Social Work Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Mission Statement

Consistent with the mission of the University and EPAS (2015) requirements for the Council on Social Work Education, the Baccalaureate Social Work Program's mission is to prepare students to be competent and effective professionals for entry-level professional generalist practice. As one of two BSW programs in a small state and as part of the Vermont State College system, the Program will prepare many of Vermont's BSW level practitioners.

Students will acquire social work knowledge based on a body of knowledge, values and skills of the profession. They will be prepared and encouraged to provide leadership in the development of service delivery systems that promote human rights, and social and economic justice. Students will reflect the profession's core values of service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry.

Overview

The social work program offers a Baccalaureate of Social Work degree (BSW.SWK). The primary mission of the Castleton University Social Work program is to graduate individuals with a commitment to social change and social justice for vulnerable populations in society. The program's mission includes providing access for Vermont students to a professional education and the preparation of competent professionals to staff social service delivery systems in the State of Vermont. The program goals and student learning outcomes are consistent with the accreditation requirements of the Council on Social Work Education. The program complements and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a professional course of study. The Castleton University Social Work program is designed to provide knowledge, skills and ethics for beginning-level generalist professional practice and the academic preparation for graduate study in social work. Generalist social work practice consists of a common core of knowledge, values, and skills that can be applied across diverse client systems to enhance the social functioning of those systems.

Castleton's BSW graduates are employed in a wide range and variety of agencies and organizations which serve the needs of many different people some of which are: nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, home care agencies, substance abuse programs, mental health services, mental retardation/developmental disabilities services, vocational rehabilitation services, public health agencies, community action agencies, family service agencies, children 38 youth services, family service agencies, aging services, residential treatment programs, child and adult day care centers, domestic violence programs, homeless shelters, criminal justice agencies, schools (elementary and secondary), income maintenance programs, and legal services agencies. The BSW degree also prepares the student for entry into graduate programs. Many Castleton Social Work graduates are granted advanced standing in Master of Social Work programs. Thus, the time to complete the Master of Social Work is shortened by several months.

Competencies and Practice Behaviors

As a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Castleton University program goals and objectives are consistent with the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of that organization.

Competency 1: Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

  • make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context;
  • use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
  • demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication;
  • use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and
  • use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior

Competency 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

  • apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels;
  • present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences; and
  • apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.

Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

  • apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels; and
  • engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 4: Engage In Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

  • use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research;
  • apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings; and
  • use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice

  • Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services;
  • assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services;
  • apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies; and
  • use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies;
  • develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies; and
  • select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies;
  • use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes;
  • negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies; and
  • facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

  • select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes;
  • critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes; and
  • apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Admission to the Social Work Program
  1. During the second semester of the junior year the student must submit a letter of intent to major in social work. This letter must identify why the student has chosen social work as a major and their professional objectives upon graduation. A statement of a student's personal values demonstrating congruency with social work values shall be included in the letter.
  2. In the same semester an interview with program faculty will be scheduled as part of the admission process. This will allow the student to meet program faculty members and the faculty to assess the prospective student's written and communication skills.
  3. Program faculty will conduct a review of the student's academic performance during this semester.
  4. Students must sign a Student/Program Contract, upon acceptance by social work faculty into the social work program during this semester.
  5. Signed Academic Approval form must be submitted to Financial & Registration Services.
Continuation of the Social Work Program

Continuation is determined by continuing progress toward a professional level of performance. In addition to a mastery of knowledge the student must demonstrate the acquisition of professional attitudes, values, and skills and commitment to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Only those students whose academic accomplishments and personal attitudes, skills and values indicate reasonable promise in social work, as can be determined in the university setting, will be recommended for field placements. A minimum grade of "C" in SWK 3010 - Social Work Practice I, SWK 4020 - Social Work Practice II, and SWK 4811 - Field Experience I must be maintained for continuation in the program.

Admission to Field Instruction
  1. Minimum GPA requirement (2.0).
  2. A letter grade of C or better for the practice course SWK 3010.
  3. A signed Student/Program Contract upon acceptance by social work faculty into the social work program.
  4. Completion of all prerequisites and permission of the university field instructor.
  5. Students who are denied admission to field instruction may reapply at a later date. Students who reapply must provide evidence that the reasons for which admission was originally denied have been appropriately remedied.
Termination from the Program for Academic and Non-Academic Reasons

Not every student will necessarily be appropriate for the practice of social work.

  1. Failure to maintain a minimum GPA.
  2. Inadequate interpersonal relationship skills for social work practice.
  3. Inadequate written or verbal communication skills.
  4. Violations of the NASW Code of Ethics.
  5. Unresolved personal issues that impair performance in the classroom or in field instruction.
  6. Lying, cheating, or plagiarizing in course work or field work.
  7. Persistently inadequate performance in field instruction activities as well as failure to accomplish field instruction objectives.
  8. Excessive class or field work absences.
  9. Persistent inability to meet dates on assignments and projects.
  10. Students who are terminated from the program may contest the faculty decision in writing within ten days of such decision to request a meeting with the faculty. If resolution is not made, they may appeal to the Academic Dean of the university who will make the final determination.

