Matthew Ringenberg, Chair
Department Office: Swart 230
Department Telephone: (920) 424-1419
- Undergraduate: The social work course of study will lead to the Bachelor of Social Work degree. The BSW program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.
- Graduate: The Department offers a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW). The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Summary of Fields of Study
1. Department of Social Work Vision, Mission and Goals
- Vision: UW Oshkosh Social Work holds a central belief that its curriculum be guided by the principle of doing what is right and just. We teach students to willingly accept the professional responsibility to act as the “heart and conscience” of the profession, and to advocate on behalf of those who suffer discrimination and oppression.
- Department Goals:
- Actively participate in the community to promote social justice.
- Actively participate as leaders in the profession and sustain commitment to the advancement of social work education.
- Mission of the BSW Program: The BSW Program guides and prepares students to engage in generalist practice social work in both local and global contexts focusing on strengths and skills, social justice values, critical thinking, and is evidence-based.
- BSW Goals:
- Graduate competent (based on CSWE Foundation Competencies and Practice Behaviors) BSW level social work professionals.
- Prepare graduates for entry-level employment in generalist social work practice positions.
- Prepare students for entry into graduate school and stimulate engagement in regional professional development activities.
- Prepare students for state/national examination for certification as entry-level social workers.
2. The Major
- The Department offers a baccalaureate of Social Work degree (Bachelor of Social Work), which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares students for beginning level social work practice. Students may declare a Pre-Social Work major in the UARC. Students must complete the Pre-Social Work course requirements (see below). The application for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Degree (BSW) is a two-tiered admissions process, consisting of an initial application for admission to the BSW, which occurs in the spring semester of the sophomore year, followed by application for admission the the Field Internship, which occurs in the spring semester of the junior year.
3. The Minor
To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work degree, students must meet the following Pre-Social Work requirements:
- Successfully complete the University Studies Program (USP).
- Political Science 105 American Politics and Government.
- Statistics: 3 credits from the following: Math 109, 201, 301; PBIS 189: Criminal Justice 281; Economics 210; Geography 385; Psychology 203, 341; Sociology 281.
- Any of the following three credit Interpersonal Skills courses: Social Work 298, Comm 213, or Comm 214.
- Any of the following three credit Human Life Span Development courses: Social Work 220, Nursing 200, Educational Foundations 235, or Psychology 391.
- Prepare a plan for completion of remaining credits required for graduation.
- Provide documentation of professional commitment to Social Work and volunteer participation.
- Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of a 2.5 based on the credits outlined above in #1-4. Earn a minimum of a grade of “C” in the courses outlined above in #5, and a minimum of 2.75 GPA in these classes.
- Document understanding and acceptance of ethical standards and demonstration of ethical conduct expected of social work professionals as stipulated by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (2008).
- The BSW Admissions Committee may make exceptions to these standards, only upon submission of documented evidence by the applicant, which offers a convincing record of merit for reconsideration.
To be eligible for graduation with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, students must fulfill four additional expectations:
- Meet remaining course requirements.*
- Maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA in social work courses, with grades of “C” or better. The 2.75 GPA is to be calculated using all department courses.
Note: If a Social Work student does not earn a “C” or above in a required Social Work class after two attempts, they must appeal to repeat the course for the third time to the Retention and Continuation Review Committee. The burden of proof is upon the student to demonstrate that their lack of success is due to exceptional circumstances.
- Be admitted to the Applied Generalist Practicum (Social Work 401).
- Successfully complete the Applied Generalist Practicum (Social Work 451).
- *Transfer students please note that this may require a completion time beyond four years.
Required Core Courses
See section following for courses required.
The Major(s), with Emphases and/or Options
Recommended for students who wish to qualify for state certification as a beginning level social worker or for entry into graduate schools of social work with advanced standing.
