Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Shepherd University Catalog 
2022-2023 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work Comprehensive, B.S.W.

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The Program Mission
The mission of the Shepherd University Social Work Program, in concert with the University mission and the Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (2015), is to prepare competent beginning level professional practitioners who possess the knowledge, skills, values, and ethics necessary to intervene effectively on behalf of diverse clients on all practice levels. Through practitioner preparation, the program enhances the practice community’s ability to both facilitate the social functioning of clients and advance social change. The Social Work Program envisions graduates as regional leaders whose efforts improve the social service delivery system and work toward social and economic justice.

Program Goals

In keeping with our mission to prepare new social work professionals and support the existing professional community, the Shepherd Social Work Program serves as a link and liaison between the professional community and the university. Our goals focus on student learning outcomes to continuously renew the program’s ongoing commitment to social work’s mission and principles in our region and beyond.  At the completion of the program, students are prepared to:

  1. Practice beginning-level, evidence-based generalist social work with individuals, families, other groups, organizations, and communities through the use of professional knowledge, skills, values, and ethics, as well as cognitive and affective processes.
  2. Utilize policy to inform and transform interventions targeting human rights and social and economic justice, particularly with oppressed and vulnerable populations.
  3. Integrate knowledge of human behavior and the social environment to view diversity and difference as strengths and resources and effectively use these to respond to the impact of context on professional practice.
  4. Identify as a social worker whose professional judgment is informed by critical thinking and self-awareness and communicated through the professional use of self.

Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, Shepherd University offers a four-year liberal arts-based curriculum leading to a bachelor in social work degree. The curriculum has been designed to provide for a broad educational base in the humanities, the biological sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, creative arts, and communication, together with a sequence of core social work courses. The primary purpose of the social work program is to prepare generalist beginning-level social work professionals. The course content also is appropriate to the preparation of students for admission to graduate schools of social work offering advanced professional education.

Preparation for practice includes classroom instruction, audiovisual laboratory experience, field observation, field work experience, community and on-campus workshops, and an intensive program of academic and professional advisement. Social work students are also encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to further their development as individuals as well as to fulfill their obligations as responsible citizens in a democratic society.

The social work program curriculum is based on a philosophy of social welfare through social change. The curriculum therefore emphasizes generic content areas, principles, and methodologies that will allow for generalist practice with various client and target systems. Students are exposed to a variety of intervention theories and methodologies and are encouraged to select for their practice those interventions which are compatible with the philosophy of social work and which are most useful to the tasks at hand.


Please note that there are specific admission requirements  for entrance into the Social Work program at Shepherd University.

Curriculum for a Comprehensive Major in Social Work

Minimum hours required (including free electives), 120 Hours:

Core Curriculum requirements, 42 Hours:

Social work curriculum requirements, 64 Hours:

Every Shepherd student needs a Core Curriculum math course. Social work also requires a statistics course. MATH 314 will satisfy both of these requirements. However, MATH 314 has prerequisites which may also need to be taken if this course is chosen. If another statistics course is chosen, students must make sure they also complete a Core Curriculum math course. If MATH 314 is the only math course taken, then three additional elective credits may be needed to fulfill credits required for graduation.

General university electives, 14 Hours:

 *MATH 314 also satisfies the Core math requirement. Students must complete one additional elective if they do not take a lower level math course.

Students who enter Shepherd as first-year students in Social Work should complete the BIOL 101/102 Core Lab Science sequence. Students who transfer into Social Work from another major or institution, and have either one or two four-credit natural sciences, are required to complete at least one animal-based biology course from the following list: BIOL 103 , BIOL 104 , BIOL 209 , BIOL 225 , BIOL 226  , or BIOL 302 .

