BSSW Program

The Bachelors of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program has received continuous accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education since 1975. The mission of the Grace Abbott School of Social Work is to educate students to become highly qualified social workers who serve people of all ages and influence the systems that affect them, to advance knowledge through teaching and research, and to engage with diverse communities to promote socially just societies.

The BSSW program prepares graduates for beginning social work practice within a variety of social service settings. This degree qualifies graduates to receive the Certified Social Worker credential (CSW) in the state of Nebraska. Other states with licensure and certification of BSSW level social workers will also recognize this degree for licensure or certification. It also prepares students for advanced graduate social work education (the MSW degree).

Admission to the BSSW Program

Upon completion of approximately 50 credit hours, the student may apply for formal application for the BSSW degree program. The deadline for application is March 15th for admission for the following fall semester (the start of the junior year). Admission to the BSSW Program is competitive, based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • Completion of pre-professional courses with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.50 or higher.
  • Successful performance in the two pre-professional social work courses (SOWK 1000 and SOWK 1500) with a grade of B or better.
  • Positive references and a well written personal statement evidencing potential for successful practice in the field of Social Work.

For more information:

please visit the Web or call 402-554-4928

Child Welfare Concentration

Required Courses:
SOWK 4640SOCIAL WORK IN CHILD WELFARE3
PSYC 3520CHILD PSYCHOLOGY3
or PSYC 3540 ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY
SOWK 4410
SOWK 4420
GENERALIST SOWK PRACTICUM I
and GENERLIST SOWK PRACTICUM II
10
Select three course from the following electives:9
SOCIAL WORK IN MENTAL HEALTH AND WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
LAW & PSYCHOLOGY: ETHICS, RESEARCH & SERVICES
FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS
AMERICAN FAMILY PROBLEMS
SOCIOLOGY OF FATHERHOOD
SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR
LAW, THE FAMILY, AND PUBLIC POLICY
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND MANAGEMENT
JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AND JUVENILE JUSTICE (department permission)
RACE, ETHNICITY, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (department permission)
WOMEN, CRIME, AND JUSTICE (department permission)
VIOLENCE (department permission)
GANGS AND GANG CONTROL (department permission)
Total Credits25

SOWK 1000  SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL WELFARE (3 credits)

This course is designed for the student who wants to explore a possible major in social work, and/or to learn more about social work and its functions in society. We examine historical and current issues and problems in social welfare, social services, and the social work profession. The focus of this course is on the values, beliefs, and goals of social work in the United States.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

Distribution: U.S. Diversity General Education course and Social Science General Education course

SOWK 1500  SOCIAL WORK AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (3 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint the student with the social work profession, professional roles and functions, and social services delivery systems. Students will learn about the diverse opportunities associated with social work practice, agency systems and macro perspectives. This is a service learning course, and requires 30 hours of volunteer service in an approved social service agency.

SOWK 2120  RACE, CLASS AND GENDER IN THE UNITED STATES (3 credits)

This course examines the effects of race, class, and gender on social policy and social injustice. The focus is on the institutional manifestations of racism, classism and sexism, and how these are interconnected and are mutually reinforcing. The consequences of these institutionalized oppressions are examined at the individual, group, family and societal levels.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

Distribution: U.S. Diversity General Education course

SOWK 3000  APPLIED STATISTICS AND DATA PROCESSING IN PUBLIC SECTOR (3 credits)

A course in the basic statistics of social work. The emphasis is on exploration of data processing and techniques as they relate to statistical analysis and on understanding the proper application of statistics. (Cross-listed with CRCJ 3000, PA 3000).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): MATH 1310 or permission of the School.

SOWK 3010  HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I (3 credits)

This course focuses on major contributions of theories from the biological, social, and behavioral sciences that help to understand human functioning across the lifespan, particularly infancy through adolescence, within the social environment at the micro- and macro-level (e.g., individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions, and communities), as they relate to effective generalist social work practice.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): PSYC 1010, SOC 1010, BIOLOGY 1020, and admission to the BSSW program. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 3020  HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT II (3 credits)

This course focuses on major contributions of theories from the biological, social, and behavioral sciences that help to understand human functioning across the lifespan, particularly young adulthood through late adulthood, within the social environment at the mezzo- and macro-level (e.g., large groups, organizations, institutions, communities, society), as they relate to effective generalist social work practice.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3010. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 3110  SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY I (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to social welfare policy analysis. The course examines social welfare policy taking into account historical, political, economic, social, and cultural perspectives. Basic concepts and choices are examined in relation to values, ethics, context, social functioning and social consequences.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): PSCI 1000 or PSCI 1100, ECON 1200 or ECON 2220, HIST 1120, and admission to the BSSW program.Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 3320  SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the values, ethics, knowledge, and skills of generalist social work practice. Using constructs from the Generalist Intervention Model, systems theory, and the strengths-based perspective, students learn about engagement, assessment, planning and contracting, intervention, evaluation, and termination. Diversity and case management are emphasized as part of bringing planned change to client systems.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): PSYC 1010, SOC 1010, and admission to the BSSW program. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 3350  SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE II (3 credits)

This course reinforces the values, ethics, knowledge, and skills of generalist social work practice. Students gain specific knowledge and skills in assessing, intervening and terminating with families. Students will learn about the process of development and implementation of groups.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3320. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 3890  WRITING FOR SOCIAL WORK (3 credits)

This course emphasizes the process of critical thinking and analysis and the process of effective professional writing as required for generalist social work practice. Students will apply selected generalist social work concepts to prepare writing samples such as research/term papers, client progress/ psychosocial reports, analytical reviews, professional development papers, business communications, and grant proposals. Research and writing skills emphasized are: conducting electronic literature searches, outlining, paragraph and sentence structure, revising, using APA format, and proofreading for correct grammar, word usage, and punctuation.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENGL 1150, ENGL 1160, and admission to the BSSW program. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4020  SOCIAL WORK WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY (3 credits)

This course seeks to develop in students an awareness and understanding of some of the social and psychological/cognitive realities influencing the behavior of African American youth and families across the lifespan. The content draws upon theories, research and social work practice skills relevant to African American youth and families, as well as the cognitive process and social systems which impact African youth and families. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8026)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4040  WORKING WITH MINORITY ELDERLY (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the student with knowledge of the differing status, attitudes and experiences of the elderly within minority groups. This course examines various service systems and practice models in terms of their relevance and effectiveness in meeting needs of the minority elderly. (Cross-listed with GERO 4690, GERO 8696, SOWK 8046).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School

SOWK 4050  ETHNIC DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE (3 credits)

This course focuses on effective generalist social work practice with clients of ethnic diversity. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8056)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): BSSW degree students only. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4360  SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE III (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to a goal-oriented planned change process with an emphasis on task groups, organizations, and communities.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 2120, SOWK 3110, and SOWK 3350. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4400  RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE (3 credits)

Focus will be on the scientific method as it is applied to social work research. The purpose of all social work research is to answer questions or solve problems. The six phases of the research process will be identified and the basic tasks to be accomplished in each phase will be learned. Special attention will be given to evaluating social work practice.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3000. Prior to or concurrent: SOWK 4360. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4410  GENERALIST SOWK PRACTICUM I (5 credits)

This course is designed to provide supervised, individual and experiential learning offered within the setting of a selected social service agency. The student will be introduced to a variety of social work practice roles, develop professional relationships with client systems and learn to apply a number of interventive modalities to effect change across the life span. In order to facilitate integration of classroom theory with practice, students will attend a seven-week practicum seminar (2 hours per week).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Prior: SOWK 2120, SOWK 3020, SOWK 3350. Prior to or concurrent: SOWK 3890 and SOWK 4360. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4420  GENERLIST SOWK PRACTICUM II (5 credits)

This course is designed to provide supervised, individual and experiential learning offered within the setting of a social service agency, typically the same agency as in SOWK 4410. This course builds upon opportunities provided and competence achieved in Generalist Social Work Practicum I.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 4410 prior to or concurrent. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4450  SENIOR SOCIAL WORK SEMINAR (1 credit)

This course is intended as an integrating senior seminar designed to be taken with the final course of practicum. It facilitates the transition from student to professional social worker through the use of specific assignments focused on areas of resume development, continuation of research, awareness of continuing education needs, issues of licensure, and exposure to social work professionals.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 4410 prior to or concurrent. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4510  TREATMENT ISSUES IN CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY (3 credits)

This course addresses chemical dependency treatment issues including denial, minimization, relapse and its prevention, resistance, family dynamics, poly-substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, spirituality and the influence of self-help groups. The education will include the clinical treatment needs of individuals suffering from chemical dependency, taking into consideration diversity, gender, culture and lifestyle. (Cross-listed with COUN 4510, COUN 8516, SOWK 8516).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admission to counseling program or social work programs or permission of instructor. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4620  TRAMA AND RESILIENCE (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of issues related to trauma including: the factors related to development of trauma, definitions of trauma, the impact of trauma on individuals, families and communities, and the programs and practices that are most effective and appropriate regarding the social work role in responding to trauma. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8626

