WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 : School of Professional Studies

Social Work

Karen McLean, Chair
brownk@wcsu.edu
White Hall 101, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8937
(203) 837-8945 (fax)

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


Faculty

K. McLean, Chair D. Harris
A. Moreira, Field Coordinator R. Wade-Rancourt
S. Young


Adjunct Faculty

S. Boyle J. Huber D. Hugley
C. Grijalba-Rodriguez N. Miller

 

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 Department of Social Work at Western Connecticut State University prepares highly competent generalist social workers to practice as professionals and leaders in a manner consistent with the purposes and values of the profession. The Department builds upon a liberal arts education by creating opportunities for internships, research, and experiential learning that ignite a desire for life-long learning.


Goals

To achieve this, the Department prepares students to:

    • Promote individual, family, and community well-being, human rights, and social, economic, and environmental justice.
    • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior as informed by the values, principles, and standards as outlined in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.
    • Understand the importance of diversity and intersectionality in shaping life experiences on the micro, mezzo, macro level and challenge systemic mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
    • Integrate research-based practice and use practice to inform scholarship.
    • View social welfare policy with a critical lens and enact policy and advocacy initiatives on a local, national, and global scale.
    • Utilize the social work process of engaging, assessing, intervening, and evaluating individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.


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.

Competency 1—Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
Competency 2—Engage diversity and difference in practice.
Competency 3—Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
Competency 4—Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
Competency 5—Engage in policy practice.
Competency 6—Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
Competency 7—Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
Competency 8—Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
Competency 9—Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.


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).

 

Degree Programs in Social Work

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work


BA Social Work (BSW) 

Description 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. 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. 

Degree Requirements 

All degrees at WCSU require 120 semester hours (SH). This includes major requirements, general education requirements, cognates (where applicable), and free electives. This structure provides room for minors, internships, and study abroad.   

Required Courses in the Major: 57 SH.  

PS 102 American Government (CT)  3 SH 
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology  3 SH 
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (CT, IC)   3 SH 
SW 200 Intro to Social Work & Social Welfare Services (W2) Pre-req SOC 100 C+  3 SH 
SW 210 Social Welfare as an Institution (CT)  3 SH 
SW 215 Human Behavior & Social Environment Pre-req BIO 100 or BIO 132 C+  3 SH 
SW 220 Cultural Diversity (IC) Pre-req SOC 100 C+  3 SH 
SW 300 Social Work Research (IL, SI) Pre-Req SW200, MAT 100 or higher  3 SH 
SW 306 Social Work Junior Seminar Co-req SW 310  3 SH 
SW 309 Social Work Practice I SOC 200, PSY 100, SOC 100 all C+  3 SH 
SW 310 Social Work Practice II Co-req SW 306  3 SH 
SW 311 Social Work Practice III Co-req SW320 and SW325  3 SH 
SW 312 Social Work Practice IV Co-req SW 321 and SW 400  3 SH 
SW 320 Social Work Senior Field Practicum & Seminar I Pre-Req SW 306 C+; Co-Req SW 311 & SW 325  3 SH 
SW 321 SW Senior Field Practicum & Seminar II Co-Req SW 312 & SW 400  6 SH 
SW 325 Senior Seminar on Policy & Issues Co-Req SW 311 & 320  2 SH 
SW 400 Senior Integrative Seminar (CE, W3) Co-Requisite SW 312 and 321  3 SH 
Cognates 
MAT 110 Great Ideas OR MAT 120 Elementary Statistics (QR)  3 SH 
BIO 100 Concepts in Bio OR BIO 132 Human Biology (SI) C+ or higher  4 SH 
ANT 100 Intro to Anthropology (IC)  3 SH 
PSY Elective 200-level or higher  3 SH 
Minimum GPA for the BA Social Work = 2.33 overall. 


