SW205 Introduction to Social Work

for SP 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SW 205 Introduction to Social Work


SP 2008 HO


Kisthardt, Walter E.


Associate Professor Chair/BSW Program Director


Ph.D. Social Work
BA Sociology/Social Work

Office Location

225 Underground

Office Hours

Tues. Thurs all day and by appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone




Semester Dates

Jan. 15 - May 1 2008

Class Days


Class Time

2:25 PM - 3:40 PM MA 222



Credit Hours



 Social Work: A Profession of Many Faces.
Armando T. Morales, Bradford W. Sheafor, and Malcom E. Scott
11th edition. Pearson:Allyn and Bacon  ISBN 0-205-47772-0

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D. (2006) The Opportunities and Challenges of Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Practice. Chapter 10, pp. 171-196 in D. Saleebey (ed.) The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice. Allyn & Bacon: Boston.  On reserve in Library


McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:

This course introduces students to the profession of social work and provides an overview of the professional knowledge, skills, and values necessary for generalist social work practice. The various settings for social work practice and the types of services provided by social workers are explored. The seven core functions of generalist practice are explored within the context of the emerging Strengths Perspective in Social Work.


Educational Philosophy:

At all times I will strive to model the values and skills that are at the heart of the profession of social work. Just as in the helping process, teaching should be a collaborative, mutually enriching experience. I believe that learning is best achieved in an environment that is respectful, safe, affirming, challenging, and highly interactive.

I understand that every person has wisdom in their lived experience and a unique world view and perspective. I recognize that each of us learns in different ways and I will strive to present concepts in a manner that promotes your learning. If you are having difficulty with any aspect of the class I hope that you will make this known to me. I truly want this class to be enjoyable as well as educational. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe a beginning understanding of concepts related to generalist practice.
  2. Identify in basic terms the origins, structure and characteristics of the American social welfare system.
  3. Articulate methods of helping, influencing and assisting people at micro, macro, and mezzo levels within a generalist framework.
  4. Exhibit foundation skills in effective verbal and non-verbal communication, including assertiveness, active listening, constructive feedback and advocacy.
  5. Describe a beginning awareness for ethical behavior and be familiar with the National Association of Social Work “Code of Ethics” and how these principles are applied.
  6. Describe the social work profession as it relates to mental health, health care, public education, public welfare, family & child welfare, corrections, business and industry.

Core Assessment:

·  Mid-term (LO 1,2,3,5,6)

·  Pop Quizzes (LO 1,2,3,5,6)

·  News Review (LO 1,2,3,5,6)

·  Web Site /Search (LO 1,2,3,5,6)

·  Reaction Paper  (LO 1,3,4)

·  Core Assessment: Position Paper:  (LO 1-6)

·  Career Development Pathway  (LO 1,4)

·  Final Exam (LO 1,2,3,5,6)

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Mid-Term Exam: Given in class on Thursday March 6. Multiple Choice & Short Essay (25 points)
Interview with a professional social worker and written summary (10 points)
Written summary and brief class presentation of service learning project (15 points)
Completion of Person-Centered Strengths Assessment and Personal Wellness Plan (10 points)
Final Comprehensive Examination (30 points) CORE ASSESSMENT

Class participation
: (10 points). This class is highly interactive and experiential. Your presence and active involvement is critical to creating the most effective learning atmosphere. You will be expected to display the same lsitening skills, attentiveness, respect, professional dialogue, and compassion with and for each other as colleagues as you display when working with a service participant. You are allowed two (2) unexcused absenses without point deduction. For each subsequent absence one (1) point is deducted from your class participation grade.




