Social Work

Faculty and Staff Top of Page

Patty Beech - Senior Lecturer, MSE
Lynn Amerman Goerdt, Associate Professor and Field Coordinator
Dawn Peterson - Senior Lecturer, LICSW
Maureen Rappley Larson, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator
Monica Roth Day, Professor
Kevin Skwira-Brown, Senior Lecturer, LGSW
Amanda Standfield, Assistant Professor

Social Work Program Description Top of Page

Social Work is one of four programs housed in the Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department. The others are the Psychology, Legal Studies (including Criminal Justice), and First Nations Studies Programs.

The undergraduate major in Social Work offers a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree, with an ethnic-sensitive, ecological, generalist focus. Coursework educates and prepares entry-level generalist social workers for effective direct practice with individuals, families, small groups, organizations, institutions and communities. Specific areas of concern for the program are the well-being of regional American Indian people and communities, as well as that of elderly persons, persons with mental health issues, and persons with developmental and other disabilities.

Social Work Program Diversity Statement Top of Page

Respecting and celebrating diversity is an inherent part of the mission of the UW-Superior Social Work program and is a central theme of service when social workers are working in the community. In promoting the dignity, worth and empowerment of the individual client while working to improve and sustain the social environment, our program seeks to strengthen students' interest in, respect for, and skills in working effectively with diverse and vulnerable populations. Our program also seeks to sensitize and prepare students to help service systems toward constructive change when relating to diverse populations.

The Social Work program is administered, and admissions are determined, without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, immigration status, political orientation, creed, physical or mental impairment, age, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Mission Statement and Program Goals Top of Page

The undergraduate Social Work program at UW-Superior is structured as a competency based program. The program implements this structure through its mission, program goals and student learning outcomes.  Outcomes are assessed based on Council on Social Work Education practice behaviors.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Social Work Program is to teach students the generalist skills and knowledge needed to be responsible and ethical change agents who empower clients/consumers across diverse populations with a local, regional, and global consciousness focusing on social justice, self-awareness and lifelong learning. 

Program Goals

Goal 1: Generalist Preparation
To prepare students for entry-level ecologically-based generalist practice at all levels of intervention (individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities), utilizing a liberal education foundation.

GOAL 2: Diversity
To prepare students for inclusive practice with diverse, underrepresented and vulnerable groups in society throughout a variety of local, regional and global human service settings, particularly empowering practice with American Indian people, elderly persons, and persons with differing abilities.

GOAL 3: Ethics
To prepare students for ethical and principled decision-making guided by the values and standards of the social work profession.

GOAL 4: Social Justice
To prepare students to recognize and apply social justice principles in practice situations.

GOAL 5: Professional Development
To prepare students for lifelong learning, to maintain competence and stay current with best practice.

GOAL 6: Service
To engage students in social justice and change through generalist social work activities with local, regional and international constituencies.

Admission to the Social Work Program Top of Page

To seek formal admission to the program, the student submits an application packet with the Social Work Program Coordinator before entering SO W 340 Methods of Practice I, SO W 341 Methods of Practice II, and SO W 344 Human Behavior in the Social Work Environment. This usually occurs during the spring semester of the sophomore year. For students transferring to UW-Superior, this occurs also during the spring semester.

Admission requirements include: a grade of C or better in SO W 121 Introduction to Social Work, an overall grade point average of at least 2.3 at time of admission, and demonstration of suitability and capacity to enter the profession of social work according to Admission/Continuation Competencies listed in the Social Work Student Handbook. All applicants meet with a Review Committee as a part of the admission process. The Review Committee consists of social work faculty and may also include a member of the Social Work program's Community Advisory Committee. Students transferring into the program may be granted a conditional admission while they finish the introductory course satisfactorily.

Continuation in the Social Work Program Top of Page

Continuation in good standing in the program is contingent upon the following:

  1. Earning a grade of C or better or pass (P) in all required social work courses, and retaking any required social work course in which a grade below C or pass (P) was received.
  2. Maintaining an overall grade point average of 2.3 from time of admission through graduation.
  3. Maintaining a grade point within the major courses of 2.5 by the end of the junior year through graduation.
  4. Continuing to demonstrate suitability and capacity for the profession of social work as expressed in the Students' Rights and Responsibilities statement in the Social Work Student Handbook.

Transfer Students Top of Page

Transfer students are expected to seek advisement with the Social Work Program Coordinator at or before the time of their first registration.  Contact the Admissions Office, the Center for Academic Advising, or the Social Work Program office to be referred to the coordinator.  Advisement is a crucial aspect of the transfer process, as much of the time there are articulation agreements in place with the community colleges from which persons transfer that facilitate the smooth transfer of credits.

The Coordinator will furnish transfer students with academic advisement and Social Work program materials, including the Social Work Student Handbook. Transfer students must meet all admission and continuation standards of non-transfer Social Work majors. Procedures for grievance and appeal and continuation in the program are the same for transfer students as for other Social Work majors.

