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)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Describe the history and current state of the social work profession.
- Identify and apply social work values, ethics, and principles.
- Recognize and discuss generalist social work practice concepts and intervention methods.
- Recognize and discuss social work career opportunities, practice settings, and work with special populations.
- 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
- Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
- Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
- Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
- Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
- Engage in Policy Practice
- Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
- Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-6)
Quizzes (Weeks 2, 4 and 6)
Writing Assignments (Weeks 4 and 6)
Final Exam (Week 8)
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
Readings and Exercises
Topic: Social Work & Social Welfare
Topics: Social Work Practice, Poverty, and Public Welfare
Topic: Generalist Social Work Practice and Mental Health
Topic: Social Work with Families
Topics: Racism, Ethnocentrism, and Strategies for Advancing Social and Economic Justice
Topics: Social Work Practice with Special Populations: Substance Abuse and Criminal Justice
Topic: Social Work Practice with Special Populations: Aging and Health Care
1, 2, 3, 4
Topics: LGBTQIA+ Population, Sexism, and Equality
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.