Social Work Faculty

Kristi K. Loberg, program director
Laurie C. Dahley, emerita in residence
Kelli Gast, field coordinator
 

Social Work

Social work education at Concordia College is framed by Concordia’s mission statement. The courses contribute to the students' liberal arts education through development of increased awareness of self, others, and social systems, enabling informed participation for leadership in community service organizations. This is reflected in the social work program's mission statement:

"To promote human community well-being by confronting disadvantage through a framework of scientific inquiry and human rights, favoring undervalued persons and providing conditions of hope, leading to individual and social change."  

The social work program at Concordia College is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduates of the program are qualified to seek licensure in accordance with various state regulations and are eligible to sit for the national board exam or pursue Minnesota Merit System eligibility.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work, many graduates pursue employment as generalist social workers, which feature application of generalist practice knowledge, values and skills of social work in a variety of settings. With a bachelor’s degree in social work, students are also eligible for advanced graduate placement in Master of Social Work programs. The social work program identifies the following competencies as its student learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  • Engage in policy practice.
  • Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Assess individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

The Purpose of the Social Work Profession

From the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational Policy Statement:

The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons, locally and globally.

Programs Offered

Major

Courses

SWK 150  -  Social Work and Social Justice,  4 credits.  

This course examines human service and social justice through a social work perspective and explores various career settings of social work. Students will learn how the profession identifies and addresses the needs of individuals and vulnerable populations, including how the profession responds to social concerns and promotes human and community well-being. This course is open to all students.

Frequency: Every Semester  
Core designations: U.S. Cultural Diversity U, Social Science S  
SWK 300  -  May Seminar,  4 credits.  
Frequency: May Seminar  
SWK 310  -  Human Behavior and the Social Environment,  4 credits.  

A study of human behavior in the context of various social systems (bio-psycho-social and spiritual) and of life tasks, focusing on the influences individuals and the environment have on each other. There is a special emphasis on the systems perspective and human growth and development. Open to students intending to declare social work as a major.

Frequency: Every Year - Second Semester  
Prerequisites: SOC 111 and PSYC 111 and BIOL 101  
SWK 320  -  Social Policy and Systems Perspective,  4 credits.  

A study of current social policies, human services programs, and a review of related social problems. Special emphasis on systems perspective, critical analysis and human rights policy formulation. Open to students intending to declare social work as their major.

Frequency: Every Year - Second Semester  
Prerequisites: SOC 111 and SWK 150  
Core designations: International-Global Prspct G  
SWK 326  -  Social Work Practice I: Individuals and Interviewing,  4 credits.  

Students will learn the values, knowledge and skills needed by social workers for effective generalist social work practice with diverse clients and consituencies. The helping relationship, its formation, and use are studied along with developing knowledge and skill in interviewing for social work practice with individuals. Taken concurrently with SWK 336.

Frequency: Every Year - First Semester  
Prerequisites: SWK 150 and SWK 310  
Corequisites: SWK 336  
SWK 336  -  Social Work Practice II: Families,  2 credits.  

Students will learn the values, knowledge and skills needed by social workers for effective generalist practice with diverse families. Focus is on the family system and its environment as well as on social work engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation for working with current family structures and issues. Taken concurrently with SWK 326.

Frequency: Every Year - First Semester  
Prerequisites: SWK 310  
Corequisites: SWK 326  
SWK 346  -  Social Work Practice III: Groups, Organizations, and Communities,  4 credits.  

Students will learn the values, knowledge and skills needed by social workers for effective generalist social work practice with diverse groups, organizations and communities. Study includes group dynamics and processes, organizational and community processes, community action work, and evaluation.

Frequency: Every Year - First Semester  
Prerequisites: SWK 326  
Corequisites: PEAK 400  
This course is PEAK Required  
SWK 350  -  Comparative Cultural Encounter,  4 credits.  

This course examines the need for cultural competency and anti-oppressive education in contemporary Western society. Includes case studies, the use of critical theory, and participatory action research. Students will explore the broad meanings of culture and the exclusion of culturally unique peoples from mainstream opportunities due to systemic institutional policy barriers and acts of individual, workplace and community discrimination. Strategies of opposition, social change, and enlightened human rights practices will be explored.

Frequency: Every Year - First Semester  
Core designations: U.S. Cultural Diversity U, Social Science S  
SWK 380  -  Special Topics,  0-4 credits.  

Courses covering various topics of interest in this particular discipline are offered regularly. Contact department or program chair for more information.

Frequency: Not offered on a Regular Basis  
Repeatable: Yes  
SWK 390  -  Cooperative Education,  1-8 credits.  

A social work co-op provides valuable training and a laboratory in which to test classroom knowledge and one's interest and aptitude in particular social work settings. Each cooperative education experience is tailored to the individual needs and goals of the student. Cooperative education hours apply to the contextual learning requirements for social work courses. It is strongly recommended that social work students enroll in at least one Cooperative Education experience.

Frequency: Not offered on a Regular Basis  
Repeatable: Yes  
SWK 480  -  Independent Study,  1-4 credits.  

This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct in-depth study of a particular topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Contact the department or program chair for more information.

Frequency: Not offered on a Regular Basis  
Repeatable: Yes  
SWK 487  -  Directed Research,  1-4 credits.  

This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct research in a specific area of study, completed under the direction of a faculty mentor. Specific expectations of the research experience to be determined by the faculty. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Frequency: Not offered on a Regular Basis  
Repeatable: Yes  
SWK 490  -  Social Work Internship,  10 credits.  

A minimum of 480-hour professionally supervised social work internship in an approved agency. Students will integrate their previous learning and experience into a field education setting in order to demonstrate beginning competency in the application of social work values, knowledge, skill and processes. To be taken concurrently with SWK 494 and after all other courses in the major have been completed.

Frequency: Summer Session  
Prerequisites: (SOC 228 or PSYC 301) and SWK 320 and SWK 350 and SWK 310 and SWK 150 and (SWK 384 or SWK 346) and (SWK 383 or SWK 326) and (SWK 385 or SWK 336)  
Corequisites: PEAK 400, SWK 494  
This course is PEAK Required  
SWK 494  -  Social Work Senior Seminar,  2 credits.  

Along with SWK 490, this is the capstone course in the social work major. The purpose of this course is to integrate all parts of the students' previous learning and experience in further preparing them for direct entry into generalist social work practice with beginning competency in social work methods and processes. The seminar includes content on perspectives for job interviews and procedures for taking state licensing and merit examinations. It is to be taken concurrently with S WK 490 - Social Work Internship. Open only to those accepted into the social work major.

Frequency: Summer Session  
Corequisites: SWK 490