Social Work

Patti Ivry, Chair
ivryp@wcsu.edu
White Hall 101, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8408
(203) 837-8945 (fax)

Katie Koulogianis, Department Secretary
koulogianisk@wcsu.edu
White Hall 101, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8410
(203) 837-8945 (fax)

Faculty

P. Ivry, Chair D. Harris
K. Hinga R. Wade-Rancourt
S. Young (Field Coordinator)  

Adjunct Faculty

E. Brescia S. Boyle M. Conderino
M. Currie H. Millner S. Shaughnessy
R. Steinberg    

Overview

The Department of Social Work provides a competency-based generalist baccalaureate social work education which meets or exceeds the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Standards of Accreditation and whose curriculum is in keeping with CSWE’s educational policy and standards. The degree awarded by Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) is a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, recognized nationally as a BSW (bachelor degree in social work, accredited).

Graduates and students may be eligible for advanced standing in graduate schools for a master’s degree in social work, and students may be eligible for student membership in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and nomination to Phi Alpha Honor Society.

Mission

The Mission of the Department of Social Work is to prepare competent and effective generalist social work professionals to practice in a manner consistent with the purposes and values of the profession, to enhance human and community well being, and to value the dignity and worth of all persons. Based on the knowledge, values, and skills of the profession, the department provides students with significant opportunities to connect with faculty, students, and community, and exposes students to a world view that leads to a commitment to service, human rights, and social and economic justice. The department strives to serve as an accessible, responsive and creative intellectual resource for the people and institutions of Connecticut.

Goals

To prepare students:

  • to be competent and effective generalist entry-level social work professionals
  • to develop a professional identity grounded in social work values
  • to understand and value human relationships
  • for professional practice with a commitment to social work values and with integrity
  • to use conceptual frameworks and scientific inquiry to guide practice
  • to advance human rights and social and economic justice through proactive civil engagement in a diverse world
  • to promote positive changes in service delivery
  • to become leaders in developing and delivering human services
  • for advanced study.

Admission Requirements

Any student admitted to WCSU may declare social work as a major and enroll in social work 200-level courses, as long as course prerequisites are met. Social work majors must earn at least a “C+” in all designated major courses to have the course credit apply to the degree program.

In order for social work majors to be admitted to Junior and Senior-level courses, additional academic requirements must be met (see the section,“Social Work Program Requirements”). Students must apply for junior and senior program status following a group advisement session (for potential Juniors in late fall preceding the registration period for spring semester; for potential Seniors in spring semester of the junior year).

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN SOCIAL WORK (B.A.)
Requirements

A Bachelor of Arts in Social Work is comprised of general education requirements and specific major requirements (pre-practice and practice courses). The required curriculum plan is:

Specified General Education Courses:
Writing Intensive course (W)
COM 160, 161, 162, or 163
PSY 100
A PSY 200 level (see list under sophomore year)
ANT 100
ECO 100 or 207
MAT 110 or 120
BIO 100 or BIO 132
Foreign Language Requirement

Pre-practice Courses:
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
PS 102 American Government
SW 200 Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare Services
SW 210 Social Welfare as an Institution
SW 215 Human Behavior & Social Environment
SW 220 Cultural Diversity
SW 300 Social Work Research

Practice Courses:
SW 306 Junior Field Practicum and Seminar
SW 309 Social Work Practice I
SW 310 Social Work Practice II
SW 311 Social Work Practice III
SW 315 Community Organizing Project I
SW 316 Community Organizing Project II
SW 320 Social Work Senior Field Practicum & Seminar
SW 321 Social Work Senior Field Practicum & Seminar
SW 325 Senior Seminar on Social Policies & Issues
SW 350 Senior Integrative Seminar

The suggested course sequence is outlined below. General education requirements should be taken during the freshman year and sophomore year. Social work pre-practice courses should be taken in the recommended sequence. Some have specified prerequisites; please see course listings. Social work practice courses and the field components must be taken in the sequence specified.

Freshman Year
Fall Semester
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
Foreign Language I

Spring Semester
COM 160, 161, 162, or 163
ANT 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Writing Intensive course (W)
Foreign Language II

Sophomore Year
Fall Semester
SW 200 Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare Services
*Select one of the 200 level PSY courses listed below:

*PSY 210 Child Psychology or
*PSY 202 Abnormal Psychology or
*PSY 211 Adolescent Psychology or
*PSY 215 Psychology of Personality or
*PSY 222 The Adult Years
BIO 100 Concepts of Biology or BIO 132 Human Biology

Spring Semester
PS 102 American Government
ECO 100 Principles of Macroeconomics
or
ECO 207 Contemporary Domestic Economic Issues
SW 210 Social Welfare as an Institution
Complete university math requirement

Junior Year
Fall Semester
SW 215 Human Behavior & the Social Environment
MAT 120 Elementary Statistics
or
MAT 110 Great Ideas in Mathematics
SW 220 Cultural Diversity

Spring Semester
SW 300 Social Work Research
SW 306 Junior Field Practicum and Seminar
SW 309 Social Work Practice I
SW 306 and 309 must be taken concurrently. They are offered in the spring semester.

