Cristina Durán, LISW, Ph.D., Dean
Lora Shields Science Annex and Albuquerque Center
505-260-6183 or 505-454-3563
Mission of the School of Social Work
Faculty and Administration
Bachelor of Social Work Program (BSW)
Academic and Behavioral Expectations
Code of Ethics
Transfer of Credit
Students Holding an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science Degree
Grade Point Average
Major in Social Work
Social Work (SOWK) Courses in
The Facundo Valdez School of Social Work has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) since 1974 and is accredited through 2020. The Facundo Valdez School of Social Work has been recognized by North Central Accreditation as an Academic School of Excellence.
The New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents approved, on December 17, 2015, a change in the name for the School of Social Work to honor the founder of the School, Facundo Valdez. The mission of the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work is to educate students to practice social work competently with the diverse, multicultural populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. This context of cultural and regional responsiveness informs the school’s creation and implementation of all its educational programs.
The School has a primary commitment to Hispanic and Native American people. Our curriculum grounds students in core professional social work values and skills and ethical principles and promotes a focused awareness and respect for cultural differences and how poverty affects the well-being of people in the region.
The Facundo Valdez School of Social Work offers the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program at the main campus, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and at the following four campus locations:
- NMHU SSW at Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM
- NMHU Rio Rancho Center, Rio Rancho, NM
- NMHU at San Juan College (SJC), Farmington, NM
- NMHU at Higher Education Center (HEC), Santa Fe, NM
Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at Las Vegas (Main Campus)
Las Vegas, NM 87701
505-454-3563 FAX: 505-454-3290
Administration – Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at Las Vegas
Cristina Durán, LISW, Ph.D., Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kip Coggins, MSW, Ph.D., MSW Program Coordinator, email@example.com
Beth Massaro, MSW, Ed.D., BSW Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Velinda Pearson, LCSW, Field Education Director, email@example.com
Rhonda Aragon, LMSW, Las Vegas/Santa Fe Field Education Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Cassandra Carrillo, LCSW, Roswell Field Education/Program Coordinator email@example.com
Faith Eldridge, LCSW, Farmington Field Education Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawrence M. Montaño, MSW, Graduate Admission Coordinator, email@example.com
Marian Najar, Student Support Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen S. Robertson, MA, Library Associate, Evening Coordinator, email@example.com
LouAnn Romero, MSW, Continuing Education Coordinador, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamara Thiedeman, LCSW, Albuquerque/Rio Rancho Field Education Coordinator, email@example.com
Joanne Martinez, Office Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharen Maldonado, Las Vegas/Santa Fe Field Education Senior Administrative Assistant email@example.com
Faculty – Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at Las Vegas
Jeannette Baca, LISW, LCSW, firstname.lastname@example.org
Benjamin Bencomo, LISW, LCSW, email@example.com
Beth Massaro, Ed.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Moore, Ph.D., email@example.com
Dolores Ortega, MSW, Ed.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Rodda, MSW, email@example.com
Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at Albuquerque
5401 Indian School Rd. NE, Suite 100
Albuquerque, NM 87110
505.260.6181 FAX: 505.896.6122
Administration – Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at Albuquerque
Cristina Durán, Ph.D, LISW, Dean
Faculty – Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at Albuquerque
Jason Aleman, MSW, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Barnas, MSW, MPA, email@example.com
Judith Barnstone, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Kip Coggins, Ph.D., email@example.com
Amy Messex, MSW, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reyna Rivera, MSW, email@example.com
Sam Terrazas, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Valles-Pedroza, MSW, email@example.com
Facundo Valdez School of Social Work Rio Rancho Center
See: School of Social Work at Albuquerque
NMHU at Higher Education Center (HEC), Santa Fe
1950 Siringo Road
Santa Fe, NM, 87505
505.426.2126 FAX: 505.428.1147
Administration – NMHU at HEC
Beth Massaro, MSW, Ed.D., BSW Program Coordinator, Adviser firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannette Baca, MSW, Adviser, NMHU Center at HEC
See also: NMHU SSW at Las Vegas
NMHU at San Juan College
Buddy Rivera, Director, NMHU Center at SJC
4601 College Boulevard
Farmington, NM 87402
505.566.3552 FAX: 505.566.3584
Administration – NMHU at SJC
Rey Martinez, LMSW, Ph.D. Program Coordinator
Faith Eldridge, LCSW, Farmington Field Education Coordinator, email@example.com
The bachelor of social work prepares generalist social work practitioners with the knowledge, skills, values, and ethical principles necessary to practice with Hispanic, American Indian, and other diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest.
The curriculum builds upon a liberal arts perspective and prepares students at a generalist level to understand and evaluate the role of the social work practitioner in the delivery of human services.
The program is a 53-credit major, completed in four full-time semesters. Students majoring in social work are not required to complete a minor program of study. Prior to beginning the BSW program, the proficiency, extended core, general education core and general elective courses may be completed at the NMHU – Las Vegas campus or local universities and community colleges. Approved equivalent coursework may be accepted in transfer from other two- or four-year regionally accredited educational institutions.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact the school for pre-program advisement, course sequencing and major requirements. Please note that course sequencing is subject to change depending on program needs.
Academic advisers are available at each site to review and guide students on their progress to transition into the BSW program. It is advised that prospective students address all pre-program coursework prior to beginning the BSW program. Upon matriculation into the BSW program, students are assigned an academic adviser. Although almost all students complete the BSW program within two years of their undergraduate education, the maximum time limit is five years. It is the student’s responsibility, with the assistance of an academic adviser, to develop a program of study that details the semesters in which individual courses are to be taken.
All social work students are provided with a copy of the school’s academic and behavioral policy upon matriculating into the BSW program. The policy outlines expectations regarding students’ professional behavior and academic performance, sets forth grounds for suspension and expulsion from the social work program, and describes the procedures for disciplinary action. As more specifically detailed in the policy, students must demonstrate the following: suitability for the profession of social work via appropriate and adequate classroom and field performance; ability to appropriately relate to colleagues; and compliance with all other provisions of the academic/behavioral policy. Students must demonstrate that they have read and understand this policy by signing it and returning it to their academic adviser. The School’s policy concerning grade appeals is also provided to students at the commencement of the academic year.
All students in social work are required to have knowledge of and adhere to the Social Work Code of Ethics.
Transfer of credit for social work courses will not be considered unless courses have been completed at another school of social work accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Courses must have been completed within five years from the date of enrollment.
Incomplete grades in prerequisite courses must be completed prior to registering for the following semester. Students will not be permitted to continue until the incomplete (I) mark is removed from the official transcript.
Any student with an associate of arts or associate of applied science (AAS) degree may present an academic transcript to be considered for course credit transfer. Upon verification that the AA or AAS academic transcript demonstrates completion of coursework equivalent to the required University proficiency and core curriculum requirements, the AA or AAS degree will be accepted for transfer and the student will be given credit toward completion of the BSW degree. A minimum of 120 credit hours is needed to complete the BSW degree, which is comprised of 75 credit hours of pre-program coursework and 53 credit hours of social work courses. A student may have to take additional elective courses to meet the University’s 120-credit-hour requirement to complete the degree.
Transfer courses are evaluated on a course-by-course basis to determine whether they meet the general core requirements. Students transferring from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in New Mexico with an earned associate degree will have New Mexico Highlands University proficiency, extended core, and minor requirements waived. Students are encouraged to complete the AA or AAS degree and the 35-hour common core and program prerequisites during their freshman and sophomore years to assure completion of the bachelor’s degree within two additional years.
BSW students are required to complete 448 hours of field practicum during their senior year, either in a concurrent or a block placement. Students in field practicum must complete all University core requirements and all 300-level (junior standing) courses prior to enrolling in field practicum. All practicum placements require the approval of the director/coordinator of field education.
