Social Work Degree at Westmoreland

 

Define You, Redefine the World

Social Work student interning with Adelphoi

Westmoreland County Community College's Social Work program prepares future social workers to empower themselves, their clients, their communities and the world with a high-quality education in the classroom and beyond.  Faculty, with varied work and practice experience who are active in the community, will teach you the tools necessary to make a difference, while instilling the desire for lifelong learning and the foundational skills you will need to continue on your educational journey, wherever it may lead.

Program Information

Social Work Certificate

On your way to an associate degree, earn your certificate in social work in just three short semesters.  This will give the student the required skills to move into a direct care job while finishing the associate program.  Each semester, the student will meet with the program director to schedule classes. View Social Work, Certificate in the College Catalog

PDV 101  First Year Seminar
This course provides strategies for adjusting to college culture and understanding college expectation. Students will learn about the college's resources, services, policies and educational technology. Students will develop skills in educational planning, goal setting and time management, and will refine their learning strategies for academic success. Social responsibility, cultural competence and integrity will be discussed and practiced as necessary components for success in college and beyond. 

OFT 110  Document Processing
Students will create and edit office correspondence such as business letters, interoffice memorandums, business reports, and tabulated columnar material by using Microsoft Word. Emphasis is placed on keyboarding speed, accuracy and document formatting using keyboarding software. Prerequisite(s): OFT 100 or Satisfactory Skills Test 

SWK 155  Introduction to Social Work
An introductory course for the student who plans to work with people in need. The course will provide the student with an overview of the information and skills needed to effectively work with a variety of populations in their community. The course will include information about the necessary personal qualities, service delivery systems and basic skills. It will also provide an overview of the history of the helping profession and how social policy influences the profession. Students will become familiar with the service providers in the local area. Additionally, students will examine their personal feelings and motivations related to becoming a helper.

SWK 157  Interviewing and Recordkeeping
As the follow-up course to HMS 155 with an emphasis on individual interviewing skills in the helping services, this is a key course in the human services program as it teaches essential information gathering and recording skills for the human services worker. It is a very interactive course with much time devoted to practicing interviewing skills with classmates. Recordkeeping skills include learning to distinguish between objective and subjective information, how client files are organized and the methods used to compile a client history and assessment. Prerequisite(s): HMS 155 

SWK 172  Drug and Alcohol Dependency
Is an introductory course for the student intending to work with people in a variety of settings, including the social services, health services, education and criminal justice. This course will provide the student with an overview of substance abuse and treatment issues. Focus will be on learning about the major categories of abused substances, the nature of addiction, treatment and recovery and the impact of substance abuse and addiction on specific populations.

SWK 160 Group Processsing
This course provides the basic knowledge needed to be an effective group leader and member. Emphasis is on practical application of group process skills. Prerequisite(s): HMS 155, HMS 157 

PSY 160 General Psychology
Is an introduction to the study of human behavior. Psychology is presented as both a biological and a social science. Facts, principles, processes, theories and research are explored in the course of study. The course will include the application of the scientific method, analysis of human behavior and synthesis of the components and causation of human behavior.

Associate Degree

The social work program consists of 62-65 credits and will include both general education classes, skills classes and theory.  Each semester, the student will meet with the program director to schedule classes that will move them to graduation, job and transfer in the most time and cost effective manner.  View Social Work,AAS in the College Catalog 

PDV 101 First Year Seminar
This course provides strategies for adjusting to college culture and understanding college expectation. Students will learn about the college's resources, services, policies and educational technology. Students will develop skills in educational planning, goal setting and time management, and will refine their learning strategies for academic success. Social responsibility, cultural competence and integrity will be discussed and practiced as necessary components for success in college and beyond. 

SWK 155  Introduction to Social Work
This course is intended as an introductory course for the student who plans to work with people in need. The course will provide the student with an overview of the information and skills needed to effectively work with a variety of populations in their community. The course will include information about the necessary personal qualities, service delivery systems and basic skills. It will also provide an overview of the history of the helping profession and how social policy influences the profession. Students will become familiar with the service providers in the local area. Additionally, students will examine their personal feelings and motivations related to becoming a helper. 

PSY 160 General Psychology
General Psychology is an introduction to the study of human behavior. Psychology is presented as both a biological and a social science. Facts, principles, processes, theories and research are explored in the course of study. The course will include the application of the scientific method, analysis of human behavior and synthesis of the components and causation of human behavior. 

SOC 155 Principles of Sociology
This course is designed to be a student’s first college-level sociology class. The topics to be covered include the history of sociology, the methods, fields and vocabulary of sociology; the social interaction of persons and groups; the process of socialization and social structures; social institutions such as family, religion and education. Through this course students should learn “what is sociology?” as well as how sociology fits with other academic disciplines and how sociology can be used outside of the classroom. 

ENG 161 College Writing
This course covers the fundamentals of college writing including the paragraph, expository essay patterns and the argumentative essay. Emphasis is placed on developing a coherent thesis, writing concisely and clearly, and adapting ones writing to a particular audience. In addition, it will foster an appreciation of cultural diversity, explain how experiences and attitudes shape an individual’s reading and demonstrate how language can shape thinking. This course also emphasizes self-editing, mechanics, grammar and word choice. It provides the basis for students to produce a range of effective writing from technical and business communications to research papers and critical essays. Prerequisite(s): ENG 085 or placement. Corequisite(s): ENG 095

Math 100 or higher (recommend Math 160 if transferring for a Bachelor's degree)

ENG 164 Advanced Composition
This course further develops and refines the student’s abilities in expository and argumentative writing, introducing the student to the methods, techniques and materials of research. The written work of the course includes the completion of an in-depth research paper done by the student under the instructor’s supervision. The course continues to stress conciseness and clarity of expression; reviews mechanics implicit in correction and revision of written composition; and teaches English usage and grammar as needed. Prerequisite(s): ENG 161

SWK 157 Interviewing and Recordkeeping
As the follow-up course to HMS 155 with an emphasis on individual interviewing skills in the helping services, this is a key course in the human services program as it teaches essential information gathering and recording skills for the human services worker. It is a very interactive course with much time devoted to practicing interviewing skills with classmates. Recordkeeping skills include learning to distinguish between objective and subjective information, how client files are organized and the methods used to compile a client history and assessment. Prerequisite(s): HMS 155 

PSY 161 Human Growth and Develoment
Using a developmental lifespan approach to human development, this course focuses on biological, cognitive and social domains of development and their interplay. Emphasis is on the importance of maintaining an ecological perspective. Major theories of human development at all stages of the lifespan are discussed. Prerequisite(s): PSY 160 

Microcomputer Concepts or Digital Photography
Elective 

Electives will be scheduled in accordance with desired bachelor's program or place of employment.

SWK 160 Group Process
This course provides the basic knowledge needed to be an effective group leader and member. Emphasis is on practical application of group process skills. Prerequisite(s): HMS 155, HMS 157 

SWK 162 Solution Building
This course is a follow-up to Interviewing and Recordkeeping Skills course. Its purpose is for the student to learn basic counseling skills that help clients discover and use their strengths and past experiences to helpthem identify solutions to their problems. Prerequisite(s): HMS 155, HMS 157 

SWK 171 Intro to Gerontology
This course provides an introduction to the biological, psychological and social issues experienced by those who are aging. Students will learn the various stages and cycles of aging and how society views and provides services to older adults. This course is interactive in nature and requires interviews with older adults and community service providers. 

PSY 270 Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal Psychology is the study of mental disorders that are listed in the current diagnostic system. A historical perspective, assessment and treatment are presented. The individual mental disorders are explained from a descriptive, causative and treatment perspective. Diagnostic statistical criteria are presented with each of the mental disorders. Prerequisite(s): PSY 160 

Elective 

Electives will be scheduled in accordance with desired bachelor's program or place of employment.

SWK 170 Race and Diversity
This is an introductory course for the study minorities in the USA. The course will expose students to the sociological perspectives on race, class and gender. This course will also provide an overview of the history of various minority groups with emphasis on the importance of culture and developing awareness and understanding of self and others. Through readings and discussions, the course will focus on prejudice and discrimination and the importance of understanding their role in a multicultural society. Prereq:  SOC 155

SWK 172 Drug and Alcohol
This course is an introductory course for the student intending to work with people in a variety of settings, including the social services, health services, education and criminal justice. This course will provide the student with an overview of substance abuse and treatment issues. Focus will be on learning about the major categories of abused substances, the nature of addiction, treatment and recovery and the impact of substance abuse and addiction on specific populations. 

