Social Work 317

SOWK 317: Generalist Issues and Practice

Prerequisite: AA/AS degree and permission of BSW Coordinator

Credit Hours: (3)

Introduces undergraduate students to the distinctive attributes of professional social work. It affords students a comprehensive “working” definition of social work. Course content provides an overview of social work knowledge, values, and skills and their application to human issues and concerns.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Generalist Issues and Practice (SW 317) introduces undergraduate students to the distinctive attributes of professional social work. Beginning with an overview of social work values and the NASW Code of Ethics, students learn to conceptualize micro- and macro-level practice issues from a generalist perspective. The framework of a generalist practitioner entails a competency-based, person-in-the-environment model for assessment and intervention.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class lecture, discussion, class presentations, videotapes, experiential activities and field trips.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the core values of social work practice and how these values guide the response of social workers to contemporary social issues.
  • An awareness of the historical development of the social welfare system and the evolution of professional practice.
  • Critical thinking skills in the exploration of an array of social issues.
  • The generalist model of practice and apply a strengths perspective to contemporary concerns.
  • An understanding of ethical issues that may arise in practice and an awareness of relevant guidelines from the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • An understanding of the importance of self-awareness.
  • Good oral and written communication skills commensurate with an undergraduate course.


Assessment Measures

The instructor will assess attainment of course objectives through assignments that evaluate professional knowledge, values, and skills, related to generalist social work practice within a historical context that allows for relevant critical thinking about social services delivery systems, ethics, and ethical dilemmas in social work practice.

Demonstration of the knowledge base may be conveyed via written critical assessments of professional articles, attendance at relevant community forums, and class presentations on readings and experiences.


Other Course Information

Students with Disabilities: If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act, you are required to register with the Disabilities Resource Office (DRO). The DRO is located in Room 32, Tyler Hall, telephone 540-831-6350. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DRO forms and meet with the instructor no later than the second week of the semester.

Honor Code : By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of the University Honor Code include (but are not limited to): lying, stealing and unauthorized possession of property, cheating, multiple submission, and plagiarism. This class will be conducted in strict observation of the honor code. Refer to your Student Handbook for a complete copy of the University Honor Code.

In addition to the University Honor Code, students are expected to comply with the NASW Code of Ethics and the Waldron College Standards for Professional Practice. Failure to do so might negatively impact student grades and can result in dismissal from the program. Students are responsible for obtaining and reading the above mentioned code and policy.


Review and Approval

October 2003 New Undergraduate Marilyn A. Rigby, Course Director

Revised 2/5/09