Social Work Course Descriptions

Social Work & Sociology Catalog Course Descriptions

Bachelor of Social Work Courses


Dr Joan Pendergast Teaching

SOWK 1001 Sign Language I
1 Credit

An introductory skill development course in the art of manual communication.

SOWK 1002 Sign Language II
1 Credit

An intermediate skill development course in the art of manual communication.

SOWK 161 Introduction to Social Work
3 Credits

Explores the multifaceted career opportunities of the social work profession, with an emphasis on human behavior, human rights, social and economic justice, and human diversity. Social work practice, values, and ethics are examined.

SOWK 230 Group Dynamics and Interviewing Skills
3 Credits

Critically examines and integrates theoretical-conceptual perspectives about group communications and interviewing skills, applying this information to practical problems and situations in context, focusing on behavior of individuals and groups with an emphasis on effective individual and group skills for both intrapersonal and interpersonal growth and development.

SOWK 236 Human Behavior and the Social Environment Theories
3 Credits

Prerequisites: SOWK 161.
Co-requisites: PSY 101; SOC 101; BIOL 102.

Methodological and theoretical study of the bio-psycho-social elements of human behavior across multiple contexts. Students will develop a theoretical and conceptual knowledge of human behavior applicable to competent social work practice.

SOWK 237 Human Behavior and the Social Environment Across the Lifespan
3 Credits

Prerequisites: SOWK 161.
Co-requisites: PSY 101; SOC 101; BIOL 102.

Orientation to the understanding of human behavior across the lifespan with individuals, groups, and communities. Formal and informal processes, norms, values, ethics, strengths, and diverse cultures will be examined across multiple contexts.

SOWK 301 Social Policy and Services History
3 Credits

Prerequisites: SOWK 161.

The primary focus of the course is on the history of social work and social policy. The forces driving policy decisions are examined within a historical framework. The differential impact of social policy on diverse and oppressed groups is developed.

SOWK 302 Human Diversity
3 Credits

An overview of racial, ethnic, gender, age, religion, disability, and sexual orientation issues. The course will focus on helping students develop a conceptual understanding about complex and emotionally-charged issues of diversity, human rights, and social and economic justice. Students are challenged by using research, guided readings, and class discussion in understanding the societal implications of diversity.

SOWK 303 Social Policy and Services Analysis
3 Credits

Prerequisites: SOWK 161.

Provides students with a framework to analyze current social policy, taking into consideration both historical influences and current factors shaping these policies. A framework for policy analysis, incorporating the principles of human rights and social and economic justice, is also included. Content is provided on policy formulation, incorporating the processes influencing policy decisions.

SOWK 305 Social Work Research Methods
4 Credits

Prerequisites: SOWK 161; SOSC 2851; MATH 105 (may be taken concurrently). 

Familiarizes the student with the quantitative and qualitative research methods, the research process, and the role of research in professional practice. Students develop a research proposal. Emphasis is placed on evaluation of all levels of practice.

Note: 3 hour lecture, 1 hour lab.

SOWK 307 Practice with Individuals and Families
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Social Work major; formal admission to the Social Work Program; SOWK 161; SOWK 230; SOWK 236; SOWK 237; SOWK 305; PSY 101; SOC 101; ENGL 101; ENGL 102; SOSC 2851.

CSWO Children's Posters for Christmas ParadeMethods of intervention appropriate for working with individuals and families are emphasized. Focuses on the basic knowledge, values, and skills appropriate for a generalist social work practitioner at the beginning professional level of social work practice. The practice components of engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow-up with individuals and families are utilized. A grade of “C” (2.0) or better is required in this course to enter SOWK 420A, SOWK 420B and SOWK 451.

SOWK 308 Practice with Groups
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Social Work major; formal admission to the Social Work Program; SOWK 161; SOWK 230; SOWK 236; SOWK 237; SOWK 305; PSY 101; SOC 101; ENGL 101; ENGL 102; SOSC 2851.

Methods of intervention appropriate for working with small groups are emphasized. Focuses on values, knowledge, and skills appropriate for the generalist social work practitioner at the beginning professional level of social work practice. The practice components of engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow-up with groups are utilized. A grade of “C” (2.0) or better is required in this course to enter SOWK 420A, SOWK 420B and SOWK 451.

