School of Social Welfare
Lynn A. Warner, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Anne E. Fortune, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Director, Baccalaureate Program
Mary McCarthy, Ph.D.
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Assistant Director and Coordinator of Baccalaureate Field Education
Alyssa Lotmore, L.M.S.W.
University at Albany
Assistant Dean for Academic Programs
Crystal A. Rogers, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Assistant Dean and Director of Field Education
Estella Williamson, M.S.W.
University at Albany
Director, Community and Public Service Program
Sharon Stevens, M.S.W.
University at Albany
Phillip McCallion, Ph.D.
University of Albany
Ronald W. Toseland, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Distinguished Service Professor
Shirley J. Jones, D.S.W. (Collins Fellow)
Katharine Briar-Lawson, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkley
Nancy Claiborne, Ph.D.
University of Houston
Anne E. Fortune, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Hal Lawson, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Darrell P. Wheeler, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Eric Hardiman, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Heather Horton, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Lani Jones, Ph.D.
Heather Larkin, Ph.D.
The Catholic University of America
Barry M. Loneck, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University
Robert Miller, Ph.D.
Loretta Pyles, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
Blanca M. Ramos, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Starr Wood, Ph.D.
Keith Chan, Ph.D.
Julia Hasting, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Mansoor A. F. Kazi, Ph.D.
University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Catherine K. Lawrence, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Eunju Lee, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Wonghyung Lee, Ph.D.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Zhyldya Urbaeva, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
The objective of the undergraduate social work major (B.S.) is to prepare students for beginning social work. The program serves the liberal education needs for students interested in the social sciences and human services professions. Part-time study is possible. The B.S. in social work qualifies graduates for advanced standing in some M.S.W. programs.
The Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree prepares students for advanced social work practice. These positions generally require advanced theoretical, practice, research, management and/or policy analysis skills.
The School of Social Welfare offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in social welfare, a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The School of Social Welfare also sponsors the Institute of Gerontology, Social Work Education Consortium, the Center for Human Services Research, the Community and Public Service Program, the Institute for Social Services Research and Development, and the Technology Education Consultation for Human Services (TECH Center).
Both the B.S. and M.S.W. degree programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for all U.S. schools of social work.
Degree Requirements for the Major in Social Welfare
General Program B.S.: A combined major and minor sequence consisting of a minimum of 62 credits as follows:
Of the 62 credits: (a) 15–16 credits represent the elementary base; (b) 15 credits represent the advanced base; (c) the remaining 32 credits constitute the core requirements for a major in social welfare.
In addition, it is recommended that prospective social welfare majors elect R SSW 290 (Community and Public Service) in their sophomore year.
Human Biology (one course from): A BIO 102, 117, 120, 209, A ANT 119, 211, 312, 319, 450
Introduction to Psychology: A PSY 101
Introduction to Sociology: A SOC 115
American Politics: R POS 101
American Social Welfare System: R SSW 210
Elementary Statistics (one course from): A MAT 108, A PSY 210, A SOC 221, or R CRJ 281
Social Problems: A SOC 180
Social Psychology: A PSY 270 or A SOC 260
Abnormal Psychology: A PSY 338
Elective as Advised:
Students select a course of personal interest that specifically addresses issues facing a gender, ethnic, racial, or religious group that is different from the student’s own background. (Examples include: A AFS 219, 220, 240 (= A LCS 240 & A WSS 240) 269 (= A ANT 269 & A LCS 269) 331, 333, 370, 375, 400, 432, 435; A ANT 240; A EAS 177 (= A HIS 177), 266 (= A REL 266); A ECO 130; A ENG 240; A FRE 208, 281; A GOG 125, 240; A HIS 300; A JST 150, 155 (= A REL 155), 221, 254 (= A HIS 254 & A REL 254); A LCS 201, 282 (= ASOC 282); A PHI 214 (= A REL 214); A REL 100; A SOC 262 (= A WSS 262), 375; A WSS 101, 202, 308; R SSW 299). Students are also encouraged to review the Undergraduate Bulletin and discuss with their adviser other courses of personal interest that may satisfy this required elective.
