The Professional Foundation Areas
Social workers must demonstrate proficiency and competence in nine professional areas: Professional Values and Ethics, Diversity, Populations at Risk, Social and Economic Justice, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy and Services, Social Work Practice, Research, and Field Practicum.
- Professional Values and Ethics
The BSW has an integral relationship to social work purposes and to the fundamental values, knowledge, and skills of social work. The Code of Ethics guides all practice for professional social workers. Values include the rights of self determination, the dignity and worth of all humans, the uniqueness of individuals, and the rights to resource opportunities. These concepts are infused throughout the entire curriculum.
The social work profession, by virtue of its system of ethics, its traditional value commitments, and its long history of work in the whole range of human services, is committed to preparing students to understand and appreciate cultural and social diversity. Differences and similarities in the experiences, needs, and belief of people is infused throughout all courses and experiences.
- Special Populations
The social work program provides content related to oppression and to the experiences, needs, and responses of people who have been subjected to institutionalized forms of oppression. It also specifically provides content on ethnic minorities of color and women. Content is infused throughout the curriculum.
- Social and Economic Justice
Students develop an understanding of the dynamics and consequences of economic injustice, including all forms of human oppression and discrimination. Theory and practice content presents strategies for achieving social and economic justice and combating cause and effects of oppression.
- Human Behavior in the Social Environment
In keeping with social work’s person-in-environment focus, students need knowledge of individuals as they develop over the life span and have membership in families, groups, organizations, and communities; students need knowledge of the relationships among human biological, social psychological, and cultural systems as they affect and are affected by human behavior. Classes required to meet these needs include: General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Sociology, Social Problems, and Human Biology. The Human Behavior and the Social Environment course integrates these concepts.
- Social Welfare Policy and Services
The major aims of study in this area are to prepare professionals to function as informed and competent practitioners in providing services and as knowledgeable and committed participants in efforts to achieve change in social policies and programs. Students are expected to develop skills in the use and application of scientific knowledge to the analysis and development of social welfare policy and services. They should know the structure of service programs and the history of the organized profession and other social welfare institutions. Social work means to advance the achievement of social work goals and purposes. Courses in the sequence include: Introduction to Social Work, Social Welfare Policy I, and Social Welfare Policy II.
- Social Work Practice
Social work practice embraces multiple methods and models, including generalist practice and a variety of concentrations. Social work practice occurs with individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities. The curriculum content relating to practice must include knowledge base and practice skills. The practice skills taught for use in any practice context and with any size system must reflect an integration of professional purposes, knowledge, and values. A prerequisite to all practice classes is Interviewing Skills. Three practice classes are offered including: Practice I : Individual, Practice II: Groups and Family, and Practice III: Community Organization and Social Change.
Informed criticism and a spirit of inquiry are the basis of scientific thinking and of systematic approaches to the acquisition of knowledge and the application of it to practice. The content on research should impart scientific methods of building knowledge for practice and of evaluating service delivery in all areas of practice. Social Research is offered in the junior year. Research methods are infused throughout all social work courses.
- Field Practicum
The field practicum is an integral part of the curriculum in social work education. It engages the student in supervised direct service activities, providing practical experience in the application of the theory and skills acquired in all the foundation areas. The objective of the practicum is to produce a professionally reflective, self-evaluating, knowledgeable, and developing social worker. The practicum is during both semesters of the senior year or in a summer block. Students begin to prepare for generalist practice by integration of knowledge and skills in this agency experience. Seminars are provided at both levels to promote self-awareness as well as integration of theory and practice.
Presentation College is committed to the total development of the student as reflected in the mission statement. One method to obtain this is to promote a strong liberal arts education.
A liberal arts base must be completed prior to acceptance into the Social Work Program. Liberal arts courses required prior to acceptance within the social work program include: EN113, SP233, EN233, MA243, BI123, RS123, RS273, SO103, PS133, PS153, and HS223. Additional liberal arts courses will compliment the social work courses after acceptance into the Social Work Program.