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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Division of Social Work

Donna Bliss, Ph.D., Director
Health Sciences Building
Phone: (307) 766-6112, FAX: (307) 766-6839
Website: http://www.uwyo.edu/socialwork

Professor:

MONA C.S. SCHATZ, B.A. Metropolitan State College 1976; M.S.W. University of Denver 1979; D.S.W. University of Pennsylvania 1985; Professor of Social Work 2006.

Associate Professors

DONNA L. BLISS, B.A. University of Maryland College Park 1989; M.S.W. University of Maryland Baltimore 1991; Ph.D. 2005; Associate Professor of Social Work 2013.
DIANE A. KEMPSON,
B.A. Columbia College 1968; M.S.W. Florida State University 1970; Ph.D. University of South Carolina 1998; Associate Professor of Social Work 2010.
VICKI MURDOCK, B.A. Indiana University; M.S.W. University of South Carolina 1995; Ph.D. 2003; Associate Professor of Social Work 2009.

Assistant Professors

NEELY MAHAPATRA, B.Sc. Utkal University, India 1991; M.Sc. 1993; M.S.S.W. University of Texas at Austin 2003; Ph.D. 2008; Assistant Professor of Social Work 2012, 2010.
VALERIE THOMPSON-EBANKS, B.Sc. University of the West Indies 2002; M.S.W. 2007; Ph.D. Colorado State University 2012; Assistant Professor of Social Work 2012.

Associate Lecturer

CAROLYN HANEY, B.A. Chadron State College 1993; M.S.W. University of Wyoming 2000; Associate Lecturer of Social Work 2012.

Assistant Lecturers

BETHANY CUTTS, B.S.W. University of Wyoming 2003; M.S.W. 2005; Assistant Lecturer of Social Work 2011.
ELIZABETH DOLE-IZZO, B.S. Colorado State University 1996; M.S.W. 2002; Assistant Lecturer of Social Work, Field Coordinator 2006.
JOANNE THEOBALD, B.A.S.W. Colorado State University 1984; M.S.W. University of Wyoming 2001; Assistant Lecturer of Social Work 2011.

Professors Emeriti

Miller, Williams

Social Work

Social workers are uniquely qualified to help people in their own environments by looking at different aspects of their lives and cultures. We work to ensure  the client's personal well-being, prevent crises, counsel individuals, support families, and strengthen communities. We make sure people get the help they need, with the best resources available.

For more than 100 years, social workers have cared for people in every stage of life. Social workers help others overcome life's most difficult challenges and manage the troubles of everyday living, including the troubles that exist due to poverty, stress, addiction, abuse, unemployment,  mental illness, family change, and social violence.

The Division of Social Work prepares students for entry-level generalist social work practice. Two locations offer the social work program: the Laramie campus and the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center on the Casper College campus. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and are prepared to work as generalist social work practitioners with individuals, groups, families, organizations, communities, and institutions to achieve more effective and efficient social functioning.

Our program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The curriculum is designed to help students acquire important knowledge and skills in the areas of values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, and research. A competency-based curriculum prepares students to meet an "initial level" of competence in 10 core areas (CSWE, 2008). Students also select elective courses in areas such as aging, child and adolescent services, health and mental health, and disability services. The program culminates in a 450-hour supervised field practicum, which allows students to work as social workers in one of Wyoming's many human service agencies.

Social Work Major

Social work is a professional degree program. Prior to admission to the professional degree program, declared social work majors are considered Tracking Majors. Typically students apply to the professional degree program the spring semester of their sophomore year. Acceptance to Admitted Major (professional degree program) is competitive and requires an application. Please see application requirements on the Division of Social Work website. Students accepted into the professional degree program are expected to complete their degree in a timely manner. Students who have not completed social work classes for one year or more must reapply for Admitted Major and submit a plan for readiness to continue in the social work degree program. A plan may include, but is not limited to, repeating or auditing a course taken at an earlier point in the student's academic experience, completing an independent study that may provide updated social work content for the student, demonstrating knowledge or practice skills. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Criteria for Admission as an Admitted Major

The admissions process is competitive. Students must meet the following minimum criteria to be considered for Admitted Major status.

1. Students must earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 on all UW course work as well as all course work transferred into the University of Wyoming from other academic institutions.