R SSW 301, 305, 306, 322, 400, 401, 405Z, 406, 408, 409, 410. A grade of C (S) or higher in all core courses is required (see Termination Policies below).
Students interested in the social welfare major must complete an application process. Admission to the program is competitive. Applications are accepted in the Spring semester of the student’s sophomore year for entrance into the Fall semester of the junior year. Transfer students who will have completed 56 credits should apply during the spring of the year for which they are seeking Fall admission. Information on the admissions deadline and application process is available on the School of Social Welfare’s website www.albany.edu/ssw/.
It is strongly recommended that those wishing to enter the major complete as much of the required elementary base and advanced base as possible prior to entrance into the program in the junior year. Admissions decisions are based on the following criteria:
- Adequacy of the liberal arts base
- Application essay
- Progress toward completion of elementary and advanced base requirements or their equivalents
- Grade point average
- Personal/professional references
- Social welfare/human service experience
The relative merit of any one criterion is considered in light of all others when admissions decisions are made. The overall quality of the application will provide the basis for admissions.
In the Social Welfare major requirements, the core courses, R SSW 301, 305, 306, 322, 401, 405Z, 406, 408, and 409, are graded A-E. Majors cannot repeat a graded core course more than once and cannot repeat more than a total of two courses within the major.
A student who receives a grade of C- or lower in graded core courses in a semester will be given a warning by the Director of the Undergraduate Program, School of Social Welfare that a C- or lower in any graded core course in any subsequent semester will result in termination from the major.
Core Field Instruction courses, R SSW 400 and 410, are graded S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). If a student receives a U in either Field Instruction courses, the student will be terminated from the major.
Any student who is terminated from the major will receive a letter from the Director of the Undergraduate Program. The letter will specify the reason for the termination from the major and include information about the School’s procedures for grieving a grade or seeking readmission after termination from the major.
The procedures governing Standards for Social Work Education, scholastic performance, procedures for addressing violations of or failure to meet the Standards for Social Work Education by students at the School of Social Welfare, student grievance procedures, and readmissions procedures are contained in the Baccalaureate Social Welfare Program Student Handbook. All students receive a copy of the handbook at orientation and again when they enter field education. The Handbook is also available on line through the BSW Program Wiki site.
Field instruction – a structured internship in a social services agency - is an integral part of the total educational process. It offers a student the opportunity to develop, apply, and integrate the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for work in social welfare settings. During the senior year, each student is provided field instruction by a qualified instructor in an agency designated by the School. Placements are selected by the School for the students on the basis of their educational needs and, wherever possible, their area of interest. The field placements represent a variety of settings under public and private auspices and are located throughout the Capital District. Students are responsible for the expenses involved in placement.
Typical Program of Core Courses for
Junior and Senior Social Welfare Majors
R SSW 301
R SSW 306
R SSW 305
R SSW 322
R SSW 400/401
R SSW 406
R SSW 405Z
R SSW 409
R SSW 408
R SSW 410
The following undergraduate courses offered by the School of Social Welfare are considered liberal arts and sciences courses for the purpose of requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees: R SSW 200, 210, 220, 301, 322, 408, 409, 450, 499.
All courses listed in this section are understood to be preceded by the school’s letter R.
Courses in Social WelfareR SSW 190 Community Engagement (1)
This is a service based course that requires a minimum of 35 hours per semester (about 2.5 hours per week for full semester, about 5 hours per week for 8 Week 2) of volunteer work in public or nonprofit organizations that provide service to the community. In addition to volunteering, the course requires the development of learning goals, reflection on service experience and additional required documents. Open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor. S/U graded.
R SSW 200 The Functioning of American Social Systems (3)
Students are provided with an overview of the functions and relationships of various systems within contemporary American society. The configuration of values underlying system activities is examined, including methods of changing human systems. A social systems perspective is used as the theoretical framework for the course.