Complete the Gen Ed requirements, including:

Code Course Credits

MAT 2021

Statistics I

This course prepares students for quantitative methods in their respective fields. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including estimation, hypothesis testing, linear regression and correlation are covered. Basic tools of descriptive statistics, discrete probability, binomial distribution, normal distribution, t-distribution, estimates and sample sizes, hypothesis testing, elementary correlation and regression, contingency tables are explored. Students utilize graphing calculators and spreadsheet software on a regular basis.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Students must take a math assessment (ACCUPLACER) for placement purposes prior to registration or MAT 1010.

Every semester

3

PSY 1012

Introduction to Psychological Science

A survey of a wide variety of topics studied by psychological scientists. The course objective is to introduce students to the terms, concepts and methods of psychological science.

Restrictions This course is equivalent to Introduction to Psychology; students will not receive credit for both courses.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

SOC 1010

Introduction to Sociology

A systematic introduction to the study of social behavior and social organization. The major conceptual tools of sociology are used to explore the structure, processes, and content of social action; to provide insight into the regularity and diversity of human social behavior.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

BIO 1010

Human Biology and Laboratory

AND EITHER:

A one-semester course intended for non-science majors that provides an overview of human biology. All major organ systems will be covered, with an emphasis on their interactions, their importance in maintaining health, and the effects of disease and injury. May not be taken for biology credit by BS.BIO majors.

Lecture and lab

Restrictions Social Work major or consent of instructor.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, odd years

4

BIO 2011

Human Anatomy and Physiology I

OR BOTH:

An investigation of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease. Topics include: the cell, cellular metabolism, tissues, integument, skeletal system, articulations, and muscular and nervous systems.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Nursing, Physical Education, Natural Science, Psychology or Social Work major or consent of instructor. Previous experience in biology and chemistry (high school or college) is highly recommended.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

BIO 2012

Human Anatomy and Physiology II

A continuation of BIO 2011. Topics include the endocrine, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, urinary and reproductive systems.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: BIO 2011 or consent of instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring

4

And complete the following related courses:

(or equivalents as determined by the program coordinator)

Code Course Credits

SOC 2130

The Community in American Society

OR SSC 1010 - Introduction to the Study of Community 3 cr

Examination of the structure and functions of the community within the framework of the rural-urban continuum. Critical analysis of representative institutions, formal and informal associations, and the impact of change on community organizations.

Fall

3

SOC 3910

Research Methods

Introduction to the basic methods of sociological research design, data collection, the organization and analysis of data, and their interpretation through an actual research project. This course fulfills the Gen Ed computing requirement for Sociology majors.

Prerequisite: Junior majors in SOC, CRJ or acceptance in Social Work program, or consent of instructor.

4

SOC 4020

Sociological Theory

Critical analysis of the development of sociological thought from Comte to the present, with particular emphasis on the theoretical contributions which have been instrumental in the emergence of sociology as and academic discipline.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

3

And complete the following Social Work courses:

Code Course Credits

SWK 1010

Introduction to Human Services

An overview of the organization, values, theories and variety of activities of various human service professions, with specific emphasis on Social Work. Designed to acquaint students with the range of human services and to test interest in a helping career. Social work majors must get a C or better to continue on with social work required courses.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

3

SWK 1810

Early Field

Pre-professional helping experience in local Social Service Program. NOTE: Students with prior human services experience may be exempted from this requirement. See Instructor.

Prerequisite: SWK 1010, or taken concurrently with SWK 1010.

Every Semester

1

SWK 2011

Human Behavior In The Social Environment I

An examination of the life cycle from a perspective of systems analysis. Studies conception to adolescence focusing on the interrelationships among physiological, psychological, social and cultural systems. Specific emphasis is on the social institutions that affect movement of the individual through the life cycle.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010, PSY 1012. BIO 1010 or BIO 2011 prerequisite or concurrent, or permission of the instructor.

Fall

3

SWK 2012

Human Behavior In The Social Environment II

A continuation of SWK 2011 covering the stages of the life cycle from adolescence through death. In addition, an understanding of the behavioral dynamics of large systems is developed and applied to practical situations.

