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The baccalaureate degree with a major in social work prepares students for entry into beginning, generalist, and entry-level professional social work practice. Social workers are employed in a variety of settings such as public and private welfare agencies, mental health centers, health care settings, educational systems, correctional institutions, and business and industry.

The Bachelor of Social Work program is available on the main (Youngstown) campus.  This program is also available in partnership with Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, and Lakeland County Community College in Kirtland, Ohio.  For more specific information pertaining to the BSW program at the partnership sites, visit BSW and MSW Partnership Programs.

The BSW at all sites is accredited by the Council on Social Work education.

Course work at the host community college and combine credits earned with YSU social work courses taught on the site of the respective community college to fulfill requirements for the BSW degree. All YSU instruction is provided by YSU faculty members. Students have access to Ohio LINK online research services, YSU student support, and additional academic support available through the community college.

Learning Outcomes

The student learning outcomes for the major in social work are as follows:

  • Prepare students for beginning, generalist social work practice with a strengths perspective.
  • Provide students with the ability to integrate the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession into competent practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Develop the ability of students to work with a diversity of clients, presenting problems, and social service delivery systems.
  • Facilitate the development of core values and ethics of the social work profession.
  • Prepare students to address issues affecting social and economic justice to include poverty, oppression, racism, and discrimination.
  • Prepare students to sustain their effectiveness by instilling the value of continuing professional growth.

Core Competencies of Social Work Practice

The BSW program at Youngstown State University applies a competency-based curriculum that develops in students core competencies of generalist social work practice as defined by the Council on Social Work Education. Upon graduating from the BSW program students are expected to:

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

Admission Policy

Neither admission to the University nor enrollment in social work courses as a pre-social work major guarantees full admission to the social work program. Full admission to the program is required to become a social work major and to gain access to upper-division social work classes. Pre-social work majors who are not formally admitted to the social work program will be unable to obtain a permit to register for SCWK 3736 Social Work Methods with Individuals and subsequent social work courses for which SCWK 3736 Social Work Methods with Individuals is a prerequisite.

Qualified students who have been convicted of misdemeanor or felony offenses may be admitted to the program. However, field internship opportunities may be restricted due to agency prohibitions pertaining to the engagement of students in agency work in possession of criminal records. Additionally, students should be  aware that state licensure in social work may not be possible for individuals with past convictions. Students with convictions are advised to become informed of requirements pertaining to social work  licensure and possible avenues of appeal as they consider their enrollment in the Bachelor of Social Work program and the limitations prior convictions may impose on their ability to practice the profession of social work.

For more information, visit the Department of Social Work.

Chair

Dennis Morawski, Ph.D., Chair


Professors

Mari L. Alschuler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Andrea Barrick, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Dana Davis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Dennis Morawski, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Joseph L. Mosca, Ph.D., Professor

Stephanie Lyu Rhee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Thelma Silver, Ph.D., Professor


Instructors

Tami W. Holcomb-Hathy, M.S.S.A., Instructor

Julia Kalina-Hammond, M.S.S.A., Instructor

Karla A. Wyant, M.S., Instructor

SCWK 1510    Introduction to Social Work    3 s.h.

An overview of the values, systems, policy, theories and concepts central to the profession of social work. This course will also review roles, licensure requirements and history of the social work profession. This is the first course orienting students to the social work profession.
Prereq.: SOC 1500.

SCWK 2600    Health Issues for Social Work Practice    3 s.h.

Explores impact of physical and biological forces on client issues/needs and importance of understanding these factors for professional social work practice. Emphasis given to biological development across the human lifespan, ecological issues, genetic influences, health concerns.
Prereq.: ENGL 1550 and SCWK 1510.

SCWK 2622    Social Work Processes    3 s.h.

Addresses the full range of communication skills in systems of all sizes for professional social work practice. Includes principles of effective communication, functions and purposes of communication, and the roles of social workers. Thirty clock hours of volunteer engagement required. Three hours lecture.
Prereq.: SCWK 1510.

SCWK 2641    American Social Welfare    3 s.h.

Overview of the history and evolution of social welfare programs and services in America. Emphasis on the identification and interrelationships of social values and structures, political factors, and economic conditions on resource allocation, including meeting the needs of special populations.
Prereq.: SCWK 1510.

SCWK 2642    Human Behavior and the Social Environment for Social Workers 1    3 s.h.

A general social systems approach as a conceptual framework to the understanding of culture and society, communities, organizations, groups, families, and individuals as they develop over the lifespan. Application of theory and research to social work.
Prereq.: SCWK 1510, PSYC 1560.

SCWK 2644    Human Behavior and the Social Environment for Social Workers 2    3 s.h.

An ecosystems perspective in understanding families, groups, organizations and communities. Focus on individuals and their transactions with each other and their environment. Application of theory and research to social work.
Prereq.: SCWK 2642.

SCWK 2695    Applied Social Work    6 s.h.

