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B.A. in Social Work

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  • Objectives
    GOAL I: To prepare students to become competent generalist social work practitioners in a wide range of settings, with emphasis on social justice.
    GOAL II: To prepare students for advanced graduate study in social work.
    GOAL III: To encourage and enable students to assume leadership roles in meeting the social service needs of vulnerable populations.
  • Practical experience
    The Social Work Practicum is an intensive supervised field experience in a selected social work agency. Students spend 16 hours per week for two semesters in the field under the guidance of a university- appointed field instructor. This service/learning experience is supported by a regularly scheduled process seminar that facilitates the integration of social work theory and practice.
  • Course description
    SW 214 Research Methods: Design— 3 cr. hrs.
    Principles and methods of research on human behavior. Scientific method as an approach to problem identification, analysis, and solution. How to evaluate methods and findings. How to design studies relevant to a given problem. (Prerequisite: MTH 161 or permission of instructor. Also listed as PSY 214, SOC 214.)

    SW 275 Urban Plunge—1 cr. hr.
    A 48-hour immersion into the inner city in which students observe and/or work with programs striving to meet the needs of the urban poor. The plunge takes place on two of the first ten days of January prior to the beginning of the spring semester. Three-hour workshop in November prior to the Plunge, two follow-up reflection sessions in January, and a reflection paper. (Also listed as SOC 275.)

    SW 276 Rural Plunge—1 cr. hr.
    Five days living and working with migrant and seasonal workers. After orientation sessions, students will take part in a variety of opportunities including refinishing some of the huts where migrant farm workers will live, serving meals, and bringing food to people in the labor camps. Each evening there will be a reflection session for the participants. Topics include the role and influence of the Church in this area, the problems that “undocumented workers” face, and conflicts between growers and the workers. (Also listed as SOC 276.)

    SW 277 Border Plunge—1 cr. hr.
    A five-day service-immersion program in the U.S.-Mexico border area. Participants will meet with resource persons on both sides of the border to discuss issues of immigration policy, free trade and global economic issues, U.S.-Mexican relations, public health, the environment, and the role of the church in social change. In addition, students will provide service to a neighborhood center in Mexico which supplies daily meals to low-income children and families. Course includes a pre-trip orientation, daily reflection sessions during the program, and a reflection paper. This program will take place during spring break. (Also listed as SOC 277.)

    SW 305 Social Work: Service and Social Justice—3 cr. hrs.
    This course provides students with an introduction to the history and development of professional social work, including basic principles and values, areas of practice, and work opportunities. The course provides an overview of generalist practice as well as social work programs, services, and agencies and their impact on specific populations. The theoretical foundations for work with groups, organizations, and individuals will be examined with an emphasis on exploring the values and belief systems that affect practice in the field. (Prerequisite: PSY 101 and SOC 101 or permission of instructor. Also listed as SJP 305.)

    SW 313 Social Welfare Policy—3 cr. hrs.
    Utilizes a focus on the history and process of social welfare in the United States and other countries to help the students learn how social welfare policy is organized and developed. Students also learn strategies and techniques to analyze current policy and influence future policy. (Prerequisite: SW 305.)

    SW 325 Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competence—3 cr. hrs.
    Course addresses the pluralistic nature of American society and the world through analyses of the social psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Students learn to apply critical thinking to an understanding of cultural differences. The course also covers various theories and strategies of culturally competent social intervention. (Prerequisite: SW 305. Also listed as SOC 325, SJP 325.)

    SW 343 Human Behavior and the Social Environment—3 cr. hrs.
    This course analyzes human behavior in the social environment from a life span developmental approach. The content of this course is designed to increase the student’s potential for effective social work interventions with individuals, groups, families, social systems, and communities. Students will examine the effects of social structures, social policies, and cultural patterns on individuals at all stages of life. Students will study the effects of poverty, gender roles, discrimination, spirituality, and sexual orientation on the human growth and development of individuals from childhood to old age. A systems approach is combined with an ecological perspective to analyze social conditions and to identify problem areas in society. (Prerequisite: SW 305, SW 214. Also listed as SOC 343.)

