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Social Work


Carthage’s professional social work curriculum equips students with knowledge, values and skills necessary for generalist practice. Through required field experiences, the department provides students with supervised opportunity to master the requisite competencies in actual practice situations. Scroll down to read descriptions of the social work courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

  • SWK 2200

    Child Welfare Policy and Practice

    Examination of the economic, social, and political responses to children's policies and the American welfare system from private, voluntary, and government agencies.

  • SWK 2210

    Family Violence

    This course is an overview of family violence. Particular attention will be given to groups that have been disproportionately affected by family violence, namely women, older adults, and children. Emerging knowledge related to violence in gay and lesbian families, minority families, and special populations will be included.

  • SWK 2300

    Contemporary Social Work Practice

    This course provides the student with awareness of the scope of the social work profession. Students explore their interest in pursuing social work as a profession and identify how to begin to conduct oneself as a professional.
    Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or PYC 1500

  • SWK 2330

    Applied Statistics for Health and Human Services (MTH)

    This course will assist students to apply statistics to research or practice situations encountered by social workers and nurses. Fundamental statistical theories and concepts, such as Type I and Type II errors, central tendency, variability, probability, statistical significance, effect size, and power, are presented to help students understand the rationale and purpose of using statistics. Basic parametric statistical analyses, including correlation, t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), repeated measures analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA), simple regression, and selected nonparametric statistics, as well as the mathematical logic behind these statistical tests, is presented. Students will learn how to do the hypothesis testing with normal distributions and also learn to interpret and critically evaluate statistical analyses of published studies. This knowledge will allow students to be evidence-based practitioners and critical consumers of research.
    Prerequisite: Students must be accepted nursing or social work majors.

  • SWK 2400

    Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SOC)

    This course will focus on human development and behavior across the life span with a particular focus on how people interact with, adapt to, and are constrained by the world around them. Specifically, we will examine the impact of systems and structures of oppression on human development and well-being. Using an anti-oppression lens, this course focuses on bodies of knowledge and theory that help to explain the intimate and extended contexts that shape human development and the complex interactions between person and context. Content on individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, culture, social structure, and political and economic forces will be covered. This course has a service learning component that will allow students to deepen their understanding of concepts learned in class by applying them in real-world settings.
    Prerequisites: PYC 1500 and SOC 1000

  • SWK 2500

    Engaging Multicultural Students and Families

    This course will examine the relationship between schools, families, and communities with a particular emphasis on human diversity in urban environments. Students will explore the diverse range of backgrounds of children who comprise today's school population, family structures from yesterday to today, schools as social institutions, and schools in their broader contexts, and examine methods, policies, and practices that would lead to improved school, family, and community relationships.
    Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or EDU 1010

  • SWK 2600

    Ethics and Leadership in a Multicultural Society

    This course is designed for students coming from any major at the college and examines ethics and leadership from a wide range of professional and disciplinary perspectives. Students will learn about various ethical frameworks, and multicultural understandings of ethics and leadership. Students will apply these ethical frameworks to contemporary case studies as a way to develop critical ethical thinking skills, particularly as it relates to socially responsible leadership in our contemporary global society.
    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or instructor approval

  • SWK 3000

    Social Welfare Research (SOC)

    An introduction to the methods of social science research. Emphasis on research consumership and on practical experience in gathering, organizing, and analyzing data.
    Prerequisite: Accepted social work major

  • SWK 3100

    Social Welfare Policy Analysis (SOC)

    Study of the past, present, and possible future of social welfare programming with an emphasis on the general process of policy making, including the interaction of social, economic, and political influences. The course will include critical analysis of several specific social welfare issues and problems.
    Prerequisite: Accepted social work major

  • SWK 3200

    Social Work Practice I

    Beginning study of the generalist method of social work intervention with emphasis on the acquisition of professional practice skills in engagement, data collection, assessment, intervention, evaluation, and termination. Students spend 52 hours in volunteer work.
    Prerequisite: Accepted social work major

  • SWK 3300

    Social Work Practice II

    This is the second course in the three-course generalist practice sequence required for the social work major and is designed to provide opportunities for students to apply and integrate previous course learning in the development of their social work practice skills. This course will provide social work majors with opportunities to deepen the development of their social work practice by using bodies of knowledge from anti-oppressive, critical social work, and ethical decision-making frameworks. Students will develop more complex and theory-informed practice applications with individuals, groups, and families.
    Prerequisites: Accepted social work major and SWK 2400

  • SWK 4200

    Social Work Practice III

    Advanced study of generalist social work intervention with agencies and community systems with emphasis on the acquisition of values, knowledge, and practice skills. Requires 52 hours of volunteer field experience.
    Prerequisites: SWK 3200, SWK 3300, and instructor permission

  • SWK 4300

    Integrative Seminar

    Weekly seminar to integrate and synthesize social work theory and practice through a critical review of professional ethics. Students will complete their Senior Project in this course.
    Prerequisites: SWK 4200 and concurrent enrollment in SWK 4610 and 4620

  • SWK 4610

    Social Work Field Placement I

    Field instruction under the supervision of an MSW in a social service agency for 250 hours. Application of generalist skills to provide services to individuals, groups, families, and communities.
    Prerequisites: SWK 3000, SWK 3200, SWK 3300, SWK 4200, and concurrent enrollment in SWK 4620 and SWK 4300

  • SWK 4620

    Social Work Field Placement II

    Field instruction under the supervision of an MSW in a social service agency for 250 hours. Application of generalist skills to provide services to individuals, groups, families, and communities.
    Prerequisites: SWK 3000, SWK 3200, SWK 3300, SWK 4200, and concurrent enrollment in SWK 4300 and SWK 4610

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

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    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …