Featured eCourse: SOCI 1106

SOCI 1106

Intro to Social Work 
3 Credit Hours
Instructor: Tiffany Irizarry

This course is designed to serve as an introduction to the practice of social work and the field of social services. Emphasis is placed on the delivery of social services, the development and future of social work in American society. The student will be exposed to current endeavors in the field, agencies offering social welfare services, and critical issues facing social work in contemporary society. 

Enroll in SOCI 1106 by visiting the Enroll webpage!

Q&A with Instructor Tiffany Irizarry

Q. In your opinion, what are some of the critical issues currently facing social work?

A. Social workers tend to work with disadvantaged populations. Most people don't seek a social worker when life is great, they seek a social worker as a last resort. One critical issue social workers face is the lack of resources or the cutting of resources for these disadvantaged populations. While there is assistance and resources available, it's just not enough. Depending on the populations you work with, you'll see different issues. I've worked in mental health, and the stigma and lack of insurance for mental health make accessing and providing treatment extremely difficult. I currently work in healthcare with people that have at least one medical disability, and the guidelines and loopholes of medical insurance by itself make the field terribly difficult. I've also worked with many people that have lost close to everything, if not everything, due to the cost of healthcare. Each field has it's own difficulties.

Q. What do you enjoy most about instructing this course?

A. When most people think of social work, it tends to be very narrow minded. Most people don't realize how versatile and flexible social work is, and that social workers can be utilized in almost any setting. I love that I have the opportunity to provide more insight on just what it is social workers do.

Q. Do you have any advice or recommendations for students interested in enrolling in this course?

A. Keep an open mind! Social workers tend to work with populations that are, in one way or another, considered outcasts. This requires social workers to look at situations from a point-of-view they may have never considered, work with people very different from them, and to be nonjudgmental.

Q. When and how did you become interested in Social Work?

A. I remember sitting in my General Psychology class my Freshman year and thinking "this is it!". I loved everything about it, and went on to receive my Bachelor's in Psychology. I had a hard time finding a graduate program that fit my needs and schedule, and stumbled upon my MSW program. I, too, had a very narrow minded opinion of social workers so I had never considered the field. The more I researched the program and the field the more I realized it better fit what I wanted to do. The pieces fell into place and voila!

Q. If you had to choose one lesson from this course that you feel is the most important for students to take with them, what would it be?

A. One topic discussed in the course is Human Rights and Social and Economic Justice. Our society has a long history of determining what populations are worthy of what rights and, unfortunately, these ideologies continue to exist in the present day. This unit provides an overview of the various injustices that occur, some of the actions that have taken place in an attempt to right these wrongs, and what social workers can do to work towards social justice. At the very least, social workers treat all clients or patients with  respect and dignity, and knowing potential injustices we'll be working with is imperative regardless of the setting we're in.

Q. What will students gain from taking this course?

A. This course will talk about the history of social work, why social workers are needed, and the various fields and positions social workers are present in. Whether students are considering a career in social work, or just want more information, this course will highlight the versatility of social workers and show just how awesome we are!