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The Social Welfare and Justice major is designed to provide students with the knowledge and experience needed to pursue successful careers in social service, social policy analysis, mediation and intervention, and social justice advocacy. Through course work, service learning and internships, students gain understanding of the complexities of a range of social welfare and justice issues and learn the analytic and practical skills needed to develop, evaluate and transform social welfare and justice policies and services. Students gain competency in the roles, ethics and values of the social work profession and in the core issue of global human needs and social development. Graduates have the knowledge base to work with culturally diverse groups and understand how social justice issues affect particular communities.

The major is flexible, allowing students to pursue their specific interests as they develop skills in service, advocacy and social change that form them as potential leaders in generating positive social justice outcomes. The major also prepares students well for graduate study in law, education, health care, public policy analysis, nonprofit management, social service administration, student affairs and conflict resolution.

Students may be able to apply some SOWJ course credits toward a Master's in Social Work degree.

Note:

  • ANTH 4986 Advanced Internship in Anthropology, CRLS 4986 Advanced Internship and Seminar in Criminology and Law Studies, and SOCI 4986 Advanced Internship and Seminar in Sociology may not be counted toward the major or minor in Anthropology, Criminology and Law Studies, or Sociology.  It may be counted toward the SOWJ major but not the SOWJ minor.

Major in Social Welfare and Justice

The major in social welfare and justice consists of a total of 30 credit hours: six required courses (18 credit hours) and four elective courses (12 credit hours) in SOWJ or from the list of approved elective courses listed below in ANTH, CRLS and SOCI.

Required Courses:
SOWJ 1001Introduction to Social Welfare and Justice3
SOWJ 2200Human Behavior in the Social Environment3
SOWJ 3001Social Welfare Policy and Programs3
SOWJ 3300Practice Skills with Individuals, Families and Groups3
SOWJ 3986Internship in Social Welfare and Justice3
Methods Course:
SOCI 3050Methods of Social Research3
or CRLS 3050 Methods of Criminological Research
* Elective Courses - Choose four courses from the following:12
Social Welfare and Justice - All SOWJ courses - OR
Anthropology Courses:
Women and Men in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Culture Change and Development
Culture, Law and Violence
Criminology and Law Studies Courses:
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Corrections: Prisons, Probation and Parole
Victimology
Domestic Violence in the United States
Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice
Race, Crime and Punishment
Family Violence and Public Intervention
Criminal Violence in America
Sociology Courses:
The Family
Self, Language and Social Interaction
Social Problems in Urban Society
Race and Ethnic Relations
Race and Family
Sociology of the Life Course
Behavior Patterns of Youth
Culture, Health and Illness
Urban Ethnography: The City as Laboratory
Personal Troubles and Public Issues
African-American Social Thought
Sociology of Aging
Social Inequality
Sociology of Sex and Gender
Total Credit Hours30

*

Elective Courses: All courses designated as SOWJ classes, courses listed above under ANTH, CRLS and SOCI, as well as any departmental topics course approved by the department chair.

Notes:

  • Students also majoring in psychology may complete PSYC 2050 Research Methods and Designs in Psychology in place of SOCI 3050 Methods of Social Research or CRLS 3050 Methods of Criminological Research.
  • Majors must fulfill part of their college curriculum math/logic/computer requirement by completing SOCI 2060 Social Statistics or its equivalent. Students also majoring in psychology may complete PSYC 2001 Psychological Measurements and Statistics  in place of SOCI 2060 Social Statistics.
  • Students wishing to complete double majors in SOWJ and ANTH, CRLS or SOCI must complete the requirements for both majors. Two courses that are accepted by both majors (see the list of approved courses within each major's bulletin entry) may double count for both majors, for a total of 54 credit hours.

Minor in Social Welfare and Justice

 The minor in social welfare and justice consists of six courses (18 credit hours), including three required courses (9 credit hours) and three elective courses (9 credit hours), as listed below.

