions look like? If there are individual expectations of justice, what about community expectations? Thus, in this course, students review classical and contemporary theories of justice while examining, analyzing, synthesizing and justifying their own views and applying them to contemporary issues.
SOWK 240 Inequity and Stratification
This course examines the economic diversity found in the United States and pays particular attention to the three key dimensions of inequality: gender, race and class. This course studies the fundamental sources of inequality, as well as the consequences that arise in different parts of the inequality structure. Students will be expected to take a critical look at how inequality affects their lives, their families and the communities around them, while also examining their own and others’ responses to various types of inequality.
SOWK 455 Case Management
This class will ideally be preparatory to agency internship experience. The course covers aspects of client management and treatment planning, including screening, intake, assessment and referral procedures. There will be a review of client support systems and issues in counseling special populations. This course includes reviews of legal, ethical and professional growth issues for the counselor, an examination of state services and treatment trends and programming-related issues, particularly in the fields of addiction counseling and social work.
SOWK 465 Social Work Field Experience I
This course offers intensive field experience for social work majors. The setting will be selected by the student in cooperation with the social work field education coordinator based on the student’s interests and goals. It includes at least 200 hours in the internship over the course of one semester for five (5) credit hours. Students must have met the eligibility requirements for the social work internship to register in this course.
SOWK 466 Social Work Senior Seminar I
This course accompanies the first social work internship. It provides an opportunity for students to share and learn from their field placement experiences with each other and the field education coordinator. Students also prepare a portfolio in preparation for professional employment and/or graduate studies.
SOWK 475 Social Work Field Experience II
This course offers a second intensive field experience for social work majors. The setting will be selected by the student in cooperation with the social work field education coordinator based on the student’s interests and goals. It includes at least 200 hours in the internship over the course of one semester for five (5) credit hours. The placement might be in the same site as SOWK 460 or a different site, depending on the student’s learning needs and current career goals. This course is taken concurrently with SOWK 476 Senior Seminar II.
SOWK 476 Social Work Senior Seminar II
This course accompanies the second social work internship. It provides an opportunity for students to share and learn from their field placement experiences with each other and the field education coordinator. Students also prepare a portfolio in preparation for professional employment and/or graduate studies.
Goal 1: The program will prepare generalist social workers to practice in an ethical and competent fashion with diverse client populations on both the micro and macro levels.
Goal 2: The program will integrate social work practice with social scientific research through an interdisciplinary learning environment and emphasize the importance of lifelong learning for both students and faculty.
Goal 3: The program will develop leaders and practitioners committed to the advancement of human rights and social justice through social policy practice and other forms of advocacy.
Goal 4: The program will teach students to integrate the relationship between theory and practice by providing various service-learning projects, strong field education placements and leadership development.
Goal 5: The program will promote dedication to personal and spiritual growth and to continuous self-care as an important foundation for the social work vocation.
Consistent with the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards, the Social Work Program at Kansas Wesleyan University does not grant course or field credit, transfer credit or exemptions for prior life, volunteer or employment experience.