SSW402 - Community Practice

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:54:48.627
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:55:00.104

Subject Title
Community Practice

Subject Description
This course will explore a macro perspective of the relations between communities and organizations, and human behavior. The course focuses on two main areas: understanding the structure and dynamics of social services agencies, and examining issues and processes relating to having a community as a client.
The course will present various theoretical frameworks to analyze communities, and establish community needs and assets; provide an overview of the community development process; and examine the organizational structure and key features of agencies serving the community.

Credit Status
One credit in the Social Service Worker Diploma Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon completion of this course students will:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the macro social environment.
2. Demonstrate through class discussion and assignments, an understanding of theoretical frameworks to analyze communities and establish needs and assets
3. Demonstrate in a class presentation and/or assignment how to translate private troubles of vulnerable people into social or public issues that require communityinvolvement and action.
4. Identify and analyze the unique aspects of community social service work and the distinct strategies and steps of the community development process.
5. Demonstrate in assignments an understanding of organizational structures, including budgets and financial issues.
6. Demonstrate through group assignments the ability to build an effective team.
7. Identify community partners and begin building networks through group projects and experiential activities.
8. Demonstrate through assignments and class discussions a heightened capacity to become an ally to various communities and an effect agent of social change.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

All Module 1 & 2 subjects

Topic Outline

  1. Human Behaviour in the Macro Social Environment
  2. Systems Theory; Ecological Perspective; Strengths and empowerment in the context of Social Work
  3. Communities in the Macro Social Environment
  4. Assessment of Georgraphic Communities and Empowerment
  5. Neighbourhood Empowerment
  6. Diversity, Populations at Risk, and Empowerment in the Macro Social Environment
  7. Human Behaviour in Groups
  8. Types of Groups
  9. Knowledge and Theories about Organizations
  10. Organizational Structure and Dynamics
  11. Social Service Organizational Settings, Goals and Environmental Contexts
  12. Human Behaviour, management and empowerment in Organizations
  13. Social Justice and the Global Community

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, readings, small group discussion, role play, video, and assignments.

Prescribed Texts
Human Behaviour, Communities, Organizations & Groups in the Macro Social Environment: An Empowerment Approach, 4th Edtion
By Kirst-Ashman, Karen K.; Brooks/Cole; Nelson Education Inc., (13 digit: 9781285075495)

Reference Material

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Journal 20%
Group Assignment 30%
Mid Term 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble