About

Why should I major in social work?

Social work is a dynamic, noble and altruistic profession with a rich history of commitment to the needs of others, especially the most vulnerable in our society. To achieve this, social work has a dual focus: To assist the individual to function as effectively as possible in their environment and to work to create conditions in society that foster healthy growth and development, personal freedom and human dignity. This unique dual focus allows social workers to become involved in activities and service provision that protect, promote, or restore the well-being of all people. As such, social workers are employed in areas such as education, health care, mental health, counseling, services to the aging, substance abuse services, corrections and criminal justice, child welfare services, services for the mentally and physically disabled, rehabilitation, veteran services, government, politics and social policy, community development and other similar areas.

What can I do with a social work degree from the University of Pikeville?
The social work program at the University of Pikeville educates students in the generalist practice approach, with emphasis on social work practice in rural Appalachia. All social work majors are provided the opportunity to “practice” social work in the field in an approved agency under the direction of professional social works and program faculty. Graduates of the social work program are equipped with the knowledge, values and skills necessary to be competent entry-level social work professionals, as well as being prepared for graduate study in social work and other human service fields.

Social Work at the University of Pikeville?
The social work program is a part of the Division of Social Sciences. The mission of the program is to expand the University’s mission by being committed to providing Eastern Kentucky and other rural Appalachian regions with entry-level professional social workers educated in the tradition of generalist social work, and who are knowledgeable, ethical and competent.

Social Work Degree Options
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Social Work Careers
Administration/Management
Advocacy and Community Organization
Child Welfare and Family Services
Developmental Disabilities
Health Care Social Work
International Social Work
Justice and Corrections
Military/Veteran Affairs
Occupational Social Work
Policy and Planning
Politics
Public Welfare
Research
School Social Work

 

Courses

SW 215 Introduction to Social Work
Introduction to the social work profession, its philosophy, and value commitments to social welfare. Course will examine social work from its origins to current trends and influences. An overview of social work education is also discussed giving particular attention to social work values and ethics, generalist practice theory, diversity and populations-at-risk, social work roles, and an exploration of various practice settings. Course also includes an examination of the role of the social work profession in the development of social welfare policy and the role of contemporary social welfare policy and its impact on generalist social work practice. Required of social work majors and recommended to be taken during first year. Prerequisite or Corequisite: ENG 099 or ESL 031 or placement beyond.
 
SW 300 Diversity & Difference
This course is designed to help students develop the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to engage, assess, and intervene with diverse and different client populations. Students will be challenged to engage in a journey of self-awareness of their own identity, including biases they may hold about diversity and difference and how these biases may limit their ability to practice effective social work with people of diverse backgrounds. The course will also require students to broaden and deepen their knowledge base and awareness of identities outside of their own. An additional focus of the course involves exploring the implications and consequences of prejudice, discrimination, oppression, economic deprivation, marginalization, alienation, power, acclaim, and privilege as they apply to both majority and minority groups in terms of social identity construction. The concept of intersectionality is also explored. The course will also present strategies for interrupting and challenging systems of oppression as a way to advance human rights, social and economic justice, and environmental justice. Required of social work majors and recommended that SW 215 be taken concurrently. Prerequisite or Corequisite: ENG 099 or ESL 031 or placement beyond.
 
SW 305 Social Work Practice in Medical Settings
A description and examination of the role of social work practice in the healthcare delivery system, including the areas of hospital based medical case management, hospice care, and home healthcare within a bio-psycho-social framework. Course emphasis social work roles and intervention. Prerequisite: BIO 100/101 or beyond.
 
SW 315 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
This course presents and discusses the interrelatedness of the biological, psychological, social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors, which influence human development and behavior, and presents theories from various disciplines to assist in describing, explaining, and predicting human development and behavior. Special attention is given to diversity, specifically ethnicity, race, gender, social class, and sexual orientation and its relation to human development and behavior. Required of all social work majors and open to others. Prerequisites: 3 hours in PSY and 3 hours in SOC; recommended that ENG 112 or ENG 115 be completed prior to enrollment in course.
 
SW 334 Professional Ethics
This course provides an examination of the values and ethics inherent in the profession of social work. Basic philosophical underpinnings of various ethical approaches are examined. Course emphasizes the development of ethical decision-making through a variety of learning experiences such as lecture, group discussion, and case study analysis. Required of all social work majors and open to others. Prerequisites: 3 hours in PSY, 3 hours in SOC, and ENG 112 or ENG 115.
 
