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The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Notice to Prospective Majors

The BA in Social Work is the beginning professional degree. Therefore, it is important that you complete the Social Work Core listed below, and regularly meet with your major advisor. You are ready to begin the Professional Sequence if you have:

1. Achieved junior class standing, including transfer students with 60 transferable semester units;

2. Completed or have in progress 39 of the 48 required General Education units and the specific prerequisites;

3. Completed the following courses at CSU Chico or their articulated equivalents (see "Social Work Core" for course titles)

BIOL 104 (or a human biology course)

ECON 101, ECON 102, or ECON 103

MATH 105

PSYC 101

SOCI 100

SWRK 170

SWRK 200

SWRK 302

4. Have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

5. If you have passed the above requirements with a C- or higher you are eligible to apply for the Professional Sequence. An application will be posted on WebCT Vista in mid September. Complete and return to the School of Social Work office by the deadline indicated.

6. Have 60 hours of documented volunteer experience in social work related activities in a community agency at time of application to the BSW Professional Sequence. The application will required that you document completion of these hours.  The BSW Director is responsible for evaluating the applicability of documented volunteer experience.

It is also recommended that you have completed or have in progress the 6 units of U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals requirement.

Transfer students who plan to take prerequisites at other educational institutions must consult the BSW Director to assure you are enrolled in articulated equivalents to the prerequisite courses on the Chico campus. The BSW Director is responsible for evaluating the transferability of all social work prerequisites not listed on the articulation agreements between CSU, Chico and other units of the California State University, the University of California, and the California Community Colleges system. You may also refer to the following website for information on articulated equivalents: http://www.assist.org.

We are committed to your success. Please help us to support your achievements by maintaining frequent contact with your instructors and your Social Work advisor, asking for help and/or information when you need it, and by creating a community of mutual respect and collaboration with your student colleagues and faculty.

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

The 9-unit Upper Division Theme, included within the 48-unit GE requirement, may not be taken until you have completed 45 semester units. Complete all nine units within one theme.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

SWRK 435 and SWRK 445 are the WP courses in this major.

Course Requirements for the Major: 61-62 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

Note: A maximum of 15 units of internship (courses numbered 189, 289, 389, 489) may be applied to a bachelor's degree at CSU, Chico.

Social Work Core: 24-25 units

The following courses must be completed before taking any courses from the professional sequence in the spring semester of the junior year (Semester I).

1 course required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Basic functioning of the organ systems of the human body, including the brain and nervous system; vision and hearing; heart and circulation; blood and immunity; respiration, digestion and metabolism; muscles; excretory, endocrine, and reproductive systems. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (001114)

OR (the following course may be substituted for the above)

A transferable human biology course.

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A non-technical introduction to economics with coverage of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Overview of the evolution of economic concepts and ideas. Application of economics to current problems such as inflation, unemployment, the financial sector, the economics of regulation, market imperfections, environmental problems, and international economics. Consumer decision making and different market models are included. (Can be substituted for ECON 102 in the major if students also take ECON 330 as one of their 300-level electives.) 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (002635)
An introductory survey of macroeconomic analysis. Use of fundamental economic concepts to analyze the over-all economy. Determination of gross national product, rates of unemployment, problems of inflation, recession, and the use of governmental policies. Discussion of current problems. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (002636)
An introductory survey of microeconomic analysis. Analysis of individual economic units: household, firms, and markets. Analysis of individual decision making. Supply and demand analysis. Type of market organization: competition, oligopoly, and monopoly. Discussion of current problems. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (002638)