90-100 points = A
80-89 points = B
70-79 points = C
60-69 points = D
below 60 points= F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Assignments are to be turned in on the date noted in the syllabus. No assignment will be accepted after the due date unless there are extenuating circumstances that you have discussed with me prior to the due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

I expect you to to listen attentively when the professor or one of your classmates is speaking. You are expected to be on-time for class and remain in class for the entire period. If you have circumstances that may effect your ability to adhere to these expectations please talk to me about these as soon as possible.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: Jan. 15 - 17: Review syllabus, assignments, expectations, grading, rules of conduct. What is "Social Work"?
              Read preface and Chapter 1 in text.
Week 2. Jan. 22 - 24: The Strengths Perspective in Social Work. Read Chapter 2 in text and Dr. Kisthardt's book
              chapter on reserve in the library.
Week 3: Jan. 29 - 31: The History of Social Work as a Profession. Person-Centered Strengths Assessment and
              Personal Wellness Plan Due this date (31st). Read Chapter 4 in text. Have agency identified for service
              learning project by this date.
Week 4: Feb. 5 - 7: The Purpose of Social Work in Society. Read Chapter 3 in text. 
Week 5: Feb. 12 - 14:  Levels of Social Work Practice and Certification. Read Chapter 5 in text. Interview with a
              professional social worker paper due this date. (14th)
Week 6: Feb. 19 - 21: The Many Fields of Social Work Practice. Read Chapters 6 and 7 in text.
Week 7: Feb. 26 - 28:  What are the core values that guide and direct social work practice? Read Chapter 8 in text.
Week. 8: March 4 - 6: Review  for mid-term exam and take exam in class on March 6.
Week 9: March 11 - 13: Spring Recess! Have a great time and work on your wellness plan.
Week 10: March 18 - 20: Review mid-term: Competencies required for social work practice. Read Chapter 9 in text.
Week 11: March 25 - 27: The Eco-Systems model for understanding factors impacting children and youth. Read Chapter
               17 in text.  
Week 12-15 April 1 - 29: Presentations of Service Learning Experience
Week 16: May 1: Review for final exam, provide feedback on experience in this course. Service Learning Papers due last class.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
(3) 85-100
(2) 70-84 (1) 60-69 (0) Below 60 
Critically assesses the two points of views on the selected topic and relates the views to either current practice or conventional thinking Examine 2 points of view on a topic relative to the practice of social work Examines 1 point of view on topic relative to the practice of Social Work No evidence of thorough review of research 
Goes beyond the minimal requirements and examines 4 or more research articles Identifies and incorporates at least 2 research articles that are appropriate and relevant to the target issue Identifies and incorporates only 1 research article that is relevant to the target issue Research article is only minimally or tangentially relevant 
Is able to develop a novel insight into the relevance and interpretation of the theoretical information Compares and contrasts the information in a fair and objective manner and justifies position Comparison or contrasts are poorly thought through or evidence of personal bias exists Fails to provide meaningful comparison 
Supports position with multiple sources of information or experiences. Summarizes conclusions into a well founded report validating conclusions and/or position Is unable to support conclusions Fails to draw conclusions based on the research 
Body of paper is 7-10 pages with meaningful content Body of paper is 5-7 double spaced pages, 1-inch margins in 12-point font.  Tiles and reference pages are additional
Prepares a 3-5 minute individual class presentation on topic, methods, and conclusions
Body of paper is less than 5 pages or missing title and/or reference pages Body of paper is 3 or fewer pages 
Technical Skills                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
APA style is used throughout the paper with fewer than 3 errors APA style is used with no more than 4-6 errors APA style is utilized, but there are 7 or more errors Failure to use APA style 
1st Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Liberal Arts Systems                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Clearly understands and articulates the impact of the target issue on society as a whole. Demonstrates an understanding that the target issue may have a broad impact Conclusions are only peripherally related to the impact of the target issue  
2nd Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Compares and contrasts cultural issues relative to the target issue. Demonstrates an understanding that there may be cultural differences relative to topic Evidence of only minimal understanding of multicultural issues Fails to successfully address multicultural issues 


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Last Updated:1/10/2008 11:51:45 AM