SW 340 Generalist Social Work Practice I: Individuals & Families
This is the first course in the social work practice sequence and presents the generalist practice model with emphasis on work with individuals and families. Course is designed to introduce the beginning student to the skills and practice of social work, including interviewing, assessment, case management, and crisis intervention. Course includes a focus on the strength-based, planned-change or problem solving process and gives special attention to social work's obligation to populations-at-risk and the importance of cultural competence. Prerequisite: SW 315 and Admission to the Social Work Program. Recommended that SW 350 be taken concurrently.
 
SW 343 Issues in Aging
The biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of aging are examined. Special attention will be given to topics such as ageism and physical and mental health issues among the elderly as they relate to social work practice. Prerequisites: SW 315 and BIO 100/101 or beyond.
 
SW 350 Generalist Social Work Practice II: Groups
This is the second course in the social work practice sequence and presents the application of social work generalist practice skills in service delivery to groups. The course focuses on group work as a social work intervention method, stages of group development, group dynamics, and group processes. Students study the application of various theoretical approaches to social work with groups, including educational, support, self-help, and treatment groups. Special consideration is given to methods of group work with diverse client populations, particularly Appalachian people. Course includes an experiential learning component. Prerequisite: SW 340 and Admission to the Social Work Program. Recommended that SW 340 be taken concurrently.
 
SW 360 Generalist Social Work Practice III: Organizations & Communities
This is the third course in the social work practice sequence and presents the generalist practice model with emphasis on macro level social work with organizations and communities. Generalist practice knowledge and skills are expanded to include community assessment, community organizing, program planning, evaluation, acquisition of funding, and grant writing. The course focuses on macro social work in the rural, Appalachian communities. The impact of oppression, discrimination, and prejudice on populations-at-risk, specifically those in Appalachia is discussed. Prerequisite: SW 315 and Admission to the Social Work Program. Prerequisite or co-requisite SW 340. Recommended that SW 370 be taken concurrently.
 
SW 370 Generalist Social Work Practice IV: Policy Practice (GSWP IV: Policy Practice)
This course is the fourth and final course in the social work practice sequence and presents the generalist practice model with emphasis on work in the social welfare policy arena. This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and tools to engage in effective policy practice. The first part of the course focuses on the development of the profession of social work and its role within the social welfare system. This includes providing an awareness of problems and concepts of the policy process in the U.S., exploring the political, economic, and institutional frameworks which structure public social welfare choices. An important focus of the course is to identify and understand the impact of a wide range of social policies on social work clients and the human service delivery system within a social justice framework with specific attention given to rural, Appalachian clients and service delivery. The second part of the course focuses on the knowledge and skills related to advocacy, such as media relations, community organizing and coalition building, lobbying methods, campaign strategies, position taking, and proposal development. Prerequisites: SW 315 and Admission to Social Work Program. Prerequisite of SW 340; Recommended that SW 360 be taken concurrently.
 
SW 390 Special Topics in Social Work
This course consists of small group study regarding issues of current and special significance for social work practice. Issues may include death and dying, racism and ethnic prejudices, global poverty, forensic social work, social work and law, social work and juvenile justice, AIDS, school social work, social work with gay and lesbian people, and social work with oppressed people. This course may be repeated in a different topic for a maximum of six hours. Prerequisites: Junior standing and consent of the Instructor.
 
SW 450 Mental Health Assessment
The course will examine the role of social workers in various mental health settings with special emphasis on assessment techniques, assessment tools, including scales, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) criteria, and use of current DSM. Special attention given to social work roles in intervention and crisis stabilization. Prerequisites: 15 hours of course work in either SW, PSY, SOC, CJ; recommended that PSY 323 or PSY 440 are completed prior to enrollment in course.
 
SW 495 Senior Seminar Capstone
This course serves as the capstone course for the social work program and is designed to foster the integration of curriculum content, critical thinking, ethical problem-solving, and the use of informational resources in making decisions about social work practice. Additional focus of the course is on the preparation of students for continued professional development following graduation. In addition to course requirements, students will be expected to successfully complete a comprehensive exam. Prerequisites: Admission to the Field Education Component of the Social Work Program as outlined in the Social Work Program Field Education Handbook.
 
SW 496 Social Work Practicum
This course provides educationally directed practice experience under the direct supervision of an approved, agency-based professional social worker in collaboration with social work program faculty. This course provides students with the opportunity to integrate the knowledge, values, and skills of generalist social work practice in the field setting with client systems of all sizes (individuals, families, small groups, organizations, and communities). Emphasis is placed on supervised practice in a rural, Appalachian setting. A total of 400 hours will be completed through agency-based, on-site experiential learning. Course may include a seminar component designed to complement field placement by assisting students with the integration of knowledge, values, and skills acquired in social work classes, applying that knowledge in the field, and the further development of generalist social work competencies. Prerequisites: Admission to the Field Education Component of the Social Work Program as outlined in the Social Work Program Field Education Handbook; Corequisite: SW 495. Fee $200.
 