Senior Year
Fall Semester
SW 310 Social Work Practice II
SW 315 Community Organizing Project I
SW 320 Social Work Senior Field Practicum & Seminar
SW 325 Senior Seminar on Policy and Issues
SW 310, 315, and 320 must be taken concurrently.
They are offered in the fall semester.

Spring Semester
SW 311 Social Work Practice III
SW 316 Community Organizing Project II
SW 321 Social Work Senior Field Practicum & Seminar
SW 350 Senior Integrative Seminar
SW 311, 316 and 321 must be taken concurrently. They are offered in the spring semester. SW 350 is taken in the final semester of the major.

Note: Students must provide their own transportation to field facilities during field practicums (SW 200, SW 306, SW 320, SW 321).

Learning Outcomes

Social Work students’ competency-based learning outcomes are measured across ten competency areas as specified by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Standards of Accreditation and Educational Policy Standards (EPAS).  A detailed description of EPAS and results of the annual assessment of students’ learning outcomes are available at www.wcsu.edu/sw and at www.wcsu.edu/se/assessment.asp

Competency 1—Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself
Competency 2—Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
Competency 3—Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
Competency 4—Engage diversity and difference in practice.
Competency 5—Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
Competency 6—Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
Competency 7—Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
Competency 8—Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
Competency 9—Respond to contexts that shape practice.
Competency 10(a)–(d)—Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social Work Program Requirements

1. A student must have earned at least a “C+” in courses which fulfill the 53 semester hours of major requirements as well as PSY 100, and at least a “C” grade in these required general education courses: writing-intensive course (W); COM 160, 161, 162, or 163; PSY 202, 210, 211, 215, or 222.

2. A student who receives a grade lower than a “C+” or “C” in any one of the courses detailed in item 1 above prior to admission to junior year standing may retake the course ONCE and seek admission, providing, in the judgment of the Social Work faculty, that the student meets all other criteria for admission.

3. A student who receives a grade lower than a “C+” or a “C” in any one of the courses detailed in item 1 above prior to admission to the senior year may retake the course ONCE, and has to do so during the spring semester or summer term preceding the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year. Otherwise the student’s admission to the senior year will be deferred until the fall semester of the next academic year.

4. Admission to Junior Year Standing:

Completion of an application during the fall semester of junior year is required for admission to junior year standing. Criteria for acceptance are that the applicant:

a. Be a matriculated student with a minimum overall cumulative University grade point average of 2.5.

b. On time submission of complete application for Junior standing; no late or incomplete applications will be accepted; due date set each fall semester in coordination with the University Calendar.

c. Has completed all the prerequisites and required first year and sophomore year courses without any outstanding incompletes.

d. Has successfully completed SOC 100, SW 200, & PSY 100 and at least two other Social Work major requirement courses that begin with SW (e.g., SW 210, 215, 220, 300) with a grade of “C+” or better.

e. Will complete foundation courses concurrently with junior practice and field courses.

f. Has attained a minimum of a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 in the Social Work major requirements with no grade lower than a “C+”.

g. Has completed a personal interview with the department chair or designee.

h. Has demonstrated continued evidence of communication skills, through the application process and in course work.

i. Has demonstrated evidence of meeting behavioral expectations (see SW Department Student Handbook) and a commitment to the profession of social work.

j. TRANSFER STUDENTS:

1. Transfer students who are Social Work majors must enroll early enough in the spring semester prior to junior year to meet the requirements for junior standing generally, and to secure enrollment in those courses specified in section 4.d above specifically.

2. Transfer student grades from previous colleges or universities that serve as equivalents for SW major requirement will be calculated when determining the GPA for Social Work major requirements.

3. Transfer students are required to interview with the department chair to arrange for meeting the above criteria.

k. Note: The Junior standing class is limited to 36 Social Work majors. In the event that applications that meet minimum requirements exceed 36 majors, the 36 students with the top GPAs in Social Work Major Requirements will be given first preference, with university GPA serving as Social Work GPA tiebreaker.

5. Admission to Senior Year Standing:

Completion of an application during the spring semester of junior year is required for admission to senior year standing. Criteria for acceptance are that the applicant:

a. Is a matriculated student with a minimum overall cumulative university grade point average of 2.5.

b. On time submission of complete application for Senior standing: no late or incomplete applications will be accepted; due date set each spring semester in coordination with the University Calendar.

c. Has completed the required foundation and junior year practice and field-related courses, PS 102, ECO 100 or 207, and has no outstanding incompletes.

d. Has attained a minimum of a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 in the major requirements, with no grade lower than a “C+.”

e. Has completed a personal interview with a department chair or designee.

f. Has demonstrated continued evidence of communication skills, of meeting the program’s learning objectives and behavioral expectations, and shows a commitment to the social work profession (See SW Department Student Handbook).

6. Students must maintain all of the above standards to continue into spring semester senior year.

7. A student who does not receive a “C+” or better in a required major course in fall semester senior year will not be permitted to begin spring semester senior year.

