Social Work, B.S.W.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program gives students the knowledge and skills to succeed in the social work field. The BSW program will prepare students for generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. The BSW program emphasizes social justice for underserved and/or vulnerable populations. Students who obtain the BSW degree may apply for a Certification in Social Work with the State of New Jersey.

There will be admission requirements to pursue the BSW major at NJCU. The acceptance process will include a review of the following: 1) grade point average of 2.75; 2) resume; and 3) essay explaining the applicant’s motivations to major in social work and acknowledgement of the rigorous internship requirement. Additionally, transfer students will be assessed individually based on comparable courses and credits completed, and comparable learning outcomes. 

Program Curriculum                                                                                                                                   

Core curricula and the BSW program requirements will not exceed 120 credits. The BSW program requirements total 48 credits. The core curricula and BSW curricula will be described below.

             As required by NJCU, students will complete the General Education program by moving through the Tiers in order—first Tier I, then Tier II, and finally Tier III—though some overlap may be necessary during certain semesters. Tier I consists of a required English Composition course and Math course, plus four seminar courses in the Modes of Inquiry. Tier II consists of English Composition and six seminar courses in the Modes of Inquiry. All Gen Ed students take at least two seminars (at least 6 credits) in each of the four Modes of Inquiry for a total of ten seminar courses (at least 30 credits) across Tiers I and II. All students take one Tier III capstone course (3 credits) in the final semester of General Education, however, this is built into the BSW major. Intermodal courses count toward the distribution requirements in two Modes of Inquiry. Transfer students who enter NJCU with 30 or more credits may receive Gen Ed credit for up to six Tier I courses transferred in and may take as few as four Tier II courses to reach the required total of ten Tier I and II courses (at least 30 credits).

            The BSW curricula is designed to move from courses that are concentrated in specific competency areas to achievement of holistic competency. The Foundations of Social Work class is designed to anchor students in social work and facilitate professional development. The BSW curricula can be taken as a part-time or full-time student. The junior year or year one and two in the part-time sequence courses are organized to provide foundation professional practice, theory, policy, research, and assessment knowledge, values, and encourage critical thinking and self-reflection. The senior year or year three in the part-time program are focused on practice. It is expected that students will take general practice, skills, and complete their field practicum concurrently, although the skills course will always be required simultaneously with field practicum. The CSWE recommends that students always have at least one practice related course to be taken concurrently, so students are learning and supported while they are in their field practicum. 

Junior Year Fall       

SWK 301        Social Work Foundation   3 credits 

SWK 302        Diversity, Engagement, Inclusion, & Social Justice   3 credits

SWK 304        Policy & Advocacy: National, Global & Technological Context  3 credits

SWK 306        Human Behavior in the Social Environment – Individuals & Families 3 credits

Junior Year Spring

SWK 307       Human Behavior in the Social Environment – Groups, Organizations, & Communities 3 credits 

SWK 311        Research Methods, Technology, & Translational Science  3 credits

SWK 315        Psychopathology: Assessment & Diagnosis for Practice 3 credits

Elective           3 credits 

Senior Year Fall 

SWK 406                 Seminar & Skills Lab I *   2 credits 

SWK 410  Generalist Social Work Practice I: Engagement & Assessment Across Levels of Practice          ** 3 credits

SWK 416                 Social Work Field Practicum Part I *      4 credits 

Elective     3 credits 

Senior Year Spring 

SWK 407  Capstone Seminar & Skills Lab II * 2 credits 

SWK 411     Generalist Social Work Practice II: Intervention & Evaluation Across Levels of Practice ** 3credits

SWK 417   Social Work Field Practicum Part II *  4 credits 

Elective  3 credits 

TOTAL 48 Credits (please see the complete announcement for the part-time sequence) 

*Skills Lab & Field Practicum must be taken concurrently with Social Work Field Practicum as required by the CSWE and they will be designated as co-requisites. All junior year courses will be required pre-requisites for Skills Lab & Field Practicum.

**General Social Work Practice will be strongly advised to also be taken concurrently with Skills Lab and Field Practicum, but not be designated as a co-requisite.

Note: The recommended sequence for full-time social work students is coordinated with the part-time student sequence for efficient scheduling and to guide student course planning. No pre-requisites or co-requisites will be placed on junior year courses. Students will need to be accepted into the social work major to take any SWK designated course unless waived by an adviser within the Department.

*Skills Lab & Seminar must be taken concurrent with Social Work Field Practicum as required by the CSWE.

