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 in specific ways.
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 conflict resolution, education, health care, law, nonprofit management, public policy analysis, social service administration, social work and student affairs.
Students may be able to apply some SOWJ course credits toward a Master's in Social Work degree.
- SOWJ 4986 Advanced Internship in Social Welfare and Justice may be counted toward the SOWJ major, but not the SOWJ minor.
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. Direct application examples, such as from family court, may be included. 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 Services. 3 cr. hrs.
Examines the history, importance and practice of public policy and social services in supporting social welfare and achieving social justice in the United States. Provides a framework for policy analysis and critical assessment in such areas as health, housing, food, employment and the needs of vulnerable populations. Includes social work and other advocacy roles in policy work. Prereq: SOWJ 1001 or cons. of instr.
SOWJ 3170. Policy and Practice for Children Impacted by Incarceration. 3 cr. hrs.
Increase understanding of the experiences and issues faced by children with incarcerated parents focusing on the racial, ethnic and socioeconomically disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations. Evaluate appropriate evidence-based practices, strategies and policies. Identify and evaluate evidence-based practices and policies that positively impact children with incarcerated parents. Develop legislative and advocacy strategies to promote these practices and policy change. Emphasis on collaborative learning. Prereq: CRLS 1001 or SOWJ 1001; and cons. of instr.
SOWJ 3300. Practice Skills with Individuals and Families. 3 cr. hrs.
Introduction to practice skills with individuals and families. Students develop skills in supportive listening, interviewing and establishing and maintaining professional relationships. Specific strategies for working with families are developed. Classroom labs are linked to service learning. Prereq: SOWJ 1001 and Jr. stndg. or cons. of instr.
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. Arabs and Muslims in Global Context. 3 cr. hrs.
Examines the social, economic and political conditions of Arabs and Muslims living in diaspora through four analytic lenses: race, gender, national security and Islamophobia. Subject matter is grounded within globalization trends.
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 term 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.
Introduction to governmental, nongovernmental and volunteer efforts in global aid and humanitarianism. Explores ethical and practical dilemmas in solving internationally identified social problems, such as child soldiers, sex trafficking and global hunger. Examines how aid and humanitarian systems can be part of the problem rather than the solution. Additional areas of debate may include global health as a right and achievable goal, tensions between cultural relativism and human rights and "voluntourism." Prereq: Jr. stndg.
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 term of supervised practice at the same agency as the previous term 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.
Faculty-supervised, independent study/research of a specific area or topic in Social Welfare and Justice. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch., minimum of 9 credit hours in SOWJ courses with a GPA of 2.500.
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.