School of Social Work

Marcella Smith (Interim Department Head)
Location: Henderson Hall, Room 307, 903-468-8190
School of Social Work Web Site

The school offers a broadfield major in social work, which is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and leads to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The School of Social Work offers a graduate degree (MSW) for advanced social work practice.

An undergraduate major in this field prepares a student for entry level generalist social work practice and for entry into a graduate school of social work. Graduates are educationally prepared and eligible to sit for an exam to become licensed to practice professional generalist social work in Texas and many other states.

Social Workers significantly affect the lives of many people. Members of the profession provide services to people of all ages, races, creeds, and educational levels. The undergraduate professional curriculum is built upon and integrated with a liberal arts perspective. The required courses are planned to enable graduates to attain a beginning professional level of proficiency in generalist social work practice. The graduate curriculum provides students with advanced competencies to work autonomously, to  supervise others, and to serve in administrative roles.

Admission to the Undergraduate Social Work Program

Students may register for the three lower division courses (SWK 2361, SWK 2389 and SWK 2362) without declaring the social work major and before admission to the Program. However, enrollment in most upper division social work courses is restricted to social work majors. Students will usually apply for admission to the Program late in the second semester of their sophomore year, and will be notified of their admission status prior to the beginning of the junior year.

For unconditional admission to the Program, students must have completed the three lower division social work courses and their prerequisites, and all Core Curriculum Requirements except PE courses. The student must have an overall GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, a grade of “C” or higher must have been earned in the three sophomore level social work courses for continued enrollment in the program, and the student must earn at least a “C” in all required social work courses, SOC 1306PSY 2301 and MATH 1342 Elementary Statistical Methods or PSY 2317.

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SWK 2361 - Introduction to Social Work
Hours: 3
An overview of the history and development of social work as a profession. The course is designed to foster philosophical, historical, and critical understanding of the social work profession including social work values, ethics, and areas of practice utilized under a Generalist Social Work Model. Prerequisites: ENG 1301, 1302.

SWK 2362 - Social Welfare: Legislation, Programs, and Services
Hours: 3
This course offers a historical and contemporary examination of legislation and resulting programs, policies, and services in the context of the social welfare system in the United States. Special attention is given to the political, economic, environmental, and social conditions that prompted the development of legislation to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Societal responses to legislation are also considered.

SWK 2389 - Academic Cooperative
Hours: 3
A supervised experiential learning course designed to integrate program study with introductory exposure to the field of social work. In conjunction with individual study and/or seminars, the student will set specific goals and objectives i the study of social work and/or social institutions. The course must include a minimum of 80 contact hours (48 hours in a social service setting). Prerequisites: SWK 2361 with a minimum grade C.

SWK 322 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Hours: 3
This course examines biophysical, psychological and behavioral domains of human development. Individuals and families’ interactions with the environment are emphasized in young adulthood, middle adulthood and the later years. Major theories to underpin assessment and interventions with individual and family client systems are presented, within the broader context of a systems approach. Prerequisites: SWK 2361, 2389, 2362 and SOC 1301. ANTH 2351 may be taken prior to or concurrently with this course. Restricted to social work majors and social welfare minors. Corequisites: SWK 328, SWK 329, SWK 370.

SWK 325 - Social Work Practice with Mezzo Systems
Hours: 3
Social Work Practice with Mezzo Systems. Three semester hours. This course teaches the application of social work skills to work with groups. Students will learn the dynamics of task and process groups and how to apply a systematic approach to the development, implementation, termination and evaluation of groups. Prerequisites: SWk 225, 250, 275, 322, 328, 329, 370. Restricted to social work majors.

SWK 328 - Social Welfare Policy and Services
Hours: 3
Social Welfare Policy and Services. Three semester hours. Students are acquainted with the social welfare institution and learn to analyze how its policies and services interact with other social forces in responding to social problems of clients at all levels of systems. Emphasis is given to the examination of how social policies affect oppressed populations. Prerequisites: SWk 225, 250, 275; PSCI 2301; HIST 1302. Concurrent enrollment in SWK 322, 329, 370 required. Restricted to social work majors and social welfare minors.

SWK 329 - Social Work Practice with Micro Systems
Hours: 3
This practice course teaches the application of social work skills with individuals and families. Students will apply a systematic approach to interviewing, assessment, intervention and evaluation of work with individuals and families. Special attention will be given to issues of diversity and ethics in practice. Skills are developed through class exercises, videotaped role plays, and written assignments. Prerequisites: SWk 225, 250, 275. Concurrent enrollment in SWK 322, 328 and 370 required. Restricted to social work majors.

SWK 331 - Social Work Practice with Macro Systems
Hours: 3
Social Work Practice with Macro Systems. Three semester hours. This practice course teaches the application of social work skills with organizations and communities. Students will apply a systematic approach to data gathering, assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation with organizations and communities. Special attention will be given to issues of diversity and ethics in practice. Skills are developed through class exercises, role plays, and written assignments. Prerequisites: SWk 225, 250, 270, 275, 322, 328, 329. Corequisites: SWK 325, SWK 348, SWK 350.

SWK 340 - Global Perspectives of Human Welfare
Hours: 3
Global Perspectives of Human Welfare. Three semester hours. (Capstone) This social work elective focuses on the development of student awareness of meeting global human needs. Students are taught to assess and plan culturally appropriate interventions as well as integrate macro theory into international social work practice. Students will be encouraged to develop awareness that they are part of an international community.