- Required Credits: 56 minimum
- Required Social Work Courses:
- Social Work: Social Work 167, 305, 310, 376, 377, 378, 379, 401, 410, 451
- Complete one three credit life-span development course from the following list:
- Social Work 220
- Nursing 200
- Educational Foundations 235
- Psychology 391
- Complete one three credit interpersonal skills course from the following list:
- Social Work 298
- Communication 213 or 214
- Complete one three credit research method course from the following list:
- Social Work 340
- Psychology 275
- Criminal Justice 343
- Complete one three credit social justice course at the 300 level or higher from the following list:
- Social Work 315
- 300 level approved Social Justice course
- Complete one three credit policy course from the following list:
- Social Work 468
- Political Science 321 or 394
- Additional Required Courses:
- Political Science: Political Science 105 or 106
- Statistics: One course from the following: Mathematics 109, 201, 301; Criminal Justice 281; Economics 210; Psychology 203 or Sociology 281.
- History: History 201, History 202, History 326, History 361, History 363, History 368, or History 385.
|Social Work 167||3 (crs.)|
|Introduction to Social Work (ES)|
|General survey course with an introduction to history, knowledge, values, and skills of the profession. Designed for Pre-Social Work majors, people working in related fields, and students undecided about a major. Informed sensitivity to all aspects of human diversity is emphasized, along with the importance of social work’s responsibility to act as advocates on behalf of those who suffer discrimination, devaluing and oppression. Prerequisite: Declared Pre-Social Work Major or consent of department or AAS FOX/FDL degree seeking students.|
|Social Work 220||3 (crs.)|
|Family Life Cycle Transitions|
|Examination of theories and models of human development depicting the dynamics of family life, with special emphasis on the family life cycle. Incorporates a generalist approach to understanding the diverse nature of family structures, how families and family members adjust to and confront change, and how the family matriculates through personal and family traumas and dilemmas related to childhood, adolescence, employment, marriage, parenthood, aging and retirement. Attention also given to impact of cultural diversity on societal/family/environment interactions. Prerequisite: Declared Pre-Social Work major and Social Work 167.|
|Social Work 268Q3||3 (crs.)|
|Social Welfare Institutions: Communities in Need (XS)|
|Students will study the history of the American social welfare system and its current application locally and nationally. The course emphasizes a critical approach toward understanding social welfare institutions, and highlights social work’s role in civic engagement in an effort to humanize these institutions and promote social justice. Prerequisites: Completion of Quest I and Quest II courses.|
|Social Work 298||3 (crs.)|
|Interpersonal Skills in Social Work|
|Introduction to theoretical models relating to basic interpersonal helping skills and the opportunity to practice and refine these skills, including self awareness, effective communication, assertive behavior, and skills for effective teamwork in organizational environments as well as for working with individuals and families. Attention to multi-cultural aspects of human relations skills as well as opportunities for role play and practice of effective problem solving. Prerequisite: Declared Pre-Social Work major and Social Work 167.|
|Social Work 305||3 (crs.)|
|Social Work Ethics in a Diverse Society|
|Introduces the student to the framework of ethics in a diverse society for generalist practice, focusing in particular on women’s issues. To clarify ethical issues, social workers will need to use ethical concepts paired with social work knowledge, skills and values, when dealing with populations at risk. This course presents the student with basic philosophical theories and moral and ethical decision making models to prepare the student to fully understand the logic systems of the client as well as one’s own values and behaviors. Cross-listed: Social Work 305/Women’s and Gender Studies 305. Students may receive credit for only one of the two cross-listed courses. Prerequisites: Declared Pre-Social Work Major or Admission to the BSW program, or Women’s and Gender Studies student OR consent of instructor.|
|Social Work 310||3 (crs.)|
|Teamwork and Inter-professional Practice|
|Inter-professional education (IPE) incorporates various professional disciplines that learn and work together using team-based approaches in client service delivery processes. The contributions from inter-professional collaboration results in higher quality service delivery to populations served by social service providers. This course provides an introduction to inter-professional practice, the strengths and challenges of an inter-professional approach, and promulgates and understanding of how professional practice outcomes can be improved through evidence-based inter-professional practice. Prerequisites: Admission to the BSW Program.|
|Social Work 333||3 (crs.)|
