5 Important Social Work Classes You’ll Want to Attend

As a professional career choice, Social Work inspires those with the desire to help others and to promote social and economic justice. A bachelor’s degree in Social Work leads to career opportunities that serve individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Through the bachelor’s degree program at Goodwin College, students prepare to become effective social workers by using strength-based practice skills that build upon the resiliency and self-sufficiency of all client systems. But what separates a good social worker from a great social worker?

If you’re thinking of pursuing your social work degree in CT, here are 5 classes that you won’t want to miss:

Introduction to Psychology

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of psychology, including physiological psychology, neuropsychological principles, sensation and perception, cognition, learning, child and adult development, social psychology, personality, and abnormal psychology. You will focus on understanding human behavior and its application to everyday life.

Social Work Practice in Research

At Goodwin, this two-course sequence—Research Methods I and Research Methods II—provides an overview of social work research. In Research Methods I, you are introduced to social work research, covering the scientific method from the development of a researchable hypothesis to the point of data collection. This includes developing a researchable question; ethics and values related to that question; sampling; design; data collection; and the development of measurement techniques. The practical application is usually related to the class research project that is started in Research Methods I and completed in Research Methods II.

Human Behavior and the Social Environment

This two-part course provides the theoretical and empirical foundation for understanding the influence of macro and micro systems which interact with human behavior at all levels (individual, family, small group, community and society). There is a focus on theories of human development from infancy through late childhood in the context of families and communities, as well as the biological, psychological, socioeconomic, spiritual, and cultural influences on development. Risk and protective factors within the family and community contexts will be examined, as well as the impact of trauma, and resilience, as they relate to development from birth through childhood. This course intends to develop your awareness of self and others as shaped by these positive and negative forces by examining oppression and privilege. It will emphasize a strengths-based perspective for viewing individuals and families in the context of their environments.

Social Welfare Policy

This course investigates the historical and philosophical roots of social welfare from ancient cultures to contemporary America. You will experience an in-depth analysis of current social and public policies that impact community, state, and federal agencies and organizations. This course will generate knowledge related to design and management of service programs and situations within a constantly changing political and social environment.

Generalist Practice I

Generalist Practice I (Engagement, Assessment and Contracting) is the first social work course in a three-course series at Goodwin. Generalist Practice I focuses on theories of professional values and skills of the helping process within social work practice during engagement, assessment and contracting phases. The goals of this social work class are to integrate knowledge with practice and to help you begin to self-identify as a social worker. You will learn the interviewing, evaluation and observation skills that will inform case formulations and assessments, and become familiar with contracting for agreed upon services and interventions. The course outline follows the stages of clinical work and coincides with client-worker relationships you are developing in field-practice placements. This class emphasizes using strengths-based and culturally-informed perspectives as they apply to individuals, families and groups.

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