SOWK 309 Practice with Communities and Organizations
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Social Work major; formal admission to the Social Work Program; SOWK 161; SOWK 230; SOWK 236; SOWK 237; SOWK 305; PSY 101; SOC 101; ENGL 101; ENGL 102; SOSC 2851.

Methods of intervention with organizations and communities are emphasized. Focuses on values, knowledge and skills appropriate for the generalist social work practitioner at the beginning professional level of social work practice. The practice components of engagement, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow-up with communities and organizations are utilized. A grade of “C” (2.0) or better is required in this course to enter SOWK 420A, SOWK 420B and SOWK 451.

SOWK 318 Health and Human Resources Administration
3 Credits

An elective focusing on organizations and service delivery systems with an emphasis on leadership and management principles.

SOWK 320 Working with Children and Adolescents
3 Credits

Reflects current issues and trends in working with children and adolescents. Behaviors, therapy, and programs related to children and adolescents are discussed.

SOWK 322 School Social Services
3 Credits

Teaches basic knowledge, approaches, and skills involved in school social services. Examined are the basic concepts of children’s developmental needs, which require preventive services in the school, family, and community systems.

SOWK 324 Gerontology and the Field of Aging
3 Credits

Beginning with aging as a developmental process, implications are generated which relate to possible services for the aged. Included is a focus on the development of primary intervention, protective, and institutional services.

Note: Class size limited.

SOWK 327 Health Care
3 Credits

Deals with the relationship between physical well-being and social functioning; the definition of a state of health and the health continuum; concepts of multiple causation and the role of stress; the social and psychological impact of chronic illness; planning, organizing, and delivering of health services.

Note: Class size limited.

SOWK 336 Corrections
3 Credits

Examines social work and other professions in the area of forensics, courts, institutions, police, probation, and parole services. Attention is given to prevention and aftercare dynamics.

SOWK 350 Special Topics in Social Work
1-3 Credits

Prerequisites: Approval by the Social Work Department.

Courses on specialized areas of social work practice (such as Addictions, Family Therapy, and Introduction to Community Service).

SOWK 404 Advanced Community-Based Research
1-3 Credits

Prerequisites: Completion of a basic research course or consent of the instructor.

This course seeks to deepen the student’s understanding of community-based research. Focusing on the substantial research opportunities in the professional arena this course is appropriate for any discipline in which academic and community partnerships are important. This is the capstone course for those pursuing the Civic Engagement minor.

SOWK 420A Field Instruction
6 CreditsSocial Work Field Education Placement Fair

Prerequisites: Completion of all required Social Work Courses. Students must have a better than 2.00 overall grade point average with a 2.50 average in those courses listed under Social Work Courses Required and a 2.0 or better in SOWK 307, SOWK 308 and SOWK 309. Students must have senior status.  

Provides students with opportunities to develop skills, knowledge, theories, and techniques with procedures from the classroom being applied to field situations. Emphasis is on individualized instruction with supervision by faculty. Application to be made through Field Instruction Coordinator three months before placement begins.

SOWK 420B Field Instruction
6 Credits

Prerequisites: Completion of all required Social Work Courses. Students must have a better than 2.00 overall grade point average with a 2.50 average in those courses listed under Social Work Courses Required and a 2.0 or better in SOWK 307, SOWK 308 and SOWK 309. Students must have senior status.  

Provides students with opportunities to develop skills, knowledge, theories, and techniques with procedures from the classroom being applied to field situations. Emphasis is on individualized instruction with supervision by faculty. Application to be made through Field Instruction Coordinator three months before placement begins.

SOWK 451 Social Work Issues Seminar
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Social Work majors only.
Co-requisites: This course must be taken concurrently with SOWK 420A-SOWK 420B.

Gives students opportunities to explore, synthesize, critically examine, and integrate varied content and skills learned during previous social work courses and during Field Instruction. Issues across contexts related to diversity, ethical practice, regulation of practice, rural practice, and workplace safety are explored.

SOWK 470 Independent Study
1-6 Credits

Prerequisites: B average for majors or consent of social work faculty.

Advanced field study, readings, or research in student’s area of interest.