|Examines the cultural and structural aspects of poverty and their impact on populations-at risk. Explores the particularly damaging effects of poverty on women, children, and persons of color. Encourages exploration of societal and social welfare policies and practices which contribute to or reinforce impoverishment. Also encourages exploration of the need for practitioners to become more aware of and sensitive to the effects of poverty on human behavior and to examine how professionals in social welfare organizations relate to impoverished and oppressed persons.|
|Social Work 340||3 (crs.)|
|Research and Evaluation|
|This course introduces Generalist Practice social work students to research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Students learn about evidence-based social work practice (EBP), and how to identify and apply EBP in a social service practice setting. This course will facilitate understanding of theories of change, application of critical thinking skills and offer opportunities to practice effective written and verbal communication skills. Students will understand how research informs and improves social work practice, policy and service delivery. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree Program or instructor permission.|
|Social Work 368||3 (crs.)|
|Social Welfare Institutions|
|Study of factors which have historically shaped the development of social welfare with the goal of understanding its impact on populations-at-risk and how it is influenced by the dynamics and consequences of social and economic injustice, including all forms of human oppression and discrimination. It includes a critical approach for examining the social work profession’s role as a humanizing and consciousness-raising force in affecting change. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree. Concurrent enrollment: Social Work 340, 378 and 379. Prerequisites: Social Work 376, 377 and 395.|
|Social Work 371||3 (crs.)|
|Child and Family Welfare|
|Examines the historical trends in services to children and their families within the framework of supportive, supplemental, and substitute services which have evolved over time as part of the service structure in child welfare. While recognizing the impact of impoverishment, changing family structures, and other aspects of pressures on contemporary parenting, attention is given to resiliency forces and practitioner approaches which encourage parenting strengths and home-based intervention options as preventive strategies in child welfare services.|
|Social Work 375||3 (crs.)|
|Treatment and Mistreatment of Offenders|
|Examines the application of generalist social work practice within the criminal justice system focusing on the change agent role in working with juvenile and adult offenders in both community-based corrections and institutional settings. Prepares social workers for an understanding of correctional models and their inherent values, bio-psycho-social theories of crime causation and develops assessment and intervention skills within a generalist framework.|
|Social Work 376||3 (crs.)|
|Engagement and Assessment in Social Work Practice|
|This course focuses on integration of theories and models for assessing and engaging in the professional helping relationship with individuals, families, and groups. Students will learn about generalist social work practice from a strengths-based perspective utilizing standardized tools in the engagement and assessment in working with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Students will learn to evaluate individuals, families, groups, and communities from a theoretical perspective utilizing knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, as well as other theories related to social work. Students will practice effective communication, assertive behavior, and interpersonal skills for effective teamwork in organizational environments as well as working with individuals and families. Students will pay attention to multi-cultural aspects of human relationship skills as well as opportunities for role play wand practice of effective problem solving. Prerequisite: Declared Pre-Social Work Major OR Admission to BSW program OR instructor consent. Special fees may apply.|
|Social Work 377||3 (crs.)|
|Generalist Practice I Interviewing Lab|
|Generalist focused interviewing skills laboratory for use in micro, mezzo, and macro systems. To be taken concurrently with the Practice I and Human Behavior in the Social Environment courses. Offers intensive development of active listening and interviewing skills in conjunction with the application of theoretical content for assessment, intervention, and evaluation activities in practice. Prerequisites: Declared Pre-Social Work Major OR Admission to BSW program or consent of instructor.|
|Social Work 378||3 (crs.)|
|Interventions and Evidence-Based Practice with Individuals and Families|
|This course introduces Generalist Practice social work students to building a solid foundation in their development of interventions, rooted in Evidence-Based Practice (EBP), with emphasis on working with individuals and families. This course explores interventions and evidence based practice theories and models, appraises current research in EBP, and builds a working knowledge of direct and indirect interventions geared towards diverse individuals and families. Students will acquire skills needed to identify, assess, implement, and evaluate interventions, with emphasis on themes of critical thinking, advocacy, ethics, cultural diversity and social justice. Prerequisites: Admission to the BSW Degree Program. Special fees may apply.|