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement.
Summary of numerical data, elementary probability, distributions, and introduction to statistical inference. A grade of C- or higher is required for GE credit. 1.5 hours lecture, 1.5 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005501)
Introduction to concepts and problems in psychology. Topics include perception, learning, development, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior, and biological and social bases of behavior. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (007881)
This course helps organize thinking about societies in general, the society we inhabit, and our place within it. Underlying questions are: Why do people have different values? Why do people act differently? Why is there inequality? And why and how does society; its values and norms, institutions, and groups influence our behavior. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (008933)
This course identifies groups within American society which have a high risk of disenfranchisement. Societal responses established to reduce the impact of inequitable distribution of goods, services, and opportunities based on economic, medical, educational, generational, gender, and legal scarcity are studied. Issues are examined from historical and contemporary perspectives. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (009411)
Corequisite: SWRK 302 for SWRK majors only.
This course presents a framework for understanding and openly interacting with people from diverse backgrounds that compose the rich mosaic of the United States. The class is designed to promote ethnic-sensitive interpersonal relationships. Diverse people studied are distinguished by issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion/spirituality, generation, and national origin. Historical and cultural experiences shaping their lives and current reality are examined. The overall goal is for students to develop high regard for the worth and dignity of all people. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved US Diversity course. (009415)
Corequisites: SWRK 200 for majors only.
Using a systems framework and selected human behavior theories across the lifespan, the biological, social, psychological, and cultural influences on individuals, families, and groups are investigated. Particular emphasis is given to ethnic and cultural diversity and promoting student self-reflection across generations and cultural competence. 3 hours lecture. (009416)

Note: It is recommended that students enroll in SWRK 170, SWRK 200, and SWRK 302 (or at least SWRK 200 and SWRK 302) in the same semester, both for educational reasons and to meet the other students who will go through the Professional Sequence with them.

Professional Sequence: 37 units

The completion of the Social Work Core is a prerequisite for enrolling in the Professional Sequence.

Credit for life experience or prior work experience in lieu of coursework or the social work practicums is not permitted. Please refer to the BSW Student Handbook for more information regarding the school's transfer of credit and proficiency exam policies. All social work courses required in the Professional Sequence are restricted to social work majors.

In the event you drop, do not receive at least a grade of C-, or take an incomplete in a required course, including the Social Work Core, you may be ineligible to progress in the major. Contact the BA Director immediately to develop an academic contract.

All courses must be taken in the sequence outlined.

Semester I (Spring): 9 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: SWRK 170, SWRK 200, SWRK 302. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 305, SWRK 325.
Second of two human behavior and social environment theory courses relevant to social work practice. While SWRK 302 focuses on individuals and families across the lifespan from diverse backgrounds, SWRK 303 studies groups, organizations, institutions, and communities as social systems. Examines the reciprocal interactions between these larger social systems and diverse individuals and families. 3 hours lecture. (009423)
Prerequisites: SWRK 170, SWRK 200, SWRK 302, acceptance into the BSW professional sequence.
Corequisites: SWRK 303, SWRK 325.
This course provides students with a foundation in community-based change strategies. Students explore how individuals affect communities, how communities affect individuals, and how social workers can become involved to create social change in conjunction with community members. 3 hours lecture. (015907)
Prerequisites: SWRK 170, SWRK 200, SWRK 302. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 303, SWRK 305.
Introduces students to the application of social work ethics and skills for social work practice. Includes the ecological systems framework, strengths perspective, and differential application of practice knowledge related to the needs of various groups characterized by gender, race, ethnicity, culture, generation, sexual orientation, class, and ability. Students learn basic interviewing and communication skills. 3 hours clinical. (009426)