8. No credit is given for life experience at any level of the program.

9. Students must have sufficient weekday hours free (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to meet the requirements of each of the two field experiences:

 SW 306 Social Work Field Practicum and Seminar — 104 hrs over 13 weeks (8 hrs per week);
SW 320-321 Social Work Field Practicum and Seminar — 208 hrs each semester (16 hrs per week);
The SW 306 and SW 320-321 field practica are on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Termination Policy

Termination from the department by the chair may occur when a student fails to maintain the academic standards of the university and department (see this catalog, “Good Standing;” WCSU Student Handbook, “Student Rights and Responsibilities;” Social Work Department Student Handbook, “Probationary Status in Department” and “Student Rights and Responsibilities”); and/or when a student in class or the field is considered inappropriate for the profession of social work, based on behavior which is not consistent with the standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior prescribed and proscribed by the NASW Code of Ethics or the stated expectations of the department (see “Student Responsibilities”). In such cases, discussions take place among the student, faculty involved, and department chair. The chair has the authority to make final decisions. Decisions reached are communicated in writing by the chair to the student in a timely fashion. The student may appeal these decisions to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies or employ the university process for “Student Rights and Responsibilities” (WCSU Student Handbook). Termination from the department during the concurrent Junior Practice/Field/Seminar curricula or the concurrent Senior curricula requires the student to withdraw from all SW labeled courses in that concurrent course group.

On occasion, difficulties may arise at the field placement. In these instances the field liaison works with the student and field instructor to resolve these situations. Any one of the three can ask the field coordinator and/or department chair to help resolve matters.

Every effort is made to assess the situation quickly and to establish a plan of action. In the event that the problem cannot be resolved, the field coordinator, in consultation with the field liaison, field instructor and student, will terminate the placement, with the approval of the department chair. Based upon the specifics of the situation the student may: (1) be reassigned to a different field practicum; (2) defer placement for a year or more (with explicit conditions for re-entry established by the department, then assessed at possible re-entry time); (3) be terminated by the chair of the department. Students will be informed in writing of decisions regarding their status and may appeal these decisions to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies.

The university maintains guidelines for student rights and responsibilities and judicial procedures which are clearly articulated in the WCSU Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. The department adheres to these guidelines in all such matters and may establish additional responsibilities based upon professional training criteria.

Examples of Agencies Offering Social Work Junior and Senior Field Placements

Ability Beyond Disability, Bethel
AccessAbility Services (WCSU), Danbury 
Area Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, New Haven
Arms Acres, Carmel, NY
Association of Religious Communities, Danbury
Believe in Me Empowerment Corp., Waterbury 
Bethel Health Care, Bethel
Bridgeport Public Schools, Make the Grade Opportunity School, Bridgeport
Brownstein Jewish Family Services, Southbury 
Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation, New Milford
Catholic Charities of Danbury, Family Services, Danbury 
Catholic Charities, Community Support Program, Bethel
Catholic Charities, Homeless Outreach, Bethel
CHD/Connecticut Outreach/Pilots Program, Danbury
Connecticut Counseling Centers, Danbury
Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Danbury, Waterbury and Torrington
Connecticut Junior Republic, 21st Century Downtown Academy, Waterbury
Danbury Public Schools: Broadview Middle School, Danbury High School, King Street Primary School, Rogers Park Middle School
Danbury Regional Child Advocacy Center, Danbury
Families Network of Western Connecticut, Danbury
Family and Children’s Aid, Extend, Danbury
Family Resource Center at Vogel-Wetmore School, Torrington
Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Wilton
Green Chimneys, Children & Youth Services, Brewster, NY
Green Chimneys, Outreach Center, Brewster, NY
Hancock Hall, Danbury
HARC, Hartford
Headstart of Northern Fairfield County, Danbury
Healing the Children Northeast, Inc, New Milford
Henry Abbot Technical High School, Danbury
Hyde Leadership High School
Jericho Partnership, Inc., Danbury
Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism, Danbury
Laurel Ridge Health Care Center, Ridgefield
Masonicare at Newtown, Newtown
Morris Foundation, Therapeutic Shelter, Waterbury
Newtown High School, Newtown
Pope John Paul II Care and Rehabilitation Center, Danbury
Putnam County Mental Health & Youth Bureau, Brewster, NY
Connecticut Office of the Public Defender, Danbury
New Fairfield Senior Center, New Fairfield
New Opportunities Inc., Waterbury
Regional YMCA/Escape to the Arts, Danbury
Regional Hospice, Healing Hearts, Danbury
Sherman Senior Center and Social Services, Sherman
Southbury Senior Center, Southbury
Stamford Cares, Family Centers, Stamford 
Staywell Health Center, Waterbury
The Bradley Home, Meriden 
The Bridge Fund of Westchester, White Plains, NY
United Way of Western Connecticut, Danbury
Waterbury Youth Services, Waterbury
WCSU Child Care Center, Danbury
WCMHN, Jail Diversion Program, Danbury
Westchester Hispanic Coalition, White Plains, NY 
WCSU Western Connection Program, Danbury
Women’s Resource Center Putnam/North Westchester, Carmel, NY

 

 

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