Courses in Social Welfare

R 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. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

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)
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. 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 and minors only. Only offered in Fall semester. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.

R SSW 305 Social Work Practice I (3)
This course is designed to introduce the student to general social work practice. Topics include: a definition and overview of generalist social work practice; the history, values and ethics of social work practice; the roles of social work; the generalist intervention model 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; and a basic understanding of theories utilized in practice. For majors only.

R SSW 306 Social Work Practice II (3)
This course is a continuation of RSSW 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; the integration of theory that informs engagement and assessment; evidence based and informed practices that guide engagement and assessment; basic social work and professional skills in engagement and assessment with diverse clients; and 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 and minors only. Only offered in Spring semester. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.

R SSW 390 Community and Public Service Program II (3)
This is a service based course that builds on prior community service experience by asking students to think critically about their community service experience through the lens of relevant scholarly literature. Requires 100 hours of service at a not-for-profit or public organization. In addition to volunteer service, each student is required to read selected articles and reflect on their experience by responding to discussion questions and completing a reflective writing assignment centered on personal leadership assessment and development. Prerequisite(s): R SSW 290 or R SSW 291 and permission of instructor. A-E graded.

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. 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. Prerequisite(s): Course may be taken by Social Welfare majors only. Grade of C or better in: RSSW 301, 205, 306, 322 and by permission of instructor. Corequisite(s): Must be taken concurrently with SSW 400 and SSW 405Z.

R SSW 405Z Social Work Practice III (3)
This course is a continuation of RSSW 306: Social Work Practice II. The focus of this course is the intervention phase of the generalist helping process, including goal setting, contracting and basic interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities; intervention skills with diverse client systems; the applications of theory to practice with basic interventions; the use of critical reasoning in the basic intervention process, and the effects of oppression and injustice when intervening with populations at risk. This course is a writing intensive course. Therefore, much attention will also be given to the demonstration of critical reasoning through self-reflective and professional writing as it applies to the field of social work, and more specifically, basic interventions with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. 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 406Y Social Work Practice IV (3)
This course is a continuation of RSSW 405Z: Social Work Practice III. 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; application of knowledge and skills to practice in concurrent field placement; effects of oppression and injustice in intervening, evaluating and terminating with populations at risk. In addition, this course meets the oral discourse requirement at U Albany. 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 and minors only. Only offered in Fall semester. 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 and minors only. Only offered in Spring semester. 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.