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Syllabus

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Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

Behavioral Objectives

Through participation in this course, you will be prepared to

  • define the term “social work” and understand the role played by the social work profession in today's complex society;
  • describe the historical developments of the social work profession and its relationship to the evolution of social welfare in the U.S. and around the world;
  • demonstrate a beginning understanding of the knowledge base of social work;
  • describe the value base of social work, its philosophy, methods, and client systems;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the contents of the NASW Code of Ethics and the profession's commitment to diversity and social justice;
  • identify the basic helping skills used in social work;
  • identify specific social work services and specific oppressed and at-risk populations;
  • identify specific approaches used with various special populations and show a working understanding of the need for social and economic justice;
  • describe why and how the social work profession prepares students for advocacy and where that advocacy is deemed to be most needed (i.e. populations at-risk, discrimination, economic and social injustice);
  • examine the methodology and approach of social work within the social/behavioral sciences;
  • identify the assumptions about human nature used by social work; and
  • know the basic theories or evidences supporting or contradicting these theories and explanations, as well as the implications of social work’s approach and findings for individuals, families, society, and public policies.

Course Learning Outcomes

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) uses nine social work competencies to accredit social work programs. The nine social work competencies support academic excellence by establishing thresholds for professional competence. Social work competence is the ability to integrate and apply social work knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes to practice situations in a purposeful, intentional, and professional manner to promote human and community well-being. Each Competency is followed by a set of behaviors that integrate these components. These behaviors represent observable components of the Competencies. The social work competencies and behaviors that are covered in this course are listed below.

When you successfully complete this course, you should be able to meet these professional and academic outcomes:

  1. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
    • make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (NASW, 1999) and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles (IFSW, 2004)
    • tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts
    • apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions
  2. Aims of a BYU Education

    • Character building

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Knowledge
      • demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in the methods of investigating, expressing, and evaluating concepts in social work.
  3. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
    • recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Intellectually enlarging

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Sound Thinking and Problem Solving
      • apply sound and original thinking to solve real-life problems, collaborate effectively to solve problems and create ideas for the common good as a leader and participant, examine and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own ideas and arguments, as well as those of others, withholding judgment until they have gathered sufficient information and considered relevant implications. 
  4. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
    • advocate for human rights and social and economic justice

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Intellectually enlarging
    • Character building

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Communication
      • communicate effectively with divers audiences using written, oral, visual, and digital media.
  5. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 4. Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice
    • use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry
    • use research evidence to inform practice

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Intellectually enlarging

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Perspective
      • describe important ideas in their own cultural traditions as well as in the traditions of others and from the various perspectives of the GE disciplines.
  6. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 5. Engage in Policy Practice
    • analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being
    • collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Intellectually enlarging

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Perspective
      • describe important ideas in their own cultural traditions as well as in the traditions of others and from the various perspectives of the GE disciplines.
  7. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    • substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
    • develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Spiritually strengthening
    • Intellectually enlarging
    • Lifelong learning and service

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Knowledge
      • demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in the methods of investigating, expressing, and evaluating concepts in social work.
    • Lifelong learning
      • continue learning throughout their lives, actively apply learning to contribute to the common good of society in solving family, professional, religious, and social problems.
  8. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 7. Assess with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    • develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives
    • select appropriate intervention strategies

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Spiritually strengthening
    • Intellectually enlarging
    • Lifelong learning and service

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Sound thinking and problem solving
      • apply sound and original thinking to solve real-life problems, collaborate effectively to solve problems and create ideas for the common good as a leader and participant, examine and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own ideas and arguments, as well as those of others, withholding judgment until they have gathered sufficient information and considered relevant implications.
    • Lifelong learning
      • continue learning throughout their lives, actively apply learning to contribute to the common good of society in solving family, professional, religious, and social problems.
  9. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    • initiate actions to achieve organizational goals
    • implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities
    • help clients resolve problems
    • negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients
    • facilitate transitions and endings

