Social Work 120 - Introduction to Social Work


Link to Syllabus


Social Work 120 is a three unit course that uses a social problems approach to describe how current social issues affect people.  It provides a framework for analyzing policy issues and making informed civic decisions on social issues.  This course adheres to the policies outlined in the Cuyamaca Catalogue, 2014-2015, and it meets the requirements for transfer credit to San Diego State University.

Course Content

In Social Work 120, students will explore the role of poverty, child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, sexism, racism, other forms of discrimination, crime and other social issues that affect people.  As part of the course, students will complete 40 hours of volunteer work at a social service/community service agency, observing how social workers attempt to assess and address social problems.  Field placement practice skills in communication, interviewing, and problem solving will be emphasized in the classroom through small group exercises and role-play simulations.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students who have successfully completed the course requirements for Social Work 120 should be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and competency in the following areas:

  • Describe and apply the major social work theories, perspectives, approaches and practice methods, including the unique features of the profession
  • Identify and describe the major social issues and problems in society and how they affect different populations
  • Identify and analyze the different perspectives on major social issues in order to arrive at informed positions
  • Identify existing services, merits, challenges of services, and new programs needed to fill gaps in services
  • Based on the 40-Hour Volunteer Field Placement observations, identify and describe people and communities in need
  • Analyze research presented and studied in the course, in order to describe an equitable distribution of resources and power among various groups in society
  • Describe how social work values developed, and their uniqueness and similarity to other helping professions
  • Identify and describe social work values and ethics according to the principles and guidelines of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Describe and apply how social work values guide social work, and the impact of personal values on social work practice