SW 499 Directed Individual Study in Social Work
Directed study in a specific area or issue in social work not covered by existing courses within the curriculum. Interdisciplinary study is welcomed and encouraged. Student must be of junior or senior standing. Permission of instructor(s) granted upon approval of a student generated proposed plan of study. Prerequisites: 21 hours of social work courses AND consent of the Instructor, Program Director, Division Chair, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Faculty

Name: Ashton Bartley
Title: Assistant Professor of Social Work and Field Coordinator
Email: AshtonBartley@upike.edu
Phone: 606.218.5001
Office: Armington 465

Name: Genesia Kilgore-Bowling
Title: Assistant Professor of Social Work/Social Work Program Director
Email: GenesiaKilgoreBowling@upike.edu
Phone: 606.218.5011
Office: Armington 464

Admission

Social Work Program Admission Procedures
Students who choose a major in social work must complete a formal application to the Social Work Program and meet the following additional criteria:
  1. The applicant must be enrolled at the University of Pikeville.
  2. The applicant must submit an application for admission to the Division of Social Sciences no later than the following dates:
    a. Fall semester May 1
    b. Spring semester October 1
  3. The applicant must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all completed college work.
  4. The applicant must have earned a “C” or higher in SW 215.
  5. The applicant must complete the application process in its entirety.
  6. The applicant must agree to a criminal background check, which is necessary for field education/practicum placement.
  7. The applicant must review and sign a declaration to behave in a manner consistent with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics at all times.
*Note: Admission to the University of Pikeville does not guarantee admission to the Social Work Program.

The Application
The Social Work Program application for admission requires the student to complete a written application and autobiography which details the student’s motivation for a career in social work, commitment to the profession, interests, and goals, as well as strengths, skills, abilities, and areas for growth. The entire admissions application can be found in Appendix A. As part of the application process, students are also required to sign a declaration stating that they have reviewed the NASW Code of Ethics and agree to behave in a manner consistent with the Code at all times.

The Process
Once the application has been completed and is received by the Program Director, social work faculty members will review each application. The Program will then make a recommendation regarding each application to the Social Work Committee regarding admission to the Program. The Program may recommend a student for admission, conditional admission, or admission denial. Conditional admission would permit admission to the Social Work Program but outline specific conditions which must be met (i.e. increase in GPA, repeat course, seek remediation or additional support with the Office of Student Success, etc) within a specified time frame in order to continue in the Program. The Social Work Committee is composed of all Program faculty members, two faculty representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences (one being from the ´┐╝Division of Social Sciences), two local professional social workers, and two social work majors (one at large student and the President of the Student Social Work Association). The Committee will then make a recommendation for each student application. The student will then be notified in writing within two weeks of the date of the decision of the Committee.

If admitted, students are required to attend a Social Work Program Student Orientation. This orientation serves as an informational session for the new admissions regarding Program policies, procedures, curriculum, and an introduction to CSWE standards. In addition, the orientation also provides the opportunity for new students to meet Program faculty members and established social work students and provides time for students to ask questions regarding various aspects of the Program.

PDF icon - Application

Mission & Goals

The mission of the program of social work at the University of Pikeville is to expand the university’s mission by being committed to providing Eastern Kentucky and other rural Appalachian regions with entry-level professional social workers educated in the tradition of generalist social work, and who are knowledgeable, ethical and competent.

The University of Pikeville social work program is committed to:
  • Continuous examination of the human condition, as well as addressing the complexities of such.
  • Creating conditions in society which foster personal freedom and human dignity in a pluralist society.
  • Ethical practice.
  • Improving the quality of social services in rural Appalachia by producing graduates who are committed to serving in Eastern Kentucky and other rural, Appalachian regions.
  • Outreach and advocacy to the poor, the disenfranchised, the oppressed and the vulnerable in general, as well as specifically in Eastern Kentucky and the surrounding Appalachian areas.
To achieve the mission, the social work program has established four primary goals:
  1. To prepare knowledgeable, ethical and competent graduates for entry level professional social work in the rural Appalachian region.
  2. To prepare students to use generalist practice skills with diverse client systems of all sizes with a specific emphasis on working with the needs and people of Eastern Kentucky and the rural Appalachian region.
  3. To prepare students for graduate study in social work.
  4. To build and maintain collaborative partnerships with the local human services community.

Faculty of the University of Pikeville social work program will engage in activities that promote competent social work practice, professional development and leadership activities (i.e. continuing education workshop attendance, attending professional conferences, membership in professional organizations and acceptance of leadership roles in professional organizations, on local human service boards and university and faculty committees).

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