SWK 101: Introduction to Social Work

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of professional social work. Students will examine the history and current state of the profession. Social work values, ethics, and principles will be introduced along with generalist practice concepts and intervention methods. Students will explore various social work career opportunities, practice settings, and special populations. Students will also understand key social welfare concepts and the influence of policy on practice and populations served with an emphasis on empowerment and human diversity. (3 credits)

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the history and current state of the social work profession.
  2. Identify and apply social work values, ethics, and principles.
  3. Recognize and discuss generalist social work practice concepts and intervention methods.
  4. Recognize and discuss social work career opportunities, practice settings, and work with special populations.
  5. Describe and examine key social welfare concepts and the influence of policy on practice and populations served with an emphasis on empowerment, social justice, and human diversity.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) / Competencies

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
  4. Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  5. Engage in Policy Practice
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-6)

25%

Quizzes (Weeks 2, 4 and 6)

20%

Writing Assignments (Weeks 4 and 6)

40%

Final Exam (Week 8)

15%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore

  • Zastro, C. & Hessenaur, S., Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People, 13th ed., Cengage, 2023. ISBN-10: 0-357-62339-8 or ISBN-13: 978-0-357-62339-8

Additional Resources

Course Schedule

Week

PLOs

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,2

1,3

Topic: Social Work & Social Welfare

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 1 and 2
  • Video:
    • Social Workers as Super-Heroes
  • Review Getting Started information in Blackboard
  • Review course syllabus
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review assigned video
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

2

1,2,3,4

1,2,3,4

Topics: Social Work Practice, Poverty, and Public Welfare

  • Readings: 
    • Chapters 3 and 4
    • Review the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Video:
    • This Could Be You: The Many Faces of Social Work 
  • Read assigned chapters and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Review assigned video
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Quiz: Weeks 1 & 2
  • Begin work on Week 4 - Written Assignment 1, due in Week 4

3

2,3,8

1,2,3,4,5

Topic: Generalist Social Work Practice and Mental Health

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 5
  • Video:
    • A tale of mental illness | Elyn Saks
  • Read assigned chapter and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Review assigned video
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Continue working on Week 4 - Written Assignment 1, due in Week 4

4

1,2,3,6

1,2,3,4,5

Topic: Social Work with Families

  • Readings: 
    • Chapter 6
  • Read assigned chapter and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Quiz: Weeks 3 & 4
  • Submit the Week 4 – Written Assignment 1

5

1,2,3,5

2,3,4,5

Topics: Racism, Ethnocentrism, and Strategies for Advancing Social and Economic Justice

  • Readings:
    • Chapter 12
  • Video:
    • Let’s stop talking about diversity and start working towards equity
  • Read assigned chapter and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Review assigned video
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Begin work on Week 6 - Written Assignment 2, due in Week 6

6

1,2,3,5,8

2,3,4,5

Topics: Social Work Practice with Special Populations: Substance Abuse and Criminal Justice

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 8 and 9
  • Read assigned chapters and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Quiz: Weeks 5 & 6
  • Submit the Week 6 – Written Assignment 2

7

2,3,6,7,8

2,3,4,5

Topic: Social Work Practice with Special Populations: Aging and Health Care

  • Readings: 
    • Chapter 14
  • Read assigned chapter and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in Discussions

8

 

1, 2, 3, 4

Topics: LGBTQIA+ Population, Sexism, and Equality

  • Readings:
    • Chapters 7 and 13
  • Video:
    • Violence against women -- it's a men's issue
  • Read assigned chapters and additional materials
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Review assigned video
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Complete Week 8 Final Exam
  • Complete Course Evaluation

Final Exam

Chapters 1-14

SLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.