Introduction to Social Work Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information


Office Location

Adjunct- Not in Facility

Office Hours

Not in office

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

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Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

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The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to .


SOCW-2361-002 Introduction to Social Work


Course Description

Development of the philosophy and practice of social work in the United States; survey of the fields and techniques of social work; attention given to requirements for graduate training and social work.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type


Syllabus Information


Required text: Kirst-Ashman, Karen K. (2017). Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare Critical Thinking Perspectives (5th edition). Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.


Required autobiography: Walls, Jeanette (2005). The Glass Castle. New York, NY: Scribner.




Moore, Wes. (2010). The Other Wes Moore. New York, NY: Speigel & Grau Trade Paperback Edition.


Paper, pens, pencils. Students also need access to a reliable computer with internet, a computer printer and paper.

Student Performance

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:


Discuss the development of social welfare in the U.S.

Discuss the development of social work as a recognized profession.

Appreciate the broad range of professional responsibilities and skills that social workers utilize in their daily interactions with clients. Demonstrate familiarity with National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and how it guides decision-making. Identify multiple social and economic factors that influence or affect the behavior of individuals, groups, and communities. Understand that human behavior is influenced by biological, social, and psychological factors.

Understand the process for becoming a professional social worker.

Understand and appreciate the concept of generalist practice as it applies to social workers at the bachelor’s level. Demonstrate an increased understanding of the issues relating to working with diverse populations.

Recognize and evaluate his or her value system as related to providing social work services to diverse populations. Recognize the global context of social work practice.

Demonstrate written and verbal communication skills that reflect the student’s ability to comprehend material. Demonstrate the ability to utilize critical thinking skills.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria, Exams, and Makeup Policy:


Assessment of student progress will be based on various assignments that are designed to demonstrate the student’s critical thinking skills as well as the ability to apply knowledge learned in the classroom.

Exams (300 points)


There will be two examinations during the semester. Material for exams will be drawn from the required text, lectures, videos, and guest speakers. Each exam is worth 150 points, and all will count in your average. There is no opportunity to drop an exam score.   Missing an exam is not recommended, but sometimes cannot be helped. The professor must be notified as much in advance and either the student will be allowed to take the exam or will have to write an essay equaling the work and knowledge of the exam, to be scheduled with the instructor. Make-up exams can only be taken if the absence is excused. Although make-up exams will cover the same subject matter and chapters, make-up exams may not be identical to the original exams, and may contain a higher percentage of more difficult questions. Exams will be online, in Blackboard, and will be open for at least 5 days. There will only be extreme circumstances that make up exams should be needed. MAKEUP EXAMS MUST BE SCHEDULED WITH ME PRIOR TO EXAM DATE, AND FOR A VALID REASON (this is at my discretion). DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DAY OF THE EXAM TO SPEAK WITH ME.


Assignments: (600 points)


No late assignments will be accepted. Please see your instructor should there be complications/barriers for assignments being turned in on time. All assignments are open at the beginning of the term and available until their due date providing adequate time to complete assignments early.


Assignments should be typed using APA (American Psychological Association) formatting. Please visit the Writers Corner for assistance. The Writers Corner is located in Ordway Hall. Assignments should be 12 point font, double-spaced, with 1” margins. APA includes the use of a cover sheet and reference sheet. Please see, or for more information. This is the style writing you will be expected to use in the remainder of your social work career, get used to it now. It will be difficult to incorporate into every assignment, but do your best. The minimum number of required pages should be full pages.   For example, if the paper is to be three to four pages, it should be a minimum of three full pages. I highly recommend that you use spell check and grammar check on your

computer. The library and Writer's Corner are excellent resources to you, use them.


Most assignments will be submitted via blackboard. There will be discussion drop boxes for select assignments. All assignments should be completed as the syllabus details. Power points should be emailed to the instructor.


Student Acknowledgement (50 pts)-


 Stuff my people like (100 points)


To promote cultural self-awareness and to learn from other cultures represented in the class, each student will complete a list (complete with explanations) modeled after the Stuff White People Like website


( eop=        le-like/) which will describe the student’s own culture. The student will observe his/her own culture and note behaviors, entertainment, dress, diet, education, leisure activities, reading material, music, TV, parenting, family life, modes of transportation, holiday traditions, etc. Then the student will compile a list of Stuff My People Like.  The list should be formatted in PowerPoint format, with a minimum of 10 slides. lease include a works cited page. (50 points)


Self Assessment (100 points)


Complete a self-assessment looking at dominate characteristics, power, privilege, or oppression and the role they have played in your life.

I want you to be introspective and look back at your life and how you either had AN ADVANTAGE, or DISADVANTAGE based on the isms we covered in CHAPTER 3. You will focus ON FOUR different aspects that include: AGE, CLASS, CULTURE, SEX, GENDER, ABILITY (OR disABILITY), RACE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, POLITICAL IDEOLOGY, ETC. Please refer to highlights 3.2 and 4.2 to assist with this. As helping professionals, it is our obligation to be in tune with how our personal biases effect our work with people. This is the first of MANY assignments you will have as professional helpers on self assessment. As life long learners, you will be required to do this throughout your career to ensure you meet client needs, professional roles, and keep personal values.


Use APA style. EVERY assignment will be able to use cover page, abstract, body. If you use other resources, quotes, or research, it will be included in the works cited page.


YOU MUST CHOOSE TRAITS FROM THIS LIST. Use the article by Michael Spencer as a guide in how to approach this assignment.




Hint:  Do not simply focus on autobiographical information. The key is looking at your traits and how you have either been rewarded or oppressed.   Your paper should be three to four pages, double-spaced. This assignment is the first of self reflection and values analysis.


Movie Night! (100 points)

Watch the full movie of either Crash (2004), The Long Walk Home (1990), or Kids (1995). Write a 5-7 page essay (not including works cited page) regarding some of the ism’s we have learned about in class, dual relationships, indications of status, privilege, or any other information we have covered.  Your closing argument should indicate how you would handle each of these situations now. Utilize your critical thinking skills, information from the book, and you must cite 3 additional sources in your paper (outside from your textbook). This will be a full APA paper. I would like the cover page, abstract, context, closing, and works cited. The format of the paper must be correct and there must be 3 additional resources cited within the paper. 



Service Learning (100 points)


Part of learning to be a social worker is reflecting on an opportunity to get out in the community and volunteer. Due to COVID-19, each student will be required to write a research paper about an agency or organization you are interested in volunteering with in the future. The instructor can help the student connect with various agencies that match the student’s interest or provide guidance. This cannot be a similar agency that you have written for another course or a place you have previously volunteered at. 


Social responsibility is an ethical structure which suggests that an individual has an obligation to act for the benefit of society as a whole. Social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the community and the individuals who live in them. Each question will be worth a certain amount of points totaling 100 points for this assignment and must be in an essay format. Here is a small list of some possible places you could chose to volunteer. Please check with your professor if you have an idea of a place you would like to volunteer to make sure it will be applicable to this assignment. Additional requirements are listed in the assignment in Blackboard.


Snack pack for kids

High plains food bank Faith City mission Kid’s Café

City Church

Family Support Services

Make a Child Smile (Eveline Rivers) Christmas Project

Sunshine Cottage

Dove Creek Equine Rescue

Hope and Healing place

Harrington Cancer Center (kids unit)


Glass Castles/Wes Moore integration of social work principles (150)


Write an  in depth understanding of The Glass Castle, or Wes Moore tying it in with topics discussed in the text and discussed in class.This should be application of social work knowledge gained during the semester from out text, lectures, movies and guests.  Apply your knowledge to specific information in Glass Castle/Wes Moore.  For example, you might find passages in the text book about poverty, child abuse/neglect, or about substance abuse and relate how the family fits this information or might be an exception to this information.  You may quote directly from the text or paraphrase information from the text in your own words.  In either case, make sure it is clearly stated in your paper that you are making reference to some information from the text or information presented in class (such as lecture, films, guest speakers).  The emphasis should be in making comparisons between The Glass Castle and topics from the text or other information from class.  DO NOT SIMPLY WRITE A REVIEW OF THIS BOOK. A review of the book without educational resources and references

Use APA style in citing references. In APA, you put the author and publication year at the end of a sentence where you have made a reference.  For example, if you wrote the following sentence, this is how you would cite it: Our text book points out that families have problems when role boundaries are unclear (Dubois and Miley 2014). At the end of your paper, list your references on the reference page, following APA  style. (Author Surname first, in alphabetical order. Title of book. Year published.) You can find more information online about APA.  Make sure you have all pieces of APA,cover page, running heading,page numbers, reference page,and cited work in text. is a great site to help you with APA.