Students are placed with the same community agency for two days, 16 hours per week, for two consecutive semesters. BSW students enrolled in concurrent practicum placement must also register for one field practicum seminar course each semester. Concurrent field practicums are offered as fall-spring or as spring-summer placements.
Block field practicum placements are only offered during the summer term. Students must complete all required social work courses prior to beginning block placement/practicum. Students enrolled in a block field practicum placement are placed with a community agency for five days, 40 hours per week, for approximately 12 weeks. BSW students must enroll in two field seminars and two field practicum courses the summer they are in block practicum.
The Facundo Valdez School of Social Work, in partnership with the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD), offers stipends to students who wish to pursue a career in child welfare under the Title IV-E stipend program. All undergraduate students ready to enter senior-level coursework are eligible to apply for the stipends. Students must conduct their field practicum with a CYFD office for one academic year.
Stipend recipients are required to take the SOWK 4000 Children’s Services course. The average stipend amount awarded to students is $11,000 per academic year. Amount of stipend award is subject to change.
Upon completion of the BSW program, stipend recipients must work for CYFD for a period of 18 months for each academic year a stipend is received. Stipend application information is provided to all students during the second semester of their junior year.
Students are encouraged to participate in the Undergraduate Social Work Student Association (UGSWSA) and other University student associations.
Students are responsible for knowing and following the correct procedures and for meeting the conditions established for their academic programs. This includes completion of all University and school course requirements.
A grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 is required for admission to the bachelor of social work major program. Additionally, the student must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to continue in and complete the program.
Application and Admissions Process for Entrance to the Social Work Major
Students majoring in social work must declare their major during their sophomore year. Students interested in pursuing a BSW degree at New Mexico Highlands University must:
- Apply for admission to Highlands (this applies to students who have not previously attended NMHU).
- Have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.
- Complete lower division coursework that meets the University proficiency and liberal arts requirements.
- A minimum of 120 credit hours is required to complete a BSW degree. This includes the 75 credit hours of pre-program coursework and 53 credit hours of BSW courses for the major. A student may have to take additional elective courses to meet the University’s 120-credit-hour requirement to complete the degree.
The social work major, leading to a bachelor of social work degree, consists of 53 credit units. Students majoring in social work are not required to have a minor program of study. Students must complete all required 3000-level courses before proceeding to take 4000-level senior courses.
Required courses: 53 credit hours
SOWK 3300 Research Methods 1 (3)
SOWK 3310 Law and Ethics (3)
SOWK 3410 Social Policy and Services 1 (3)
SOWK 3650 Generalist Social Work Practice 1 (3)
SOWK 3660 Generalist SW Practice 2 (Interviewing and Assessment) (3)
SOWK 3830 HBSE 3 (Human Diversity and Multicultural Theory) (3)
SOWK 3850 HBSE 1 (Group, Org, and Com Theories) (3)
SOWK 3860 HBSE 2 (Individual and Family Theories) (3)
SOWK 4300 Research Methods 2 (3)
SOWK 4320 Field Practicum 1 (4)
SOWK 4340 Field Practicum 2 (4)
SOWK 4440 Case Management (3)
SOWK 4510 Field Practicum Seminar 1 (1)
SOWK 4520 Field Practicum Seminar 2 (1)
SOWK 4650 Generalist Social Work Practice 3 (3)
SOWK 4660 Generalist Social Work Practice 4 (Macro Practice) (3)
SOWK 4680 Theories of SW Practice (3)
SW Electives: choose two courses (4)
- Major Total: 53 credit hours
- Core Requirements: 21 credit hours
- Flex Requirements: 10 credit hours
- Extended Requirements: 8 credit hours
- Proficiency Requirements: 11-17 credit hours
- General Electives to 120 (if needed): 11-17 credit hours
- Total for degree: 120 credit hours
*A minor is not required. Additional credits may be requirement to meet the 45 upper-division requirements.
SOWK 2110. Intro to Social Work (3); Fa
This course introduces students to current practices and historical roots of the social work profession and social welfare. Social work values, ethics, fields of practice, and settings are introduced. Social work’s commitment to diversity, service to at-risk populations, and social justice are highlighted. Approaches relevant to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities are presented, with special emphasis on Hispanic and Indigenous populations of New Mexico and the Southwest.
SOWK 3300. Research Methods 1 (3); Sp
This is the first course in the undergraduate research sequence. It introduces students to qualitative and quantitative methodologies used in social research and assessment. The course also covers statistical analysis and the use of computer technology in social research. Research on behalf of the diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest is emphasized. Prerequisites: SOWK 3410 and SOWK 3420. Previously NMHU SW 330.
SOWK 3310. Law and Ethics in Social Work (3); Fa
The course examines areas of the law in which social work and our legal system intertwine. It also surveys ethical principles and related legal concepts that impact professional social work, and introduces a framework for the resolution of practice dilemmas. Finally, the course provides students with basic practice skills necessary to find and interpret the law. Major emphasis is placed on the operation of the legal system in New Mexico and the Southwest. Previously NMHU SW 331.
SOWK 3350 – 4350. Selected Topics in Social Work (1-4 VC)
One or more elective courses relating to selected topics in social work practice. Previously NMHU SW 335-435.
SOWK 3410. Social Policy and Services 1 (3); Fa
This first course in the two-part sequence covers the history of social work, the history and current structures of social welfare services, and the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to understand major social welfare policies. This foundation course introduces analysis of organizational, local and state issues, and policy analysis and advocacy. All course content is oriented to understanding the effects of social policies on Hispanics, Native Americans, and other historically oppressed populations. Previously NMHU SW 341.
SOWK 3650. Generalist Social Work Practice 1 (3); Fa
This first course in the practice sequence introduces students to multiple theoretical approaches to generalist practice with diverse individuals. The philosophical and ethical foundations of social work are examined as they manifest in each step of the social work process. Practice knowledge and skills necessary for ethical and competent generalist practice with emphasis on the diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest are covered. Previously NMHU SW 365.
SOWK 3660. Generalist SW Practice 2: Interviewing and Assessment (3); Sp
This second course in the practice sequence focuses on skills and strategies for competent and ethical foundation-level interviewing and assessment with diverse clients throughout the life span. Generalist practice interviewing and assessment techniques for children, adolescents and adults will be included. Emphasis is placed upon practice with Hispanic, American Indian, and other oppressed populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Prerequisite: SOWK 365. Previously NMHU SW 366.
SOWK 3830. Human Diversity and Multicultural Theory (HBSE 3) (3); Sp, Su
The course surveys relevant theory describing the ethnocultural context of human behavior. The manner in which culture impacts the social functioning of individuals, families, organizations, and communities is addressed. Consistent with the mission of the social work program, primary emphasis is placed upon Hispanic, Native American, and other diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Prerequisite or Corequisites: SOWK 3850, SOWK 3860. Previously NMHU SW 383.
SOWK 3850.Group, Organization, and Community Theories (HBSE 1) (3); Fa
This two-semester course sequence surveys theoretical perspectives of human life course development and the environmental contexts within which development occurs. The sequence explores the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, communities, society, and culture. The sequence emphasizes ethnocultural contexts with special attention on the diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Previously NMHU SW 385.
SOWK 3860. Individual and Family Theories (HBSE 2) (3); Sp
This is the second course of a two-semester sequence described in SOWK 3850. Prerequisite: SOWK 3850. Previously NMHU SW 386.
SOWK 4000. Children’s Services (2); Var
This elective provides an overview of services for the protection of children. Additionally, it surveys child and family welfare policies and programs, with special emphasis on the New Mexico child welfare system. Previously NMHU SW 400.
