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Social Work Curriculum

The foundation of Social Work Education is rooted in the liberal arts perspective which expressed purpose is to impart general knowledge and develop a student's rational thought and intellectual capabilities. The curriculum for the Department of Social Work at Tuskegee University has been designed to capture this perspective.  Four approved curriculum guides are presented that outline the structure and sequence of courses for the Social Work major and are listed as follows:

  1. Revised Core Curriculum Provisional sheet for the College of Liberal Arts and Education.
  2. Curriculum requirements for Social Work majors.
  3. Four year schedule shows the recommended sequence of all prescribed and elective courses.
  4. Four year schedule with course titles rather than course numbers.

One hundred and twenty three (123) semester hours are required for graduation for all majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Education (referred to as CLAE).  The Core Curriculum is a Provisional Sheet for CLAE which shows how general education requirements are distributed among the liberal arts. The remaining credit hours are structured by the other disciplines for their respective majors.  The following discussion provides a detailed analysis of how the Department of Social Work incorporates the General Education courses into the Social Work Curriculum.

Humanities - The College requires (19) hours of humanities which includes (12) hours of English courses and (7) hours of electives in the Humanities. Of the 19 hours, Social Work requires an advanced writing course as well as an oral communication course.  All students are required to take an Introduction to 
Philosophy course as a part of the Humanities requirement.

Natural Science - The College requires 18 hours of courses in the Natural Sciences, which includes a Pre-Calculus course.  Social Work requires two courses (6) hours in the Biology sequence covering Human and Ecological topics.  Students are then free to take the remaining 9 hours in other courses that center 
on the Natural Sciences.

Social Sciences - The College requires (18) hours of courses in Social Sciences.  Six hours are required in U. S. History - World Civilization.  Social Work requires one course (3) hours in an Introduction to Psychology course.  Students are free to select other Social Sciences courses for the remaining (9) hours.  Also SOWK 245 Introduction to Social Welfare has been added to the Colleges core curriculum. All students are allowed to take this course and it serves as a recruitment tool for new majors.

Foreign Language - Social Work prescribes all twelve (12) of these hours to be taken in the four courses recommended as a Foreign Language Option:

  • Statistics course (Sociology 300, Mathematics 504 or Psychology (306)
  • The Department's Computer Applications course (Social Work 300)
  • Introduction to Sociology (Sociology 240)
  • Sociology Elective

Liberal Arts Perspective Rationale

The Social Work Curriculum is embedded in the liberal arts perspective.  Social Work majors begin their tenure in liberal arts beginning with the freshman year and continue into their junior year when they are concurrently enrolled in Social Work courses. Human Behavior and the Social Environment I and II have a liberal arts base and build on the biology sequence.  Both are often taken by non Social Work majors as social science electives.  Introduction to Social Welfare focuses on the liberal arts perspective by assessing Social institutions, the history of social welfare, poverty and economic oppression from a systematic nature. The Interpersonal skills course is the first course in the Method of Practice foundation area and is generally not open to non-Social Work majors.  During the junior year, students continue to take liberal arts electives while they complete Methods of Practice I & II, Junior Practicum, Statistics, and Research Methods. In the senior year, after the Senior Internship, students again have the opportunity to select a liberal arts course. This shows continuity of the liberal arts perspective throughout the students’ tenure in Social Work. 

The Department of Social Work prescribes about one-third of the liberal arts electives in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences.  If the Foreign Language Option is included in the calculation, then the department prescribes about 46 percent of the liberal arts elective content.  Although it may appear that students’ choices are limited when it comes to choosing their electives from the liberal arts tier however; the prescribed electives are also liberal arts courses and guarantee that students:

  1. Complete additional study and practice in written and oral communications consistent with the program's mission, goals and objectives.
  2. Study Human Biology before taking the HBSE sequence which builds on that content.
  3. Acquire a foundation in Statistics, Computing, and Data Analysis which is a necessary foundation in Research Methods and other Social Work courses.
  4. Acquire a foundation in Psychology and Sociology which is used in the HBSE sequence.
  5. Acquire a cross section of knowledge presented in these areas.

In conclusion, the following table summarizes and shows the distribution at the minimum 129 hours required for graduation. The rubric shows the distribution of credit hours prescribed by the College, by the Social Work major and free electives for each of the major curriculum categories.

 Curriculum Categories Prescribed by the College   Prescribed by Social Work  Free Electives  Totals
 Humanities  6  6  9  19
 Social Sciences  6  3  9  18
 Foreign Language  0  12  0  12
 Social Work  48  48
 Natural Sciences  6  6  6  18
 Free Electives  0  0  11  11
 University Requirements  3  0  0  3
 Totals  129

The Social Work curriculum has been designed from a Generalist Practice perspective. This curriculum covers the knowledge base, values and skills of the Social Work Education. The theoretical framework is presented through the introductory courses, Human Behavior and Social Environment, Methods One and Two and the Interpersonal skills Lab. When the students during the Field Practicum experience.

Curriculum Sheet

 Fall Term       Spring Term 
 Freshman Year  Freshman Year
 *Engl 0101 (Core)  3   *Engl 0102 (Core)  3 
 Hist 0103 (Core)  3   Hist 0104 (Core)  3
 Math 0107 (Core)  4  Humanities (Core)  3
 Natural Science Elective (Core)
(Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
 4   Natuaral Science Elective
(Biology, Chenistry, Physics)
Humanities (Core)  1   Orient 0101  1 
 *Sowk 0145 (Core)  1  Psych 0270 (Core)  3
 Orient 0100 (Core)  1  Phed  1
 Total 18  Total 18
 Sophomore Year        Sophomore Year
 Elective Natural Science (Core)  4  Humanities (Philosophy) (Core)  3
 *Sowk 0235  3  *Sowk 0236  3
 *Sowk 0245  3  Sociology Course  3
 *Soci 0240  3  Engl 201, 203, 204 or 209 (Core)  3
 *Sowk 0300  3  *Sowk 0354  3
 Phed  1
 Total  17  Total  15
 Junior Year        Junior Year
 Elective Social Science  3  Elective Social Science  3
 Math 504, Soci 300, or Psych 306  3  *Sowk 0301  3
 Engl 0220, 0324, or 0327  3  *Sowk 0365  3
 *Sowk 0355  3  *Sowk 0366  3
 Elective Social Science  3  *Sowk 0364
 Elective Free  6
 Total  15  Total  18
 Senior Year        Senior Year
 *Sowk 0465  12  *Sowk 0466  2
 *Sowk 0464  0  *Sowk 0445  3
 Electives  9
Total  12  Total  14

*Grade of "C" is passing for these and all major courses. 1 Foreign Language Option