If you only write a summary of the book, you will fail this assignment. You must make reference to topics learned in our text and/or in class back to The Glass Castle/ The Other Wes Moore. Your paper should be five to six full pages, double-spaced.   150 points


Attendance100 points

Attendance will be taken every class period, that we met on campus. Students are expected to be on time and attend class regularly. After two absences, TEN points per absence will be deducted from your attendance total. Coming to class more than a few minutes late (after roll is taken) or leaving class early will count as half these points in deduction. If you come to class after roll has been taken, it is your responsibility to make sure that I know you are here. Also using your cell phone in class, sleeping, reading a book or materials not associated with this class, frequently leaving the classroom to step outside, or engaging in extensive personal conversations during class may result in being counted as absent.  You may gain 5 points for perfect





















Chapter 1, 2, 3

Student Acknowledgement Due- Jan 21, 2022 (50 pts)






Chapter 4, 5, 6


Stuff My People Like- Due Jan 23, 2022 (100 pts)




Self Assessment due by midnight

 (100 PTS)






Chapter 7,8,9


Exam 1 Due by midnight Feb 6th, 2022- (150 pts)











 Movie Night! due by February 13th (100 pts)











11,12, 13

Service Learning Assignment Due February 20th- (100 pts)










Castle/Wes Moore due by midnight February 27th  (150 pts)


























Exam 2(chapters 9-16) due by midnight March 8th (150 pts)


Extra Credit assignments can be added at any point in the semester. These will be over various topics and must be in complete APA format. Incorrect format will automatically reduce the assignment by 50%. Please use the writing lab for all assignments. 

Additional Information

Grading is as follows:

a= +1000-900 b=899-800

c=799-700 d=699-600

f=599 and below


How to make a good grade in this class:

*Attend class regularly and be punctual.

*Read the assignments before class.

*Take notes during class, including films and guest speakers.

*Find ways that help you learn through repetition, for example outlining the chapters and rereading your outline, highlighting text and going back over what you think is important, look up words or concepts you don’t understand, make index cards with information.

*Start the assignments ahead of time and follow the instructions carefully.

*Take advantage of extra credit options.

*Pay attention to the study guides.

*Turn in assignments on time.

*Complete all assignments.



Course Overview:


Introduction to Social Work is a survey course designed to allow the student to study and discuss the broad topic of social welfare and the role of professional social workers in different areas of community and human service. Students will be introduced to various philosophies of social welfare in this country and to the development of social work as a profession. The settings where professional social work is practiced will be explored and the student will see why the profession of social work requires an in-depth study of the arts and sciences. Current issues in social work will be discussed as well as future challenges to the social work profession. An understanding of diverse populations will be promoted and foundations for further study of generalist practice will be established. Values and ethics relating to social work are emphasized. The emerging global context of social work will be explored.



***************IMPORTANT INFORMATION******************


There are numerous built-in safety nets and sources of help for each student. Every semester there are students who become ill, have children that become ill, family members with illness or problems, or have other personal problems. In order to accommodate these issues that arise, here is a list of the class policies that are designed to help:



1. You are allowed two absences without any loss of credit.

2. The first day of class, when some students are still registering, is not counted as an absence and missing an exam is not counted as an absence.

3. There are up to 10 points of extra credit per semester allowed. This is for community service/involvement and will be discussed in class.

5. If you are having problems understanding the content of the class, with writing skills, or have a disability that requires accommodation, I will be glad to meet with you and work on solutions.



Again, the reason for all this built-in help is to accommodate you, if you experience illnesses or other personal problems.  The policies listed above are not a base line from which to start negotiating additional perks or leniency. If you quickly use up the allowed absences and miss an exam, then come to me with a request for additional leniency or special treatment, it is highly unlikely that I will agree to do more. There is a point at which a student has to take responsibility for attendance and doing the work.




Mental Health Services and the Advocacy & Resource Center:


As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relaonships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrang and/or lack of movaon. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student’s ability to parcipate in daily acvies. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforemenoned condions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidenal mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5191.



The AC Counseling Center website is hps:// Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, ulies, transportaon, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website

Syllabus Created on:

12/15/21 9:39 PM

Last Edited on:

01/16/22 1:56 PM