Oct 02, 2023  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pre-Social Work, A.A. (General Transfer)

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Academic Program Code:  532

Social Work is a discipline involving the application of social theory and research methods to study and improve the lives of people, groups, and societies. This program is designed to offer a clear pathway for students wanting to transfer into a Bachelor of Social Work program at a senior institution. Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work are prepared for jobs in agencies and organizations specializing in public child welfare, psychiatric or mental health, case management, or in hospitals or schools. By declaring this Pre-Major, students are on track to graduate with an Associate of Arts degree from GRCC and transfer to a 4-year college or university to major in social work.

General Education Courses

Select a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work from the General Education course list.  Course work must be selected as directed in the areas below.

English Composition and Communications


Select two (2) Humanities General Education Electives from two (2) different subject areas.  Only one (1) Foreign Language course can be used for the Humanities requirement.

Social Sciences

Select one (1) Social Sciences General Education Elective from a subject other than PY.

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Natural Sciences

Nat Sci Lab/Non Lab General Education Elective must be from a discipline other than BI.


Select one (1) Mathematics General Education Elective.

General Education Total Credit Hours

30 (minimum)

Program Courses

Program Elective Courses

Select fifteen (15) credit hours from the following Elective courses.  Courses should be selected based on the program at the institution you intend to transfer to.

Total Credit Hours


Essential Abilities/Technical Standards

1. Essential judgment skills to include: ability to identify, assess, and comprehend the discipline specific situations for the purpose of problem solving and coming to appropriate conclusions and/or course of actions. Specific examples of essential judgment skills include:

A. Self-Awareness:

i. Students must exhibit knowledge and openness to learning how one’s values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions and past experiences affect thinking, behavior and relationships.  

ii. Willingness to examine and change their behavior when appropriate and work effectively with others in subordinate positions as well as with those in authority.  

2. Essential physical/neurological functions to include: ability to use the senses of seeing, hearing, touch, and smell to make correct judgments when learning or working with others. Students must also meet physical expectations to perform required interventions for the purpose of demonstrating competence to safely engage in the practice of these disciplines.  

Behaviors that demonstrate essential neurological and physical functions include, but are not limited to observation, listening, understanding relationships, writing, and psychomotor abilities consistent with course and program expectations. Specifically this includes:

A. Observation:

i. Students must be able to accurately observe clients or those with whom they interact to effectively assess their situations.   

ii. Have the sensory and motor abilities to carry out effectively the necessary assessment activities.

B. Sensory and Motor Functions:

i. Students must have sufficient sensory and motor abilities to attend class and complete the required number of hours of Academic Service Learning, or a field practicum, as required by a specific course or discipline.  

ii. To attend and perform safely and satisfactorily in the classroom and in the field.

3. Essential communication skills to include: ability to communicate effectively with fellow students, faculty, clients, and all members of the disciplines. Skills include verbal, written, and nonverbal abilities as well as information technology skills consistent with effective communication. Specifically, students must be able to:

A. Communicate effectively with other students, faculty, staff, clients and other professionals, and exemplify a willingness and ability to listen to others.  

B. Demonstrate effective communication in presentations, written assignments, small group settings, and through electronic means.

C. Perceive and interpret nonverbal communication.  

D. Use spoken and written English to understand the content presented in the program.  

E. Comprehend reading assignments and search and evaluate the literature.

F. Demonstrate competency in writing skills. 

4. Essential emotional coping skills: ability to manage potential stressors that accompany tasks necessary to safely engage in the practice of Psychology, Social Work, or Gerontology as determined by professional standards of practice. This includes:

A. Ability to deal with current life stressors through the use of appropriate coping mechanisms effectively by using appropriate self-care and developing supportive relationships with colleagues, peers, and others.   

B. Effectively use help for medical or emotional problems that interfere with academic or clinical performance. 

5. Essential intellectual/conceptual skills to include: ability to measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate to engage competently in the safe practice of the disciplines. This includes:

A. Think critically, analyze and interpret objective and subjective data, and apply effective problem solving skills. These skills allow students to make proper assessments, use sound judgment, appropriately prioritize therapeutic interventions, and measure and report client outcomes when necessary for a specific discipline or course.

B. Demonstrate cognitive ability to effectively use and apply program’s knowledge/skills. 

6. Other essential behavioral attributes: ability to engage in activities safely without demonstrated behaviors of addiction to, abuse of, or dependence on alcohol or other drugs that may impair behavior or judgment. The student must demonstrate responsibility and accountability for actions as a student in the Psychology department and as a developing professional in the discipline fields consistent with accepted standards of practice. This also includes adhering to professional performance standards:

A. Adherence to the Code of Ethics for the specific discipline (Psychology, Social Work, or Gerontology).

B. Respect the dignity and worth of every individual and his/her right to a just share of society’s resources (social justice).  

C. Behaviors that are in compliance with program policies, institutional policies, professional ethical standards, and societal laws in classroom, field, and community.   

D. Responsible and accountable behavior by knowing and practicing within the scope of the disciplines, respecting others, being punctual and dependable, prioritizing responsibilities, attending class regularly, observing deadlines, completing assignments on time, keeping appointments or making appropriate arrangements, and accepting supervision and criticism in a positive manner.    

E. A commitment to serve in an appropriate manner all persons in need of assistance, regardless of the person’s age, class, race, religious affiliation (or lack of), gender, disability, sexual orientation and/or value system. 

Grand Rapids Community College strives to be more than ADA compliant. We strive to be accessible and welcoming to all students of all abilities. After reviewing the Essential Abilities/Technical Standards for this program; your responsibilities as a student entail determining if you can complete all associated coursework either:

1. With Accommodation. I am otherwise qualified to meet the same academic standards as any other student entering the program. However, based on a medically documented condition or diagnosis, I would qualify for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). I will meet with Disability Support Services on campus to arrange those accommodations in an interactive process with the Psychology Department.

2. Without Accommodation. I am able to complete the program without need for reasonable accommodation or modification. In the event my medical documentation reveals otherwise or a condition manifests that would necessitate an accommodation; it is my responsibility to inform a responsible authority figure within the Psychology Department and work with Disability Support Services to see if a reasonable accommodation or modification can be made.

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