SOWK 471 Independent Study
1-6 Credits

Prerequisites: B average for majors or consent of social work faculty.

Advanced field study, readings, or research in student’s area of interest.

SOWK 480 Honors Courses
3 Credits

Juniors and seniors who qualify for Honors Courses are offered the opportunity to study with individual members of the faculty. This is specialized study apart from conventional classroom work. Interested students should contact the Division Chair for further information.

SOWK 481 Honors Courses
3 Credits

Juniors and seniors who qualify for Honors Courses are offered the opportunity to study with individual members of the faculty. This is specialized study apart from conventional classroom work. Interested students should contact the Division Chair for further information.

 

Master of Social Work Courses


SOWK 501 Foundations of Generalist Practice
3 Credits

Introductory course to the advanced generalist social work profession for students entering the Regular Standing Program. The course provides an overview of the history and development of the profession, the values and ethics of the profession, the foundations of knowledge and competencies necessary for practitioners, and practice with all sizes of systems and populations.

SOWK 511 Foundations of Human Behavior and the Social Environment
3 Credits

This is the foundation HBSE course. The course provides the foundation for understanding of and practice from a human behavior across the lifespan perspective at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. All levels of HBSE are examined from multiple theoretical models including systems theory and from the strengths perspective. Students will develop critical thinking and assessment skills for competent social work practice.

SOWK 521 Foundations of Policy
3 Credits

This is the foundation policy course required of all students who are not in the Advanced Standing Program. The course outlines the social policies that have been enacted in the United States and the resulting impact of their implementation with special attention to rural areas.

SOWK 531 Foundations of Practice
3 Credits

The social work practice methods course enables students to understand and apply social work theories, strategies, and techniques for helping individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities within the context of the generalist perspective. Students will continue development of critical thinking skills by applying them to the analysis of evidenced-based practice methods and interventions. Students will integrate knowledge of evidence-based practice applicable to micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work with clients and populations-at-risk; maintain commitment to economic and social justice, ethical practice, the strengths perspective, the planned change process and cultural differences.

SOWK 541 Foundations of Research
3 Credits

Concord University Campus Marsh Library and Marsh Hall This is the first of two required research courses. It is required for all students in the Foundation curriculum. The course emphasizes the development of the quantitative and qualitative research knowledge necessary for evidence-based practice and the use of practice to inform research. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to social work research, including but not limited to, the roles of concepts and theory, hypothesis formulation, operationalization, research design, data collection, data processing, statistical analysis, computer skills, and research report writing.

SOWK 551 Foundations Field Practicum
6 Credits

The foundation field experience provides an opportunity to apply the skills, knowledge, and values of generalist social work practice in a social service setting with diverse clients. Foundation students are required to have completed 400 hours of field instruction before proceeding to the Advanced Field Practicum.

SOWK 613 Advanced Human Behavior and the Social Environment in Rural Settings
3 Credits

This is the advanced HBSE course which all MSW students will take (Advanced Standing and Regular Program). The course provides an advanced focus on human behavior in the social environment with a specific focus on the issues that occur in rural settings and the human context. The course will examine (but not be limited to) issues such as poverty, human rights, gender, sexual orientation, race, social class, and ageism. These issues will be addressed across all levels of practice using the lens of the strengths perspective. Students will develop critical thinking and assessment skills for competent rural social work practice.

SOWK 622 Advanced Policy in Rural Practice
3 Credits

This is the second policy course and is required for students who are in the Advanced Standing Program as well as those progressing from their foundation program. The student will select a social topic or population relevant to rural areas and write a grant proposal or a proposed legislative action to assist those working with the topic or population. The knowledge builds from the paper written in SOWK 521, Foundation Policy, and from applied policy analysis research. For the Advanced Standing students, the paper from which the grant proposal or legislative action is built must be fully researched and the most recent data included in the paper.

SOWK 633 Advanced Rural Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups
3 Credits

This course is an advanced practice course which is designed to prepare social work students for advanced generalist practice in a rural setting with a wide variety of populations in order to provide the best practice possible. The rural social worker often does not have the luxury of being able to refer clients and must be able to intervene across multiple populations utilizing various intervention modalities. This course focuses on working with individuals, families, and groups using best practices and intervention methods appropriate to changing contexts and populations.