Description of Field Practicum

Field education is the signature pedagogy of social work education. Field education has separated social work from other counseling/helping professions because of the rigorous field practicum experiences that students undergo during the course of their social work education. The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) requires a minimum of 400 supervised field practicum hour under the proper supervision in an internship. The BSW degree prepares individuals for generalist practice positions (such as casework), where you engage with clients (e.g., individuals, families, communities), assess their needs, link them to services, and monitor their progress. The NJCU BSW Program will require students to complete 450 hours, broken down as 225 hours each semester, fall and spring in the final year of the program. This averages as 15 hours per week for 15 weeks. This means that students will need to reserve two days per week in the field during their final year in the program. The program will provide some flexibility to students and supervisors to take on special projects and make adjustments to the suggested schedule as needed. There are three important roles in managing students in field practicums. First, students will have a clinical professor assigned to them. This person will teach them in their skills lab as well as oversee their progress in their internship by communicating with the student as well as their field supervisor. This professor will monitor all paperwork, such as time sheets, process recordings, and the field evaluation completed by the field practicum supervisor. The professor will be responsible for visiting the student at the agency and giving the student a final grade at the end of each semester. In order to maintain impartiality, the clinical professor will not be the Director of Field Education for the program.

The Director of Field Education is responsible for all student field placements and any decision to remove or change a student placement. In the NJCU BSW Program, Social Work Field Practicum Part I & Part II will be in one placement setting for the entire year. The purpose of one placement setting is to ensure that a student has a full year to implement knowledge, skills, values, critical thinking, and reflection in practice. The field setting is also critical for determining student growth in the program and the student’s performance is assessed mid-year and at the end of the year. The end of the year evaluation data is used for program assessment. Lastly, the University carries liability insurance for students that leave campus and go to field sites. All field processes for the program will be outlined in the NJCU BSW Program Field Manual which will be reviewed by CSWE.

Required Course Descriptions

SWK 301 – Social Work Foundation (3 credit hours)

The focus of this course is to ground students in the fundamentals of social work education and begin to set them on a journey of ethical and culturally competent practice with solid understanding of the person-in-environment model, foundation communication skills, and understanding of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

SWK 302 - Diversity, Engagement, Inclusion & Social Justice (3 credit hours)

The focus of this course is on diversity and culturally sensitive ethical social work practice. The course is designed to increase students’ awareness of the mechanism and effects of discrimination upon populations-at risk as well as well as how to practice as an engaged and inclusive social worker committed to social justice.

SWK 304 - Policy & Advocacy: National, Global, & Technological Context (3 credit hours)

The focus of this course is understanding social problems from a national and global lens including the technological context using a framework for policy analysis. The course also teaches about how a bill becomes a law, policy practice, and advocacy skills.

SWK 306 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) I – Individuals & Families

(3 credit hours) This course focuses on lifespan, human development, and how to work with clients and families in their environmental contexts. This course content provides the foundation of understanding how individuals and families develop as they interact with each other and their environment.

SWK 307 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) II – Groups, Organizations, and Communities (3 credit hours) This course is a continuation of HSBE I and focuses on the roles of groups, organizations, and communities on individual and family development as well as how social workers are intricately must be prepared for micro, mezzo, and macro social work practice.

SWK 311 - Research, Technology, & Translational Science (3 credit hours)

This class provides students the opportunity to become competent and proficient consumers and producers of social work knowledge by acquiring and participating in the research process. The class includes fundamental elements of critical thinking, scientific inquiry, and research methods encompassing a variety of research methodologies.  Learning is subsequently deepened through class participation in a research project that embraces technology or translational science to disseminate research in the community.

SWK 315 - Psychopathology: Assessment & Diagnosis for Practice (3 credit hours)

Assessment and diagnosis are essential for understanding work with clients in many social work settings. This course introduces measures used to guide client assessment and diagnosis as well as introduces the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and provides working knowledge of common mental health diagnosis.

SWK 406 - Seminar & Skills Lab I (2 credit hours)
This course explores the development of professional skills and identifies necessary for success in the field. Students learn concepts related to professional use of self, professional self-image, use of social work supervision and consultation, and explores common problems in work with clients & client systems. This course connects concepts from theory and practice courses for practical application in future field placements. 

SWK 410 - Generalist Social Work Practice I: Engagement & Assessment Across Levels of Practice (3 credit hours)

This course introduces theoretical foundations of social work including the person-in-environment model, case practice model, as well as emphasizing how to engage and assess with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. This course helps students synthesize learning across the curriculum.

SWK 416 - Social Work Field Practicum Part I (4 credit hours)

Part one of a two-semester practicum which provides supervised, generalist social work experience in a rural community within social service organizations. It emphasizes application of social work values, ethics, theory, skills, and evaluation to social work with individuals, families, groups, social networks, organizations, and communities using a person-in-environment framework with special emphasis on diverse populations-at-risk. Student is required to complete 15 hours per week for 15 weeks, equaling 225 hours per semester.  

SWK 407 - Capstone Seminar & Skills Lab II (2 credit hours)

This course explores the development of professional skills and identity necessary for success in the field. Students learn concepts related to professional use of self, professional self-image, use of social work supervision and consultation, and explores common problems in work with clients & client systems. This course connects concepts from theory and practice courses for practical application in future field placements. 

SWK 411 - Generalist Social Work Practice II: Intervention & Evaluation Across Levels of Practice

(3 credit hours)

This course is a continuation of Generalist Social Work Practice part one which provides theoretical foundations of social work including specific theories for practice to intervene and evaluate work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. This course helps students synthesize learning across the curriculum.

