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BSW Curriculum

BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK CURRICULUM INFORMATION FOR FOUR-YEAR AND TRANSFER STUDENTS

The ETSU Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program is a 120 credit-hour curriculum.  The curriculum includes General Education Core requirements, as set forth by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).  The Degree Plan for social work gives further details about the requirements for graduation from the BSW Program.

Fall 2007 to Present Degree Plan

General Education Core Requirements for Social Work Majors

General education requirements vary, depending on the catalog under which students plan to graduate.  This link provides further information on General Education Program requirements under various catalogs.  Below is a list and description of the current requirements, effective with the 2008-2009 catalog.

Category

Credit Hours

Courses Included

Communication

9

Two English courses and one oral communication course

Mathematics

3

MATH 1530

Natural Sciences

8

Two sciences courses with a lab.  One course must be in human biology.

History

6

Two of 3 U.S. history courses

Humanities/Fine Arts

9

One course in literature, one in Fine or Performing Arts, and one in a Humanities elective

Social/Behavioral Science

6

PSYCH 1310 and SOCI/SOAA 1020

Computer Science Requirement

Students have the option of testing out of or taking a 3-credit-hour Information Technology course (CSCI 1100).  Test out information can be found here on the web site for the Computer and Information Sciences department.

Intensive Requirements

Social work students are required to take an Oral Intensive course (3 credits), and two Writing Intensive courses (6 credits), above and beyond the social work courses that count as intensives.  Some of the courses in the General Education categories can be taken to fulfill the intensive requirements.  Students who transfer to ETSU with an Associate’s degree or transfer 50 or more credit hours are exempt from the additional intensive requirements.  A complete list of ETSU intensives and when they went into effect can be found at this link .

Cognate Requirements for Social Work Majors

The following two required courses (6 credits) in other disciplines provide essential liberal arts content for the professional foundation social work curriculum.

HDAL 2310 , Developmental Life Span Psychology

PSCI 1120 , Introduction to American Government

Required Social Work (SOWK) Courses

The required social work foundation curriculum totals 48 credit hours, as follows.

Course Number

Course Name

Credit

Hours

SOWK 1010

Introduction to Social Work

3

SOWK 1020

Professional Values and Ethics

3

SOWK 1030

Cultural Diversity

3

SOWK 2500

Interviewing and Recording Skills

3

SOWK 3000

Human Behavior in the Social Environment I (HBSE I)

3

SOWK 3010

Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (HBSE II)

3

SOWK 3430

Social Welfare Policy and Services

3

SOWK 4210

Social Work Research

3

SOWK 4310

Social Work Practice I

4

SOWK 4320

Social Work Practice II

4

SOWK 4453

Social Work Field Practicum

16

Electives

Electives are courses that do not fulfill the General Education Core Curriculum (41 credits), the additional intensive requirements (9 credits), the computer science requirement (3 credits), the cognate requirements (6 credits), or the professional social work course requirements (48 credits).  Depending on whether students take or test out of CSCI 1100, and whether intensives are taken to meet the General Education requirements or not, elective credits to complete the 120-hour curriculum range from 12 credits to 24 credits.

Foreign Language

The social work curriculum does not have a foreign language requirement, although courses in Spanish would be beneficial in a social work career. 

Preparation for Generalist Practice

Required courses in the social work curriculum, including ETSU’s General Education courses and cognate courses required of social work majors, are sequenced in an organized, coherent, and integrated whole.  The curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts through ETSU’s General Education requirements and the two cognate courses (HDAL 2310 and PSCI 1120), and contains a professional foundation of SOWK courses that includes content on social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk, human behavior in the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, and the field practicum.

Completion of the BSW curriculum prepares students as generalist practitioners . A generalist practitioner has a broad-based education that enables work with systems of all sizes (individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations), using a variety of interventive methods. A generalist does not specialize in practice with any single population, system, or field of practice; neither is there specialization in the use of any single practice method or technique.

Field Education

BSW field education is an important component of your professional education. As the culminating experience in the professional foundation, it offers opportunities to apply what you have learned in the classroom to work with clients and client systems in human service organizations. Through field education you are able to experience the many and varied roles of a BSW-level social worker. Your field instructor, faculty liaison, and task supervisor will serve as teachers and role models during your field experience.  They also will provide you with feedback on your performance and professional growth over the course of the semester.  Field education is a 16 credit hour, full-time experience, and we encourage you to avoid taking any other coursework during your field semester.  In order to enroll in the field experience (SOWK 4453), you must have completed all required social work courses and all general education core curriculum requirements, including intensives.  If you have only electives left to complete at the time you wish to enter the field, you will be permitted to enroll in SOWK 4453.