Semester II (Fall): 13 units

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence I. Social Work majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 435, SWRK 489A, SWRK 490A.
An introduction to the logic and styles of social work research. Particular attention is given to the nature of the scientific method, the methods of formulating research questions, the design of social research and the nature of scientific evidence. A laboratory provides application of research practice introduced in class. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (008970)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence I. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 330, SWRK 489A, SWRK 490A.
Explores the dimensions of social work practice from a systems perspective: engagement, data collection, assessment, and planning. Students develop skills in building partnerships with clients, group leadership, culturally competent relationship building, problem/need partializing and prioritizing, goal setting, and collaborative planning. Values, ethics, and ethical decision making are emphasized. Students apply knowledge of social systems, human development across the lifespan, and diversity in assessing and planning with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 3 hours clinical. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (009427)
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence I. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 330, SWRK 435, SWRK 490A.
Students are placed in an approved social service agency and, under the supervision of a qualified field instructor, engage in generalist social work practice with multi-level client systems. The approved agency may be public, non-profit, or proprietary. The Director of Field Education facilitates student placement. 240 hours in the practicum are required. 15 hours supervision. Credit/no credit grading. (009434)
Prerequisites: Satisfactory complection of Professional Sequence I. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 330, SWRK 435, SWRK 489A.
Discussion and learning processes designed to facilitate integration of previous and ongoing learning with the realities of practice and consolidation of personal growth as a social worker. 1 hour seminar. (009439)

Semester III (Spring): 12 units

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence II. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 485, SWRK 489B, SWRK 490B.
Builds on Methods I in the areas of intervention, evaluation, and closure. Students enhance their skills in maintaining partnerships with clients, group facilitation, culturally competent change strategies, collaboration, evaluation of practice, and closure. Values, ethics, and ethical decision making are applied to intervention and evaluation. Students apply knowledge of social systems, human development across the lifespan, and diversity in intervention and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 3 hours clinical. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (009429)
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence II. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 445, SWRK 489B, SWRK 490B.
This course examines economic, historical, generational, political, intellectual, sociocultural, leadership, values, ideologies and other such factors that shape social welfare policy, programs, and services. The course addresses various frameworks for studying social welfare policy and examines the roles of policy makers, processes of social change, and the roles of social workers as facilitators of positive social change. 3 hours lecture. (009432)
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence II. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 445, SWRK 485, SWRK 490B.
This course is a continuation of SWRK 489A. Interns remain in the same agency with the same field instructor to further develop their ethical foundation, skills, knowledge, and understanding of self in the delivery of social services with multi-level client systems. 240 hours in the practicum are required. 15 hours supervision. Credit/no credit grading. (009435)
Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Professional Sequence II. Majors only.
Corequisites: SWRK 445, SWRK 485, SWRK 489B.
Discussion and learning processes designed to facilitate integration of previous and ongoing learning with the realities of practice and consolidation of personal growth as a social worker. 1 hour seminar. (009440)

Elective: 3 units

Select three units of social work elective in consultation with your major advisor. The elective may be taken during the semester of your choice.

Professional Standards and Disqualification

The social work degree signifies readiness to begin professional work in positions requiring trust and high ethical standards. You are expected to meet the ethical and professional standards set by the profession and the practicum agencies. Should it be determined you do not meet such standards, you can be dropped from the practicum and all corequisite social work courses and, thus, be prevented from completing the social work major.

The professional standards include the following

1. honoring the NASW Code of Ethics of the social work profession;

2. being found acceptable and receiving at least a minimum satisfactory evaluation by practicum agencies;

3. passing performance in SWRK 305, SWRK 489A, SWRK 489B, SWRK 490A, and SWRK 490B;

4. avoiding behavior that suggests potential harm to clients, colleagues, or themselves.

Please refer to the BSW Student Handbook for more complete information regarding these standards.

Federal Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program

The undergraduate social work program is a participant in the Federal Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. The program provides stipends to students who commit to a minimum of two years of postbaccalaureate employment in public child welfare. Interested students should contact the BSW Director and the Title IV-E Coordinator in the School of Social Work.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

By policy, students receiving less than a grade of C- in the Social Work Core and Professional Sequence may not progress in the program. You may petition the BSW Director to review the application of the policy in your situation if serious and compelling conditions contributed to the poor grade. Progression in the Professional Sequence also depends on maintaining a cumulative and CSU, Chico grade point average of 2.0 and completing all prior and current required classes.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Honors in Social Work is by faculty permission and open to seniors who meet the above requirements.

Catalog Cycle:13