SWK 416 - Social Work Field Practicum Part II (4 credit hours)

This course is a continuation of Field Practicum I. The student continues to participate in supervised, generalist social work practice. Student is required to complete 15 hours per week for 15 weeks, equaling 225 hours per semester. 

Electives (15 credit hours) – Students are strongly encouraged to take Basic Statistics as it may be required for some Advanced Standing MSW applications. No more than one elective may be taken at the 200 level. Course electives have been organized to provide additional content in areas that BSW students are likely to be employed upon graduation. The following are elective courses.

SOC 237-Refugee and Forced Migration (3 credit hours)

The UN counts 51 million refugees and forcibly displaced people in the world, a number that may quadruple by 2050. They flee from war, genocide, gender violence, political and religious persecution, but seldom find a home. This class examines their circumstances, human rights, and the struggle to escape and survive.

SOC 254 – Urban Sociology (3 credit hours)

This course analyzes the social factors, which shape American cities and metropolitan regions. The student becomes acquainted with methods of research in urban sociology.

SOC 314-Treatment Plans in Substance Abuse (3 credit hours)

This course focuses on the use of the New Jersey Client Oriented Data Acquisition Process (C.O.D.A.P.) in the assessment and formulation of a treatment plan for alcohol and drug abuse clients. Topics include goal setting, contracting, and a discussion of specific interventions to address clients' alcohol and drug abuse problems.

SOC 335 – Case Management of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Clients (3 credit hours)

This course will focus on principle and methods of case management to provide substance-abusing clients with needed community services to assist them in recovery. Topics will include case management for clients with special needs such as mental illness, HIV/AIDS, physical disabilities, and homelessness.

SOC 336-Professional and Ethical Responsibilities in Substance Use Treatment (3 credit hours)

The course will focus on legal and ethical issues relevant in the treatment of substance abuse. Case studies will be utilized to present important legal and ethical issues in substance abuse treatment. The course will include topics on enhancing professional growth through the use of literature, continuing education, and self-evaluations.

SWK 375-Medical Social Work Practice (3 credit hours)

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of social work practice within a variety of health care settings. The aim of this course is to integrate previously learned human behavior and practice knowledge with advanced analysis of theory and research for social work practice in health care settings that serve diverse populations. The content of this course will include current and emerging health and behavior theory, research, and practice using specific case studies related to a variety of health settings and populations.   

SWK 379-Disabilities and Empowerment (3 credit hours)

Focuses on the empowerment of people with disabilities. Provides students with information on the history of disability perspectives and policy and builds understanding of the practice of social work with people with disabilities.

SWK 390-Children and Families: Understanding Children Systems of Care (3 credit hours)

Familiarizes the student with issues, policies, procedures, basic competencies, and proficiencies pertaining to child welfare and permanency planning. It provides an overview of child abuse and neglect, family preservation and reunification, out-of-home placements, and the consequences of long-term maltreatment. Student learning will include social justice practice skills, trauma informed practice models, positive behavior supports for school wide programs and individuals, crisis prevention, planning, and intervention, behavior intervention planning, mediation, conflict resolution, and collaborative problem-solving methods.

SOC 442-Basic Statistics for Sociology (3 credit hours)

This is an introduction to the elementary statistical procedures used in social science research. Instruction in using computers to assist in statistical calculations may be included.

Junior Year Fall
SOCI SWK 311Social Work Foundation & Ethics 3
SOCI SWK 302Diversity, Engagement, Inclusion, & Social Justice 3
SOCI SWK 304Policy & Advocacy: National, Global, & Technological Context (Policy & Advocacy) 3
SOCI SWK 306Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Individuals & Families 3
Junior Year Spring
SOCI SWK-307Human Behavior in the Social Environment II – Groups, Organizations, & Communities3
SOCI SWK 311Research Methods, Technology & Translational Science3
SOCI SWK 315Psychopathology: Assessment & Diagnosis for Practice3
Elective 3
Senior Year Fall
SOCI SWK 406 Seminar and Skills Labs I 12
SOCI SWK 410Generalist Social Work Practice I: Engagement, Assessment, & Planning Across Levels of Practice 23
SOCI SWK 416Social Work Field Practicum Part I 14
Elective 3
Senior Year Spring
SOCI SWK 407 Capstone Seminar & Skills Lab II 12
SOCI SWK 411 Generalist Social Work Practice II: Intervention & Evaluation Across Levels of Practice 23
SOCI SWK 417Social Work Field Practicum Part II 14
Elective 3
Total Credits48

Note: The recommended sequence for full-time social work students is coordinated with the part-time student sequence for efficient scheduling and to guide student course planning. No pre-requisites or co-requisites will be placed on junior year courses. Students will need to be accepted into the social work major to take any SWK designated course unless waived by an adviser within the Department.

Student learning outcomes are guided by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for social work programs. The BSW program will assess the following areas in the explicit curriculum: professional and ethical practice; diversity; advocacy; research; policy; engagement, assessment; intervention; and evaluation.