    SW 355 Gendered Perspectives on the Body and Human Sexuality—3 cr. hrs.
    Provides students with varying perspectives about human sexuality and how body image, body change (i.e., disability, illness, aging) and body variations fit within the context of human sexuality. Students will explore the social construction of gender, body image, and sexuality as well as the consequences that differing meanings of “body” and “sex” can have on individuals in our society. Attention will be given to strategies of interventions with individuals who present with sexual or body image/change issues. (Prerequisite: PSY 101 or SOC 101. Also listed as PSY 355, SOC 355.)

    SW 386 Interviewing and Counseling— 3 cr. hrs.
    The purpose of this course is to learn interviewing and counseling skills that are fundamental to effective social work practice and to other helping professions. Upon completion of this course, students will understand basic theories, concepts, and skills behind relationship building, active listening, and the interviewing process. Students will understand how issues of diversity affect the helping relationship and will be able to apply this knowledge to affect change with various populations, problems, and settings. (Prerequisite: SW 305, SW 214 or permission of instructor.) Fee: $25.

    SW 391-392 Seminars—credit arranged.

    SW 401-402 Internship 1 and II—3 cr. hrs.
    Practical field experience working within a human service organization. Internships are individually arranged and may be done in a wide array of settings. Students will be required to supplement their experience with a classroom seminar. Social work majors may only take one semester of this course.

    SW 405 International Welfare: Health Systems in Mexico—3 cr. hrs.
    Students spend six weeks with a Mexican family while learning advanced Spanish and participating in a health-related social service course in Morelia, Mexico. The focus is on issues impacting the mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of individuals and communities in Mexico and the service systems designed to address these issues. (Prerequisite: Two years of college-level Spanish or equivalent required. Also listed as SOC 405, SPN 405, SJP 405.)

    SW 464 Cultural Variations in Aging— 3 cr. hrs.
    This course considers how culture and life experience influence and shape the aging process. How do different age cohorts position themselves in life and how does that affect the rest of society? Students gain an understanding of key issues in cultural variations in aging and an ability to demonstrate this knowledge of their own lives as well as aging services. (Also listed as SOC 464, PSY 464.)

    SW 480 Theory and Methods of Social Work Practice I—3 cr. hrs.
    This course provides undergraduate students with a base for the application of social work theory in micro practice settings. It offers content on generalist social work practice knowledge, values, and skills as applied to work with individuals, families,and groups. This practice course focuses on essential phases of the problem- solving process that can be utilized with diverse populations across various practice settings. Course also focuses on social work values, ethics, and issues relevant to sensitive social work practice with populations-at-risk. Social work majors only. (Prerequisites: All SW courses (except 482 and 483) all lower division University and CAS requirements. Corequisite: SW 482.)

    SW 481 Theory and Methods of Social Work Practice II—3 cr. hrs.
    This course provides undergraduate students with a base for the application of social work theory in macro practice settings. It offers content on generalist social work practice knowledge, values, and skills as applied to work with groups, organizations, communities, and societies. This practice course focuses on essential phases of the problem-solving process that can be utilized with diverse populations across various practice settings. Course also focuses on social work values, ethics, and issues relevant to sensitive social work practice with populations- at-risk. Social work majors only. (Prerequisites: All SW courses (except 482 and 483) all lower division University and CAS requirements. Corequisite: SW 483.)

    SW 482 Social Work Practicum I—6 cr. hrs.
    Intensive supervised field experience in selected social work agencies. Students spend 16 hours per week in the field. Social work majors only. (Prerequisite: All SW courses except 480 and 481; all lower-division University and CAS requirements. Corequisite: SW 480.)

    SW 483 Social Work Practicum II—6 cr. hrs.
    Intensive supervised field experience in selected social work agencies. Students spend 16 hours per week in the field. Social work majors only. (Prerequisites: All SW courses except 480 and 481; all lower-division University and CAS requirements. Corequisite: SW 481.)

    SW 486 The Mysticism of Resistance: Global Perspectives on Gender, Poverty, and Violence—3 cr. hrs.
    This course is designed to engage students in critical theological reflection rooted in social analysis of women’s experiences of violence and poverty in a context of globalization. Through classroom and experimental learning students will come to understand the feminist paradigm as a model for transformation. (Also listed as PCS 486, THEP 486, SJP 486.)

    SW 490 Directed Study—credit arranged.

    SW 491-492 Seminars—credit arranged.

    SW 494 Research—1-3 cr. hrs.
    Participate directly in the research process with a faculty member. Before enrolling a student must consult with a faculty member to define the project.

    SW 499 Senior Thesis—3-6 cr. hrs.

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