SOWK 634 Advanced Rural Practice with Communities and Organizations
3 Credits

This course is an advanced generalist practice course which is designed to prepare social work students for advanced generalist practice with a wide variety of populations in order to provide the best practice possible.  The rural social worker often does not have the luxury of being able to refer clients and must be able to intervene across multiple populations utilizing various intervention modalities.  This course focuses on working with communities and organizations using best practices and intervention methods appropriate to the changing contexts and populations.

SOWK 642 Advanced Rural Research Methods for Social Work
3 Credits

This is the second research course and is required for both foundation and advanced students. This research course is taken concurrently with Advanced Field Practicum. The course emphasizes the application of research methods for the evaluation of practice effectiveness and/or program outcomes in rural practice. Students will choose a client, group, or program in the field agency and engage in the evaluation process. The course emphasizes the evaluation of evidence-based interventions and the utilization of the results to make practice decisions that improve the quality of services, initiate changes in policy, and improve delivery of social services. Students will deepen their understanding of the essential components of a research project that were introduced in SOWK 541.

SOWK 653A, 653B, or 653C Advanced Field
3 Credits

In the Advanced Field Practicum students complete 600 hours of field instruction. SOWK 653A, B, and C are taken concurrently with SOWK 633, SOWK 642, SOWK 622, SOWK 634, and nine hours of SOWK 660.  The Advanced Field Practicum advances the skills, knowledge, and values of social work as applied to rural practice.

SOWK 660 Special Topics
3 Credits

Electives will rotate and include issues relevant to rural social work practice that can change to respond to evolving contexts of practice and environment.  Students will take this course one (1) time in the Foundation Year and three (3) times in the Advanced Year for a total of twelve (12) hours. Psychopathology will be offered as a standing elective for those students planning to engage in clinical practice. Similarly, for students planning to advance their education a thesis option is available. The thesis may be completed in lieu of taking the electives in the advanced year.

SOWK 661 Appalachian Culture, Structures, and Environment
3 Credits

This advanced course integrates social work issues and methods from across the curriculum within a rural setting and Appalachian context. The course builds upon the conceptual and historical foundations of rural practice and the unique Appalachian culture and resultant family, community, and delivery structures. Further, the course explores mechanisms to build individual and community capacity, in part, by recognizing and exploring avenues of strength, inherent in and indigenous to, the environmental context of Appalachia.


You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.
~H.G. Wells

Sociologists study a wide variety of human behaviors, institutions and practices. We here at Concord, provide students with a variety of courses that introduce them to the breadth of study in sociology. In addition to core required courses in methods, theory and social problems, we also provide many elective courses that focus on important institutions or areas of study. Below you will find the academic catalog descriptions of the courses we offer, the semester that we generally offer the course in and information about credits earned and prerequisites. Please also note that we occasionally offer special topic classes under the SOC 350 course number. 

SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
3 Credits

A course reflecting the basic concerns of sociology and designed to fulfill the General Studies requirements for non-majors and for teacher certification.

Term Offered: Fall, Spring

SOC 201 Social Problems
3 Credits

An examination of issues of timely importance to Americans generally, and to West Virginians in particular, emphasizing sociological explanations of underlying social factors.

Term Offered: Fall

SOC 207 Social Inequality and the Media
3 Credits

Offers a sociological perspective on significant dimensions of social stratification, including race, class, gender and sexual orientation, through analysis of various forms of mass media.

SOC 210 Deviant Behavior
3 Credits

A study of deviance as social process. Considers historical and cross-cultural variation in definitions of deviance; the process of labeling deviant behavior; and the development and management of deviant identities.

Term Offered: Spring

SOC 220 Sociology of Gender
3 Credits

An examination of gender as a cultural construction and an organizing principle of social structure. Topics covered include representations of gender in popular culture; gender socialization and the development of gender identity; and the gendered organization of various social institutions.

Term Offered: Spring
Note: Sociology students may also fulfill this requirement through GEOG 321, Advanced Cultural Geography.