2. Complete the following prerequisites:

  a. SOC 1000
  b. PSYC 1000
  c. POLS 1000
  d. SOWK 2000
  e. Human Biology (KIN/ZOO 2040, LIFE 2050, or PSYC 2080)
  f. STAT 2050 or 2070
  g. ECON 1010

3. Students must earn a grade of C or higher in all SOWK prerequisite classes.

4. Students must adhere to the UW Student Code of Conduct and the NASW Code of Ethics.

5. Students cannot exhibit behavior that will  impinge on the student's present or future ability to fulfill professional responsibilities as a social work professional.

6. All students seeking admission to programs in the College of Health Sciences are required to undergo a background check as specified by college policy. Criminal convictions may result in rejection of the candidate for admission to Admitted Major.

7. Students must submit an application and an application fee. (See UW Fee Book)

8. Applicants to the social work program cannot receive credit for life experience.

Requirements for Admitted Majors

Once admitted, social work students must:

1. Achieve a C or better in all social work prerequisites.

2. Achieve a C or better in all social work courses, including six hours of required social work electives.

3. Social work classes are offered and must be completed in sequential order.

4. Maintain a 2.5 or above GPA overall every semester after admittance to Admitted Major.

5. Maintain a 2.5  or above GPA overall in all social work course work every semester after admittance to Admitted Major.

6. Registration is restricted and students must meet with their advisor each semester for enrollment.

7. Complete SOWK 4990 with a satisfactory.

8. Students must adhere to the UW Student Code of Conduct and the NASW Code of Ethics.

Individuals failing to meet any of the above requirements will be reviewed by faculty and one of the following actions may be taken: remediation, probation, suspension, sanction, and/or dismissal from the program. Because many social work courses have prerequisite requirements, receiving a grade lower than a C in a social work course may prevent the individual from moving forward in the social work program.

Field Practicum

All students complete a 450-hour (10 credit hours) field practicum experience in a community-based social agency or social program. Field practicum sites exist throughout the state of Wyoming and students may be placed outside Laramie. Students apply for this program the semester before their actual placement. Students must complete a Field Placement Application and meet with the Field Coordinator to determine a field location (please review BSW Field Practicum Manual). Background checks and drug screenings may be required by some agencies even though the College of Health Sciences has received a background check during admission to the major.

For the practicum, the grade of U is interpreted as performing below expectations and will not be considered satisfactory completion of the practicum, hence of  the BSW program. Based on input from the student, the field instructor, and the faculty liaison during the field evaluation, the field coordinator will determine what remediation would be required. The plan will clarify course objectives and professional skills upon which the student needs to improve. A student wishing to continue in the program would need to reapply for a field placement. Upon approval of the request for placement by the field committee, the student may then repeat the practicum experience. Consistent with University policy, the most recent grade would be the grade calculated into the GPA. The grade of U is interpreted as not meeting minimal requirements of the course; failure to complete the minimum clock hours in the field placement; failure to complete written assignments in a satisfactory manner; violation of one or more of the tenets of the NASW Code of Ethics (see Appendix B and Termination of Practicum section in the practicum manual); and/or failure to withdraw formally or to terminate the course.  A student receiving a U in the practicum will be automatically dismissed from the BSW program with no opportunity to reapply or re-enter. Grades and dismissals may be appealed. (See most current BSW Student Handbook for appeal procedures.)

Requirements for Graduation

The program requires 120 credit hours to graduate. Students must have completed all social work requirements, 48 upper-division hours, maintain a 2.5 GPA overall, a 2.5 GPA in social work coursework, and have achieved a grade of C or better in all social work courses.

Four Year Plan of Study

Freshman Year: Fall

Hours

PSYC 1000 (CS)

3

Science (SB, SP, SE)

4

ENGL 1010 (WA)

3

MATH 1000 or 1400 (QA)

3

USP Intellectual Community Course (I)

1-3

USP Information Literacy Course (L)

1-3

Total Hours

~15

Freshman Year: Spring

Hours

SOC 1000

3

General Elective

3

POLS 1000

3

LIFE 1003 (SB)

4

ECON 1010

3

Total Hours

16

Sophomore Year: Fall

Hours

SOWK 2000

3

Human Biology (KIN/ZOO 2040, LIFE 2050, or PSYC 2080)

3

PEAC 1001 (P)

1

STAT 2050 OR 2070 (QB)

3

USP Writing II requirement (WB)

3

Total Hours

13

Sophomore Year: Spring

Hours

USP Global Awareness Course (G)

3

USP Oral Communications course (O)

3

USP Cultural Context (CA)