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Spiritually strengthening
    • Intellectually enlarging
    • Lifelong learning and service

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Communication
      • communicate effectively with divers audiences using written, oral, visual, and digital media.
    • Lifelong learning
      • continue learning throughout their lives, actively apply learning to contribute to the common good of society in solving family, professional, religious, and social problems.
  10. CSWE Educational Policy: Competency 9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
    • collect, organize, and interpret client data
    • assess client strengths and limitations

    Aims of a BYU Education

    • Spiritually strengthening
    • Intellectually enlarging
    • Lifelong learning and service

    GE Learning Outcomes

    • Sound thinking and problem solving
      • apply sound and original thinking to solve real-life problems, collaborate effectively to solve problems and create ideas for the common good as a leader and participant, examine and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own ideas and arguments, as well as those of others, withholding judgment until they have gathered sufficient information and considered relevant implications.
    • Lifelong learning
      • continue learning throughout their lives, actively apply learning to contribute to the common good of society in solving family, professional, religious, and social problems.

Course Materials

You will need these materials to complete this course:

DuBois, B. L., & Miley, K. K. (2014). Social work: An empowering profession (8th ed.). New York: Pearson.  ISBN: 9780205848942 

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Note: I've included the answers to the textbook practice tests in the course table of contents, right after this syllabus.

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Assignments

Completing these assignments will help you fulfill the Course Learning Outcomes.

Quizzes

You will take three quizzes during the course. All quizzes are in objective, multiple-choice, matching, true/false format. They cover material from the NASW Code of Ethics, chapters from the textbook, and other reading and viewing assignments listed in each lesson.

  • Quiz 1: covers lessons 1–4
  • Quiz 2: covers lessons 5–9
  • Quiz 3 covers lessons 10–14

Important: The quizzes include the same kinds of questions as the final exam. To really prepare for the exam, treat the quizzes as exams: study the material thoroughly, review the learning outcomes, and take the quizzes without your textbook or other materials.

Journal Article Report

The journal article report should be taken from a scholarly, peer-reviewed social work journal (or social work related journal). If you are having trouble locating journals that offer information on social work issues or subjects in which you are interested, please feel free to contact the BYU Lee Library FHSS consultant, Quinn Galbraith (1223 HBLL or 801-422-4482), or a librarian in a library near you. It also may be helpful to look online for journal articles with "social work" in the title. I would recommend an article in a social work area that you may eventually consider working in. 

The following social work topics are examples of areas you might wish to focus your journal article report:

  • Practice areas- adoption, foster care, medical social work, school social work, etc.
  • Social and economic justice- distributive justice, low income, lack of access to resources, discrimination, etc.
  • Populations at risk- age, class, disability gender, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Issues of diversity- race, culture, religion, nationality, religion, etc.
  • Social work values and ethics—self-determination, professional boundary crossings or boundary violations, dual relationships, confidentiality, etc.

Content Guidelines

  • Briefly summarize the main points of the research article (include the hypothesis, research method(s), and the findings if they are noted). If the article is a research summary or literature review article, include the general conclusions (that the research supports) and the main points that back up the conclusions. The summary should be no less than three paragraphs in length.
  • Evaluate the article according to its strengths and weaknesses (include at least three strengths and three limitations of the article). Make sure to back up your assertion by explaining why the point listed is a strength or weakness.
  • Discuss how the journal article relates to social work. Use content from class assignments, readings or the text to help. This is the most important part of the assignment.

Style Guidelines

Please use the following style and format for the journal reports:

  • Journal article report should be 2–4 pages.
  • Place identifying information at the top far right corner on the first page (Name, Date, Class, and Assignment)
  • Directly following the identifying information and justified to the left margin, place the bibliographic information of the article (citation) in APA format.
  • Your report must follow APA format and be in Times New Roman 12-point font, with 1 inch margins and double-line spacing.
  • Headings for the different sections are recommended.

Important: Consult these APA Writing Helps for details about how to use APA style.