SWK 348 - Promoting Mental Health Across Populations
Hours: 3
Promoting Mental Health Across Populations - Three semester hours. This course teaches skills for understanding and promoting mental health for people with developmental disabilities, the aged, people with AIDS and other special needs. Prerequisites: SWK 322, 328, 329, 370. Restricted to social work majors. Corequisites: SWK 325, SWK 331, SWK 350.

SWK 350 - Social Work Research Methods
Hours: 3
Social Work Research Methods. Three semester hours. This course develops students' knowledge and skills in the use of research designs appropriate for the evaluation of practice with all levels of client systems. Students are also taught to critically evaluate the appropriateness of designs used in published research. Prerequisites: MATH 1314 or 1324 or 179; 8 sh US Science; SWk 225, 250, 275, 328, 329, 370. Restricted to social work majors and social welfare minors.

SWK 361 - Issues in Family Treatment
Hours: 3
Issues in Family Treatment. Three semester hours. This elective course is designed to enable students to understand the theories and processes of helping families. Information is provided on diverse family structures and work with families facing divorce, death, domestic violence, and other social problems.

SWK 362 - Child Welfare
Hours: 3
Child Welfare. Three semester hours. This elective course introduces the student to the practice field of child welfare. Topics include child protection laws and their enforcement, and problems of family and parent functioning that impinge on children's well-being and the policies and services that relate to these problems.

SWK 370 - Writing and Technology Skills in Social Work
Hours: 3
This course develops students' computer and writing skills for human service settings. Students will learn APA style, Web-based research, Excel, and appropriate documentation skills for practice. Prerequisites: Math 141 or 175 or 179; 6 sh US Science; SWk 225, 250, and 275. Concurrent enrollment in SWK 322, 328, 329 required. Restricted to social work majors.

SWK 389 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-6
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Consent of program director.

SWK 422 - Integration of Practice
Hours: 3
Integration of Practice. Three semester hours. This course is designed to pull together content from SWK 250, 325, 329 and 331 by examining the generalist problem solving approach in its entirety. Assignments are made to facilitate student's application of the required skills in their field practicum settings. Students will discuss their field experiences in order to link classroom theory with agency-based practice. Prerequisites: SWK 325, 329, 331; Restricted to social work majors. Corequisites: SWK 425.

SWK 424 - Generalist Practice in the Field
Hours: 3
Generalist Practice in the Field. Three semester hours. This course provides students with a review of BSW course content, information and skills for professional development, and requires students to demonstrate an understanding of the application of social work theory in practice settings. Prerequisites: SWK 422, 425; concurrent enrollment in 426 required; restricted to social work majors. Corequisites: SWK 426.

SWK 425 - Field Instruction I
Hours: 0-6
Field Instruction I. Three semester hours. Students enrolled in this course participate in educationally directed field practice under supervision in a social service agency. Students must complete a total of 160 clock hours of work in the field agency. Prerequisites: SWk 225, 250, 275, 322, 325, 328, 329, 331, 348, 350, 370. Permission of the instructor is required; a GPA of 2.5 overall in the major is required to enter the field. Restricted to social work majors.

SWK 426 - Field Instruction II
Hours: 6
Field Instruction II. Six semester hours. Students enrolled in this course participate in a continuation of Field I in an educationally directed field practice experience under supervision in a social service agency. Students must complete a total of 340 clock hours of work in the field agency and must attend a weekly university instructed seminar on campus, which is designed to help students process and understand field experiences. Prerequisites: SWK 422, 425; concurrent enrollment in SWK 424; permission of the instructor is required. Restricted to social work majors. Corequisites: SWK 424.

SWK 489 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-6
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Consent of program director.

SWK 490 - H Honors Thesis
Hours: 3
SWK 490 - H Honors Thesis - Hours: 3. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Note: May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Consent of department head.

SWK 491 - H Ind Honors Readings
Hours: 3
SWK 491 - H IND HONORS RDGS Hours: 3. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Note - May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Consent of department head.

SWK 492 - Study Abroad
Hours: 3
This course explores the evolution and current development of social work practice in other countries through building knowledge links between political processes, economic constraints and the actual implementation of public policies. The focus will include how modern and evolving bureaucracies along with cultural and institutional frameworks of a given political system dictate the ways in which governments work and interact with the public/private sector.

SWK 497 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

Gracie Brownell
Assistant Professor
B.S., Shorter University; M.S.S.W., Baylor University; Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington

Brian Brumley
Director of Field Education
B.S., East Texas State University; M.S.W., University of Texas at Arlington.

Dessalegn Guyo
Assistant Professor
B.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. Addis Ababa University

Alma Hernandez
Assistant Professor
B.A., University of Florida; M.S.W., Texas A&M University-Commerce; J.D., Capital University Law School

Ahfiya Howard
Assistant Professor
B.S.W., M.S.W., D.P.H. Jackson State University-Jackson

Rebecca Judd
Associate Professor
B.S.W., Texas AM University-Commerce; M.S.S.W., PhD., University of Texas at Arlington

Avril Knox
Assistant Professor
B.A., M.S.W. Southern University; Ph.D. Walden University

Marta Mercado-Sierra
Assistant Professor
B.A., M.S.W., Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR

Brenda Moore
Associate Professor
B.S.W., Texas Christian University; M.S.S.W., Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington.

Dawn Nelson
Clinical Instructor
B.S.W., M.S.S.W., University of Texas at Arlington

Lyndsey Norris
Clinical Professor
B.S.W., M.S.W., University of Texas at Arlington

Marcella Smith
Assistant Professor and Interim Department Head
B.S., Louisiana State University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington