SW205 Introduction to Social Work

for F1T 2011

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SW 205 Introduction to Social Work


F1T 2011 DL


Tamara Tucker


Adjunct Faculty Instructor



Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

August 15 thru October 9, 2011

Credit Hours



As there is no "required text" for this class I expect you to be active in researching the topics for the day through your own on-line investigations using the multitude of resources on the Internet. For example, if the topic for the day is "the history of social work" you can find many references by typing these key words into a search engine.  I have also provided in each weekly lecture, multiple weblinks related to each weekly topics/concepts.

Additional Resources:

The following 2 resources are very helpful and highly recommended to enhance and support your learning:
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

The Opportunities and Challenges of Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Practice. Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D. (2009). Chapter 3, pp. 47-71 in D. Saleebey (ed.) The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice. Allyn & Bacon: Boston.

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Course Description:
SW205 Introduction to Social Work (MGE): 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 Ten Core Competencies as set forth in the 2008 CSWE accreditation standards are infused throughout this course. Emphasis is placed upon engagement, advocacy, self-reflection and competency (1a-e; 2a-d; 4a-d). Students will demonstrate the ability to identify with the Social Work profession, Engage and Advocate. 

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 worldview 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:

Your learning in this course will be assessed via the following:

Email (0 points)

The first week of class you will be required to make sure you can use your Park email to send and reply to emails between you and me. Send me an email during the first week of class.

                          No grades will be posted until your email is received. 

Student Introduction (1 posting = 15 points)

The first week of class you are required to "post" a Student Introduction using the Introduction link on the Course Home menu. This posting will help us become more familiar with each other. Please see posting expectations in e-college, under introduction tab.

Weekly Reading/Lecture (0 points)

Materials for exams will come from weekly readings and discussions. It is critical that you read the lectures, additional reading materials and links in order to prepare for weekly discussion questions, reviews, assignments and exam.

Weekly Reviews (0 points)

The weekly reviews (begin in Week 2 for Week 1 and continue thru Week 8 for Week 7). As stated above, materials for exams will come from weekly readings and discussions and these reviews are summaries of the week’s learning. You do not have to respond to this review unless you have needed clarification questions or want to provide feedback.

Weekly Discussions (16 postings [2 each week x 8 weeks] x 5 each pts = 80 points)

A minimum of two postings are expected every week. Please see expectations listed in e-college, grading rubric.

Weekly E-Journals (16 postings [2 each week x 8 weeks] x 5 each pts = 80 points)

A minimum of two postings are expected every week. Please see expectations listed in e-college, grading rubric.

Person-Centered Strengths Assessment & Personal Wellness Plan (100 points) - Due Week 2

Please see expectations listed in e-college, grading rubric.

Interview with a professional Social Worker (paper 100 points) - Due Week 4

Please see expectations listed in e-college, grading rubric.

Service Learning Project (200 points) - Due Week 7 by FRIDAY

Please see expectations listed in e-college, grading rubric.

Exam proctored COMPREHENSIVE Exam (1 exam - 125 points) - Due Week 8

The exam will be a comprehensive, proctored exam. It will consist of multiple choice, true/false, short answer and essay questions. 

The exam will be taken in a proctored testing environment during Week 8, at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the exam. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.

For additional detail, please see expectations listed in e-college, grading rubric.


It is very important to me that you understand the criteria for grading and that you perceive this process as fair and reasonable. I do not “give” grades... students earn grades through their work and performance.

Turn around time for all discussion will be 24-48 hours. Papers will be 3-5 days from the date they are due. 

The final course grade will be based on discussion and journal entries, writing assignments, and the final exam as follows:

Student Introduction


Weekly Discussions

(16 x 5) 80

Weekly "E-Journals"

(16 x 5) 80

Person-Centered Strengths Assessment and Personal Wellness Plan


Interview with a Social Worker - Assignment


Service Learning Project


Final Exam


Total Points



Grading Scale:
A = 90-100% = 630-700
B = 80-89% = 560-629
C = 70-79% = 490-559
D = 60-69% = 420-489
F = 0-59% = 0-41

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assignments will be due on the dates listed in your e-college weekly course schedule. You are expected to organize and manage your time so that you are able to meet the expectations of this class. 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. It is the STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to contact the instructor to discuss the situation and seek approval for submission of late work.  If the instructor agrees to accept the late work, 10 points will be deducted per day that the assignment is late.  Assignments not submitted on the due date or without approval from the instructor, will receive a grade of "zero."

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This class is one that the subject matter can be sensitive at times.  It is important that student's respect the opinions of others and that the online class environment is a safe place for open discussion. It is only through safe expression of thoughts and ideas that learning occurs. 


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

What is Social Work?
The Seven Core Functions of Generalist Social Work
The ‘Strengths Perspective’ in Social Work Practice
Social Welfare: Human Dignity


Assignments Due

  • Email confirmation
  • Student Introduction
  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals

Week Two:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

The History of Social Work as a Profession
Social Work as a Profession: Purpose; Sanction; Values; Knowledge; Skills/Method
The Purpose of Social Work in Society
What is the purpose of a participant assessment and plan?


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals
  • Person-Centered Strengths Assessment and Personal Wellness Plan

Week Three:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

Professional autonomy, authority and responsibility
Sanction: Levels of Social Work Practice and Certification
The Many Fields of Social Work Practice


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals

Week Four:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

Core values that guide and direct Social Work practice
Ethical considerations in Social Work practice
United States society’s values
NASW Code of Ethics


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals
  • Interview with a professional Social Worker – paper

Week Five:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

Competencies required for Generalist Social Work Practice
Interpersonal Helping Competencies
Professional Competence Development


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals

Week Six:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

The Eco-Systems Theory and applications in social work
Dual focus on Person and the Environment
Social Work practice with vulnerable populations
Family, Group and Community Practice Considerations


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals

Week Seven:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

Spirituality in a Secular profession
Historical context of spirituality in human services
Religion, Spirituality and Cultural Competency
Spirituality, Faith and Social Justice in Social Work practice


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals
  • Service Learning Project - by FRIDAY 

Week Eight:  

This week’s readings and discussions will cover the following concepts:

Social Work in Action: current trends
Emerging Issues in Social Work Practice
Addressing Community Needs: Indirect and Prevention Tasks
Mobilizing agencies and staff


Assignments Due: 

  • Discussion Questions
  • E-Journals
  • Exam

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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:8/5/2011 1:12:08 PM