Social Work
Mount Saint Mary's College
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Social Work

Course Descriptions

Social Work is a major of the Sociology Department. For a full list of Sociology courses click here.

SOC 5 - Sociological Perspectives (3)
An introduction to the scientific study of human social behavior, including the foundational theories and the basic elements of social research. Viewing human life as inherently social, the social and environmental forces which influence and are influenced by personal experience, culture, and social arrangements, are examined.

PSY 1 - Introductory Psychology (3)
This course is an introduction to the study of mental processes and behavior. The course will survey major concepts, research findings, and practical applications of current research. The course focuses in questions such as: How do people change and grow from infancy to adulthood? How do we learn and remember best? How does biology influence behavior? How do our senses help us to interpret the world? How does personality work? How do other people affect our behavior? What does it mean to be "abnormal."

SOC 13 - Anatomy for Human Services (3)
An introduction to the structure of the human body. This course provides a basic understanding of the human organism and explores the relationship between psychosocial functioning and biological functioning. It is designed for those preparing for the social services professions, such as social work.

MTH 38 - Statistics  (3)Required for all A.A. Human Services Majors. The internship site to be selected and mutually agreed upon by student and advisor. A minimum of 120 hours of on-site experience must be conducted under the supervision of the internship advisor. This course is not open to those outside the A.A. Human Services Program. Prerequisite: Approval of the Advisor and sophomore standing.

SOC 103 - Group Therapy: Theory and Practice (3)
This course will explore the theories that guide group therapy as an intervention, support mechanism or site to develop interpersonal social and interaction skills. An emphasis on strategies and techniques will allow students to explore topics such as grief, anger management, delinquency, and drug abuse as personal, interpersonal and social issues.

SOC 104 - The Family (3)
An exploration of the structure, functions, and challenges of the institution of the family from a cross-cultural perspective. The impact of the forces of social, political, religious and economic change on the structure of the family, and the multiple dynamics of intergenerational relationships will also be analyzed. GS-IIIF

SOC 105 - Couples (3)
An integrated biopsycholsocial approach to the study of intimate relationships. The course focuses on the interaction between the biological, psychological and sociological dimensions of the relationship system. Attachment and communication styles, distance regulation, pairing patterns, and the impact of history and culture are addressed. Case studies will be conducted.

SOC 106 - Introduction to Psychotherapy (3)
Introduction to the major methods of psychotherapy, particularly as applied to couples and families. The integration of theory and practice will be emphasized. Therapies that will be covered include structural family therapy, systems family therapy, strategic therapy, Milan systemic approach, intergenerational therapy, Satir’s communication approach, cognitive-behavioral, narrative therapy, solution-focused approach, and symbolic-experiential therapy.

SOC 110 - Juvenile Delinquency (3)
An examination of the theories and concepts applied to deviance and social disorganization as it manifests itself among the juvenile population. Topics include contemporary gang culture and other issues of youths at risk. Fieldwork will be conducted in conjunction with course. Prerequisite: SOC 5.

SOC 112 - Medical Sociology (3)
An examination of contemporary social phenomena associated with health and illness and the dissemination of health care, both nationally and internationally. Analysis of regional, national and international data on the health status of a variety of populations will be examined. In addition, the intersection of health, health care delivery, demography, economic trends, and the swift pace of changing technology—both medical and non-medical—will be explored. Societal implications for the future will be discussed.

SOC 117 - Quantitative Research Methods (3)
An introduction to and application of quantitative methods used in social science research. A research project will be undertaken. Current computer applications used in research will be applied. Prerequisite: SOC 5.

SOC 118 - Ethnography (3)
An introduction to qualitative methods used in social science research. Ethnographic methods such as observation, case studies, and interviewing techniques will be studied. Prerequisite: SOC 5.

SOC 120 - Case Management in Health and Human Services (3)
A study of the methods and practices utilized by health and human services case managers working in a variety of social service resource settings, such as hospitals, daycare centers, senior centers, non-profit outreach programs, and convalescent facilities. Fundamental business, management and social interaction skills will be highlighted. Field work will be conducted in conjunction with the course. Case studies will be conducted.

SOC 121 - Human Services Ethics (3)
An examination of the values, strategies, and skills that provide a framework for ethical decisions, ethical behaviors, and an ethical climate in the human services. The NASW Code of Ethics and social justice will provide the context for the professional development of social workers, site managers, and human services leaders.

SOC 128 - Introduction to Social Work (3)
An introduction to the basic theories and practice in the field of social work. Course will emphasize human diversity (including cultural, gender, age, SES, personality, geographic locale, and special populations such as victims of violence and the homeless), problem-solving and intervention modalities that can be used for individuals and families. Interactions between client and social worker will also be a major focus, along with assessment, planning, practice actions and evaluation methods. Case studies will be conducted.

SOC 134 - Mediation and Negotiation (3)
The examination and practice of theory and skills required for formal and informal dialogue, understanding, or resolution of differences. Focus will be on student development of mediation and negotiation skills through application of techniques to group, community, and interpersonal issues.

SOC 160 - Diversity in Society (3)
The study of the complexities and intricacies of what is meant by human diversity in a variety of manifestations. The influence, implications and intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, religion, political affiliation, education, occupation, family heritage, sex orientation, regionalism, and personal identity communities are examined. Discussion of multiple cultural identity, intermarriage and cross-cultural communication is a recurring focus throughout the semester.

SOC 180 - Social Stratification (3)
A study of the class system in the United States. This specifically includes an examination of stratification as it occurs by educational and occupational attainment, prestige, status, income, and power. Variations among these variables as mediated by race, age and gender will be explored. Prerequisite: SOC 5

SOC 197 - Internship and Practicum (3)
The application of the major’s program of study through an internship experience. A minimum of 100 hours of on-site experience is required, along with practicum attendance and participation. Development of a professional portfolio is also required. Internship site is to be selected and mutually agreed upon by student and professor. Open to majors only and to be taken in senior year of study. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

GER 188 - Caregiving and Adaptations for Elders (3)
This course addresses the multiple challenges caregivers must address in serving the needs of elders. Caregiving, service modalities, and care options are examined. In addition, environmental adaptations that provide optimal conditions for sustained independent living are presented.

GER 189 - Gerontology (3)
A cross-cultural exploration of aging as experienced in the United States. Ageism, societal attitudes regarding the elderly, and responses to the aging process, both from the individual and social perspective, are examined. Cultural variation and responses to aging and the social, political and economic implications of a rapidly expanding aging population in the U.S. and in many regions of the world, will be analyzed. Resource and service availability for the elderly--locally, regionally, and nationally--will also be assessed.

GER 192 - Thanatology Seminar (3)
A multi-disciplinary and comparative approach to death and dying. The course focus will consist of historical and literary themes, along with cultural responses which have provided understanding, coping, and meaning for the death and dying process.