SOWK 4120. Immigrant Rights (2); Var
This course will examine major historical trends in migration to the United States; public policy regarding migration and the rights of immigrants; and the roles of governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Issues such as immigration enforcement; labor rights; and access to healthcare and public benefits will also be addressed. Previously NMHU SW 412.
SOWK 4140. The Social Determinants of Health and Wellbeing (2); Var
The purpose of this course is to explore the social, societal, governmental, and environmental influences on health and wellbeing. We will Investigate macro-level causes of Individual and social problems so as to Inform treatment and prevention programs and social policy. Specifically, the course will explore not only the health risk and protective factors in the physical and social environment that directly impact health, but also the ways in which they shape health behaviors, and the ways In which they can be addressed by community and governmental intervention. Previously NMHU SW 414.
SOWK 4160. Social Work Practice with Military Families (2); Var
This course surveys the theoretical and practical methods or providing support to military families during the three phases or the deployment cycle. Factors supporting resilience in children and adults in military families will be identified, and diversity in military families explored. Previously NMHU SW 416.
SOWK 4180. Social Work in Rural Communities (2); Var
This course introduces students to Social Work practice in rural contexts and the culture of people who live in rural communities and their unique social problems. Social work practice, policy, diversity, and ethics in rural communities will be explored to help prepare students for practice in rural contexts. The unique and complex roles that social works who practice in rural contexts will be examined and differentiated for coal work practice in urban communities.
SOWK 4280. Introduction to Substance Use and Abuse (2); Var
This introductory course examines prevention and treatment approaches to alcohol and substance use and abuse. Approaches relevant to work with individuals, families, groups and communities are presented, with special emphasis on Hispanic and Native American populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Prerequisites: SOWK 3660, and 3860. Previously NMHU SW 428.
SOWK 4290. Family Violence (2); Var
The course surveys major sociological and psychological theories of family violence throughout the life span. Social and interpersonal factors contributing to family violence are explored in an ethnocultural context, with special emphasis on the Hispanic and Native American populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Prerequisites: SOWK 3660, 3830 and 3860. Previously NMHU SW 429.
SOWK 4300. Research Methods 2 (3); Fa
This second course in the undergraduate research sequence builds on knowledge and skills introduced in SOWK 3300. Additional topics presented include hypothesis development, variables, methods of data collection, research design, instrumentation, and applied research strategies. Research on behalf of the diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest is emphasized. Prerequisite: SOWK 330. Previously NMHU SW 430.
SOWK 4310. Aging and Gerontology (2); Var
This elective course addresses the emotional, biological, psychological, environmental and legal aspects of aging that occur in the elderly, with special emphasis on the Hispanic and Native American populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Previously NMHU SW 431.
SOWK 4320. Field Practicum 1 (4); Var
The purpose of field practicum is to offer students the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to practice. The field practicum requires students to be placed with a community agency during their senior year. In their agency placement, students are expected to demonstrate social work skills, knowledge, and values in working with individuals, groups, families, and communities. A total of 208 hours of field practicum/placement are required. Prerequisites: SOWK 3300, SOWK 3660, SOWK 3830, and SOWK 3860. Corequisite: SOWK 4510. Previously NMHU SW 432.
SOWK 4340. Field Practicum 2 (4); Var
This foundation practicum sequence is designed to help students apply foundation knowledge of social work skills, values, and ethics in practice. By providing a series of supervised assignments and tasks, the practicum experience will expose students to a variety of social work roles. Students will apply generalist social work knowledge, skills, and values to practice with individuals, couples, families, groups and communities. Prerequisites: SOWK 4320, SOWK 4650, and SOWK 4440. Corequisites: SOWK 4520. Previously NMHU SW 434.
SOWK 4370. Grief Assessment and Intervention (2); Var
This elective examines grief and loss theory from a strengths-based development and multicultural perspective. The focus of the course is grief interviewing and case-based grief assessment and treatment across the life span with added emphasis on the diverse populations of New Mexico and the Southwest, including Hispanic and Native American peoples. Prerequisites: SOWK 3660, 3830 and 3860. Previously NMHU SW 437.