Four-Year Course Progression

Social Work
Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit   Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit
ENGL 101   Writing and Rhetoric I 3   ENGL 102   Writing and Rhetoric II 3
SOWK 101   First-Year Experience in Social Work (fall only) 1   Core Curriculum   Wellness or Arts (both must be taken) 3
BIOL 103   General Biology* 4   BIOL 104   General Biology 4
Core Curriculum   History 3   Core Curriculum   General Sociology 3
Core Curriculum   Math 3   PSYC 101   Introduction to Psychology 3
    TOTAL 14       TOTAL 16
*Students entering as first-year students in social work should complete the BIOL 103/104 sequence. Students who transfer into social work from another major or institution and have either one or two 4-credit natural science courses are required to complete at least one animal-based biology course from the following: BIOL 103, 104, 209, 225, 226, or 302.            
Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit   Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit
Core Curriculum   Literature 3   Core Curriculum   Humanities 3
PSCI 100   Politics and Government OR     ECON 123   Contemporary Economics OR  
PSCI 101   American Federal Government 3   ECON 205   Principles of Macroeconomics 3
Core Curriculum   Wellness or Arts 3   SOCI 205   Social Problems 3
SOWK 201   Introduction to Social Work 3   SOWK 300    Community Service Learning OR  
Elective   Elective 3   SOWK 330   International Community Service Learning 3
    TOTAL 15   Elective   Elective 3
              TOTAL 15
Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit   Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit
SOCI 303   The Family 3   SOWK 325   Orientation to Field Practicum (spring only) 1
SOWK 305   Human Behavior in the Social Environment I (fall only) 3   SOWK 306   Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (spring only) 3
SOWK 311   Social Work Methods I (fall only) 4   SOWK 312   Social Work Methods II (spring only) 3
MATH 314   Statistics OR     LBSC 103   Information Literacy for Social Sciences (spring only) 1
BADM 224   Business Statistics OR     SOWK 301   Social Welfare as a Social Institution (spring only) 3
PSYC 250   Statistics for the Social Sciences* 3-4   SOWK 320   Child Welfare Services** OR  
Elective   Elective 3   SOWK 402   Social Gerontology** OR  
Elective   Elective 3   SOWK 417   Sex and Gender in Contemporary Society** 3
    TOTAL 18-19       TOTAL 14
* PSYC 250 is 4 credits (includes a lab).         ** This elective course requirement may be fulfilled in any semester of the junior or senior year; these courses are taught by adjunct faculty and are not offered every semester, so students are advised to discuss offerings with their advisors.  
Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit   Sub./Course No. Tier Title Credit
SOWK 407   Field Experience in Social Work I 3   SOWK 410   Field Experience in Social Work III 3
SOWK 408   Field Experience in Social Work II 3   SOWK 411   Field Experience in Social Work IV 3
SOWK 409   Field Experience Seminar I 2   SOWK 412   Field Experience Seminar II 2
SOWK 313   Social Work Methods III (fall only) 3   SOWK 404   Social Work Capstone (spring only) 3
SOWK 423   Social Work Research Methods (fall only) 3   Elective   Elective 3
    TOTAL 14       TOTAL 14
May 2, 2018             DEGREE TOTAL 120
Sequence of courses for completing a major in social work: In order to graduate with a major in social work, a minimum of 120 semester hours must be completed. This includes 42 hours under the core curriculum requirements and 63 hours under the social work curriculum; 15 hours of electives must be selected from any universitywide course offerings. The 42 core curriculum requirements are to be completed during the freshman and sophomore years. Courses are listed in the year in which they should be completed and may be taken in either semester unless otherwise specified.   Since the social work curriculum is designed to build on the core curriculum and is sequenced to provide continuity and integration with the core curriculum, the format recommended above should be followed closely. While it is recognizes that students will not always be able to adhere to this sequence exactly as presented, failure to do so may result in difficulty in handling course content and in scheduling required courses in your major. Students are expected to follow this sequence. Should required courses not be completed in order, entry into the senior field placement and graduation are likely to be delayed.
Remember: You not only need a minimum of 120 credit hours, you need to have them in all the right places. We encourage you to make good and frequent use of academic advising, especially during registration advisement periods; however, you are ultimately responsible for keeping track of your progression through the program. The degree evaluation tool on RAIL allows you to see which requirements you have completed and which are still needed; we encourage you to use it each semester before you meet with your advisor to plan your courses for the upcoming semester.       


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