R SSW 210 Social Welfare in the United States (3)
Within the context of societal responsiveness to human needs, this course examines U.S. social welfare policies and programs as influenced by economic, political, and social changes. Addresses current public and private social welfare efforts and underlying value issues. Examines the role of professional social work within social welfare. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only.
R SSW 220 Value Issues in Social Welfare (3)
The course considers implicit and explicit values of societal responses to human needs. From an examination of selected topics in social welfare, the course considers social, economic, ethical, religious, and/or personal values as they affect and are affected by social welfare.
R SSW 290 Community and Public Service Program (3)
This is a service based course that requires a minimum of 100 hours per semester (about 7.5 hours per week full semester; about 12.5 hours per week for 8 Week 2) of volunteer work in public or nonprofit organizations that provide service to the community. In addition to volunteering, the course requires the development of learning goals, reflection on service experience and additional required documents. Prerequisite(s): at least second semester freshman and permission of instructor. S/U graded.
R SSW 291 Human Service in the Community (2)
This is a service based course that requires a minimum of 60 hours per semester (about 4.5 hours per week full semester; about 7.5 hours per week for 8 Week 2) of volunteer work in public or nonprofit organizations that provide service to the community. In addition to volunteering, the course requires the development of learning goals, reflection on service experience and additional required documents. Prerequisite(s): at least second semester freshman and permission of instructor. S/U graded.
T SSW 295 Community Change in a Globalizing World (3)
Community Change in a Globalizing World is an undergraduate social work course (honors) designed to explore and critically evaluate a range of ways that groups work toward community change - domestically, transnationally, and globally. The course is concerned with endeavors initiated by grassroots organizations and non-governmental/non-profit organizations; some of the principal actors are low-income people, students, neighborhoods, identity groups, and community change professionals. Throughout the course, students work to define what community means, explore the implications of globalization, and analyze their own social standpoint as global citizens. Open to Honors College students only.
R SSW 299 Multiculturalism (3)
This course is a critical analysis of the global phenomenon of multiculturalism. Focus is on its interconnectedness with globalization, national and transnational migration, surrounding debates, and effects on the U.S. and other world nations. Theoretical perspectives and methods underlying social work and allied disciplines provide the overarching framework. It examines the history, variations, contributions, and distinct experiences of ethnic groups comprising current multicultural U.S. society giving special attention to the intersections of gender, social class, race, religion, and ethnic group membership. This course enables students to heighten awareness of their own ethnic heritage, strengthen knowledge and understanding of ethnic groups within and outside of the U.S., become engaged global citizens, and be better prepared to function effectively in today's multicultural global society. Only one version may be taken for credit.
T SSW 299 Multiculturalism (3)
An Honors College version of R SSW 299. Only one version may be taken for credit. Open to Honors College students only.
R SSW 301 Human Behavior and The Social Environment (3)
Knowledge of human behavior and the social environment as a basis for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Includes theoretical and empirical knowledge about the range of normal bio-psycho-social development and the nature and impact of oppression and discrimination on individuals and families throughout the life course. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
R SSW 305 Social Work Practice I (3)
Introduction to social work practice. Overview of generalist social work practice; history, values, and ethics of social work; role of social work; the helping process in a systems framework; self-awareness and professional use of self; introduction to basic communication skills and social work practice skills with diverse clients; effects of oppression and social injustice. For majors only.
R SSW 306 Social Work Practice II (3)
This course is a continuation of R SSW 305: Social Work Practice I. Students will be introduced to the generalist helping processes of engagement and assessment with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities; basic social work and professional skills in engagement and assessment with diverse clients; the effects of oppression and injustice in engaging and assessing populations at risk. Prerequisite(s): grades of C or higher in R SSW 301 and 305.
R SSW 322 Introductory Research Methods in Social Welfare (3)
Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods in social work, including content on: defining social work research problems, developing and testing hypotheses, the logic of causal inference, sampling, measurement (including reliability and validity), basic skills in data analysis and research utilization, the ethics of research, and research issues concerning human diversity and power. Emphasizes methods and content relevant to social work practice and the problems of social welfare. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.