If a transfer student requests that a requirement for the Social Work major be met by a transfer credit, the request may be granted if the course content is comparable. If the course is approved, the grade for the course must be computed as part of the grade point average requirements for the major in Social Work. In addition, any social work courses transferred in must have been taught by an MSW (Masters of Social Work) who graduated from an accredited social work program or must be accompanied by documentation that essential social welfare, and/or content about the development of social work as a profession have been incorporated into the course. Methods and practicum courses must be taken at UW-Superior.

Reapplication to the Social Work Program Top of Page

Requirements for readmission to the program include:

  1. Enrollment for a minimum of one semester at UW-Superior before reapplication.
  2. Resubmission of an application following the standards expressed in Reapplication to the Social Work Program found in the Social Work Student Handbook.
  3. Junior standing.
  4. Grades of C or higher in all required social work courses, and an overall grade point average of at least 2.3, and a grade point in the major of at least 2.5 from the end of the junior year through graduation.

Social Work Major (comprehensive) Requirements Top of Page

The Social Work Major is a comprehensive major which consists of 64 credits depending upon courses chosen. In effect, an interdisciplinary minor is integrated into the requirements for the major, thus no minor is required.

Basic core courses (52 credits required):

Introduction To Social Work -- 3.00 credits
Ecology of Social Welfare Policy -- 3.00 credits
Social Welfare Policy Practice -- 3.00 credits
Methods of Practice I: Interpersonal Skills for Social Workers -- 3.00 credits
Methods of Practice II: Individual Case Work -- 3.00 credits
Human Behavior In the Social Environment I (HBSE I) -- 3.00 credits
Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (HBSE II) -- 3.00 credits
Methods of Practice III: Family and Group Work -- 3.00 credits
Methods of Practice IV: Agency, Community and Global Practice -- 3.00 credits
Social Work Research Methods -- 3.00 credits
Prep for Field Seminar -- 0.00 credits
Social Work Field Instruction I -- 5.00 credits
Social Work Field Seminar I -- 1.00 credits
Social Work Field Instruction II -- 5.00 credits
Social Work Field Seminar II -- 1.00 credits
Research Projects -- 3.00 credits
Race and Ethnicity -- 3.00 credits
(required for students preparing for graduate school)


Advanced Intercultural Communication -- 3.00 credits
Elementary Statistics -- 4.00 credits


Statistics for Psychological Research -- 3.00 credits

Elective Categories (12 credits in four elective categories required):

Social Work Elective Category (3 credits required):

Crisis Intervention -- 3.00 credits
Introduction to Addiction and Recovery -- 3.00 credits
Social Work Practice with American Indian Families -- 3.00 credits
Selected Topics in Social Work -- 3.00 credits
Independent Projects -- 1.00 - 4.00 credits

Biological Determinants of Human Behavior (3 credits required) with agreement by advisor:

Human Biology -- 4.00 credits
Human Structure & Function -- 3.00 credits
Human Structure & Function -- 3.00 credits
Introduction to Mental Health and Stress Management -- 3.00 credits
Health Psychology -- 3.00 credits
Behavioral Neuroscience -- 3.00 credits

Inter-Intrapersonal-Determinants of Human Behavior (3 credits required) with agreement by advisor:

The Human Experience -- 3.00 credits
Cultural Anthropology -- 3.00 credits
The Study of First Nations Women -- 3.00 credits
Counseling the First Nations -- 3.00 credits
Introduction to Gender Studies -- 3.00 credits
Introduction To Psychology -- 3.00 credits
Gender, Psychology and Society -- 3.00 credits
Psychology of Men and Masculinity -- 3.00 credits
Social Psychology -- 3.00 credits
The Psychology of Close Relationships -- 3.00 credits
Motivation And Emotion -- 3.00 credits
Child and Adolescent Development -- 3.00 credits
Adulthood and Aging -- 3.00 credits
Psychological Disorders -- 3.00 credits
Introduction to Sociology -- 3.00 credits
Social Psychology-Sociology -- 3.00 credits

Systemic Determinants of Human Behavior (3 credits required) with agreement by advisor:

Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective -- 3.00 credits
Crime, Behavior and Social Control -- 3.00 credits
Crime, Corrections and Punishment -- 3.00 credits
Community Corrections -- 3.00 credits
Delinquency and Juvenile Justice -- 3.00 credits
Economics in Society -- 3.00 credits
Principles Of Macroeconomics -- 3.00 credits
Law and Human Behavior -- 3.00 credits
Law, Citizenship and Civic Engagement -- 3.00 credits
Contemporary Issues in Law and Society -- 3.00 credits
Contemporary Issues in American Politics -- 3.00 credits
U.S. State and Local Government -- 3.00 credits
Paths to Peace -- 3.00 credits
Global Social Problems -- 3.00 credits

Social Work Accreditation Top of Page

The program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience shall not be given, in whole or in part, in lieu of any course required for the Social Work major.

Student Learning Outcomes Top of Page

Upon graduation, students will have demonstrated that they are able to:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.