Sequencing of Required Courses
For Four-Year Students and Transfer Students

Four-Year Students

Below is a suggested plan for completing the required courses in the social work curriculum for students who complete all of their coursework at ETSU.  The plan allows for some flexibility.  However, you cannot take certain courses unless you have completed their prerequisites.  For example, you may decide to take PSCI 1120, Introduction to American Government, earlier than your sophomore year, but it must be completed prior to enrolling in SOWK 3430, Social Welfare Policy and Services, because it is a prerequisite to that course. 

Freshman Year for Four Year Students

First Semester

MATH 1530      
Probability and Statistics

SOWK 1010      
Introduction to Social Work

SOWK 1020    
Professional Values and Ethics

PSYC 1310     
Introduction to Psychology

       or

SOCI 1020
Introduction to Sociology

Second Semester

SOWK 1030
Cultural Diversity

CSCI 1100
Using Information Technology

PSYC 1310
Introduction to Psychology

    or

SOCI 1020
Introduction to Psychology; Introduction to Sociology

Human Biology
( BIOL 1010/11 , 1010/21, 1110/11, or HSCI 2010/11)

Sophomore Year for Four Year Students

First Semester

HDAL 2310
Developmental Life Span Psychology

PSCI 1120  
Introduction to American Government

SOWK 2500
Interviewing and Recording

Second Semester

SOWK 3430
Social Welfare Policy and Services

Junior Year for Four-Year Students

First Semester

SOWK 3000
Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

SOWK 3010   
Human Behavior and the Social Environment II

Second Semester

SOWK 4310
Social Work Practice I

SOWK 4320
Social Work Practice II

Senior Year for Four-Year Students

First Semester

SOWK 4210   
Research

Second Semester

SOWK 4453
Social Work Field Practicum

Transfer Students

If you are transferring from another institution with which ETSU has an articulation agreement, we have collapsed the curriculum to ensure that you will graduate in two years following your transfer to ETSU’s social work program while maintaining the same liberal arts and professional curriculum sequencing.  To plan a smooth transfer to ETSU, see articulation agreements and transfer course equivalency.  Equivalencies for courses from institutions other than those on the course equivalency list are made on a case-by-case basis by the Office of the Registrar, which makes equivalency decisions on all coursework without a social work prefix (SOWK) that is transferred into the ETSU system. 

Social work (SOWK) courses transferred from other institutions are reviewed by the BSW Program Director to determine equivalency to courses taught in the ETSU social work curriculum. Each student is responsible for providing the BSW Program Director with all relevant information on which to base a decision, such as catalog descriptions, course syllabi, and identification of course textbooks. Any credits awarded for upper division social work courses completed at another institution must have been taken in a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Regardless of how many credits you have taken at a two-year institution, you must take a minimum of 50 credit hours on the ETSU campus in order to receive a diploma from a four-year institution.  If you transfer 50 or more credit hours or complete an Associate’s degree prior to or following entry to ETSU, the additional proficiency-intensive requirements (one oral intensive and two writing intensives) outside of the major are waived.

The course sequencing plan below assumes that you have taken the following courses (shown with their ETSU prefixes and numbers) prior to ETSU matriculation:

SOWK 1010 (Intro)

PSYCH 1310 (Intro)

SOAA 1020 (Intro)

MATH 1530 (Probability and Stats)

CSCI 1100 (Using Information Technology) or test out

One of the following human biology courses:
BIOL 1010/11, 1020/21, 1110/11, or HSCI 2010/11

If all of the courses above were not completed prior to ETSU matriculation, the BSW Program Director will help you to identify when these courses should be taken, in order to graduate in a timely manner.

First Semester for Transfer Students

HDAL 2310   
Life Span Development

PSCI 1120      
American Government

SOWK 1020 
Professional Values and Ethics

SOWK 1030 
Cultural Diversity

Second Semester for Transfer Students

SOWK 2500
Interviewing and Recording

SOWK 3430  
Soc Welfare Policy & Services

SOWK 3000
HBSE I

SOWK 3010
HBSE II         

Third Semester for Transfer Students

SOWK 4210
Social Work Research

SOWK 4310   
Practice I

SOWK 4320
Practice II

Fourth Semester for Transfer Students

SOWK 4453
Field Practicum

Additional Information for Transfer Students

Transfer students should identify social work as their major on their ETSU admissions application.  Transfer students who live within 250 miles of ETSU are required to attend an orientation session prior to matriculation.  The director of the undergraduate social work program, or another faculty member, will meet with transfer students during orientation, go over their transfer credits, and advise them on registration matters, as well address career questions.  Student advisement is an important part of the educational experience.  Through advisement, students are kept on track in taking courses in the proper sequence and meeting the ETSU catalog requirements for the year of their matriculation.  After transfer students meet with the director of the undergraduate social work program and set up their student file, they will be assigned a faculty advisor to work with for the remainder of their time in the program.