SWK 258 Social Work Practicum
Under the supervision of a qualified human services provider, students will gain field experience in an area of interest. In this semester-long class, students will discuss ethical and current practice issues related to work in the human services field. The importance of professional behavior and the value of networking within the human services field are emphasized. Prerequisite(s): HMS 155, HMS 157 and permission of instructor 

PHL 161 Intro to Ethics
This course provides an overview of the main questions in ethics: What is a good life? Does morality depend upon religion? What makes an action right or wrong? Are morals relative or absolute? Students will examine these and other questions using a variety of ethical theories. These theories will also be applied to concrete issues like animal rights and euthanasia. 

Elective 

Electives will be scheduled in accordance with desired bachelor's program or place of employment.

Brooke White and Stephanie Turin

Transfer Agreements

Westmoreland County Community College prepares students for an entry level career in social work and also to transfer to a four year school for their bachelor's degree.  Westmoreland has transfer agreements with the following schools so when transferring, the student will be in their junior year, therefore saving both time and money.

California University of Pa is a public, state school located in California, Pa. The university offers both the bachelor's and master's of social work degree in a traditional format. Required Westmoreland electives to transfer: SPC 155, HIS 255, and POL 155

Millersville University is a public, state school located in Millersville, Pa.  The university offers a bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree in social work.  Classes are conducted remotely. Required Westmoreland electives to transfer: SWK 163, POL 155, and BIO 107

Seton Hill University is a private school located in Greensburg, Pa. The behavioral health program is part of the adult degree program and is provided remotely. Three years of classes can be completed at Westmoreland with the fourth remotely with Seton Hill Behavioral Health. Required Westmoreland electives to transfer: BUS 158, ASL I, and ASL II. The social work program is provided in the traditional classroom. Required Westmoreland electives to transfer: HIS 155, HIS 156, ASL I, and ASL II.

Social Work Club group photo

Social Work Club

The social work club provides opportunities to volunteer in the community not only to gain experience in helping people but to network with social work professionals and learn the social service system.  Become an officer or event coordinator and gain leadership skills.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer at campus events
  • Volunteer at community events
  • Bring your family

Leadership Opportunities

  • Become an officer
  • Build your resume
  • Coordinate an event

Network

  • Meet other students
  • Meet more faculty and staff
  • Make connections with professionals in the community

Meet and Greet

Meet those who will be a part of the student's educational journey - faculty, alumni and advisory board.

Faculty

The faculty for the social work program at Westmoreland have decades of experience in direct practice and bring those real world examples into the classroom.  The faculty have experience working with children, adults and the elderly in areas such as poverty, mental health, healthcare and corrections.

Stephanie Turin, MSW, LCSW
Program Director, Full-time Faculty

Erica Maloney
Part-time Faculty

Bob Brinker
Part-time Faculty

Alumni

Brooke White, BSW

Jessica Morrow, BSW

Advisory Board

The social work program advisory board is instrumental in keeping the program up to date by providing insight into changes in services delivery in the area.  They also provide networking and practicum supervision.

  • Debbie Fredo
    Senior Program Advisor, Graduate & Adult Studies
    Seton Hill University
  • Carla Colello
    Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic
  • Michelle Brandt
    Supervisor
    Westmoreland County Children's Bureau
  • Terri Maestrole, BS
    Health Navigator
    Redstone Highlands
  • Lisa Dysert
    Director of Human Resources
    Adelphoi, Inc.
  • Renee Dadey
  • Dawn Hennessey
    Director
    Faith Forward
  • Dr. Andrew Barnette
    Dean - School of Art, Humanities, Social Sciences & Public Service
    Westmoreland County Community College
  • Lyndsay Burrick, MSW, LSW
    Executive for Community Wellness and Recovery
    Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services
  • Dr. Susan McClure
    Professor of Psychology
    Westmoreland County Community College
  • Dr. Sheri Boyle, PhD, MSW
    Chair, Social Work Department, Associate Professor
    California University of Pennsylvania
  • Anna Joyner
  • Thomas Griffin
    Adelphoi, Inc
  • Trisha Simon
    Alternative Living Solutions
  • Collette Wilson
    Perkins Coordinator/KEYS Student Facilitator
    Westmoreland County Community College

 

Believe there is good in the world - graduation cap