3

USP Humanities (CH)

3

General Elective

3

Total Hours

15

Application for Admitted Major Submitted

(acceptance as Admitted Major needed
to proceed in the professional program)
Junior Year: Fall

Hours

SOWK 3530

3

SOWK 3630

4

SOWK 3645

3

SOWK 4060 (D)

3

General Elective

Total Hours

15

Junior Year: Spring

Hours

SOWK 3540

3

SOWK 3640

3

SOWK 4850

3

SOWK 3650

3

General Elective

 3

Total Hours

15

Senior Year: Fall

Hours

SOWK 4560

3

SOWK 4990

5

SOWK 4991

3

SOWK Elective

3

General Elective

 3

Total Hours

16

Senior Year: Spring

Hours

SOWK 4570 (WC)

3

SOWK 4990

5

SOWK 4992

2

SOWK elective

3

General Elective

3

Total Hours

13

 

~120

Graduate Study

The Master of Social Work (MSW) is designed to prepare graduate students for advanced level social work practice and leadership positions in rural human service organizations. The MSW program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Master of Social Work program is focused on an advanced generalist and rural social work that relies on the problem-solving method, and is based on the values, knowledge, and skills of the profession. Part-time and full-time options are available.

Certificate Programs

School Social Work

See Web site for details and course requirements.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

The Division of Social Work's Graduate Admissions Committee bases its decisions primarily on the evaluation of previous undergraduate and graduate work, recommendations, experience in human services (paid, volunteer, research, and internship), the applicant's personal statement, an academic essay, and supporting materials.

Standard MSW Program

Applicants without a BSW are expected to meet the following minimum criteria for admission:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a nationally accredited college or university that reflects a broad liberal arts preparation. The Division of Social Work defines a broad liberal arts preparation as having completed at least 21 credit hours in social and behavioral sciences and 6 credit hours in nautral sciences, humanities, vidual and performing arts, and quantitative reasoning;
  2. A human biology course, receiving a grade of C or better;
  3. A statistics course, receiving a grade of C or better;
  4. An undergraduate cumulative grade point anverage (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4 point scale (provisional admission may be offered to applicants with GPAs below 3.0);
  5. Applicants are encouraged to have engaged in human services or social services work as a volunteer or paid employee for at least 600 hours. These hours must be documented on a resume.

Advanced Standing Program

Applicants who have a BSW from an accredited social work program are eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing program. Advanced Standing students enter the program in the summer of each academic year, completing bridge courses, and enter the advanced generalist concentration in the fall. To qualify for Advanced Standing, applicants must have the following:

  1. A Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from a CSWE accredited Social Work Program;
  2. An undergraduate Social Work GPA of 3.25 or above;
  3. An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above;
  4. Received a B or better in BSW Field Education Practicum;
  5. Applicants are encouraged to have engaged in human services or social services work as a volunteer or paid employee for at least 1000 hours (BSW internship hours can apply to this total). These hours must be documented on a resume.
  6. 

All Applicants

All applicants will be evaluated on the their:

  • Intellectual and personal qualities essential to the successful practice of social work, such as sensitivity and responsiveness in relationships, concern for the needs of others, adaptability, good judgment, creativity and integrity;
  • Commitment to social justice and equality;
  • Written and verbal communication skills;
  • References and
  • The compatibility of career goals with the MSW program's advanced generalist perspective.

All applicants meeting minimum criteria will be considered for admission interviews.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

The MSW program is divided into two phases:  foundation and concentration. The foundation year of the MSW program prepares students for the advanced generalist concentration in the second year. Students may complete either program full-time or structured part-time.

Master of Social Work Plan A

Students complete all SOWK required courses except SOWK 5755.  Plan A students register for SOWK 5960 Thesis Research (variable credit, maximum 12).  Students registering for the Plan A option are required to carry out original research.  Thesis proposal defense, thesis implementation, and final defense are required.  Plan A students may write a monograph fully detailing their research or a publishable peer-refereed journal article, determined in consultation with the student's Research Chair and in accordance with the UW Thesis requirements. 

The thesis requires a minimum of 4 credit hours, usually taken as 2 credits in the fall semester of advanced year and 2 credits in the spring of advanced year.

Master of Social Work Plan B

Students complete all required SOWK courses.  Plan B students register for SOWK 5755 (minimum 2 credits) course.  A final written paper and oral defense are required.

Social Work (SOWK) Courses

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