SOWK 4400. Social Work in Healthcare Settings (2); Var
This course addresses models of medical social work practice and current changes in the healthcare and health insurance industry and their implications for social work practice. While this is not a course in medical information, the class will include use of basic medical terminology, a review of practice in various medical settings, and with various client populations. Prerequisites: SOWK 2110, 3830 and 3860. Previously NMHU SW 440.
SOWK 4440. Case Management (3); Fa
This required senior-level course introduces students to case management practice in the context of professional social work. Students will acquire skills in developing, implementing, and monitoring a variety of case management plans. Interagency collaboration will be stressed. Case management for selected vulnerable populations will be studied. Prerequisite: Completion of junior-level BSW classes. Previously NMHU SW 444.
SOWK 4510. Field Practicum Seminar 1 (1); Var
This seminar provides students an opportunity to integrate practice theory with field (practicum) experience. Students are exposed to a wide range of practice situations and will have an opportunity to address pragmatic and procedural aspects of field instruction. Prerequisite or Corequisites: SOWK 4320 and SOWK 4650. Previously NMHU SW 451.
SOWK 4520. Field Practicum Seminar 2 (1); Var
This seminar provides students an opportunity to integrate practice theory with field (practicum) experience. Students are exposed to a wide range of practice situations, and will have an opportunity to address pragmatic and procedural aspects of field instruction. Prerequisite or Corequisite: SOWK 4340. Previously NMHU SW 452.
SOWK 4650. Generalist Social Work Practice 2 (3); Fa
This third course in the practice sequence builds upon the knowledge and skills previously developed. The course focuses on practice skills necessary for competent and ethical practice with diverse families and groups. Emphasis is placed upon generalist social work practice with Hispanic, American Indian, and other oppressed populations of New Mexico and the Southwest. Prerequisites: Completion of all 3000-level SW courses. Corequisites: SOWK 4320 and SOWK 4510. Previously NMHU SW 465.
SOWK 4660. Generalist Social Work Practice 3 (3); Sp
This final course in the undergraduate practice sequence builds upon the knowledge and skills previously developed. This course introduces students to macro-level practice theory and skills necessary for competent and ethical practice. Topics include community organizing, development, and resource-building with a focus on the rural and urban communities of New Mexico and the Southwest. Emphasis is placed on macro practice with Hispanic, American Indian, and other oppressed communities. Prerequisites: Completion of all 3000 level SOWK courses and SOWK 4650. Corequisites: SOWK 4340 and SOWK 4520. Previously NMHU SW 466.
SOWK 4670. Program Development and Grant Writing (2); Var
This course focuses on the attainment and management of fiscal resources and grants within the setting of health, mental health and human service agencies. The nonprofit environment will be highlighted, including the creation and management of Section 501c3 organizations. Particular emphasis will be placed on the creation and funding of programs that address the needs of the diverse client populations. Prerequisites: SOWK 3660, 3830 and 3860. Previously NMHU SW 467.
SOWK 4680. Theories of Social Work Practice (3); Sp
This course focuses on a comparative analysis of frameworks, theories, and models of social work practice. The course examines the four forces in psychology as the building blocks of an integrative, multicultural, and ecosystems approach to social work practice. Implications of each practice approach for work at the micro, mezzo, and macro level are examined. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of the practice approaches for work with diverse populations, with special emphasis on the Native American and Hispanic Populations of New Mexico. Previously NMHU SW 468.
SOWK 4690. Social Work Practice Skills (2); Var
This elective course focuses on interviewing and interaction skills with client systems and on skills that are required in the day-to-day functioning of social service organizations. Prerequisites: SOWK 3660, 3830 and 3860. Previously NMHU SW 469.
SOWK 4920. Independent Research (1–4 VC); Var
Individual research arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previously NMHU SW 492.