Required Courses:
SOWJ 1001Introduction to Social Welfare and Justice3
SOWJ 3001Social Welfare Policy and Programs3
SOWJ 3300Practice Skills with Individuals, Families and Groups3
Elective Courses: Choose three courses from SOWJ or from those listed below:9
Anthropology Courses:
Women and Men in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Culture Change and Development
Culture, Law and Violence
Criminology and Law Studies Courses:
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Corrections: Prisons, Probation and Parole
Victimology
Domestic Violence in the United States
Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice
Race, Crime and Punishment
Family Violence and Public Intervention
Criminal Violence in America
Sociology Courses:
The Family
Self, Language and Social Interaction
Social Problems in Urban Society
Race and Ethnic Relations
Race and Family
Sociology of the Life Course
Behavior Patterns of Youth
Culture, Health and Illness
Urban Ethnography: The City as Laboratory
Personal Troubles and Public Issues
African-American Social Thought
Sociology of Aging
Social Inequality
Sociology of Sex and Gender
Total Credit Hours18

 Notes:

  • Elective courses may be chosen from among all courses designated as SOWJ, plus any course from the above list of Anthropology (ANTH), Criminology and Law Studies (CRLS) and Sociology (SOCI) courses.
  • Any departmental topics course may be used as an elective with the prior approval of the department chair.

Courses

SOWJ 1001. Introduction to Social Welfare and Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to social work, social welfare and social justice; explores the ethics, values and goals of social welfare and justice. Examines historic, contemporary and global social issues and social change practices. Service Learning links the experiential to the theoretical.

SOWJ 2150. Immigrants and their Communities. 3 cr. hrs.

An in-depth examination of historic and contemporary immigration to the U.S., especially in relationship to the American economy, ideas about race and cultural pluralism. The effects of immigration law and social policies on the socio-economic mobility and well being of immigrant families are examined. The oral history method is used to capture immigrant experience.

SOWJ 2200. Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides foundation in the study of human behavior based on content and concepts used by social workers as helping professionals, theories and research from social science and life experience. Includes biological, psychological and social changes of individuals across the life span, and how each life course is also shaped by diversity of time, gender, race, ethnicity, social class and other dimensions. Social justice challenges to healthy development, such as the impact of poverty, discrimination and violence, are also examined.

SOWJ 2300. Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to conflict resolution and restorative justice, the two major approaches used in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Begins with theory and practice of facilitative mediation for resolving interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. Continues with a focus on restorative justice as a way to heal and restore personal and community relationships rather than through punishment. Students learn primarily through reading key works in the field, lecture with discussion, invited speakers and active learning exercises.

SOWJ 2600. Community Organizing. 3 cr. hrs.

Teaches basic leadership and organizing skills. Designed to be interactive and experiential, with role-plays, case studies and self-evaluations. Service Learning is required and implemented through Common Ground, an alliance of organizations seeking to make social change in Greater Milwaukee.

SOWJ 3001. Social Welfare Policy and Programs. 3 cr. hrs.

Examination of social welfare policies, the policy making process and appropriate professional roles for human service workers. Discussion how social values and societal priorities affect the formulation, implementation and evaluation of social welfare policies and services through public, private and voluntary sectors. Prereq: SOWJ 1001 or cons. of instr.

SOWJ 3300. Practice Skills with Individuals, Families and Groups. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to practice skills with individuals, families, groups and communities. Students develop skills in supportive listening, interviewing and establishing and maintaining professional relationships. Specific strategies for working with groups and families are developed. Classroom labs are linked to service learning. Prereq: SOWJ 1001.

SOWJ 3320. Victim Services and Policies. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores the history of victim services, the effects of victimization on individuals, families, and communities, the development of policies and the services available to victims within and external to the criminal justice system. Specialized topics may include family violence, workplace violence, public tragedy, violent crime, and white collar crime.

