Electives in Social Work

S280 – Introduction to Field Experience (1, 2, or 3 cr.)

P: consent of instructor. This independent learning experience with a volunteer/field component provides students with the opportunity to explore social work practice in a particular field.  Students registering for this course negotiate specific assignments to demonstrate learning outcomes with the instructor.

S300 – Substance Abuse and Social Services (3 cr) 

The purpose of this course is to give students an overview of the field of addiction (alcohol & drugs) from a social work perspective including discussion of several conceptual models and theories. The course focuses on self-help groups, assessment procedures, and current intervention strategies. Students are given an opportunity to explore special issues in the field among oppressed minorities that are of particular interest to them and to share their findings with other students. Emphasis will also be placed on introducing students to the particular culture and ideologies that contribute to the context of provision of services in the field of alcoholism and drug addiction. A brief overview on other addictions (gambling, sex, food) will be presented.

S300 – Developmental Issues for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People (3 cr)  

This course explores the developmental issues that impact gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, using a social work person-in-environment perspective.  It is grounded on a current understanding of theory and research, and will include topics such as GLB identity formation, homophobia, heterosexism, history of the GLB civil rights movement, racial and cultural diversity within the GLB community, and life span issues.  This course incorporates current events as they relate to and illustrate course content.  Class exploration and discussion of issues are emphasized.  The course is appropriate for students in social work, education, nursing, med sciences, psychology, health and recreation, or for any other interested students.

S300 – Poverty in the U.S. (3 cr) 

A major purpose of this course is to examine the nature of poverty, both rural and urban, in the United States: its history, extent, causes, and effects on individual development. We will also examine various policies and programs that have been designed to alleviate poverty, and the effects and consequences of these efforts.  Students will become critical consumers of information (from the media, research, etc.) related to poverty, and take the knowledge learned in the course and apply it to related issues in their own communities, either as helping professionals or citizens. The course will emphasize class discussion and small group activities (poverty simulations, developing political strategies, etc). Readings for the class will consist of excerpts from books that are first-person accounts of poverty, journal articles, policy briefs, and other contemporary materials. We will also view pieces of news shows, documentaries, and films in order to understand how both mass and popular media treat the issue of poverty, and how this treatment shapes (and is shaped by) civic and government response to the issue.

S300 - Child Abuse and Neglect (3 cr) 

This elective work course examines both research studies and the service application of knowledge in the field of family violence, abuse, and neglect.  Recent findings from empirical studies are reviewed and then compared to the beliefs and practices of treatment and legal services designed to intervene in situations of family violence. 

S300 – Contemporary Issues in Domestic Violence (3cr)

This course will explore contemporary issues related to domestic violence, also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).  Students will review the history of the movement to end domestic violence. Theories of the cause of domestic violence will be surveyed along with local, state, federal and international public policy issues. Prevention and intervention models relevant to social work and other helping professions will be explored, as well as community level practice and contemporary research issues.

S300 - Developmental Issues for Transgender People (3 cr) 

Transgender people are an important but often overlooked segment of American society.  While often “lumped in” with the gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities—“GLBT”—gender identity is a different aspect of identity than sexual orientation/identity.   This course will incorporate current events as they relate to and illustrate course content.  Class exploration and discussion of issues will be emphasized.  This class will incorporate a diversity of readings, guest speakers, and films.

S490 – Independent Study (1, 2, or 3 cr)

P: permission of program administrator. An opportunity to engage in a self-directed study of an area related to the school’s curriculum in which no formal course is available