|Social Work 379||3 (crs.)|
|Interventions and Evidence-Based Practice in Macro Practice Settings|
|This course prepares social work students to practice with competence in large groups, organizations and communities. Students learn the theoretical foundations of evidence-based interventions, and learn to apply this knowledge in practice through classroom and community-based simulations and activities. Students will practice collaboration, teamwork, negotiation, and advocacy skills in order to improve client outcomes. This course will prepare students to evaluate client goal achievement and foster development of keen observation skills. Students will reflect on their knowledge, values and practice skills in order to prepare to apply these dimensions of learning to the grand challenges of social work practice. Prerequisite: Admission to BSW Degree Program or instructor permission.|
|Social Work 401||6 (crs.)|
|Applied Generalist Practice I|
|The field practicum component, including 210 hours of educationally supervised generalist practice experience in a social service agency and weekly 2-hour integrative seminar. Involves the application of social work knowledge, values and skills to social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, using appropriate theoretical frameworks and differential professional strategies of change. This course cannot be repeated without a written appeal to the Social Work Admission and Retention Review Committee and acceptance of that Appeal. Prerequisites: Admission to BSW program and completion of SW 379 OR consent of instructor. Special fees may apply.|
|Social Work 410||3 (crs.)|
|Generalist Practice with Groups|
|Examines theories of group behavior and their application within a generalist practice framework with families and people in small groups. Emphasis on understanding group dynamics, phases of group development, group process and behavior, and skill development for working with various types of groups. Prerequisites: Admission to BSW program and completion of SW 379 OR consent of instructor.|
|Social Work 443||3 (crs.)|
|Family Practice in Systems Perspective|
|Application of family theory and current research findings to social work practice within families. Topics to include role theory, communications theory, and major systems-oriented theories and techniques of family counseling and intervention. The family as a small problem-solving group. Prerequisite: Social Work 220 or consent of instructor.|
|Social Work 446||1 – 3 (crs.)|
|See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.|
|Social Work 451||6 (crs.)|
|Applied Generalist Practice II|
|Building on the competencies acquired in Social Work 401, this second term generalist practice experience includes 210 hours of supervised practice in a social work agency and weekly 2-hour integrative seminar. Focuses on continuing enhancement of theory-guided generalist practice with all systems sizes, effective identification and resolution of ethical dilemmas, and increased autonomy of functioning. Prerequisites: Admission to the BSW program and completion of SW 401, OR consent of instructor.|
|Social Work 456||1 – 3 (crs.)|
|See Related Readings under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.|
|Social Work 468||3 (crs.)|
|Social Welfare Policy|
|This course prepares students to act as policy advocators, apply social work values and ethics to public policy analysis and implementation, to employ critical thinking skills to analyze policy practice, to advance policies that are socially just and to promote policies that facilitate the well-being of social service recipients. Social Welfare policy is viewed within the context of generalist practice and the social worker’s role as a policy advocate and partner at all levels in society. Prerequisites: Admission to the BSW program and completion of SW 401, OR consent of instructor.|
|Social Work 474||3 – 6 (crs.)|
|The Honors Thesis is one of two options offered to Honors students to meet the senior capstone requirement of The Honors College. Students who choose the thesis engage in research as an independent study over two semesters (fall/spring or spring/fall) with the support of a faculty advisor. They decide on a topic in their major or minor, address recent scholarship, develop a prospectus, and produce a substantial work (e.g., a written thesis, scientific experiment or research project, or creative arts exhibit or production). At the end of the term in which the capstone is completed, students give presentations at the Honors Thesis Symposia. Credits are applied to the respective department or unit. Prerequisites: In good standing with The Honors College, prior enrollment in HNRS 175Q and HNRS 275Q, and senior status.|
|Social Work 481||1 – 3 (crs.)|
|Special Topics in Social Work|
|Advanced course to investigate current and future issues in human services delivery systems with emphasis upon selective alternatives in social services. Participants will be provided with an in-depth opportunity to participate in seminars and/or field practice experiences which introduce career-oriented social work students and practicing professionals to innovative social services alternatives. May be repeated with other content for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.|