  • [ LINK REMOVED ] APA Formatting Handout
  • [ LINK REMOVED ] APA Style Explained
  • [ LINK REMOVED ] Annotated Paper in APA Format

Completion of this assignment will fulfill the following Learning Outcomes: Competency 4, Competencies 6-9.

Rubric for Journal Article Report

Grading Criteria High Proficiency Proficient Limited Proficiency
Summarize the main points (including hypothesis, research methods, findings, conclusions) Summary of all main points were clearly and thoroughly discussed.
12 pts
Summary of all main points were discussed but maybe not all were discussed or all were not clearly or thoroughly discussed.
10 pts
Summary of all main points were not discussed.
8 pts
Evaluate the article (at least three strengths and weaknesses, back up assertions) Evaluation of article strengths and weaknesses were clearly identified and thoroughly discussed.
12 pts
Evaluation of article strengths and weaknesses were discussed but not in a clear or thorough manner.
10 pts
Reader had difficult time following the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses.
8 pts
Discuss how journal article relates to social work (use content from class) A thorough discussion of how the article relates to social work was presented in a clear manner (including using content from class).
14 pts
A thorough discussion of how the article relates to social work was discussed but not presented in a clear manner or thoroughly. Or did not use class content. 
12 pts
A thorough discussion of how the article relates to social work was not discussed.
10 pts
Style Guidelines:
3-4 pages, flow, APA format followed
Writing was succinct and well organized; Good sentence structure throughout with no spelling, punctuation, or grammar usage errors. Correct APA style was used (including reference).
12 pts
Writing was mostly succinct and well organized; Sentence structure was appropriate but had a few spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors. APA style had a couple of mistakes.
10pts
Writing was choppy, unclear and not organized. Hard to follow, extra wordiness. Reader couldn’t follow where writer was going. APA was not correct.
8 pts

Volunteer Experience and Report

A minimum of 20 hours of social work volunteer work is required. This must be in a setting or agency where social workers are employed. Although it is not necessary that you work directly under/for a social worker, a social worker must work at the agency and sign off on your completed hours. 

Please keep in mind that you need to start early in the course to complete this on time as some agencies hold training infrequently and/or have limited hours available (as you will need to get their prior permission and undergo any checks or training they require). 

I expect you to contact me (as the course instructor) by email prior to beginning your hours to clear your choice of agency placement for the 20-hour volunteer assignment and let me know who will oversee the hours (the hours need to be overseen by a social worker). You cannot count hours prior to the semester or prior to instructor approval. Once you have completed your hours, have the social worker email me verifying completion. Here is my contact information:

Gordon Limb, PhD, ACSW 
BYU School of Social Work 
2190 JFSB 
Provo, UT 84602-4471 
gordon_limb@byu.edu 
801-422-6649

Upon completion of your hours, please submit a 1-2 page Volunteer Report summarizing your experience and learning. The report should include:

  • a summary of what you did,
  • a summary of what you learned (e.g., new skills/perspective, ideas, etc.), and
  • how your experience connects with what you’ve been learning in class.

Please follow APA format in writing your report. The hours count for 75% of your grade, and the report counts for 25%.

MSW Interview Paper

You will interview an MSW who is currently in practice. You will set up and conduct the interview, then send a Thank You note afterwards (please refrain from taking it to the interview).

At the interview, explore the social worker’s

  • educational background.
  • professional training.
  • why he/she went into social work.
  • why he/she chose to work in the current setting/with a certain population.
  • particular knowledge/skills required for that setting/population.
  • what he/she does day to day.
  • challenges faced and most satisfying parts of job.
  • advice he/she might give to someone who is interested in entering into social work.

Your paper will explore all of the above topics. You will also need to infuse some of your own insights and impressions throughout the paper. Please use the following style and format for the MSW interview:

  • The write up should be 4–5 pages.
  • Your write up must follow APA format and be in Times New Roman 12-point font, with 1 inch margins and double-line spacing.
  • Headings for the different sections are recommended.
  • Include at least two references in the text and include the full reference citation at the end.