SOC 230 Sociology of Law
3 Credits

This course explores the complex relationships between the legal system and the everyday social world while also exploring the importance of authority, power and identity. It provides students with tools and knowledge to critically analyze and better understand their social environment and everyday notions of legal authority and experience.

Term Offered: Fall

SOC 301 Sociology of Families
3 Credits

A study of the forms of family organization and structure; processes of courtship and relationship development; the contemporary role of families in society; parenthood; family crisis; family in transition.

Term Offered: Fall

SOC 303 Criminology
3 Credits

A study of the nature and formation of criminal behavior, societal values and structure, personality and community factors in crime; types of criminality; criminal law and procedure.

Term Offered: Spring

SOC 307 Social Psychology
3 Credits

An examination of the dynamics of people interacting with one another in American culture. Emphasis is on everyday occurrences and the interrelationship of individuals, groups, and society as a whole.

SOC 310 Cultural Anthropology
3 Credits

A systematic survey of the customs, organizations and modes of life of humankind based on a scientific explanation of the way of culture.

SOC 320 Popular Culture
3 Credits

Examines elements of contemporary American culture such as icons, heroes, myths, and rituals, which reflect the ideas, beliefs, and values of the culture.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of contemporary technologies, such as gaming, social networking and the Internet.

Term Offered: Spring
Note: Cross-listed with GEOG 460, Special Topics in Geography: The Geography of Popular Culture

SOC 330 Minority Group Relations
3 Credits

A study of the nature and dynamics of social groups focusing on the socio-historical factors contributing to the existence and maintenance of minorities. The interlocking nature of oppression due to the manifestation of prejudice and discrimination based on ethnicity, race, age, gender, religion, and sexual orientation are stressed throughout the course.

SOC 350 Special Topics in Sociology
1-3 Credits

Prerequisites: To be specified by instructor.

Courses on various topics in sociology. Topics of study will be indicated on student's transcript. May be taken for credit repeatedly.

SOC 398 Qualitative Methods in Sociological Research
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Junior standing or consent of the instructor

This course provides an introduction to qualitative research methods.  The course covers the basic procedures of participant observation and interviewing, the concepts underlying qualitative analysis, and the theoretical, ethical, and practical issues that arise while conducting qualitative social research.

Term Offered: Spring

Lori Pace Teaching Sociology Class

SOC 399 Quantitative Methods in Sociological Research
3 Credits

Prerequisites: MATH 105 (or PSY 212) and Junior standing or consent of the instructor

Examines quantitative methods of investigation and research in the social sciences; how to organize a project; use of documentary materials, data collection, including survey and polling techniques; data analysis, organization, and presentation of findings.

Term Offered: Fall

SOC 406 Sociological Theory
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Junior standing or consent of the instructor

An analysis of contributions to sociological theory dating from the late 1800's; special emphasis given to major school and theorists.

Term Offered: Spring

SOC 450 Seminar in Sociology
3 Credits

Practical experience in applied sociology.

SOC 460 Sociology Internship
3-12 Credits

Prerequisites: Minimum of 12 hours of course work completed in the discipline and consent of instructor.

The supervised internship provides students with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations in an appropriate private, government or non-profit setting.

Term Offered: Fall, Spring

SOC 470 Independent Study
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Minimum of 15 hours of course work completed in the discipline and consent of instructor and division chairperson.

Application must be made and approved by a committee before the student can register for the independent study. Applications may be picked up from sociology faculty.

Term Offered: Fall, Spring

SOC 471 Independent Study
3 Credits

Prerequisites: Minimum of 15 hours of course work completed in the discipline and consent of instructor and division chairperson.

Application must be made and approved by a committee before the student can register for the independent study. Applications may be picked up from sociology faculty.

Term Offered: Fall, Spring

SOC 480 Honors Courses
3 Credits

Juniors and seniors who qualify for Honors Courses are offered the opportunity to study with individual members of the faculty. This is specialized study apart from conventional classroom work. Interested students should contact the sociology faculty for further information.

Term Offered: Fall, Spring

SOC 481 Honors Courses
3 Credits

Juniors and seniors who qualify for Honors Courses are offered the opportunity to study with individual members of the faculty. This is specialized study apart from conventional classroom work. Interested students should contact the sociology faculty for further information.

Term Offered: Fall, Spring