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3010 and SOWK 3020

SOWK 4640  SOCIAL WORK IN CHILD WELFARE (3 credits)

This course examines the history, challenges, and issues of governmental intervention in families to protect at-risk children. The course concentrates on the effects of the 1980 federal legislation (PL 96-272) on child welfare delivery systems and practice. It provides a comprehensive overview of child welfare services, including child protective services, in-home services, foster care, group care, intergenerational childcare, and adoption. It also provides an overview of the juvenile justice system and its impact on children and their families.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School]

SOWK 4650  SOCIAL WORK IN MENTAL HEALTH AND WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES (3 credits)

This is an introductory course to increase understanding of mental health and intellectual disability issues facing social workers. The focus is on history, contemporary trends, legal and practice implications, human rights, social justice, assessment and delivery of culturally competent services.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School]

SOWK 4680  MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF ALCOHOL/DRUG USE AND ADDICTION (3 credits)

This course introduces students to substance abuse disorders and their impact on the individual, family, and society. It covers psychopharmacology, alcohol and drug interactions, drug classifications, theories of chemical dependency, various models of treatment, vulnerable populations, and ethical and legal issues. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8686, COUN 4680, COUN 8686).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admission to the BSSW program or permission of the School.

SOWK 4690  ASSESSMENT AND CASE MANAGEMENT IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE (3 credits)

This course focuses on assessment of clients and their environment, and diagnosis and referral for substance abuse treatment. Emphasis is given to assessment instruments, treatment levels, treatment planning, case management, and social justice. (Cross-listed with COUN 4690, COUN 8696, SOWK 8696).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admission to the BSSW program or permission of the School and SOWK 4680 or COUN 4680 (or equivalent course) prior to or concurrent.

SOWK 4800  SOCIAL WORK AND THE LAW (3 credits)

This course presents the fundamental principles of criminal and civil law that have relevance to the practice of social work. Topics include the legal system; legal research methods; professional ethical/legal responsibilities and liabilities; family law; elder law; criminal law; juvenile law; personal injury law; employment discrimination law; capacity to make contracts and wills; rights of institutionalized patients; and rights of handicapped children to an education. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8806)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School]. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4810  SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE (3 credits)

Social work literature defines spirituality as the human striving for a sense of meaning, purpose, values, and fulfillment. Spirituality is expressed through diverse forms throughout a client's lifespan; it is central to clients' understanding of suffering and their attempts to resolve it. This course examines major issues pertaining to spiritually-sensitive social work practice with clients of diverse religious and non-religious (i.e., outside sectarian institutional contexts) perspectives. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8816)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School]. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4830  CRISIS INTERVENTION (3 credits)

This course is designed to increase knowledge and skills for practice with crisis situations. The prevalence of crisis experiences within our society and lifespan development necessitates that social workers acquire a knowledge and skill-base for effective and professional crisis intervention practice. Students will study the ABC Model of Crisis Intervention and how to ethically practice with diverse and vulnerable populations. Students will apply crisis intervention theory and models of intervention to various concern areas including but not limited to: suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, substance abuse, grief and loss, and violence. A systems, strengths, and cultural emphasis will be applied to the various crisis situations covered. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8836)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3320. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4850  HOSPICE & OTHER SERVICES FOR THE DYING PATIENT/FAMILY (3 credits)

This course examines the hospice concept and other related services available in the community. The student will learn that hospice is an alternative to the traditional medical model. (Cross-listed with GERO 4850, GERO 8856, SOWK 8856.)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admitted to the BSSW program or [SOWK 1000, junior or senior standing, and permission of the School]. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4880  TOPICAL SEMINAR IN SOCIAL WORK (3 credits)

Specific seminar topics will focus on advanced content in social work theory and practice. The course description will be announced when a specific topical seminar is proposed. The topics selected will be consistent with School of Social Work program objectives, faculty expertise, and student needs. This course may be repeated for up to nine hours credit. (Cross-listed with SOWK 8886)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3320.

SOWK 4890  SPECIAL STUDIES IN SOCIAL WORK (1-4 credits)

This independent study course allows students to pursue a special selected area or topic within social welfare in order to deepen knowledge and/or skills in that particular area.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SOWK 3010, SOWK 3110, SOWK 3320, and permission of the School. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

SOWK 4980  SENIOR HONORS PROJECT/THESIS (3-6 credits)

An independent research project supervised by an approved faculty member. The senior honors project must be approved by the CPACS Honors Coordinator.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Senior in Honors Program and permission of the School.