Rubric for MSW Interview Paper

Grading Criteria High Proficiency Proficient Limited Proficiency
Explore MSW interviewees educational background Discussion of the interviewees educational background was clearly and thoroughly discussed.
7 pts
Discussion of the interviewees educational background was discussed but not clearly or thoroughly.
5 pts
Discussion of the interviewees educational background was not discussed. 
3 pts
Explore MSW interviewees professional training Exploration of interviewees professional training was clearly and thoroughly discussed.
7 pts
Exploration of interviewees professional training was discussed but not in a clear or thorough manner.   
5 pts
Reader has difficult time following the exploration of interviewees professional training.
3 pts
Explore why MSW interviewee went into social work Examination of why interviewee went into social work was clearly and thoroughly discussed.
7 pts
Examination of why interviewee went into social work was discussed but not clearly or thoroughly.
5 pts
Examination of why interviewee went into social work was not discussed.
3 pts
Explore why MSW interviewee chose to work in current setting Exploration of why interviewee chose to work in current setting was clearly and thoroughly discussed.
7 pts
Exploration of why interviewee chose to work in current setting was discussed but not clearly and thoroughly. 
5 pts
Exploration of why interviewee chose to work in current setting was not discussed.
3 pts
Explore MSW interviewees knowledge required for setting Exploration of interviewees knowledge/skills required for setting was clearly and thoroughly discussed. 
7 pts
Exploration of interviewees knowledge/skills required for setting was discussed but not clearly and thoroughly.
5 pts
Exploration of interviewees knowledge/skills required for setting was not discussed.   
3 pts
Explore what MSW interviewee does day to day Exploration of what interviewee does day to day was clearly and thoroughly discussed.
7 pts
Exploration of what interviewee does day to day was discussed but not clearly and thoroughly. 
5 pts
Exploration of what interviewee does day to day was not discussed. 
3 pts
Explore MSW interviewees challenges faced and most satisfying part of job Exploration of challenges faced by interviewee and most satisfying part of job were clearly and thoroughly discussed.    
7 pts
Exploration of challenges faced by interviewee and most satisfying part of job were discussed but not clearly and thoroughly.
5 pts
Exploration of challenges faced by interviewee and most satisfying part of job were not discussed. 
3 pts
Discuss MSW interviewees advice if entering social work Discussion of interviewees advice if entering social work was clearly and thoroughly discussed.    
7 pts
Discussion of interviewees advice if entering social work was not clear and thorough.
5 pts 
Interviewees advice if entering social work was not discussed.   
3 pts
Infusion of your thoughts throughout Infusion of your thoughts throughout was clear and thorough.   
14 pts
Infusion of your thoughts throughout was not clear and thorough.
12 pts
Student did not infuse own thoughts throughout. 
10 pts
Format:
4-5 pages and flow
Writing was succinct and well organized; one idea followed to another in a logical sequence. The reader clearly followed where the writer was going. 
10 pts
Mostly clear and well organized, one idea may seem out of place; some unnecessary repetition or wordiness. For the most part reader could follow where the writer was going.
8pts
Writing was choppy, unclear and not organized. Hard to follow, extra wordiness. Reader couldn’t follow where writer was going. 
6 pts
Mechanics Maintained consistent flow, tone, and point of view. Punctuated and paragraphed correctly. Good sentence structure throughout with no spelling, punctuation, or grammar usage errors.
10 pts
For the most part maintained consistent flow, tone, and point of view. A few structural problems and some spelling, punctuation, or grammar usage errors.
8 pts
Did not maintain consistent tone and point of view. The paper had multiple errors that affected the flow of the document.
6 pts
APA style and references Correct APA style was used including all references and citations.
10 pts
Some misuse of APA in references/citations.
8 pts
Major misuse of APA in references/citations.
6 pts

Integration Paper

Style Guidelines

Please use the following style and format for the Integration Paper:

  • The paper should be 5–6 pages.
  • Place identifying information at the top far right corner on the first page (Name, Date, Class, and Assignment)
  • Your paper must follow APA format and be in Times New Roman 12-point font, with 1-inch margins and double-line spacing.
  • Headings for the different sections are recommended.
  • Include at least two references in the text and include the full reference citation at the end.