SOWJ 3370. Family Practice. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to family practice, primarily examining communication and structural models. Various theories of family intervention. Exploration of the process from initial problem assessment through intervention planning, implementation, evaluation, and termination. Simulations, role play and other classroom exercises help students understand how theories and techniques are applied in practice.

SOWJ 3400. Advocacy and Social Change Theory and Practice. 3 cr. hrs.

Review various theoretical and historical perspectives on injustice and oppression, within the context of social change strategies. Examination of traditional and nontraditional social action strategies, including community organizing/development. Learn agency and legislative advocacy skills with a specific focus on victim advocacy and at-risk populations. Analyze values and ethical perspectives related to social change.

SOWJ 3450. Arab and Muslim Americans. 3 cr. hrs.

Explores the historical, political and socio-economic contexts that have shaped Arab American communities and identities. Examines the parallel growth of Muslim American communities brought about by immigration and religious conversion. Analyzes specific issues faced by Arabs and Muslims in American society, especially after 9/11.

SOWJ 3700. Social Welfare and the Law. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides an overview of issues lying at the intersection of the social work and the legal professions. Principles of collaboration between these professions and selected concepts and principles related to the establishment and enforcement of legal and social provisions for the protection of children, adults and the family are emphasized. Presents theoretical knowledge and background material, with opportunities to critically analyze social welfare and legal issues.

SOWJ 3986. Internship in Social Welfare and Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

Field experience in a community social service agency for the purpose of furthering the student's integration of theory and practice in a professional setting. Placement is for a minimum of 140 hours per semester under the supervision of agency personnel, and includes a weekly seminar with the internship coordinator. S/U grade assessment. Limited enrollment. Prereq: Sr. stndg., SOWJ major, and cons. of internship coordinator.

SOWJ 4300. Advanced Practice. 3 cr. hrs.

Students strengthen their skills in interviewing, data collection, problem appraisal, and the development of contracts for planned change. Competence is developed in carrying out contract plans, evaluating results, renegotiating contracts and terminating contracts. Working with families and groups is further examined. Prereq: SOWJ 1001.

SOWJ 4500. Challenges in Social Welfare and Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

An in-depth examination of ethical issues and special challenges that characterize the fields of social work, social welfare and social justice. Explores value dilemmas, stresses and frustrations that may confront professionals in theses fields.

SOWJ 4600. Faith-based Activism. 3 cr. hrs.

Analyzes sociologically a range of historic and contemporary faith-based movements through the lens of social movement theory. Examines variations in goals, framing, strategies, mobilization, engagement of symbols and movement cultures as they are recorded in movement literature, oral histories, archives, films and scholarly studies.

SOWJ 4700. Global Aid and Humanitarianism. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines debate over what brings success and failure to global aid and humanitarian work. Begins with a focus on global poverty and debate between macro- and micro-economic solutions. Students then examine the development of the aid industry and international frameworks for humanitarian work, followed by exploration of various successful and failed attempts to deal with global issues, such as natural disasters, war, child welfare and human trafficking.

SOWJ 4931. Topics in Social Welfare and Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

A lecture course on special areas and themes. Specific topics will be designated in the Schedule of Classes.

SOWJ 4986. Advanced Internship in Social Welfare and Justice. 3 cr. hrs.

Continuation of the internship experience (SOWJ 3986). Placement is for a minimum of 140 hours per semester of supervised practice at the same agency as the previous semester and includes a weekly seminar. S/U grade assessment. Limited enrollment. Prereq: SOWJ 3986 and cons. of internship coordinator.

SOWJ 4995. Independent Study in Social Welfare and Justice. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Supervised study in a specific area of SOWJ, such as in-depth library of field research, or a focused community project. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch., minimum of 9 hours with a GPA of 2.500 in SOWJ courses.

SOWJ 4999. Senior Thesis. 1-3 cr. hrs.

SOWJ majors with a quality point average of 3.000 or higher may write a thesis under the direction of an adviser. Prereq: Sr. stndg., 3.000 GPA, and cons. of dept. ch.