Are you a new student? Our New Student Checklist will help make your transition to Westfield State smooth.×
Please feel free to explore the following topics on this page:
For the most in-depth view of the BSW Program feel free to open the BSW Program Manual.
The BSW program's mission is to prepare bachelor level students to practice generalist social work at the entry level and be prepared for graduate education in social work. This mission specifically includes helping students develop:
This mission translates into a challenging curriculum grounded in a liberal arts base that is focused around: (1) generalist social work practice, (2) diversity and social justice, (3) social welfare policy and planning, (4) human behavior and the social environment, (5) research, and (6) field education. Throughout this curriculum, the issues of culturally competent practice, promotion of social and economic justice, practice with populations at risk, the values and ethics of social work, and research informed social work practice are integrated. Further, students' preparation for practice in this complex changing world is accomplished through the development, promotion, and demonstration of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) professional standards.
Program Goals & Competencies
The goals of the Social Work Program at WSU were developed to reflect the program’s mission and the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education. These goals are defined and specified through the Program Competencies that students are expected to develop. The competencies are presented after the goals.
Goal #1: Students will develop an understanding of the field of social work.
Goal #2: Students will develop critical thinking skills.
Goal #3: Students will be able to practice social work within the parameters developed in the Social Work Code of Ethics.
Goal #4: Students will develop knowledge needed to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate problems that impact client systems of various sizes.
Goal #5: Students will develop knowledge and skills to practice social work from a generalist perspective.
Competency #1 Graduates of the program will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
Competency #2 Graduates of the program will engage diversity and difference in practice.
Competency #3 Graduates of the program will advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
Competency #4 Graduates or the program will engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
Competency #5 Graduates of the program will engage in policy practice.
Competency #6 Graduates of the program will engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Competency #7 Graduates of the program will assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Competency #8 Graduates of the program will intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Competency #9 Graduates of the program will evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Catalogue Description of Social Work Major
The major in social work prepares the student to practice bachelors level social work in today's complex world. This preparation takes into consideration the value of human diversity in the world and the reality of oppression in the world. Specifically, the curriculum provides the student with the values and ethics, the skills, and the knowledge needed to practice entry level social work. The program includes both classroom work and a two semester (400 hour) internship.
Students formally apply for admission into the social work program during the first semester of their junior year. Prior to submitting their application, students are required to complete 60 hours of human service activity. This experience is designed to give students an opportunity to engage in face-to-face helping activities that will allow the student to determine if s/he is well suited for a career in social work. Students should have completed or be enrolled in the required pre-requisite/foundation courses as well as SOCW 0103.
Retention in the Program
To remain in the major, a student will have to receive at least a “C” in all major and foundation courses, retain at least a 2.5 grade point average in all required major and foundation courses, and retain an overall GPA of 2.5. A student who does not meet these standards will not be permitted to enroll in the fourth-year field practicum.
-Complete Foundation Courses (Total Credits: 19)
(can count as part of common core)
-Complete Major Courses (Total Credits: 48)
SOCW 0103 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare (3)
Preprofessional course designed to introduce the student to the present profession of social work, present social welfare programs, and the history of social work and social welfare.
SOCW 0204 Introduction to Research Methods in Social Work (3)
The course will introduce social work students to the basics of social science research by examining the research process, purposes of research and the philosophy of research. Students will learn about the basics of measurement, sampling and causation. Students will review how the basics approaches to research, including qualitative research, experiments, surveys, and historical and comparative research, are applied and utilized by social; workers. Research from social work will be used to exemplify research principles.
SOCW 0301 Advanced Research Methods (3)
This course builds on research skills and knowledge developed in SOCI 0204 "Introduction to Research Methods in Sociology." This course examines the topics of advanced measurement, program evaluation N of 1 research, qualitative data analysis, and ethics in research with a focus on quantitative data analysis. Prerequisite: SOCI 204
SOCW 0241 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (3)
This is the first course of a two course sequence that will focus on how aspects of the social environment affect human behavior and on individual development across the life cycle. Prerequisite: SOCW 0103, SOCI 0101, PSYC 0101, EGST 101 or 102
SOCW 0242 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (3)
This is the second course of a two course sequence that will focus on how aspects of the social environment affect human behavior and on individual development across the life cycle. Prerequisite: SOCW 0241, BIOL 0104 or permission of instructor
SOCW 0243 Social Welfare Policy Analysis (3)
Social science, historical, and ideological models, theories, and perspectives are used as a foundation to examine and analyze present social policies and social programs. Prerequisite: SOCW 0103, POLS 0101 & EGST 101 or 102
SOCW 0340 Introduction to Generalist Practice (3)
Provides an introduction to the generalist practice process, the problem solving model, critical thinking, the values and ethics of social work, recording methods, basic interviewing skills and how to apply this knowledge and these skills across various types of practice situations (with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations).. Prerequisite: SOCW 0241 or concurrent registration
SOCW 0341 Generalist Practice with Communities & Organizations (3)
Examines the skills needed to develop and carry out community development and social activism interventions. Covers basic skills for developing organizations, creating organizational change and administering organizations. Prerequisite: SOCW 0340
SOCW 0342 Generalist Practice with Individuals (3)
This course focuses on skills of assessment and intervention with individuals. Students examine models of micro practice, hone critical thinking skills, and develop methods for dealing with ethical dilemmas. Prerequisite: Acceptance in Social Work Program & SOCW 0340
SOCW 0343 Generalist Practice with Families & Groups (3)
Introduces students to the knowledge and skills needed to plan and guide social work groups and the knowledge and skills to work with family systems. Prerequisite: SOCW 0340
SOCW 0351 Social Work Practicum I (7)
For Social Work Majors only Social work majors in their senior year are required to complete a two semester, 480 hour, hands on social work experience in an approved agency under the supervision of a professional social worker. Included is a weekly seminar that provides further integration of practice with the skills, knowledge, and values and ethics of the field. Prerequisite: SOCW 0340 & SOCW 0342
SOCW 0352 Social Work Practicum II (7)
For Social Work Majors only This is the second half of the senior year field experience. Prerequisite: SOCW 0351
SOCW 0353 Capstone I (2)
For Social Work Majors Only. Social work majors propose, receive approval, and begin to carry out a two-semester independent professional project that demonstrates integration of the six areas of the curriculum: 1) generalist social work practice, (2) diversity and social justice, (3) social welfare policy and planning, (4) human behavior and the social environment, (5) research, and (6) field education. Prerequisites: 204, 301 and concurrent registration: SOCW 0351
SOCW 0354 Capstone II (2)
For Social Work Majors Only. This course is the second half of the independent professional project that demonstrates integration of the six areas of the curriculum: 1) generalist social work practice, (2) diversity and social justice, (3) social welfare policy and planning, (4) human behavior and the social environment, (5) research, and (6) field education. Prerequisites: 204, 301 and concurrent registration: SOCW 0352
SOCW 0360 Diversity & Social Justice
This course examines the existence of multiple, intersecting, and interlocking systems of advantage and disadvantage among the diverse social identity groups in the United States. The centrality of diversity competent practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities are emphasized. Prerequisite: EGST 101 or EGST 102.