Content Guidelines

1) discuss the values and ethical standards of the social work profession, reflecting upon their compatibility with your own values and perspectives of life and people. (You should highlight two or three particular values that you identify or struggle with, and tie them to some of the ethical standards);

2) explore the concept of social justice and whether social work is a profession that you might consider as a future career option (why and why not); and

3) examine one or two areas of social work that you might like to focus on in the future (e.g. juvenile delinquency, mental health, child welfare, etc.), and the reasons for that.

Completion of this assignment will fulfill the following Learning Outcomes: Competencies 1-5.

Rubric for Integration Paper

Grading Criteria High Proficiency Proficient Limited Proficiency
Discuss the values and ethical standards of the social work profession Discussion of the values and ethical standards of the social work profession were clearly and thoroughly discussed.  
20 pts
Discussion of the values and ethical standards of the social work profession were discussed but not clearly or thoroughly.
16 pts
Discussion of the values and ethical standards of the social work profession were not discussed. 
14 pts
Explore whether social work is a profession that you might consider Exploration of whether social work is a profession that you might consider was clearly and thoroughly discussed.
25 pts
Exploration of whether social work is a profession that you might consider was discussed but not in a clear or thorough manner.   
20 pts
Reader has difficult time following the exploration of whether social work is a profession that you might consider.
16 pts
Examine one or two areas of social work that you might like to focus on in the future Examination of areas of social work that you might like to focus on in the future was clearly and thoroughly discussed.   
25 pts
Examination of areas of social work that you might like to focus on in the future was discussed but not clearly or thoroughly.
20 pts
Examination of areas of social work that you might like to focus on in the future was not discussed.
16 pts
Format:
5-6 pages and flow
Writing was succinct and well organized; one idea followed to another in a logical sequence. The reader clearly followed where the writer was going. 
10 pts
Mostly clear and well organized, one idea may seem out of place; some unnecessary repetition or wordiness. For the most part reader could follow where the writer was going.
8 pts
Writing was choppy, unclear and not organized. Hard to follow, extra wordiness. Reader couldn’t follow where writer was going. 
6 pts
Mechanics Maintained consistent flow, tone, and point of view. Punctuated and paragraphed correctly. Good sentence structure throughout with no spelling, punctuation, or grammar usage errors.
10 pts
For the most part maintained consistent flow, tone, and point of view. A few structural problems and some spelling, punctuation, or grammar usage errors.
8 pts
Did not maintain consistent tone and point of view. The paper had multiple errors that affected the flow of the document.
6 pts
APA style and references Correct APA style was used with all references and citations. 10 pts Some misuse of APA in references/citations. 8 pts Major misuse of APA in references/citations. 6 pts

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Exam

The final exam covers material from lessons 15–18. It follows the same format as the quizzes, covering material from the NASW Code of Ethics, chapters from the textbook, and other reading and viewing assignments listed in each lesson.

The final exam is closed book and closed-notes, but does not have a time limit.

Note: If you have significant health or personal problems making it impossible to take a test, as posted, contact me immediately. If you have serious ongoing physical or emotional problems or would like to request academic “accommodation(s) during testing,” please contact Independent Study at the beginning the course so that the testing staff can help make this a feasible and comfortable learning process for you.

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Grading and Assessment

These are all the assignments and exams you will complete for this course.

Assignment/Exam Point Value
Quiz 1 50
MSW Interview and Volunteer Experience Approvals (required, no points)
Journal Article Report 50
Quiz 2 50
Quiz 3 50
MSW Interview Report 100
Volunteer Experience and Report 100
Integration Paper 100
Final Exam 50
Total Points: 550

Grade Scale

Your letter grade will be calculated based on these percentages:

A 100–94
A- 93–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–83
B- 82–80
C+ 79–77
C 76–73
C- 72–70
D+ 69–67
D 66–63
D- 62–60
E 59–0

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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