R SSW 390 Community and Public Service Program II (3)
This is a service-learning course that builds on prior community service experience by asking students to think critically about their community service experience through the lens of the scholarly literature. Each student is required to engage in 100 hours of service at a not-for-profit or public organization. Each student is also required to read selected articles and reflect on their experience by responding to discussion questions and writing a critical reflective essay. Prerequisite(s): R SSW 290 or R SSW 291 and permission of instructor.
R SSW 400 Field Instruction in Social Welfare I (3)
Internship in an affiliated social welfare agency where, under a qualified social work practitioner, students are assigned tasks which enable them to apply, integrate and extend the social work practice theory learned in the classroom. Assignment to a specific agency is made according to each student's educational needs. Students are in field 16 hours per week supervised by approved field instructors. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): grades of C or higher in R SSW 301, 305, 306, 322 and by permission of instructor. Concurrent with R SSW 401 and R SSW 405Z. S/U graded.
R SSW 401 Integrative Field Seminar (1)
This seminar focuses on the professional and practice issues and concerns of students entering baccalaureate field instruction. The seminar provides learning opportunities that will enable students to compare practice experiences, integrate classroom learning with practice, and increase their critical thinking skills. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): grades of C or better in: R SSW 301, 305, 306, 322 and by permission of instructor. Concurrent with R SSW 400 and R SSW 405Z.
R SSW 405Z Social Work Practice III (3)
Continuation of R SSW 306. The generalist helping processes of contracting and basic intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; special social work and professional skills in contracting and intervention with diverse clients; application of theory and research to practice in contracting and basic interventions; effects of oppression and injustice in contracting and intervening with populations at risk. Includes development of written and oral communication skills: course meets general education upper level writing and oral discourse requirements. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): grade of C or better in R SSW 306. Concurrent with R SSW 400 and R SSW 401.
R SSW 406 Social Work Practice IV (3)
This course is a continuation of R SSW 405. The focus of this course is the generalist helping process of advanced intervention, evaluation, and termination with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; specialized social work and professional skills in intervention, evaluation, and termination with diverse clients; application of theory and research to practice in advanced intervention, evaluation, and termination in concurrent field placement; effects of oppression and injustice in intervening, evaluating, and terminating with populations at risk. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): grade of C or better in R SSW 405Z. Concurrent with R SSW 410.
R SSW 408 Organizational and Community Theory (3)
An introduction to social work practice at the organizational and community levels, with emphasis on oppressed populations. Includes the history of communities, organizations, and macro-practice in social work; major approaches to organizational behavior and community dynamics; the nature of non-clinical social work; the organizational and community contexts for the provision of social services; and skills for working in organizations and communities. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, R SSW 210 and 301.
R SSW 409 Introduction to Social Policy Analysis (3)
Within an historical context, current social welfare policies and programs will be examined in terms of their rationale, implementation, and effectiveness. The strengths, limitations, and alternatives to governmental intervention in social welfare. Emphasis on concepts and frameworks for analyzing social welfare policies and programs, with special attention to their differential impact on at-risk and oppressed populations. For majors only. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, R SSW 408.
R SSW 410 Field Instruction in Social Welfare II (4)
Continuation of R SSW 400. Internship in an approved social welfare agency. Hours per week are set to meet acceptable professional standards. Must be taken concurrently with R SSW 406. Prerequisite(s): grade of C or higher in R SSW 401, 405Z and 408; grade of S in R SSW 400 and by permission of instructor. S/U graded.
R SSW 450 Independent Study in Social Welfare (1-3)
Independent reading or research on a selected experimental, theoretical, or applied problem is planned under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): written permission of instructor and chair of undergraduate program.
R SSW 499 Special Areas of Social Welfare (3)
Consideration of a topic or issue in the field of social work knowledge or practice is selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.