A practicum in human service agencies for the Social Services Technology major. The student must spend 225 hours in an agency for a total of 6 s.h. credit.
Prereq.: Completion of all courses for admission to the two-year Social Services Technology Internship.

SCWK 3726    Child Welfare and Case Planning    3 s.h.

This course provides the knowledge, concepts, and skills needed for beginning level social work practice in public and child welfare settings. Major focus is on protecting at-risk children by strengthening, supporting and empowering families.
Prereq.: SCWK 1510.

SCWK 3727    Child Welfare Permanency Planning    3 s.h.

Provides the knowledge, concepts, and skills needed for beginning level social work practice in public child welfare settings. Major focus is on the developmental needs and permanency planning associated with at-risk children served by the child welfare system.
Prereq.: SCWK 1510.

SCWK 3728    Social Services for Children    3 s.h.

Social welfare agencies and services developed by communities for the care and training of children. Development of a conceptual framework for understanding the issues, problems, and policies in children's services.
Prereq.: SCWK 2622.

SCWK 3730    Social Services and the Aged    3 s.h.

An empirical and analytical base for understanding the policies, problems, and trends in services for the aged.
Prereq.: SCWK 2622.

SCWK 3731    Social Services and the Disabled    3 s.h.

Problems arising from or related to illness and disability; adjustment of disabled persons. General interventive techniques for working with the disabled; recent research and treatment innovations.
Prereq.: SCWK 2622.

SCWK 3736    Social Work Methods with Individuals    3 s.h.

Overview of generalist practice methods with client systems of varying sizes. In-depth analysis of problem solving strategies and skills in working with individuals. Theory and research relating to practice. Social work purposes, functions, and values are addressed from the systems perspective.
Prereq.: Admission to SCWK Program.

SCWK 3737    Social Work Methods with Groups    3 s.h.

In-depth analysis of problem-solving strategies and skills in working with small groups. Theory and research relating to practice. Social work purpose, functions, and values are addressed for the systems perspective.
Prereq.: SCWK 3736.

SCWK 3738    Social Work Methods with Families    3 s.h.

In-depth analysis of problem-solving strategies and skills in working with families. Theory and research relating to practice. Social work purposes, functions, and values are addressed from the systems perspective.
Prereq.: SCWK 3736.

SCWK 3750    Analysis of Social Work Practice Data    3 s.h.

Techniques of data description and introduction to analytical methods used to evaluate service delivery at all levels of social work practice.
Prereq.: SCWK 2641 and SCWK 2644.

SCWK 3760    Research Methods for Social Workers    3 s.h.

Quantitative and Qualitative research methodologies for building knowledge for social work practice. Systematic evaluation of outcomes, theoretical bases, relevant technological advances, and ethical standards.
Prereq.: SCWK 3750.

SCWK 4825    Field Work in Social Services    6 s.h.

Professionally supervised practice in an approved social agency. The student must complete 225 hours per semester in an agency for each 6 s.h. of credit. Must be taken two consecutive semesters for a total of 12 s.h. CR/NC grade option only.
Prereq.: Admission to Social Work Internship.

SCWK 4826    Integrated Field Work Seminar    3 s.h.

Integration and evaluation of conceptual, affective, and experiential learning achieved from previous social work courses and field-based assignments.
Prereq.: Completion of courses required to enter field work.
Concurrent: SCWK 4825 first enrollment.

SCWK 4827    Integrated Capstone Seminar    3 s.h.

Provides opportunities to synthesize and integrate all the previous coursework from social work education. Includes both theoretical and experiential assignments to assist students with increased self awareness and to prepare them for the transition from college to entry-level generalist practice.
Prereq.: Completion of courses required to enter field work and SCWK 4826.
Concurrent: SCWK 4825 second enrollment.
Gen Ed: Capstone.

SCWK 4860    Seminar Special Topics in Social Work    1-3 s.h.

Study of selected topics in social work theory, methods and research. May be repeated with different topics. l-3 s.h.
Prereq.: Junior standing or permission of instructor.

SCWK 5820    Social Policy    3 s.h.

Review of the programs, structure, and functions of social services including historical development and social, political, and economic issues. Application of scientific method to analyze and develop social work policies designed to achieve social work goals and purposes.
Prereq.: SCWK 2641, POL 1560.

SCWK 5822    Social Work Methods with Organizations and Communities    3 s.h.

In-depth analysis of problem-solving strategies and skills in working with organizations and communities. Theory and research relating to practice. Social work purpose, functions, and values are addressed from the systems perspective.
Prereq.: SCWK 3736.

SCWK 5823    Cultural Diversity in Practice    3 s.h.

Emphasis on understanding the experiences, beliefs, and inherent problems of racial and ethnic minority groups. Focuses also on populations distinguished by socioeconomic status, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and physical or mental disability. Application of theories, differential assessment, and intervention skills necessary for effective social work practice.
Prereq.: SCWK 3736 or permission of instructor.