Prerequisite: SWK 2011 or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

SWK 2040

Discrimination in American Society

An understanding of the dynamics and American history of prejudice and discrimination in relation to racial and ethnic minorities, women and the aged is developed. Special emphasis placed on issues relevant to Social Welfare.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

SWK 2140

Substance Abuse and Addiction Studies

This course is an exploration of the biopsychosocial issues surrounding substance use, abuse, and addiction, including behavioral addictions such as gambling, gaming, rage, etc. Students will explore current pharmacological, behavioral, and social treatment options for behavioral addiction and substance use disorders. Costs of addiction will be assessed, including economic, legal, individual, family, and health care. Students will review screening tools currently being used in the field to better understand the signs and symptoms of addiction, including the DSM-V diagnostic criteria. Addiction recovery policies, laws, and ethics will be analyzed, with a focus on prevention, treatment, and community supports for youth, families, and adults.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fall

3

SWK 3010

Social Work Practice I

The process of social work intervention, including professional values and roles and the development of practice skills. Required of students in the Social Work Program.

Prerequisite: SWK 1810 and SWK 2011, or consent of instructor

Spring

3

SWK 3020

History And Philosophy Of Social Work

Provides a theoretical model of professionalization for analyzing social work’s historical development. Examines how social work moved from its original altruism to become identified with case work rather than social reform. A critical review of issues central to social policy and social services.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010, SWK 1010, SWK 2011; taken concurrently with SWK 3010 except with consent of instructor.

Spring

3

SWK 4010

Social Welfare Policies, Programs and Issues

A critical theoretical approach to social policy development and analysis. Examination of the adequacy of current social welfare programs and services. Emphasis will be placed on value choices, politics, and praxis in the development and implementation of social welfare policy as a response to social problems in American society.

Prerequisite: SWK 2040, SWK 3020.

Fall

3

SWK 4020

Social Work Practice II

An in-depth study of the beginning and middle phases of the helping process with focus on engagement, assessment, interviewing, and communication skills in work with micro, mezzo, and macro client systems. Theoretical concepts are applied to practice situations and methods for evaluation of practice are explored.

Prerequisite: "C" or better in SWK 3010 and SWK 3020.

Fall

3

SWK 4030

Social Work Practice III

Application of professional ethics, knowledge, methods, strategies, and skills in practice with client systems of differing size, complexity, and problem manifestation. Emphasis is placed upon the termination of intervention, student self evaluation, and the demands of different practice settings.

Prerequisite: “C” or better in SWK 4020 and SWK 4811. Taken concurrently with SWK 4812.

Spring

3

SWK 4720

Social Work Capstone Seminar

This is the final culminating course in the Social Work education experience which integrates material from the whole of the social work curriculum as students prepare to enter practice or graduate school.

Prerequisite: SWK 4020 and SWK 4811. Must be taken concurrently with SWK 4030 and SWK 4812.

Spring

3

SWK 4811

Field Experience I

Field instruction in area social agencies offering opportunities to acquire skill in social work practice. Course requires two full days per week in the field. Social Work agreement must be signed prior to taking this course, see Social Work Program Handbook for eligibility.

Prerequisite: "C" or better in SWK 3010

Fall

6

SWK 4812

Field Experience II

A continuation of SWK 4811.

Prerequisite: "C" or better in SWK 4020 and SWK 4811.

Spring

6

Note:

  • SWK 4811 and SWK 4812 must be taken consecutively during the same academic year.
  • SWK 4020 and SWK 4811 must be taken concurrently.
  • SWK 4030 and SWK 4812 must be taken concurrently.
  • SWK 1810 is required of students with no prior human services experience.
  • In the spring semester of the junior year, students sign an agreement that stipulates expectations and conditions for continuance in the program. In addition to academic requirements, students must demonstrate professionally appropriate skills, attitudes, and values as a condition of remaining in the program.

Recommended but not required:

Code Course Credits

ANT 1010

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

An analysis of the origin and bases of culture. Its major components: cultural variation, cultural evolution, and cultural adaptation. Analysis of selected cultures as case studies.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

CRJ 1010

Introduction to Criminal Justice

An overview of the American criminal justice system, tracing its history and development and assessing its strengths and weaknesses. Roles of the agencies that comprise the criminal justice system (representing law enforcement, courts, and corrections) are examined.

This course counts towards the Social & Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

CRJ 3160

Juvenile Justice

An examination of the procedures used in dealing with juveniles who come into conflict with the law. Course includes critical appraisal of the history and role of the juvenile courts and assessment of correctional strategies currently in use to treat juvenile offenders.

Prerequisite: CRJ 1010, junior standing, or consent of instructor.

Spring

3

ECO 1010

Economics and Society

An introductory course focused upon the evolution of western market systems. We start with the nature of the local economy in the middle ages. From those origins in feudal society sprang mercantilism and ultimately capitalism. What facets of early trading systems survive; what were jettisoned? How has the evolved system acted upon the wider socio-political realm and in turn been shaped by the political choices history throws up?

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

PSY 2040

Social Psychology

Scientific study of interpersonal behavior. Topics typically discussed are attitude change and social influence, aggression and violence, impression formation, group processes, conformity and attraction.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

SOC 1030

Social Problems

An examination of such problems as population, pollution, poverty, crime, and racism as they exist in contemporary American society.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3