General Education
: All students must complete the General Education curriculum. General Education Requirements include both competency and breadth requirements. In some cases, major courses will satisfy competencies. These are indicated in the parentheses after the course title. For a complete description of the General Education program, follow this link. https://catalogs.wcsu.edu/ugrad/academic-programs-degrees/ 

Cognates: In some programs there are courses outside of the major that are required as pre-requisites or enhancements to the major course work. These courses may satisfy competencies and they will count toward the general education breadth requirement. If cognate courses are required, they are included in the list of courses required in the major.  

Electives: All degrees require 120 semester hours.  Elective credits are opportunities for minors, internships, study abroad, and just following general interests. We encourage all students to speak with their advisors about great opportunities for their elective courses.  


Sample Four Year Plan: BA Social Work

Four-year plans are suggestions. Plans change. Consult your advisor to adjust your plan.  

Semester 1  SH  Semester 2  SH 
First Year Navigation (FY)  1-3  ANT 100 Cultural Anthropology (IC, RPT 1)  3 
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology  3  PS 102 American Government (CT)  3 
WRT 101 Composition I (W1)  3  Gen Ed: Oral Communication (OC)  3 
MAT 100(P) Intermediate Math OR MAT 110 Great Ideas or MAT 120 Statistics (QR)  3  MAT 110 Great Ideas OR MAT 120 Elementary Statistics (QR) OR Gen Ed: Breadth Elective  3 
SOC 100 Intro to Sociology (CT, IC)  3  Gen Ed: Critical Thinking (CT)  3 
Free elective (Only if FY is 1 SH)  3     
       
Semester 3  SH  Semester 4  SH 
SW 200 Intro to Social Work & Social Welfare Services (W2)   3  SW 210 Social Welfare as an Institution (CT, RPT 2)  3 
Gen Ed: Creative Process (CP)  3  BIO 100 or BIO 132 Concepts or Human Biology (SI)  4 
PSY Elective   3  Gen Ed: Health and Wellness (HW)  2 
Gen Ed: Intercultural (Foreign Language if req.)* (IC) OR Gen Ed: Breadth  3  Gen Ed: Intercultural (Foreign Language if req.) * (IC) OR Gen Ed: Breadth  3 
Gen Ed: Information Literacy (IL)  3  Writing Tier 2 (W2)  3 
       
Semester 5  SH  Semester 6  SH 
SW 215 Human Behavior & Social Environment   3  SW 300 Social Work Research (IL, SI)   3 
SW 220 Cultural Diversity (IC)   3  SW 306 Social Work Junior Seminar   3 
SW 309 Social Work Practice I  3  SW 310 Social Work Practice II  3 
Gen Ed: Repeat Competency 3  3  Gen Ed: Breadth  3 
Gen Ed: Breadth  3  Free Elective  3 
Free Elective  3  Free Elective  3 
       
Semester 7  SH  Semester 8  SH 
SW 311 Social Work Practice III  3  SW 312 Social Work Practice IV  3 
SW 320 Social Work Senior Field Practicum & Seminar I  6  SW 321 SW Senior Field Practicum & Seminar II (pre-req SW 320)  3 
SW 325 Sr Seminar on Policy & Issues  2  SW 400 Sr Integrative Sem. (CE, W3)   3 
Free Elective  3-4  Free Elective  6 
Total Credits Required for the BA in Social Work = 120; Minimum GPA in Major 2.33 

* The BSW requires that students complete a language at or above the elementary II level. Students who have completed three years of a foreign language at a minimum of a C average in high school have met this requirement.  

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

 

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 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 Professional Level I:

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.

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 number of students accepted to the Junior standing class is limited to the department’s capacity. The students with the top GPAs in Social Work Major Requirements will be given first preference, with university GPA serving as Social Work GPA tiebreaker.

4. SW 306 Social Work Field Practicum and Seminar — 104 hrs over 13 weeks (8 hrs per week). The SW 306 field practicum are on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the seminar is on Mondays and/or Wednesdays.

5. Admission to Professional Level II:

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 320-321 Social Work Field Practicum and Seminar — 208 hrs each semester (16 hrs per week);
SW 320-321 field practica are on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the seminars are on Mondays and/or Wednesdays.

 

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